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Public Health Activities

Health Consultations, Public Health Assessments, and Health Investigations

A Health Consultation (HC) provides advice on a specific public health issue related to real or possible human exposure to toxic substances. Health Consultations are a way for ATSDR to respond quickly to a need for health information on toxic substances and to make recommendations for actions to protect the public’s health. A health consultation may look for:

  • Levels of hazardous substances
  • If and how people might be exposed to hazardous substances (through breathing air, drinking water, eating food, or coming into contact with soil)
  • What harm the substances might cause to people and whether working or living nearby might affect people’s health.

A Public Health Assessment (PHA) provides health information about a particular site that is greater in detail than a Health Consultation. PHAs showcase three types of information:

  • Environmental data, including information about contaminants and how people come into contact with them.
  • Health data, including available information on community-wide rates of illness, disease, and death compared with national and state rates; and,
  • Community concerns, such as reports from the public about how the site affects their health or quality of life.

A Health Investigation is a collection and evaluation of information about the health of community residents. This information is used to describe or count the occurrence of a disease, symptom, or clinical measure and to evaluate the possible association between the occurrence and exposure to hazardous substances.


Since 1994, ATSDR has released the following six reports for the LCP Chemicals site: