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As recommended in the March 11, 1997, Site Review and Up-Date for the Eastern Michaud Flats Contamination National Priorities List (NPL) site (1), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) committed to reviewing recently released environmental data generated by the Remedial Investigation conducted at this site. The Remedial Investigation (2) provides most of the data and information needed by ATSDR to re-evaluate human exposure pathways associated with the Eastern Michaud Flats Contaminant NPL site. ATSDR had previously evaluated the potential for human exposures to site-related contaminants in the 1990 Preliminary Public Health Assessment (3). Specifically, ATSDR will develop health consultations that address the potential for human exposures (past, present, and future) to site-related contaminants in the groundwater, surface water and sediment, surface soil, biota, and ambient air. This health consultation will evaluate the potential for human exposures to site-related contaminants in surface soils.

This health consultation will focus on characterizing the surface soil contamination at and off the two facilities that are a part of the Eastern Michaud Flats NPL site. It does not attempt to characterize any contamination that may exist inside the facility buildings or the exposures the workers may experience within those buildings. Exposures that may occur to workers inside the buildings are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and can be evaluated, if so requested, by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the past, the slag generated by the FMC process was used as road bedding and fill material (1). This slag has some associated radioactivity. To address concerns about the human health effects from exposure to radioactive slag, a technical workgroup (Phosphorus Slag Technical Working group -- members include EPA, ATSDR, other federal officials, state officials, local officials, the affected Tribes, citizens, and industry representatives) was formed. As an outcome of the group's recommendations, a study is presently underway to address this issue. Therefore, this health consultation will not discuss the possible health effects of contaminated slag.

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