Different stakeholders may be interested in a health study of a community living near a contaminated area for a variety of reasons. The table below lists examples of reasons stakeholders have expressed in the past.

knowledge to learn more about whether a chemical can cause an health outcome, or whether it can cause the health outcome at certain levels of exposure, or in certain populations
to find out whether a perceived disease cluster is real; and if the cluster is real, what its cause may be
protection of the public's health to change policy, if needed, in order to better protect other communities from future exposure
to provide information that will help ensure clean-up occurs
justice /
right-to-know /
to document risk and/or exposure to a community, for the sake of having this information known publicly or acknowledged, perhaps by the responsible parties
to have this information for personal satisfaction; this is the principle that the persons affected have the right-to-know about exposures
to try to show evidence of disease resulting from exposure for a lawsuit or for compensation to an individual or community
protection from liability or clean-up obligation if a study does not find evidence of disease resulting from exposure, the entity that is responsible for the contaminated property may hope to use the information to defend itself in a lawsuit, or to argue against the need for clean-up.
Will a Health Study Address Your Community's Needs?
What are your community's goals? What questions does your community want answered, and how will those answers be used to address your community's health?

Suppose your community's goals are broad. You may want to look at a variety of factors that affect the health of your community. You may want to investigate a wide variety of health outcomes, not all of which may be related to the exposure. In this case, you may want to consider a community health survey instead, which looks at many different factors that affect health (for example, social and economic status), as well as different health conditions. This type of survey can help a community better understand its health status and needs. However, this type of survey cannot be used to show an association between exposure to contaminants and development of a specific disease

In addition, you may want to organize actions that can be more appropriate and useful than an epidemiological study.