ATSDR -- FY 1999 AGENCY PROFILE AND ANNUAL REPORT
The cohort of 5,583 workers was recruited during January 1, 1993, through
April 12, 1996. This represents 89% of those workers who successfully
completed the OSHA training course. By February 1997, 4,417 (79%) members
of the cohort had completed the first annual follow-up interview.
In FY 1999, ATSDR prepared a report of the study results. The results of
the baseline and first year follow-up interviews demonstrated that workers
who performed hazardous waste work for at least 1 week during the follow-up
period reported liver disorders, chemical poisoning, and hearing loss resulting
from noise or accidents at work more than twice as often as cohort members
who had not worked at a hazardous waste site during the follow-up period.
Hazardous waste workers also had a nearly twofold increase in self-reported
heat stress. ATSDR plans to further evaluate these health outcomes. The report
was published in FY 2000.
Fish eaters had higher serum PCB levels
Housatonic River Area PCB Exposure Assessment Study. The
Housatonic River and some areas nearby are contaminated with PCBs from a
former electrical manufacturing facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This study
was undertaken by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH),
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment (BEHA), to characterize the
extent and nature of PCB exposure opportunities among residents of the
Housatonic River area. The study focused on an area that comprises eight
communities in Berkshire County, Massachusetts: Lanesborough, Dalton,
Pittsfield, Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, and Sheffield.
A total of 658 households, representing 1,529 people, participated in the
exposure prevalence study. Of these 1,529 people, 120 were selected on the
basis of an exposure risk scoring system. These 120 were asked to have their
blood tested for PCBs, and 69 agreed to be tested. A total of 65 households,
representing 158 individuals, participated in the volunteer study. All
individuals 18 years old or over (126) were invited to take part in blood testing
for PCBs, and 79 participated.
As observed in a number of studies previously conducted by MDPH and
others, age was found to be the prominent predictor of serum PCB level.
Considering all the potential exposure pathways examined, serum PCB levels
tended to be higher in older people who were frequent and/or long-term fish
eaters. In addition, other activities (e.g., fiddlehead fern consumption and
gardening) may contribute slightly to serum PCB levels. People who reported
potential occupational exposure had higher serum PCB levels than those who
did not report this potential.
No differences detected between target and comparison groups
Chattanooga Creek Area Cross-Sectional Health Study, Chattanooga,
Hamilton County, Tennessee. The Chattanooga Creek area is composed of the