THE AGENCY FOR TOXIC SUBSTANCES AND DISEASE REGISTRYS (ATSDR) STUDY OF PUBLIC HEALTH
IMPLICATIONS OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES IN GREAT LAKES U.S. AREAS OF CONCERN
of these Areas of Concern are impacted by chemical
contaminants from either local sources and/or remote
he SAB has undertaken extensive work on commu
sources of pollution. No organization has conducted a
nity health and has provided the IJC with advice on
systematic evaluation of the contribution of hazardous
this issue over several biennial cycles. Through
waste sites to the environmental chemical contaminant
membership on the Work Group on Ecosystem Health, Dr.
burden and its impact on public health.
Christopher DeRosa of the Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry (ATSDR) is extensively involved in IJC
The IJC asked ATSDR to provide and evaluate information
activities and has agreed to undertake further research at
on public health assessments that it has conducted on
the request of the U.S. Section of the IJC, into the public
hazardous waste sites within the 26 Areas of Concern.
health implications of hazardous substances in the Great
Specifically, the IJC asked if ATSDR could identify evaluated
Lakes U.S. Areas of Concern.
sites, the Hazard Category assigned to each site, relevant
demographic information on the populations at risk,
Great Lakes Areas of Concern are severely degraded
completed exposure pathways identified, and the priority
geographic areas within the Great Lakes basin. They are
substances following these pathways.
defined by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
(Annex 2 of the 1987 Protocol) as geographic areas that
fail to meet the general or specific objectives of the Great
Possible Future Directions
Lakes Water Quality Agreement where such failure has
caused or is likely to cause impairment of beneficial use of
The SAB, as the scientific advisory body to the IJC on
the areas ability to support aquatic life. The U.S. and
matters related to water quality under the Great Lakes
Canadian governments have identified 43 such areas; 26 in
Water Quality Agreement, will be interested in reviewing
U.S. waters, 17 in Canadian water (five of which are shared
the findings of ATSDR when they are made available to the
between U.S. and Canada on connecting river systems). All
IJC in July 2003.