This document is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data
it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.
Topic One - What is known about the long-term health effects of chronically increased stress among individuals living near hazardous waste sites?
Topic Two - Are there certain neurobehavioral effects found in individuals exposed to chronic low-doses of toxins who live near hazardous waste sites that, if detected, could constitute sentinel health events at these sites? If they exist, can their early detection be used as an intervention screening tool?
Topic Three - What is known about how to clinically differentiate between organic behavioral disorders caused by exposure to certain neurotoxicants and purely psychologic responses to possible exposures? This discussion will consider methodological questions such as testing for stress and neurobehavioral effects as well as other issues.
Topic Four - Given what is known regarding the psychobiology of stress, are there interactions between chronic stress and exposure to neurotoxicants that could shift the dose-response curve for neurotoxins?
Topic Five - What is known about the proportion of individuals who are most sensitive to the uncertainty of possible exposures? This question includes consideration of populations who are medically, psychologically, and physiologically sensitive.
Panel Two Results - Community and Social Science Perspectives
Topic One - Are there factors (both internal and external) that might render some communities more or less susceptible to the stress of living near a hazardous waste site?
Topic Two - What are some of the psychosocial responses that communities have given to the stress of living near a hazardous waste site, and what have the results of those responses been?
Topic Three - Discuss how the human response to uncertainty may lead to different understandings of a possible exposure to a hazardous substance and its relationship to psychological responses such as learned helplessness.
Special Topic - What are the psychosocial effects of relocating a community when environmental contamination cannot be safely remediated?
Panel Three Results - Protecting and Promoting Psychosocial Health
Topic One - How has the extent of the psychosocial effects and possible public health impacts in these communities been assessed to date?
Topic Two - What previous prevention and therapeutic strategies have been used in these communities? What were the results of these interventions and what issues did they raise?
Topic Three - What methods are most effective in preventing the acute stress of learning of the existence of a hazardous waste site from becoming chronic in adults? In children?
Topic Four - What are the best methods to prevent demoralization fromm occurring in these communities?
Topic Five - How can seriously affected individuals be identified and appropriately referred in these communities?
Topic Six - What is the best method for increasing public and professional capacity to respond effectively to psychological issues related to hazardous waste sites?
Overarching Issues Discussed by All Three Panels
Topic One - Evaluate information about susceptible populations. This information may include preexisting conditions (i.e., medical and/or psychological), as well as individual variability in reactions to stress, cultural patterns of reaction to stress, and targeting interventions to vulnerable populations.
Topic Two - Examine the reports of increased incidence of psychologic disorders in these communities and make recommendations regarding the directions for future strategies.
Topic Three - What ethical concerns need to be addressed in dealing with the psychological responses to hazardous substances? This question addresses the appropriateness of various intervention strategies.
Topic Four - Identify future directions for investigation of the biopsychosocial effects from possible exposures to hazardous waste substances.
Panel One - Biomedical and Psychophysiological Effects
Panel Two - Community and Social Science Perspectives
Panel Three - Protecting and Promoting Psychosocial Health