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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR consults Calcasieu Parish residents in planning next steps


Calcasieu County, Louisiana

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Officials of the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) met with community members from Calcasieu Parish, La., on December 8 to explore methods of collaborating effectively to answer remaining health questions in the community.

The meeting was designed so that ATSDR could gain insight from some parish residents on how best to engage the entire community in presenting results from chemical exposure studies that are being completed, and in developing an action plan for future activities to support improved health in the community. Six residents of the Calcasieu area representing several community groups traveled to Atlanta to meet with scientists and agency officials; others participated by phone.

Dr. Howard Frumkin, ATSDR director, personally thanked each community member for attending the meeting and for continuing to work on the health challenges in the community. He also expressed ATSDR’s commitment to working closely with communities in solving the nation’s environmental health problems. “For me, the measure of doing it right is we are treating every community like we treat our own families,” he said.

ATSDR began working in Calcasieu Parish in 1997 after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requested help interpreting tests that showed high levels of dioxins in the blood of some residents of Mossville, a small community within the parish. ATSDR has since conducted investigations into parish residents’ exposure to dioxins and several other chemicals. Results from an investigation into residents’ exposure to volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls are expected in 2010.

During the December 8 meeting, ATSDR listened to community presentations about health, including cancer, liver disorders, and children's’ health; industrial contamination in local air and water; requests to identify the source of the dioxin exposure; and wishes to relocate. The community and agency representatives also discussed ways of improving communication between the parties.

Dr. Frumkin urged the group to look for constructive solutions, despite challenges such as the limitations of science and regulatory constraints. He said community members’ input will improve ATSDR’s effectiveness in working with communities.

Agency officials are planning their next visit to the Mossville area in 2010.

Media inquiries: 770-488-0700 or envhealthmedia@cdc.gov
ATSDR Web site: www.atsdr.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.

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Related PHA & HC For this Press Release


Calcasieu Parish
-Review of Data from the 2010 EPA Mossville Site Investigation Mossville, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana
Document Date: 7/9/2013 - PHA  [PDF - 5365 KB]

Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana
-Assessment of Cancer Incidence from the Louisiana Tumor Registry from 1988 - 2004
Document Date: 9/27/2007 - HC  [PDF - 1201 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Health Consultation
Document Date: 3/11/2006 - HC  [PDF - 835 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Appendix
Document Date: 3/11/2006 - HC  [PDF - 92 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Tables
Document Date: 3/11/2006 - HC  [PDF - 651 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Sediment Sample Evaluation
Document Date: 3/9/2005 - HC  [PDF - 979 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Water Sample Evaluation
Document Date: 3/9/2005 - HC  [PDF - 988 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Ethylene Dichloride (EDC) and Other Contaminants
Document Date: 4/26/2000 - HC  [HTML]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Exposure Investigation
Document Date: 11/19/1999 - HC  [HTML]

Calcasieu Estuary
-(CALCASIEU ESTUARY)
Document Date: 10/16/1998 - HC  [HTML]

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