Cincinnati, Ohio – Last Thursday, Communities United For Action (CUFA) hosted Children’s Hospital doctors doing ongoing research on child health disparities in Hamilton County.

Creek bed with runoff from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) in Northside. This is someone’s backyard.

In a first-of-its-kind study, Dr. Richard Brokamp identified a 20% increased risk for emergency room visits related to gastrointestinal issues for children living nearby sewer overflows. The study, covering 2010-2014, demonstrated increased risks for emergency room visits related to asthma and skin and soft tissue infections as well.

Attendees, many of whom have suffered sewer backups in their homes, expressed concern for their own increased health risks given the raw sewage was in their homes. Some questioned what the long term health impacts might be from repeated exposure to raw sewage.

Along with his study, Dr. Brokamp published a map of Combined Sewer Overflow Activity (2010-2014). See if there is one nearby you!


Dr. Andrew Beck talked about decreased life expectancy and increased hospitalization for various issues, including asthma, for poor and minority communities.

Dr. Beck demonstrated that children living in Camp Washington are eight times more likely to visit an emergency room for asthma than the national average, and five times more likely than the county average. But, neighborhoods like Hyde Park and Glendale fall below the national average.

The trend for health disparities for poor and minority communities continues in analysis of pre-term birth rates, infant mortality, injury, psychiatric conditions and more. See how your neighborhood compares.