been contaminated. It is unknown whether the water was contaminated before 1979. Additionally, the town is
concerned with numerous hazardous waste sites in the area that they believe may contribute to perceived high
levels of cancer in the town. The public health assessment will consider available exposure and health outcome
data to evaluate citizen concerns in the community.
A health consultation is a written or oral response from ATSDR to a specific request for information about health
risks related to a specific site, chemical release, or hazardous material. It is a more limited response than a public
health assessment. To date, 499 documented health consultations have been conducted at 86 sites in Connecticut.
If an imminent threat to public health is found during the performance of a public health assessment or health
consultation, a public health advisory may be issued. A public health advisory is a statement by ATSDR that a
substance released into the environment poses a significant risk to human health. It also includes recommended
measures to reduce human exposure and eliminate, or substantially mitigate, the significant risk. The advisory is issued
to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff to inform them and state and local health officials and the
public about recommended actions at the site. In Connecticut ATSDR has issued the following advisory.
Raymark Industries - In 1993, ATSDR issued a public health advisory at this site in Stratford in response to a
request from the EPA. The contamination resulted from Raymark,
a local brake manufacturer, using waste
asbestos as fill material. Prior to this advisory, EPA had discovered that the asbestos waste also contained poly-
chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, and dioxin. Exposure to asbestos has been shown to significantly increase the
risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. If exposed to lead, pregnant women can transmit it to their unborn
children. Such exposure can cause premature birth, low birth weight, and spontaneous abortion. Lead exposure
in children has been shown to decrease IQ and to slow growth. Exposure to high lead levels can damage the
brain and kidneys of children and adults. Lead levels at various sites in Stratford have ranged from 718 to
150,000 parts per million (ppm). Lead levels greater than 1,000 ppm are considered a public health hazard.
a cooperative agreement from ATSDR, Connecticut public health staff worked with
EPA to issue
recommendations that would ensure immediate safety and long-term remediation. The recommendations
included: (1) surface soil sampling/screening for contaminants
in residential yards, (2) conducting
blood testing to determine if residents living adjacent to contaminated sites had lead levels of health concern, (3)
implementing measures to cease exposure at these sites, (4) conducting sediment and seafood sampling of Ferry
Creek and the Housatonic River
if site-related contaminants were present
concern, and (5) conducting a public health assessment and continuing to provide health consultations to all
Additionally, with ATSDR support, Connecticut greatly expanded its community involvement program. A
contractor hired to coordinate communication efforts in Stratford helped organize and support a citizen's group.
This citizen's group was influential in decision-making that affected the town. As opposed to large, town-wide
meetings, smaller community forums were organized to discuss site-specific issues.
An exposure investigation collects information
on specific human exposures through biological sampling, personal
monitoring, related environmental assessment, and exposure-dose reconstruction. Since 1994, ATSDR has conducted
two exposure investigations in Connecticut.
Solvents Recovery Services of New England - The CTDPH conducted a study of cancer incidence at this
site in Southington. Part of the study methodology at this site involved assessment of exposures to contami-
nated groundwater distributed
by the Southington Water Company. CTDPH requested that ATSDR
determine the location and distribution of the census subdivisions that may have received contaminated water.
ATSDR determined the location and distribution of the contaminated water by using the Exposure-Dose
(EDRP). The EDRP,
a cooperative research project between ATSDR and the Georgia
Institute of Technology, develops methods and tools to reconstruct historical data and to predict future levels of
contaminants transported through environmental media and water-distribution systems from the contamination
source to the receptor populations. The use of this model allows for a precise and rigorous method to estimate
census-block-level contamination for possible follow-up health studies
to determine the association between past
exposure and adverse health effects.