ATSDR is primarily an advisory agency, so usually these reports identify what actions are appropriate to
be undertaken by EPA, other responsible parties, or the research or education divisions of ATSDR.
However, if there is an urgent health threat, ATSDR can issue a public health advisory warning people of
the danger. ATSDR can also authorize health education or pilot studies of health effects, full-scale
epidemiology studies, disease registries, surveillance studies or research on specific hazardous substances.
Interactive Process: The health assessment is an interactive process. ATSDR solicits and evaluates
information from numerous city, state and federal agencies, the companies responsible for cleaning up the
site, and the community. It then shares its conclusions with them. Agencies are asked to respond to an
early version of the report to make sure that the data they have provided is accurate and current. When
informed of ATSDR's conclusions and recommendations, sometimes the agencies will begin to act on
them before the final release of the report.
Community: ATSDR also needs to learn what people in the area know about the site and what concerns
they may have about its impact on their health. Consequently, throughout the evaluation process,
ATSDR actively gathers information and comments from the people who live or work near a site,
including residents of the area, civic leaders, health professionals and community groups. To ensure that
the report responds to the community's health concerns, an early version is also distributed to the public
for their comments. All the comments received from the public are responded to in the final version of
Comments: If, after reading this report, you have questions or comments, we encourage you to send
them to us.
Letters should be addressed as follows:
Attention: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch, Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry, 1600 Clifton Road (E60), Atlanta, GA 30333.