Statement of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in Response to the IOM Report
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) appreciates the work done by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to review three drafts of ATSDR’s report on “Public Health Implications of Great Lakes Areas of Concern.” The IOM report provides useful guidance that will help further strengthen ATSDR’s draft on the Great Lakes Areas of Concern.
The IOM report affirms major scientific concerns with the 2007 draft cited by ATSDR and CDC’s Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention. The IOM report validated ATSDR’s concerns about the health data used, the contaminant data used, the data analysis performed, and the way the conclusions were presented. These concerns were the basis for ATSDR’s decision not to release the 2007 draft.
ATSDR acknowledges and agrees with the IOM’s assessment of the 2008 public comment draft. The IOM report identifies limitations in scope and structure of the 2008 draft that persisted from the 2007 draft, and ATSDR agrees with these observations.
ATSDR will use input from the IOM and public comments to finalize the report to the International Joint Commission. The IOM report provides helpful guidance about areas that need further attention to improve the 2008 draft. This report is just one component of ATSDR’s longstanding work to address human health in the Great Lakes Region. The agency has supported research into the connection between contaminants and health in the Great Lakes since 1992. ATSDR is committed to continuing our work to protect the health of people in the Great Lakes Region.