ATSDR in Partnership With Idaho
A public health
ATSDR awarded more
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
than 0,000 in the last
is a written,
Registry (ATSDR) is the lead public health agency
2 years in direct funds
responsible for implementing the health-related provi-
and services to Idaho.
sions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
available data and
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA).
information on the release of hazardous substances
ATSDR is an Atlanta-based federal agency with more
into the environment in a specific geographic area.
than 400 employees and an annual budget for 2003 of
Such releases are assessed for current or future impact
approximately million. ATSDR is responsible for
on public health. ATSDR, in collaboration with
assessing the presence and nature of health hazards at
public health and environmental officials from Idaho,
specific Superfund sites, helping to prevent or reduce
has conducted 16 health assessments in the state,
further exposure and illnesses resulting from those
including the following recent examples.
hazards, and expanding the knowledge base about the
health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.
information about and environmental data
ATSDR works closely with state agencies to carry
collected within the Coeur d'Alene River Basin
out its mission to serve the public by using the best
to determine whether people were exposed
science, taking responsive public health actions, and
in the past or are currently being exposed to
providing trusted health information to prevent harm-
ful exposures and disease related to toxic substances.
the basin at levels that could be harmful to their
ATSDR provides funding and technical assistance to
health. The health assessment is scheduled to be
released in December 2003.
ments and grants to identify and evaluate environ-
Poles, Incorporated--Poles is an active pole-
mental health threats to communities. These resources
peeling and storage treatment facility that treated
enable state and local health departments and other
poles onsite with pentachlorophenol. The site is
grantees to further investigate environmental health
in Oldtown and is bordered by the Pend Oreille
concerns and to educate communities. From fiscal
River to the north and the Idaho Hill Elementary
years 1986 through 2003, ATSDR awarded more
School to the south. In the fall of 2000, school
than .4 million--more than 0,000 in the last
staff members and a concerned citizen contacted
2 years--in direct funds and services to Idaho for
the Idaho Division of Health (IDOH, part of the
comprehensive support of its environmental health
Idaho Division of Health and Welfare [IDHW])
unit. In addition to direct funds and services, ATSDR
and other agencies with a request to investigate the
staff provides technical and administrative guidance
potential exposures and health effects of penta and
for state-conducted site activities.
ATSDR Site-Specific Activities
were concerned about what was perceived as an
elevated cancer rate among current and former
Public Health Assessment-Related Activities
schoolteachers at Idaho Hill Elementary.
One of the agency's important mandates is to conduct
In response to these concerns, the IDOH Bureau
public health assessments
of all National Priorities
of Community and Environmental Health
List (NPL) sites and of other sites where a significant
(BCEH), formerly the Bureau of Environmental
threat to public health might exist. Thirteen sites have
Health and Safety, prepared several health
been designated to the NPL in Idaho.
consultations and a health assessment under a