and on reporting for 13 of the priority sites.
mation and computer models to estimate the
ATSDR has the lead on the remaining priority
contaminant levels that people may have been
exposed to. The data and information collected
during an exposure investigation help deter-
ATSDR and its state partners will develop site-
mine whether people have been exposed and,
specific health consultations for each of the pri-
if so, the extent of the exposure. The results of
ority sites. The health consultations will identify
exposure investigations are used to make public
further actions as necessary to protect public
health decisions and to recommend appropriate
health. A summary report will also be created
public health actions.
for the priority sites selected for initial review;
the report will include recommendations for
The focus of an exposure investigation is to
identify and test residents with the highest
wide that received Libby vermiculite.
potential for exposure. An exposure investiga-
tion is not intended to be a study or a complete
In general, the site evaluations involve former
characterization of a site. Rather, it is a transi-
facilities that ceased operations more than 10
tional activity designed to provide information
years ago. Consequently, current onsite infor-
that will allow ATSDR to carry out its public
mation is limited. Because the past operations
health activities more efficiently and effectively.
facility practices are important
Follow-up activities to exposure investigations
exposure pathways, ATSDR is conducting addi-
may include recommendations for additional
tional research and historical investigations
sampling, an epidemiologic study, medical eval-
beyond the site visit.
uations, health education, or more rapid public
health action to reduce exposure.
In the second phase, ATSDR will continue to
evaluate Libby vermiculite sites in accordance
ATSDR conducted 26 exposure investigations in
with its findings and recommendations.
fiscal year 2002. An example of one of these
will identify further actions as necessary to pro-
tect public health.
Spring Valley Site,
ATSDR conducts exposure investigations
ATSDR conducted a two-phase exposure inves-
to gather and analyze site-specific informa-
tigation at the Spring Valley site in Washington,
tion to determine whether human populations
D.C., in fiscal year 2002. The site is a resi-
have been exposed to hazardous substances.
Staff members obtain this information through
cal munitions buried many years ago. During
biomedical testing, environmental testing, and
World War I, the U.S. Army conducted chemical
exposure-dose reconstruction. Biomedical test-
warfare research in the area where American
ing (for example, urine or blood samples) can
University and the Spring Valley neighborhood
show current, and sometimes past, exposure to a
are now located. Chemical weapons were deto-
contaminant. Environmental testing (for con-
nated during research and testing operations,
tamination of soil, water, or air) is focused on
and chemical agents and weapons were buried
where people live, spend leisure time, or might
in some areas. The testing areas have since been
developed and are now occupied by university
investigation. Exposure-dose reconstruction
property and homes.
analyses use environmental sampling infor-
chapter 1 25