CHAPTER ONE: CONDUCTING HEALTH ASSESSMENTS AND CONSULTATIONS
OVERVIEW OF PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT FINDINGS
During FY 1999, ATSDR and its 28 cooperative agreement states performed
more than 1,500 health activities in 49 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin
Islands. These activities included 196 public health assessments and a public
health advisory for uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
The agency estimates that more than 1.7 million people live within a 1-
mile radius of the sites that were the subjects of the FY 1999 public health
assessments and public health advisory. The population living within a 1-mile
radius of the 106 sites that had completed exposure pathways numbered about
1.4 million. Water and soil were the environmental media most often associated
with sites where completed exposure pathways were identified.
ATSDR made three types of public health assessment recommendations:
recommendations to provide better site characterization, recommendations to
cease or reduce exposure, and recommendations for public health actions. The
most common recommendations were for additional or continuation of
monitoring efforts, additional characterization of environmental media,
institutional and physical restrictions on site access, health statistics reviews,
and site-specific health education to increase community members'
understanding of the public health implications. Although less common, there
were also recommendations for biomedical testing, evaluations of exposure
indicators, and additions of exposed populations to specific subregistries.
Following are details of ATSDR's FY 1999 public health assessment activities.