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Public Health Consultations at Sites That Contain Hazardous Substances (ATSDR Cooperative Agreement)


The Environmental Public Health Program collaborates with ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) to address concerns related to contaminants that are of health concern to communities. These health consultations consider the levels of hazardous substances at a site, whether people might be exposed to contaminants and by what pathways, and what harm the substances might cause to people. Specific recommendations are developed to address any identified hazard.

During site-related activities, community meetings may be held in order to share health-related information, listen to community concerns, and incorporate community knowledge into the decision-making process.

ATSDR posts health assessments and consultations for the State of Alaska on the following website: www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/PHA/HCPHA.asp?State=Alaska

What is ATSDR?

ATSDR, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, is a federal public health agency involved with hazardous waste issues. It is responsible for preventing or reducing the harmful effects of exposure to hazardous substances on human health and quality of life. The agency is responsible for addressing the health-related parts of the 1980 Superfund law and other laws that protect the public from hazardous wastes and environmental spills.

Other federal agencies like the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, states, and local governments may request ATSDR's help with a site, such as in cases of accidental spills or releases. ATSDR usually conducts public health assessments and health consultations to determine whether people have been exposed to environmental contaminants at high enough levels to impact their health and wellbeing.

ATSDR is based in Atlanta, Georgia, with 10 regional offices and an office in Washington, D.C. The agency has cooperative agreements with 29 states, including Alaska, to provide technical assistance to state public health employees conducting site-related public health assessments or health consultations, exposure investigations, health studies, and health education.

More information about ATSDR is available online at www.atsdr.cdc.gov. ATSDR also provides comprehensive information on individual hazardous substances in its Toxicological Profiles and ToxFAQs databases.

If you are interested in a public health consultation or assessment for your community, please contact the Environmental Public Health Program either by phone (907-269-8000) or e-mail (eph@alaska.gov).