When harmful chemical exposure happens, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is ready to respond. Our top priority is to protect people from harmful chemical exposures. ATSDR has helped people in more than 900 communities all over the country.
Did you know that environmental factors contribute to more than 25% of all diseases worldwide? In the U.S., the yearly cost of just four childhood health problems linked to chemical exposures- cancer, lead poisoning, asthma, and developmental disabilities – is greater than $54 billion. Chemicals make our lives easier and are included in everyday items like foods, personal care products, prescription drugs, and household cleaners. Sometimes, however, exposure to chemicals can harm us. Exposure to chemicals happens in homes, schools, workplaces, and throughout communities. Accidental releases, certain household products, or hazardous sites are all possible causes of chemical exposures.
These are the stories of the lives of people and communities and how ATSDR has protected their health over the past 25 years. We have been there in emergencies like Hurricane Katrina. We’ve helped people whose lives have been disrupted by harmful chemical spills. And we work hard every day to understand the cause of diseases through our health registry process.
Explore this site and check back often to read the latest ways that ATSDR helps create a safer, healthier America that enjoys protection from toxic substances.
Some of the well water in Pavillion had methane gas in it, leading to a potential for explosions if the gas accumulated in small spaces, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms with no vent. The well water also contained very low levels of petroleum hydrocarbons, the health effects of which are uncertain.
Several residents of a rural community contract a rare disease, and no one knows why. Is it hereditary? Could it be caused by something in the water or the air? Local citizens become more uneasy as doctors diagnose other community members with the same illness.
- ATSDR identifies health risks of chemicals in the Gulf Oil Spill
- ATSDR Plays Key Role in Bringing Peace of Mind to a Group of Firefighters
- ATSDR Empowers Community Revitalization Vision
- ATSDR saves Super Bowl party in an Ohio community
- ATSDR’s ToxProfiles enrich the classroom
- Protecting the people of Garfield, New Jersey.