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Oak Ridge Reservation: Current and Future Chemical Exposures Evaluation
The Clinton Pile Building, later known as the Graphite Reactor, was located at the X-10 site, now referred to as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Current and Future Chemical Exposures Evaluation

In 1942, the federal government established the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in Anderson and Roane Counties in Tennessee as part of the Manhattan Project to research, develop, and produce special radioactive materials for nuclear weapons. Four facilities were built at that time. The Y-12 plant, the K-25 site, and the S-50 site were created to enrich uranium. The X-10 site was developed to manufacture and separate plutonium. As a result of past operations and former waste disposal practices at the ORR, chemical contaminants were released into the environment. In the 1990s, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) conducted a two-phase screening evaluation to analyze past releases (1944 to 1990) and off-site exposures to hazardous substances released from the entire ORR. In 2001, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reviewed the TDOH’s studies to identify contaminants that required further public health evaluation.

ATSDR conducted a public health assessment to screen recent (1990 to 2003) environmental data collected from the eight-county area surrounding the ORR to determine whether current and future exposures to site-related chemicals (individually or in combination) in off-site soil, sediment, surface water, biota (fish, game, and vegetation), and air posed a public health hazard. ATSDR determined that exposures to site-related chemicals in soil, sediment, surface water, air, game, and vegetation could occur, but the exposures would not be expected to result in adverse health effects. Because of very limited sampling data, however, ATSDR is unable to determine whether dioxins in fish near the ORR pose a public health hazard. As a protective measure, ATSDR recommends following the state of Tennessee’s current fishing advisories.

 Selected Resources

Current and Future Chemical Exposure Evaluation Public Health Assessment (1/07) (HTML)
This public health assessment presents ATSDR's evaluation of current and future off-site exposures to chemicals released from the Oak Ridge Reservation. For a print-friendly version of the public health assessment, download the PDF version.

Current and Future Chemical Exposure Evaluation—Community Health Concerns (HTML)
This section of the current and future chemical exposure evaluation public health assessment presents community health concerns related to current and future chemical releases from the Oak Ridge Reservation and provides ATSDR’s responses to them. The health concerns and responses are sorted by topic.

Tennessee Fishing AdvisoriesExiting ATSDR Website
This information details the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's fishing advisories for various streams, rivers, and reservoirs in the state of Tennessee.

A Guide to Healthy Eating of the Fish You Catch (PDF, 310 KB)
This brochure provides the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ATSDR's guidance for selecting and preparing fish to reduce your health risks from eating fish containing chemical pollutants.

  Education & Training

What Is a Public Health Assessment?
This fact sheet explains that an ATSDR public health assessment reviews available information about hazardous substances at a site and evaluates whether exposures to them could be harmful.

A Citizen's Guide to Risk Assessments and Public Health Assessments at Contaminated Sites
This document provides an overview of two different assessments commonly performed at hazardous waste sites—the risk assessment and the public health assessment. Both are required for all sites listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List (also known as "Superfund" sites).

Environmental and Occupational Medical Resources Fact Sheet
This fact sheet lists available medical resources for persons seeking medical assistance for an environment- or occupation-related illness or injury.

Public Health Statements
These summary chapters from ATSDR's toxicological profiles provide information about contaminants found at hazardous waste sites.

These fact sheets answer the most frequently asked health questions about contaminants found at hazardous waste sites.

Toxicological Profiles
These ATSDR toxicological profiles characterize the toxicology of contaminants found at hazardous waste sites and provide information on adverse health effects associated with exposures.

Interaction Profiles
These ATSDR interaction profiles characterize the toxicological and adverse health effects information for mixtures of hazardous substances.

This fact sheet answers questions about chemical exposures.

 Resources on Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects
Education & Training Opportunities General Information DOE ORR Annual Site Environmental Reports (ASERs)
Fact Sheets   Questions & Answers   Presentations
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This page last updated on January 31, 2007
Questions? - Call the ATSDR Information Center toll free at 1-800-CDC-INFO, or e-mail.

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