1.0 ATSDR’s Mission

Introduction to the Mission Section

What if

  • you discovered that your home and the homes of your neighbors were built on land that had been used as a landfill


  • you learned that an abandoned manufacturing plant next to the town water supply had used harmful chemicals?

You’d want someone to investigate whether there are harmful chemicals in the community. And if there were, you would want to know if people could get sick from contacting those chemicals.

You might call your local public health department about your concerns. And the department might contact the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the federal public health agency created to help prevent or reduce human exposure to harmful chemicals from toxic waste sites or uncontrolled releases into the environment.

ATSDR will investigate the concerns and determine whether further action is needed. A public health assessor might come to your neighborhood to conduct public health assessment activities in the community.

To learn more about ATSDR and get an overview of the process the agency would follow in conducting a public health assessment in your community, click through this section

timer clock

Takes about 5–15 minutes.

Page last reviewed: May 31, 2016