ATSDR in Partnership with Connecticut
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
(ATSDR) is the lead public health agency responsible for
implementing the health-related provisions of the Compre-
hensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Health Studies 3,581
Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). ATSDR is an Atlanta-
based federal agency with more than 400 employees.
ATSDR's annual budget for 2002 was million. ATSDR
is responsible for assessing the presence and nature of health
hazards at specific Superfund sites, helping to prevent or
reduce further exposure and illnesses that result, and expand-
ing the knowledge base about the health effects of exposure
to hazardous substances.
ATSDR works closely with state agencies to carry out its
ous waste sites and preventing adverse health effects. ATSDR
provides funding and technical assistance for states to identify
and evaluate environmental health threats to communities.
These resources enable state and local health departments to further investigate environmental health concerns and
educate communities. This
is accomplished through cooperative agreements and grants.
At this time, ATSDR has
or grants with
Indian nation (Gila River
Indian Community), and
commonwealth (Puerto Rico Department of Health). From 1990 through 2002, ATSDR awarded more than
,537,867 in direct funds and services to the state of Connecticut. In addition to direct funds and services,
ATSDR provides technical and administrative guidance for state-conducted site activities.
ATSDR Site-Specific Activities
Public Health Assessment-Related Activities
of the agency's important mandates
is to conduct public health assessments
of all National Priorities List
(NPL) sites and of other sites where there might be a significant threat to the public health. There are currently 18
NPL sites in Connecticut.
A public health assessment provides a written, comprehensive evaluation of available data and information on the
release of hazardous substances into the environment in a specific geographic area. Such releases are assessed for
current or future impact on public health. ATSDR staff, in conjunction with public health and environmental officials
from Connecticut, has conducted 39 health assessments in the state. The following is an example of a public health
assessment conducted in the state.
Cheshire Community In September 2002, in response to a citizen petition, the Connecticut Department of
Public Health (CTDPH) began work on a public health assessment in Cheshire, Connecticut. For years, the
town has questioned whether exposure
in the town has resulted
in high levels
of cancer, mainly
childhood cancers and breast cancer. The public drinking water has
of contamination with trichloroeth-
ylene and 1,2-dichloropropane. From at least 1979, when the treatment towers were constructed, the water has