Identifying People Who
Are Exposed to
ne of ATSDR's primary goals is to
conducting health assessments or consultations.
identify people who are at health risk
Community involvement staff members facil-
because of their exposure to hazardous
itate collaboration and information exchange
substances in the environment. ATSDR's public
between ATSDR and communities and other
health assessments, consultations, and related
government agencies involved at those sites.
activities play a key role in achieving this goal.
They provide an essential link between the com-
ATSDR's health assessment activities help iden-
munity and the ATSDR scientists who are work-
tify people who potentially have been exposed
ing to address the communities' health concerns
to hazardous substances in the environment and
and to protect public health.
help determine whether they might be at risk
of adverse health effects. The activities that are
part of the health assessment process also are
ATSDR analyzed demographic
often the trigger for a variety of other ATSDR
activities and public health recommendations.
data for 196 sites where
The activities may identify a need for health
health assessments or health
education in a community, for health studies
consultations were conducted
to be conducted, or for the issuance of a
public health advisory to recommend immediate
in fiscal year 2001.
actions to prevent exposure. Helping ATSDR
Approximately 2.1 million
carry out health assessments and related activi-
people lived within a mile of
ments with the agency to conduct health assess-
those sites. Of those, about
ments and related activities.
11% were children aged 6
During fiscal year 2001, ATSDR and its coop-
years or younger; and about
erative agreement state partners performed more
26% were under 18. About
than 1,800 health assessment activities in
44 states, Guam, the Navajo Nation, Puerto
22% were women of
Rico, and Saipan. ATSDR's community involve-
childbearing age. About 11%
ment staff members have a significant role in
ATSDR's activities at sites. These staff mem-
were elderly, aged 65 or older.
bers work to establish and maintain partnerships
with communities near sites where ATSDR is
chapter 1 17