The ATSDR Petition Process DCHI

How communities can ask ATSDR to do work?

Thousands of facilities across the US use chemicals, or produce chemicals or chemical waste every day. When communities are concerned they are exposed to chemicals, ATSDR can bring tools and expertise to investigate.

What is an ATSDR “petition”?

A petition is a request, written as a letter, asking ATSDR to investigate specific environmental health concerns in a community. The request can come from an individual or a community group.

What an ATSDR petition is not?

An ATSDR petition is not a list of signatures of concerned community members.

What can ATSDR do in response to a petition?

ATSDR can use environmental health tools to investigate possible exposure pathways in your community. This means, investigate 1) whether there are chemicals in your community, 2) if those chemicals could get into your body, and 3) if they could affect your health. We can write a report and recommend actions to protect health.

ATSDR can communicate with community members to help them learn about the chemical, how it could get into their bodies, and how to protect their families and themselves.

Sometimes we ask our partners at the state health department to respond for us.

What we can’t do?

ATSDR can’t change how a facility operates, clean up chemicals in your community, make medical diagnoses, tell you why there is a lot of illness in your community, make health conclusions without environmental data, change zoning codes, or make another organization treat you with fairness and respect.

Get more information about ATSDR petitions

Or call toll free 1-800-232-4636; TTY: (888) 232-6348 and ask to be connected to your ATSDR regional office.

Page last reviewed: September 21, 2018