developed in conjunction with the Douglas County
generally similar. For the adjusted analysis, age
Health Department, Nebraska Department of
was an important covariate of test performance,
followed by educational level and test language
Extension Service, Nebraska Department of Health
(English or Spanish).
and Human Services, and EPA.
The target group performed better on 17 tests
on 7 tests, but the magnitude
differences was small. No difference was observed
Health studies are investigations to determine the
in performance on four tests for both groups.
relations between exposures to hazardous substances
Exposure to hydrogen sulfide was associated
and adverse health effects. They also define health
with marginally poorer performance for a test of
problems that require further investigation through,
memory and a test of strength. However, these
for example, health surveillance or an epidemiologic
differences were not statistically significant.
study. Following are examples of health studies that
Deficits in overall neurobehavioral performance
ATSDR conducted or supported in Nebraska.
were not associated with exposure
sulfide in this study.
1993, a symptom- and disease-prevalence study
Study results were published in U.S. peer-reviewed
was conducted to assess the health status of people
in 20032004. Study findings
will help epidemiologists and toxicologists assess
Plant and the health status of people living in a
health risks for hydrogen sulfide exposures.
were neurotoxic agents. Self-reported prevalence
of illnesses and symptoms were measured and
biomedical testing was conducted to look for
ATSDR develops materials for public health profes-
evidence of organ damage or kidney, liver, or
sionals and medical care providers to use to assess the
immune-system dysfunction. Questionnaire
public health impacts of chemical exposures. These
information and biologic specimens (urine and
resources are available in print, on the ATSDR Web
blood) were collected from 300 participants in
site, and on CD-ROM. For example, medical man-
the target and comparison areas. A subset of the
agement guidelines are available for acute chemical
study population was administered a battery
exposures to more than 50 chemicals. These guidelines
of neurobehavioral tests. No differences were
were designed to aid emergency department physicians
found between the target population levels
and other emergency health care professionals, such as
and established reference levels. No statistical
first responders, who manage acute exposures result-
differences existed between target and comparison
ing from chemical incidents. ATSDR's toxicological
groups for any of the six functional groups
profiles comprehensively describe health effects; path-
of neurobehavioral tests. The final report was
ways of human exposure; and the behavior of more
published in September 1996.
than 250 hazardous substances in air, soil, and water at
hazardous waste sites. The toxicological profiles pri-
Dakota City/South Sioux City--In response to
marily are used as a comprehensive resource by health
community health concerns about exposure to
professionals at all levels. These profiles have been
sent to requesters, including representatives of federal,
and South Sioux City, ATSDR conducted a
state, and local health and environmental departments;
health investigation using neurobehavioral tests
academic institutions; private industries; and nonprofit
to measure possible nervous-system toxicity.
organizations in Nebraska. ATSDR also has devel-
The purpose of the investigation was to evaluate
oped extensive resources for community members.
whether persons exposed to hydrogen sulfide
had poorer neurobehavioral functioning when
compared with persons who were not exposed.
Records of 335 participants (171 target and
For more information, contact ATSDR toll-free
164 comparison) were analyzed. Results of
at 1-888-42ATSDR (1-888-422-8737) or visit
the ATSDR Web site at www.atsdr.cdc.gov.
neurobehavioral tests for both groups were