ATSDR in Partnership With
have been desig-
ATSDR awarded more
nated to the NPL in
than 0,000 in the last
2 years in direct funds and
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Regis-
A public health
services to Indiana.
try (ATSDR) is the lead public health agency respon-
sible for implementing the health-related provisions
is a written,
of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
comprehensive evaluation of 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 public
assessing the presence and nature of health hazards at
health and environmental officials from Indiana, has
specific Superfund sites, helping to prevent or reduce
conducted 61 public health assessments in the state,
further exposure and illnesses resulting from those
including the following recent example.
hazards, and expanding the knowledge base about the
Keil Chemical Company--In 1999,
health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.
Representative Peter J. Visclosky (D-1st-IN) asked
ATSDR works closely with state agencies to carry
ATSDR to conduct a public health assessment
out its mission to serve the public by using the best
on behalf of petitioners concerned with potential
science, taking responsive public health actions, and
air emissions from the Keil Chemical Company
providing trusted health information to prevent harm-
in Hammond. Residents were concerned
ful exposures and disease related to toxic substances.
that the incidence of pediatric cancers in their
ATSDR provides funding and technical assistance to
neighborhood may have been caused by the
release of 1,2-dichloroethane (ethylene dichloride,
ments and grants to identify and evaluate environ-
or EDC) and vinyl chloride (VC) from the plant
mental health threats to communities. These resources
during the Pyro-Chek manufacturing process. EDC
enable state and local health departments and other
and VC are by-products of the process.
grantees to further investigate environmental health
A final public health assessment released in June
concerns and to educate communities. From fiscal
2001 concluded that contaminants detected in
years 1986 through 2003, ATSDR awarded more
samples from an air monitoring station 1.5 miles
than .5 million--more than 0,000 in the last
from the site were not at levels of health concern.
2 years--in direct funds and services to Indiana for
During the exposure investigation, VC and other
comprehensive support of its environmental health
unit. In addition to direct funds and services, ATSDR
staff provides technical and administrative guidance
were detected in the soil or wastewater above
for state-conducted site activities.
health comparison values, and people would not
ATSDR Site-Specific Activities
be exposed to wastewater generated by the plant or
exposed to on-site contaminated soils. Therefore,
Public Health Assessment-Related Activities
this site does not currently represent a health
One of the agency's important mandates is to conduct
public health assessments
of all National Priorities
The Pyro-Chek process no longer is used at this
List (NPL) sites and of other sites where a significant
site, and supplies of EDC have been removed.
threat to public health might exist. Thirty-nine sites