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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Health Consultation Released on Marietta Area Air Investigation; EPA-Funded Health Study Initiated


Washington County, Marietta, Ohio

Friday, July 03, 2009

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) will fund a local health study to evaluate potential health effects from exposure to manganese. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has recommended this next step after completing a year-long air investigation in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  Representatives from ATSDR and EPA will be in the Marietta area in early July to discuss the findings of the air investigation and the plans for the new study.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 7, from 7 to 8:30 PM at Marietta College in Thomas Hall, Room 124 to update residents about the findings of ATSDR's air investigation and to introduce the principal investigator of the EPA-funded health study, Dr. Rosemarie Bowler of the San Francisco State University.

The health study will evaluate estimated adult exposures to manganese inhalation and health outcomes in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  Dr. Bowler has worked closely with ATSDR, U.S. EPA, and researchers from several academic institutions to design this study. Once the health study is completed, ATSDR will review the findings and may consider a follow-up evaluation.

ATSDR scientists recommended this course of action after determining that manganese in Marietta-area air exceeded both background levels and health-based guidelines. They concluded this after conducting a review of the air concentrations of metals collected in samples from four air monitoring stations in Ohio and West Virginia between April 2007 and March 2008. Since it is uncertain whether inhalation of manganese at the concentrations measured might cause subtle neurological effects over time, the health study being conducted may help answer this question.

ATSDR will be releasing a health consultation that presents these findings, and will also address the likelihood that manganese concentrations in outdoor air are generally highest when stations are downwind of the former Union Carbide facility. A "fingerprinting analysis" of samples from these monitoring locations indicated that the manganese likely comes from a single large source located between the sampling locations. 

The Marietta Area Air Investigation Health Consultation is posted online at ATSDR's web site at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/MariettaHealthConsultationIII7-1-07/ATSDRMariettaHealthConsultationIII7-1-07FINAL.pdf and will be made available on ATSDR’s Marietta Area Air Investigation web site at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/washington_marietta. Currently, the site hosts all documents published for the community as well as fact sheets summarizing each quarter of the Air Investigation.

People seeking more information about the EPA-funded health study should  contact Dr. Bowler (San Francisco State University) by phone at 510-236-5599 or by e-mail, ohstudy@sfsu.edu; or George Bollweg (USEPA-Region 5, Chicago) by phone at 800-621-8431, ext. 35598.  Questions regarding ATSDR’s air monitoring efforts and the health consultation should contact Mark Johnson by phone at 800-621-8431, ext. 60840, or by email at mdjohnson@cdc.gov.

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.

Note for reporters and news editors: A media session will be held at 6 PM on July 7, at Marietta College in Thomas Hall, Room 124, before the public meeting to be held in the same location from 7 to 8:30 PM.

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Members of the news media can request an interview by calling the ATSDR Health Communication Science Office at 770-488-0700. Media questions for EPA can be directed to the Office of Public Affairs; William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov.

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Related News Releases For Washington County, Marietta, Ohio

 

ATSDR Launches Community Web Site on Marietta Air Investigation as Health Activities Continue
Release Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2008
As their year-long Marietta Air Investigation in the Mid-Ohio Valley enters its final phase, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has launched a Web site for area residents to view updated site information, including air sampling results.

ATSDR Extends Investigation of Air Emissions In Three Washington County, Ohio and Wood County, West Virginia Locations
Release Date: Friday, March 09, 2007
As part of the air quality investigation of the Marietta Air Emissions Site in Ohio, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has added additional air monitoring stations. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will operate the air monitors and perform the laboratory analyses in the year-long data collection designed to show whether chemical emissions from five facilities in the former Union Carbide industrial complex (Chevron/Phillips, Eramet Marietta, Inc., Eveready, American Municipal Power Ohio, Solvay) may affect human health.

Public Meeting on Washington County Air Quality in Ohio
Release Date: Thursday, May 20, 2004
ATSDR will hold a public meeting May 24, 2004, to update Marietta, Ohio, community members about ATSDR's air modeling and other environmental health activities in Marietta. The meeting will be 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. in the Washington State Community College Graham Auditorium, 710 Colegate Dr., Marietta.

Washington County, Ohio, Public Health Consultation
Release Date: Thursday, February 19, 2004
The final version of a public health consultation on the Washington County Air Quality Site in Marietta, Ohio, has been issued by ATSDR. On the basis of lack of data, the agency categorizes the Washington County site as an indeterminate public health hazard.

ATSDR to Hold Community Meeting and Availability Session Concerning Washington County Air Quality Site in Marietta, Ohio
Release Date: Wednesday, December 03, 2003
ATSDR staff to hold community meeting and question and answer session in Marietta, Ohio regarding air quality issues near the former Union Carbide facility on Route 7 in Washington County, Ohio.

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