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PERFORMANCE BUDGET OVERVIEW OVERVIEW OF PERFORMANCE

OVERVIEW OF PERFORMANCE

The following success stories illustrate how ATSDR’s focus on the impact of its work is improving the effectiveness of ATSDR’s efforts in public health as well as the agency’s practice in measuring those efforts.

Goal 1: Prevent ongoing and future exposures and resultant health effects from hazardous waste sites and releases. Protecting Firefighters and Residents (Connecticut)

ATSDR helped EPA responders protect the health of residents who lived near a major chemical fire in Connecticut. ATSDR’s specialist advised on necessary protection measures for nearby residents, re-occupancy, and health consequences to responders of a chemical found in firefighting pond water. The specialist also detected a serious and potentially harmful error in concentration calculations and worked on assessment and cleanup measures for asbestos, which the fire’s five-mile long smoke plume deposited into residential properties. As a result, health of residents and responders was protected from exposure to particulates, asbestos, and methyl methacrylate.

Goal 2: Determine human health effects associated with exposures to Superfund-related priority hazardous substances.

Finding Answers to Troubling Questions (North Carolina)

ATSDR continues to answer lingering health questions at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Two decades have passed since contaminated drinking water wells were closed at the base, and for an uncertain period prior to that, some base families and personnel were exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the water. ATSDR has been working on analyzing the extent of exposures. To compensate for the lack of information about the Camp’s water distribution system operations for that period, ATSDR developed an innovative water model to assess likely past exposures. In part, the model development involved measuring flow rates and pressures at different locations along the water distribution system. The model will help identify the likely route, timeframe, and extent of exposure.

Protecting Children from Asthma (New York)

Findings from a study of two New York City boroughs, Bronx and Manhattan, may help people reduce exposure to ambient air pollutants and emergency department visits due to acute asthma. The study, conducted by the New York State Department of Health in cooperation with ATSDR, suggests that the criteria pollutants such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and nitrous oxide had a statistically detectable impact on acute asthma emergency department visits in a community with a relatively high baseline rate of acute asthma exacerbations.

Battling Lung Problems (Idaho)

Thanks to a recent study and follow-up efforts by ATSDR and its state partners in Idaho, physicians and health professionals in Chubbuck and Pocatello will now be able to help their patients reduce their exposure to particulate matter and, consequently, lower their risk of lung disease. ATSDR provided health care professionals, identified by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, with information to help their patients. Health education materials were directed at the over 100 health professionals in Pocatello and Chubbuck area specializing in children, seniors, lung patients, and family practice. Each was provided with the findings of the study and advised of ways patients can reduce their exposure to particulate matter in the air.

Goal 3: Mitigate the risks of human health effects at toxic waste sites with documented exposures. Stopping Exposures to Mercury at a Day Care Center (New Jersey)

ATSDR and New Jersey state health officials helped stop mercury exposures to children at a day care center in Franklin Township. For two years, the Kiddie Kollege Day Care Center operated in a building once occupied by a company that made thermometers and related instruments. The manufacturing involved elemental mercury. Following ATSDR’s and the State’s guidance, all children and staff were advised to evacuate, and the day-care operator immediately closed the center. ATSDR, working with state health officials, the CDC Environmental Health Lab, and the Mt. Sinai Pediatric Environmental Specialty Health Unit, then arranged for mercury testing and education. Sixty children and nine adults received tests, which the CDC laboratory processed in extraordinarily rapid fashion. ATSDR and its partners offered consultation and follow-up testing to all children and staff who required it.

Protecting Residents from Toxic Hazards (Indiana)

ATSDR worked with EPA to protect the health of some 5,000–8,000 residents evacuated during a fire at the AMACOR magnesium recycling facility in Anderson, Indiana. ATSDR helped determine where air-monitoring equipment needed to be located to be effective. The fire burned for about 48 hours, and roofing material was blown from the buildings and scattered around the surrounding residential community. The impacted area covered a two-

FY 2008 ATSDR CONGRESSIONAL JUSTIFICATION SAFER·HEALTHIER·PEOPLE

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