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ATSDR Reorganization

For three decades, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has kept America safe from hazards in our environment. ATSDR scientists have worked in more than 8,000 U.S. communities assessing health risks from hazardous exposures and educating Americans so they can keep themselves and their families safe.

Man giving presentation on exposure.

ATSDR uses the best science to protect people from harmful chemical exposures

  • Our Toxicological Profiles are cited as the “gold standard” of chemical reference materials.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relies on ATSDR to interpret data to understand health exposures.
  • More than 87% of ATSDR’s recommendations have been adopted and implemented by EPA, state agencies, or other partners.

ATSDR partners with communities to protect residents

  • ATSDR’s 10 regional offices support states and communities across the country.
  • ATSDR works directly with state and local health departments that understand community needs.
  • ATSDR representatives visit communities to describe our findings in person.

New Design Strengthens ATSDR’s Core Mission

During the past year, ATSDR has thoroughly evaluated its mandate, funding, workforce and science to identify how the agency will move forward to best meet increasing expectations from stakeholders. As a result, ATSDR will consolidate its existing programs into two divisions, strengthening the agency’s focus on communities and supporting more collaborative science.

  • More resources will be placed in ATSDR’s regional offices to support stronger working relationships with communities and other agencies that serve them.
  • The new organization emphasizes scientific collaboration and innovation.
  • A streamlined management structure improves efficiency and accountability.
  • ATSDR’s top priority—protecting people from harmful chemical exposures—remains unchanged.

ATSDR’s new structure consolidates four divisions into two, strengthening the agency’s focus on communities and supporting more collaborative science. See the Reorganization Announcement in the Federal Register (published 11/15/2012)

Kids playing in the dirt.

The Division of Community Health Investigations (DCHI) will support healthy environments in communities by identifying chemical exposures and recommending actions to protect human health.

ATSDR will have a stronger presence in communities:

  • More ATSDR staff will be located in the 10 regional offices throughout the nation.
  • With one division responsible for ATSDR’s work in communities, we will be able to improve efficiency and accountability.
  • Complex exposure investigations, dose reconstruction and statistical analysis activities are being consolidated to ensure that ATSDR continues to meet the highest quality scientific standards.

The Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences (DTHHS) will focus on research and translating complex environmental health science for use by medical, environmental, and public health professionals.

The new structure will strengthen the quality of scientific products and encourage collaboration across disciplines; specifically:

  • ATSDR will unify expertise in toxicology, epidemiology and environmental medicine.
  • A dedicated science innovation function will foster creativity in identifying public health solutions to environmental problems.
  • Combining scientific disciplines will streamline the creation of educational materials for physicians and health providers, health assessors, and community members.

Improvements to the Office of the Director

The ATSDR director also oversees the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) of within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Office of the Director will implement a newly developed Environmental Health Portfolio Management

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