What's Included in the Document?
During the public health assessment process, the public health assessment team listens to community members to learn their concerns about the site. Throughout the process, community members provide the team with information about the site. The health assessor evaluates the way people may come into contact with site chemicals or with physical hazards at the site. The health assessor then evaluates whether contact with site chemicals is at levels high enough and for periods long enough to cause harm. The health assessor may also conduct a toxicologic evaluation and evaluate site-specific health effects data (e.g., health outcome data) if people are contacting chemicals in a way that could harm them.
Once all of that information is gathered and evaluated, the health assessor and other experts who are part of the public health assessment team are ready to make conclusions about the site, make recommendations to protect public health, and coordinate and develop a public health action plan to ensure that the recommendations are carried out.
This section describes how the public health assessment team develops conclusions, recommendations, and public health action plans.
How is the community involved in the public health assessment process?
The community plays an important role in the public health assessment process. For more information about how community members can get involved in the process, see the community involvement section of this online learning program. The document that is generated at the end of the public health assessment process contains information that has been gathered during the process and the results of evaluation of that information.
ATSDR's public health assessment documents are released for public comment. Some other types of documents that ATSDR issues may also be released for public comment. During the public comment period, anyone can provide comments to the health assessor about the report. The health assessor includes all written comments in the final report and provides responses to those comments.
General outline for a public health assessment document
*Purpose and Statement of Health Issues
Community Health Concerns
Public Health Action Plan
Preparers of the Report
Appendices (as required)
* A separate discussion on child health considerations
is required in all PHAs.
For more details, see Chapter 2.7- What is the format for Public Health Assessment Documents in the ATSDR Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual.
General outline for a health consultation document
Background and Statement of Health Issues
Public Health Action Plan, if applicable
Response to Public Comments, if applicable
Appendices (as required)
* A summary is optional in a PHC, but recommended
when it is lengthy or technically complex.
- Page last reviewed: February 20, 2008
- Page last updated: May 31, 2016
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