The Aliso Canyon gas well blowout (Disaster) was the largest uncontrolled release from an underground gas storage facility in the history of the United States. It required a multiple agency response and over 8,000 families were temporarily relocated from their homes. Thousands of health-related reports were received during the disaster, and people in the surrounding communities continue to express concerns about the impact of this disaster on their health.
The purpose of the Aliso Canyon Disaster Health Research Study (Health Study) is to contribute to the understanding of the potential short and long-term health impacts of the Aliso Canyon Disaster on people living in the surrounding communities. Typically, health studies are undertaken by scientists to examine the impacts of exposure(s) on the health of specific population(s). Knowledge gained from a health study may inform community stakeholders about potential short and long-term health risks, the allocation of public resources and services, and regulatory policies to prevent environmental disasters and minimize adverse public health impacts arising from them.
The Health Study will be conducted by a third-party research team and overseen by the Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC), a panel of scientific experts who will review research plans, evaluate the progress of the research, and provide scientific advice to the third-party researchers. The Community Advisory Group (CAG) and the broader community have been instrumental in providing input and perspectives that have informed the focus of the Health Study and its priorities. Development of the Health Study solicitation was informed by advice from leading researchers and best practices from existing major health studies.
Independent research teams and organizations were invited to submit research proposals aimed at scientifically evaluating the health impacts from the disaster and exposure to natural gas and its constituents from the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility in Los Angeles County. After a competitive process and an evaluation by a panel of independent medical and scientific experts, the Regents of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) was selected to conduct the Health Study Research.
For information on the scope of the Health Study, click here
Public Health's Radiation Management team previously tested materials in waste bins from the Aliso Canyon blowout and well-control operations. The levels of radiation found were very low and within naturally existing background levels. These low levels of radiation do not pose an immediate health risk. Prior results are available on our Health Study Research & Data Page.
In response to requests from the community, Public Health's Radiation Management team is doing additional testing.
A virtual webinar was held on January 9 to present the draft sampling plan and address questions from residents of the northwestern neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley. Additionally, feedback and recommendations on sampling locations were accepted from the community through January 30, 2023. The Radiation Management team is currently reviewing the recommendations and finalizing the sampling plan. Further updates will be posted on the Health Study Research and Data page.
If you have any questions, please contact the Public Health Radiation Management Team at DPHradiation@ph.lacounty.gov.