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2013 Vieques Report

Historical Reference
This website is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.

From 1999 through 2003, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) looked at whether U.S. Navy past military activity exposed Viequenses to harmful levels of chemicals. In 2009, we began updating our original findings. We evaluated data that we did not have in 2003.

This report presents ATSDR's conclusions and recommendations, and its response to public comments.


An Evaluation of Environmental, Biological, and Health Data from the Isla of Vieques, Puerto Rico - March 2013

The Team

As is our practice, ATSDR took a multi-disciplinary approach to this review. Our team was comprised of epidemiologists, toxicologists, environmental and chemical engineers, a meteorologist, and health education and communication specialists. ATSDR managers and several team members visited Vieques and met with many agencies and community groups.

The Process

ATSDR’s top priority is to ensure that people living in Vieques, Puerto Rico have the best information possible to safeguard their health. To begin the process, ATSDR looked at the literature to identify studies and reports that had been done both before and since our public health assessments were published in 2001 -2003. ATSDR scientists reviewed these papers and also discussed them with other experts.

This review has several steps:

  • a face-to-face scientific consultation with independent scientists,
  • a written report of the environmental health work done for Vieques using new exposure assumptions suggested at the scientific consultation, external peer review of the report,
  • public review and comment of the report from December 2011 to March 2012, and
  • final written report responding to comments from the public.

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