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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Announces The Availability Of The Draft Version Of Its Focused Public Health Assessment, Soil Pathway Evaluation, for Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico


Vieques County, Vieques, San Juan

Friday, October 26, 2001

What: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced today the availability of the draft version of its Focused Public Health Assessment, Soil Pathway Evaluation, for Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico.

ATSDR prepared this health assessment to evaluate whether soil on the island was a health hazard to residents. ATSDR analyzed environmental data gathered by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Navy, various contractors for the Navy, and Servicios Cientificos y Technicos, Inc.

The assessment concludes that the soil on Vieques will not harm the health of adults or children, including those who might touch or swallow the soil. (Fact sheet attached.)

Why: ATSDR prepared this public health assessment in response to a request from a resident of the island. The petitioner expressed concern that the health of island residents might be affected by potential releases of hazardous substances as a result of Navy bombing activities. The requestor asked ATSDR to evaluate whether contamination from the bombing range could reach people, and if it could cause health problems.

When: The soil pathway evaluation public health assessment will be available for review on or about October 26, 2001.

Where: Copies of the public health assessment will be available for public review and comment at the following repositories:

Biblioteca Publica
Municipio de Vieques
ATTN: Ms. Glorisette Carle
Calle Carlos Le Brun 449
Vieques, PR 00765
Ph: 787-741-3706
 
Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust
El Fideicomiso De conservacion
E Historia de Vieques
138 Flamboyan St.
Vieques, PR 00765
Ph: 787-741-8850  
 
University of Puerto Rico
School of Public Health
ATTN: Dr. Jesus Gonzalez
PO Box 365067
San Juan, PR 00936-5067
Ponce School of Medicine Library
Attn: Ms. Carmen Malavet
P.O. Box 7004
Ponce, Puerto Rico 00732
 

The public comment period for the health assessment is from October 26, 2001, through
December 31, 2001.
Please send written comments to:

ATSDR
Chief, Program Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch
1600 Clifton Road, NE, Mailstop
  E-56
Atlanta, Georgia 30333

Comments received during the public comment period will be logged and become part of the administrative record for the health assessment. Comments (without indication of who made them) and responses will be included in an appendix to the final document. Although names of those who have submitted comments will not be included in the final health assessment, they will be subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.

Background: Public health assessments report information about hazardous substances in the environment and evaluate whether exposure to those substances in the past, present or future could harm people in the area. They also identify other activities that might be needed to better understand the health effects associated with the site.

Public health assessments also make recommendations to other government agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state and local health and environmental departments, concerning actions to protect public health.

In preparing public health assessments, ATSDR health assessors rely on various sources of information. These sources may include: environmental data, health data and reports of community concerns. Environmental data detail the chemicals at a site and indicate their potential pathways to reach humans.

Health data can include reports of injury, disease, or death in the community, as well as information on the known health effects of chemicals at the site. Reports of community concerns document the public's descriptions of how the site affects their health and quality of life.

For more information: Community members seeking information on the procedures or the content of this public health assessment should contact ATSDR Health Assessor Mark Weber, toll free, at 1-888-42-ATSDR (1-888-422-8737). Callers should refer to the "Vieques site." ATSDR Senior Regional Representative Artie Block also may be called for information at (212) 637-4307 in New York.

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Related News Releases For Vieques County, Vieques, San Juan

 

ATSDR Releases Final Report on Vieques
Release Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Following a thorough review of environmental, biological, and health data from the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released its final report today.

La ATSDR publica informe final sobre Vieques
Release Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Basado en una revisión minuciosa de los datos ambientales, biológicos y de salud de la isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico, la Agencia para Sustancias Tóxicas y el Registro de Enfermedades (ATSDR por sus siglas en inglés) publicó hoy su informe final.

Federal Agency to Change its Early Conclusions on Environmental Assessment in Vieques
Release Date: Friday, November 13, 2009
ATLANTA - The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has signaled its intent to modify some of its earlier conclusions about health risks to residents of the Island of Vieques. The decision was shared during a meeting with scientists from Puerto Rico and followed a thorough review of ATSDR public health assessments finalized in 2003 and other environmental studies of the island conducted in the intervening years. ATSDR's re-examination of the data comes as part of a "fresh look" the federal public health agency pledged to island residents and Congress.

Agencia Federal Cambiará sus Primeras Conclusiones en la Evaluación Ambiental de Vieques
Release Date: Friday, November 13, 2009
ATLANTA-La Agencia para Sustancias Tóxicas y el Registro de Enfermedades (ATSDR por sus siglas en inglés) ha señalado su intento de modificar algunas de sus primeras conclusiones sobre los riesgos de salud de los residentes de la Isla Vieques. La decisión fue compartida durante una reunión con científicos de Puerto Rico después de una revisión comprensiva de las evaluaciones de salud pública que la ATSDR finalizó en el 2003 y otros estudios ambientales de la isla elaborados en los años siguientes. La reexaminación de los datos forma parte de la “mirada fresca” que la agencia de salud pública prometió a los residentes de la isla y al Congreso.

ATSDR Releases Final Health Assessment on Air Pathway for the Isla de Vieques Bombing Range Site, Vieques, Puerto Rico.
Release Date: Monday, September 15, 2003
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today released a final public health assessment (PHA) that investigated the air pathway for possible contaminants from the U.S. Navy's bombing range site on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The PHA finds that exposure to air contaminants potentially released from Navy property on Vieques poses no apparent health hazard.

ATSDR Releases Public Comment Version of Focused Public Health Assessment on Fish and Shellfish for Vieques Bombing Range Site, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Release Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2002
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is releasing today for public comment a focused public health assessment (PHA) on fish and shellfish in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Ponce School of Medicine and ATSDR Releases The Summary Report for the Vieques Heart Study Expert Panel Review
Release Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2001
The Ponce School of Medicine and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, today jointly are releasing the Summary Report for the Vieques Heart Study Expert Panel Review.

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