ATSDR -- FY 1999 AGENCY PROFILE AND ANNUAL REPORT
Public Health Assessments
The agency, in collaboration with state health departments under
cooperative agreements, prepared 196 public health assessment documents
and one public health advisory for 151 sites during FY 1999.
The public health assessments and the advisory completed in FY 1999
classified 22% of the sites investigated as being of public health concern or
urgent public health concern. Another 27% of sites were classified as
indeterminate or potential health concerns.
Inorganic substances, found at 30% of sites assessed in FY 1999, and VOCs
(26%) were the most common classes of contaminants identified, followed by
polyaromatic hydrocarbons (15%) and halogenated pesticides (13%) (Figure 1).
The inorganic substances found most often at sites were lead, arsenic, and
chromium. The VOCs included benzene, trichloroethylene, and toluene. For
the most part, contaminants for sites in all health hazard categories with
completed exposure pathways were identified in soil (30%), groundwater
(municipal and private wells) (26%), and air (17%). The frequency with which
the contaminants were identified in those media may reflect the fact that those
media were most frequently sampled, rather than that the media were more
likely to be contaminated. Data gaps exist for some media.
Figure 1. Major Contaminants Found at Sites Assessed in FY 1999
Percentage of sites