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The Human Health Effects Research Program implemented the following strategy in support of the research program’s goals, which is built upon the five traditional elements of disease prevention:
- Identification of patterns of morbidity and mortality (through use of surveillance systems, exposure registries, and reports from state/local health agencies).
- Evaluation of causal factors accountable for the observed pattern of morbidity or mortality (through epidemiologic investigations and experimental research).
- Control of the factors found or thought to be accountable for the observed morbidity or mortality (through health advisories, regulatory actions, and medical interventions).
- Dissemination of information about the identification, evaluation, and control of the observed pattern of morbidity/mortality (through local advisories, publications, state programs, and local, state, and national media).
- Infrastructure to support the elements of disease prevention – identification, evaluation, control, and dissemination (through institutional mechanisms that involve staffing, budgets, and organizational arrangements).
In order to identify human populations who may be at special risk of adverse health effects, particularly from consumption of sport fish from the Great Lakes, ATSDR is funding research to better characterize exposure, pathways, associated body burdens, and potential human health effects from exposure to persistent toxic substances in the Great Lakes basin with special emphasis on at-risk populations. ATSDR is working with state and local health agencies in the Great Lakes Basin to obtain any surveillance data, reports of morbidity, and other information that might help identify populations at health risk.