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ATSDR Press Room

Washington County, Ohio, Public Health Consultation

Washington County, Marietta, Ohio

Thursday, February 19, 2004

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today released its final public health consultation regarding the Washington County Air Quality site in Marietta, Ohio. The site includes facilities operating at a former Union Carbide facility located on Route 7 in Washington County. This consultation is a revision of a document released in August 2003.

On the basis of lack of data, the site is categorized as an indeterminate public health hazard. ATSDR recommends that air modeling and additional air sampling be conducted to determine if there is contamination at levels that could cause adverse health effects.

Located several miles outside the city of Marietta, Ohio, a former Union Carbide facility complex is currently occupied by four companies including: Eramet Marietta, Inc. (EMI); Eveready Battery; Solvay Advanced Polymers; and Chevron-Phillips Chemical Company. An American Municipal Power (AMP) Ohio substation, originally built to provide power to Union Carbide, is located across the street from the complex. There is a residential area to the north of the facility.

Among ATSDR's findings are that exposure cannot be adequately assessed at this time because the locations for the air sampling data may not reflect the most highly exposed populations, the current sampling location may also contribute to airborne metals, and the data analysis has included a limited number of metals. As a result, the magnitude of exposures and the risk to public health is uncertain (an indeterminate public health hazard).

To better define the health concerns, specific recommendations for collecting additional air sampling data are provided below.

  • ATSDR or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should model emissions from EMI, Eveready, Solvay, Chevron, and AMP Ohio to determine what contaminants could be present in ambient air and the locations where they are likely to most significantly impact human health. This information will aid in determining the most appropriate locations for additional air sampling.
  • After modeling is completed, ATSDR, Ohio EPA, and EPA should determine what additional ambient air data is necessary to adequately investigate the impact of facility emissions on the health of residents.
  • When contaminants of concern have been identified, additional, long-term sampling should be performed (for 1 year or more).
  • ATSDR should evaluate the data collected from additional air monitoring and air modeling to better assess air pollutant exposure levels and the potential for health consequences in area residents.

ATSDR's conclusions and recommendations are included in the public health consultation, which is available for viewing at the following repositories:

Washington County Public Library
615 Fifth St.
Marietta, OH 45750

Marietta College
215 Fifth St.
Marietta, OH 45750

Washington County Public Library
Barlow Branch
Barlow, OH 45712

For more information, community members can contact Environmental Health Scientist Jennifer Freed or Community Involvement Specialist Dawn O'Connor toll free at 1-888-422-8737. Regional Representative Michelle Colledge also may be contacted at 312-886-1462. Callers should refer to the Washington County site in Washington County, Ohio.

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Related News Releases For Washington County, Marietta, Ohio


ATSDR Health Consultation Released on Marietta Area Air Investigation; EPA-Funded Health Study Initiated
Release Date: Friday, July 03, 2009
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) will fund a local health study to evaluate potential health effects from exposure to manganese. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has recommended this next step after completing a year-long air investigation in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Representatives from ATSDR and EPA will be in the Marietta area in early July to discuss the findings of the air investigation and the plans for the new study.

ATSDR Launches Community Web Site on Marietta Air Investigation as Health Activities Continue
Release Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2008
As their year-long Marietta Air Investigation in the Mid-Ohio Valley enters its final phase, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has launched a Web site for area residents to view updated site information, including air sampling results.

ATSDR Extends Investigation of Air Emissions In Three Washington County, Ohio and Wood County, West Virginia Locations
Release Date: Friday, March 09, 2007
As part of the air quality investigation of the Marietta Air Emissions Site in Ohio, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has added additional air monitoring stations. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will operate the air monitors and perform the laboratory analyses in the year-long data collection designed to show whether chemical emissions from five facilities in the former Union Carbide industrial complex (Chevron/Phillips, Eramet Marietta, Inc., Eveready, American Municipal Power Ohio, Solvay) may affect human health.

Public Meeting on Washington County Air Quality in Ohio
Release Date: Thursday, May 20, 2004
ATSDR will hold a public meeting May 24, 2004, to update Marietta, Ohio, community members about ATSDR's air modeling and other environmental health activities in Marietta. The meeting will be 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. in the Washington State Community College Graham Auditorium, 710 Colegate Dr., Marietta.

ATSDR to Hold Community Meeting and Availability Session Concerning Washington County Air Quality Site in Marietta, Ohio
Release Date: Wednesday, December 03, 2003
ATSDR staff to hold community meeting and question and answer session in Marietta, Ohio regarding air quality issues near the former Union Carbide facility on Route 7 in Washington County, Ohio.

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