ATSDR is the lead public health agency responsible for implementing the health-related provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. ATSDR's primary goals are:
- to identify people at health risk because of their exposure to hazardous substances in the environment,
- to evaluate relationships between hazardous substances in the environment and adverse human health outcomes, and
- to intervene to eliminate exposure of health concern and prevent or mitigate adverse health outcomes related to hazardous substances in the environment.
Why Was the Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee Formed?
The Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee (ORRHES) was created in 1999 to provide advice and recommendations to ATSDR and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding off-site public health activities and research at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation, in Tennessee. ATSDR and CDC requested nominations for the ORRHES and selected members based on criteria developed with input received from citizens. The selections were made according to the rules governing the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The ORRHES comprised of individuals with different backgrounds, interests, and expertise. The members of the subcommittee seeked to involve and communicate with those who are interested in and affected by ATSDR and CDC public health activities at the Oak Ridge Reservation. The Subcommittee also encouraged the public's input to the federal agencies and to learn about public health activities at the Oak Ridge Reservation.
How Was ATSDR Involved at the Oak Ridge Reservation?
ATSDR was conducting a public health assessment and a health education needs assessment at the site.
What Is a Public Health Assessment?
The public health assessment is an analysis of available information about releases from the Oak Ridge Reservation and a statement of the public health impact on people living around the site. The three primary sources of information used in the public health assessment are environmental data, health data, and reports of community health concerns.
The public health assessment is the primary public health process for determining which populations are exposed to hazardous substances, what the public health implications of exposures are, what should be done about those exposures, and whether there is a need for a more definitive investigation of the exposures or health of the exposed population.
In conducting the public health assessment, ATSDR will do the following tasks:
- Prepare summaries of relevant studies and investigations of releases from the Oak Ridge Reservation
- Evaluate past, present, and potential future exposures of off-site populations to hazardous substances
- Identify off-site populations exposed to hazardous substances at levels of health concern
- Assess any past, current, or future health impacts from these exposures
- Develop recommendations for follow-up public health activities needed to evaluate and mitigate or prevent human health effects
- Communicate ATSDR's findings to the public
Who Can I Contact for More Information?
Oak Ridge Field Office
Hours of Operation:
Monday: 12PM - 8:30PM
Tuesday - Thursday: 10:30AM - 7PM
Friday: 7:30AM - 3:30PM
Health Communication Specialist - Designated Federal Official
1600 Clifton Road, NE (E-32)
Atlanta, GA 30333