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ATSDR Today Announced That The Agency Will Host An Open House in Gainesville, Georgia.


Hall County, Gainesville, Georgia

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

What: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services, today announced that the agency will host an Open House in Gainesville, Georgia, to discuss the agency's public health assessment for the Newtown Community.

ATSDR prepared this public health assessment to evaluate data collected in response to ATSDR recommendations which were published in a previous public health assessment for the site.

When/Where: The Open House will take place on Thursday, March 21, from 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the following location:

Hall County Health Department
Conference Room
1290 Athens Street
Gainesville, Georgia 30507

A poster session beginning at 6:30 p.m. will provide residents with an opportunity to review the public health assessment and other information related to ATSDR's work at the site. There will be a short formal presentation at 7:30, followed by an opportunity to meet one-on-one with ATSDR representatives to ask questions and to discuss the public health assessment.

The health assessment is also available for public review at the following repository:

Hall County Library
Headquarters Branch
127 Main Street, NW
Gainesville, Ga. 30501

Contact: A. Mixson at (770) 532-3311

The public comment period for the health assessment will run until April 11, 2002.

Background: The Open House will feature a poster session, followed by a presentation and a question and answer period, to provide members of the community with an opportunity to learn more about the public health assessment for the Newtown Community site.

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 identify health studies or other activities that might be needed and make recommendations to other government agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state and local health and environmental departments, concerning actions to protect public health.

ATSDR released a previous assessment in March 2001 in response to a request from area residents. Residents expressed concerns that high rates of cancer, lupus, and respiratory diseases in the community may be caused by emissions from nearby industrial facilities and by the location of the community on land which was once used as a landfill.

In the earlier public health assessment, ATSDR made several recommendations, including: to conduct further evaluation of particulate concentrations in ambient air in the community; to take a closer look at possible past exposures to industrial emissions; and to determine whether the existing air monitor is located in the best location to measure air pollutants in the community. This public health assessment was prepared to evaluate data collected in response to those recommendations.

This public health assessment was published as a draft for public comment. The public comment period is intended to give members of the community an opportunity to review ATSDR's findings, ask questions, provide comments, or discuss additional information which may be pertinent to the health assessment. Following the public comment period, all comments which have been received will be reviewed and will be addressed in a final version of the public health assessment.

Written comments can be sent to:

Chief, Program Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch
ATSDR
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 health assessment. Although names of those who have submitted comments will not be included in the final health assessment, they are subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.

For More Information: Community members seeking information on the procedures or content of the health assessment should contact Brian Kaplan, ATSDR environmental health scientist, toll free, at 1-888-42-ATSDR (1-888-422-8737). Callers should refer to the "Newtown Community site" when calling the toll free number. Community members with questions about the Open House can call ATSDR Health Communications Specialist Rose Jackson at the toll free number, or at (404) 498-1746.

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Related News Releases For Hall County, Gainesville, Georgia

 

ATSDR Releases Newton Community Health Assessment For Public Review and Comment
Release Date: Thursday, February 28, 2002
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services, today announced the availability of the public comment version of its health assessment for the Newtown Community in Gainesville, Georgia.

ATSDR Releases Newton Community Health Assessment For Public Review and Comment
Release Date: Monday, October 16, 2000
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of U.S. Department Health and Human Services, today announced the availability of its draft public health assessment for the Newtown Community in Gainesville, Georgia.

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