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The Great Lakes Critical Programs Act of 1990, 33 U.S.C. § 1268 Section 104(i) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), 42 U.S.C § 9604(i) The Defense Environmental Restoration Program, 10 U.S.C. § 2704 The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C § 321 et seq. The Clean Air Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.

FY 2006

FY 2007

FY 2008

FY 2008 +/-




FY 2007







The FY 2008 Budget of $75,004,000 for ATSDR represents an increase of $99,000 above the FY 2007 Continuing Resolution level of $74,905,000. The additional funding will be used for ATSDR’s state cooperative agreement to develop environmental health capacity, provide health education, and conduct health outcome data reviews related to potential exposures to hazardous substances and toxic chemicals.


ATSDR is the nation’s public health agency for chemical safety. The agency’s mission is to use the best science, take responsive action, and provide trustworthy health information to prevent and mitigate harmful exposures and related disease.

Created in 1980 by CERCLA, commonly known as the Superfund law, ATSDR leads federal public health efforts at Superfund and other sites with known or potential toxic exposures. In FY 2006, ATSDR served over 3.2 million people in 346 communities.

ATSDR shares common concerns with other federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), and the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSHIB). What distinguishes ATSDR is its unique focus. In the area of toxic substances, other federal agencies’ efforts address substances in the environment and/or the workplace. ATSDR concentrates almost exclusively on the human health effects of substances in the environment. A non-regulatory agency, ATSDR often serves in an advisory capacity to other agencies, delivering authoritative scientific expertise on the human health effects of hazardous environmental exposures. ATSDR’s programs are also distinctive in their emphasis on both community involvement and environmental justice.

In support of its strategic goals, ATSDR conducts a variety of activities, including the following:

  • Exposure Investigations to collect and analyze site information and perform biological tests, and when appropriate, determine whether people have been exposed to hazardous substances.

  • Public Health Assessments (PHAs) to review information about hazardous substances found at a waste site. PHAs evaluate whether people living or working at the site or nearby may be exposed to harmful levels of these substances. These assessments may also recommend that EPA or other agencies take certain actions to protect public health such as conducting blood tests for children or remediating a waste site. ATSDR conducts a PHA for each site proposed for the NPL and for other sites in response to petitions from communities.

  • Health Consultations to provide guidance on specific, health-related questions about hazardous wastes in communities. More limited in scope than PHAs, health consultations may be written or oral, and may contain recommendations.

  • Toxicological Profiles to summarize, interpret, and evaluate available data and possible health effects of hazardous substances found at NPL sites. To date, 289 toxicological profiles have been published or are under development. Of these, 274 profiles have been published as final, eight are being revised on the basis of public comments, and seven are out for public comment. The ToxProfiles are regularly updated and are used by health and scientific professionals worldwide.

  • Health Education to provide information and training to affected communities and medical professionals about ways to assess, control, or prevent exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. FY 2008 ATSDR CONGRESSIONAL JUSTIFICATION SAFER·HEALTHIER·PEOPLE18

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