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History of Oak Ridge Reservation

The Oak Ridge Reservation is a US Department of Energy (DOE) facility that was established in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project, the federal government's World War II effort to build the atomic bomb. There are three major installations at the Oak Ridge site: the Y- 12 weapons plant; the X-10 complex, now known as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and the gaseous diffusion plant, K-25, now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park.

ATSDR is the principal federal public health agency charged with evaluating the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Congress created ATSDR to implement the health-related sections of the 1980 Superfund law and other laws that protect the public from hazardous waste and environmental spills of hazardous substances. The Oak Ridge Reservation is on EPA’s National Priorities List of sites and facilities that have been found to pose a sufficient threat to human health or the environment to warrant cleanup.

As a part of ATSDR’s congressional mandate, ATSDR is using the public health assessment process to evaluate previous studies and environmental data to determine whether releases of hazardous substances from the site could have affected the health of the people in nearby communities.

 Selected Resources

NEW K-25 and S-50 Uranium and Fluoride Releases Public Health Assessment – Public Comment Version
ATSDR scientists present for public comment their evaluation of whether past releases of K-25 and S-50 Uranium and Fluoride from the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant could harm people living near the former facility, now the East Tennessee Technology Park.

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)

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 was 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)

ATSDR Public Health Activities
List of ATSDR public health activities at Oak Ridge Reservation.

ORRHES Subcommittee
Include minutes of the subcommittee and its work groups.

Compendium of Public Health Activities
This compendium serves as a foundation document that summarizes both ongoing and
completed activities that local, state, and federal health agencies have conducted to address
public health issues.

 Education & Training

Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Presentations
Collection of on-line presentations related to Oak Ridge.

Frequently Asked Questions about ATSDR
Answers to frequently asked questions such as what is ATSDR and where it is located, what ATSDR does and what ATSDR cannot do.

What is a Public Health Assessment?
An ATSDR Public Health Assessment reviews available information about hazardous substances at a site and evaluates whether exposure to them might cause any harm to people.

This fact sheet answers questions about chemical exposures.

Information for Health Professionals
New Information, assistance, materials and references for health professionals.

Case Studies in Environmental Medicine
A series of self-instructional publications designed to increase primary care provider's knowledge
of hazardous substances in the environment and to aid in the evaluation of potentially exposed

Taking an Exposure History Case Study
An educational publication designed to increase the primary care provider's knowledge of
hazardous substances in the environment and to aid in the evaluation of potentially exposed

Public Health Assessment Process and the Community: An Interactive Learning Program
This program provides an overview of the public health assessment process that ATSDR uses to evaluate whether people will be harmed by hazardous materials from waste sites or from other places where hazardous substances have been spilled or released into the environment.

 Resources on Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects
Education & Training Opportunities General Information Publications and Products Exit ATSDR Web site
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This page last updated on January 9, 2009
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