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Scientific Assessments and Consultations

A collection of scientific health assessments and chemical-specific consultations developed by ATSDR in response to emerging issues on public health and/or community requests related to specific exposure scenarios to hazardous chemicals.

In support of ATSDR's mission to provide trusted information regarding adverse health effects induced by exposures to hazardous chemicals, ATSDR develops chemical-specific consultations and scientific assessments of specific health-related issues. These documents are intended to provide expertise and service to site-specific activities conducted by ATSDR across the nation.

The chemical-specific consultations are related to chemicals for which the health information needs to be updated, is not complete, or is missing. ATSDR uses its information resources to gather the necessary data for developing a clear understanding of the chemicals' toxicity. When applicable, ATSDR uses innovative methodologies such as structural activity relationship (SAR) modeling and physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling to evaluate potential health consequences of human exposures. Everyday exposures include more than one chemical. Therefore, ATSDR developed a program with the objective to perform a critical synthesis of data to identify rules that can be used in site-specific assessments of health risk following exposure to mixtures of environmental chemicals. ATSDR uses these rules to derive qualitative predictions of joint toxic action of chemical mixtures in the consultations. The consultation documents clearly outline the relevance of chemical-specific exposures to public health and provide information on how to mitigate or prevent the related adverse health effects.

In contrast, the scientific assessments of health-related issues investigate the cause of specific medical problems in the community and aim to find the possible link to environmental exposures to hazardous chemicals. The conclusions drawn are based on the current knowledge of environmental medicine and toxicology.

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