Hair Analysis Panel Discussion: Section 2.1
Robert Amler, M.D.
ATSDR Chief Medical Officer
After welcoming all in attendance, Dr. Amler stated that ATSDR's overall mission is to protect people's health by identifying and preventing toxic exposures. Because recognizing problems and knowing how to evaluate them are key to the agency's ability to assess potential health threats, discussions such as those anticipated during the hair analysis meeting are of key importance. Dr. Amler noted that such discussions will help ATSDR sort through the advantages and disadvantages of using hair analysis in its exposure and health assessments.
Dr. Amler explained that the panel process has been shown to be a very effective means for discussing and weighing scientific issues. He further explained that these panel discussions will serve as a first step in developing agency guidance on the appropriateness of using hair analysis. Because it is only a first step, additional areas of discussions may be necessary. Dr. Amler acknowledged that it would not be possible to obtain all the answers in this forum.
Dr. Amler thanked the individuals who were instrumental in initiating
and organizing the panel discussions, including Mr. Robert Williams,
Director of ATSDR's Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
(DHAC); Dr. Gregory Christenson, Acting Director of ATSDR's Division
of Health Education and Promotion (DHEP); Dr. Allan Susten, DHAC's
Assistant Director for Science; and Dr. Deanna Harkins, Medical
Officer, within DHEP. He also thanked Dr. LuAnn White for moderating
the meeting. Lastly, he thanked all participants for their involvement
in what promised to be fruitful discussions.