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Oak Ridge Reservation: Public Health Activities
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The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) began its public health activities at the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in 1992. Initially, the agency's effort focused on Superfund cleanup activities at the East Fork Poplar Creek and the Watts Bar Reservoir. ATSDR began work on the public health assessment process in 2000 when results of the Oak Ridge Health Studies were available and the Oak Ridge Reservation Health Subcommittee had been established to provide a forum for community interaction.

ATSDR is using the public health assessment process to evaluate previous studies and
environmental data to determine whether releases of hazardous substances from the Oak
Ridge Reservation could have affected the health of people in communities near the reservation.

ATSDR scientists are conducting public health assessments on the following releases: Y-12 releases of uranium, Y-12 releases of mercury, X-10 release of iodine 131, X-10 release of radionuclides from White Oak Creek, K-25 releases of uranium and fluoride, and PCBs released from all three facilities. Public health assessments will also be conducted on other issues of concern, such as the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) incinerator and off-site groundwater. ATSDR is also screening current (1990 to 2003) environmental data to determine whether additional chemicals will require further evaluation.

 ATSDR Current Activities

NEW Iodine-131 Releases
ATSDR scientists present their final evaluation of whether past, current, and potential future releases of iodine-131 (I-131) from the ORR could harm people living near the reservation. (May, 08)

Evaluation of Current (1990 to 2003) and Future Chemical Exposures
Current and Future Chemical Exposures in the Vicinity of the Oak Ridge Reservation.  (January, 07)

 ATSDR Past Activities

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Releases
This public health assessment presents ATSDR's evaluation of exposures to PCB releases from the Oak Ridge Reservation. The public health assessment will be available for public comment and review through January 31, 2007. (November, 06)

Assessment of Cancer Incidence in Counties Adjacent to Oak Ridge Reservation
ATSDR scientists evaluate cancer incidence rates in eight counties surrounding the Oak Ridge Reservation, and assess how the incidence rates for each county compare to Tennessee state cancer incidence rates. (October, 06)

White Oak Creek - Radionuclide Releases
ATSDR scientists present their evaluation of potential exposures to White Oak Creek radionuclide releases via the Clinch River and the Lower Watts Bar Reservoir. (August, 06)

Contaminated Off-Site Groundwater
ATSDR found that the sources of groundwater contamination on the ORR are primarily in the shallow subsurface, and that nearly all of the shallow groundwater beneath the ORR ends up as surface water before leaving the site. Therefore, community exposure to contamination from groundwater beyond the ORR boundary is unlikely. (August, 06)

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Incinerator
ATSDR found that the TSCA Incinerator releases very small amounts of contaminants into the environment, but the amounts are far below levels associated with health effects. (December, 05)

Y-12 - Uranium Releases
ATSDR evaluated past and current exposure to uranium released from the Y-12 plant and found that the off-site exposures to uranium were too low to be a health hazard for either radiation or chemical health effects. (January, 04)

East Fork Poplar Creek
ATSDR has conducted two health consultations on East Fork Poplar Creek looking at public health issues of concern to the community bordering the creek and has convened an expert panel to examine issues relating to the bioavailability of mercury.

Watts Bar Reservoir
ATSDR staff members conducted a health consultation, a community and physician education program, and an exposure investigation in response to health concerns of residents living in the area of the Watts Bar Reservoir.

Other ATSDR Activities at Oak Ridge
In addition to the work on East Fork Poplar Creek and the Watts Bar Reservoir, ATSDR has conducted other public health activities as physician education and technical consultation.

 Other Agencies' Public Health Activities


State of Tennessee


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This page last updated on May 22, 2008
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