Reporting Concerns: How do I report my concern with a chemical exposure?

Concerns can be discussed with staff in the Site Assessment and Consultation Unit (SAC).  Environmental health scientists in SAC are available to review and discuss health concerns related to exposure to environmental contaminants.  See our Contact Us page for more information.

Anyone may also petition ATSDR to conduct public health assessments of sites. For more information about how to petition ATSDR to conduct a public health assessment, call ATSDR's toll-free information line, (888) 42-ATSDR.

You may submit a letter (petition) to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) requesting a public health assessment to evaluate your community’s exposure to environmental contaminants related to sites where large amounts of hazardous chemical were spilled or improperly disposed. The petition which you submit to ATSDR can simply be a letter stating the concerns you have with an exposure.(See the Example Document Letter (Microsoft Word, 25 KB/1 page) or Example Fill-in Letter (Microsoft Word, 25 KB/1 page))

Write to:
ATSDR Community Involvement Branch,
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Mailstop: E-54, Bldg 18
Atlanta, GA 30333

In the written request for assistance, be sure to include the following information:

  • your name, address and phone number
  • name of the group you represent, if any
  • the name, location and description of the facility or chemical release
  • as much information that you know about how you or others contacted the chemical
  • request for ATSDR to perform a public heath assessment activity

When ATSDR receives a petition, a team of environmental scientists, physicians, toxicologists, and other staff members is formed to gather and evaluate the available information about the site. The team decides whether ATSDR will be able to perform a public health assessment activity to address your concern. All petition requests are acknowledge in writing and will include the basis of the decision.

The role of MDH in sites where there are contaminant releases is primarily advisory, not regulatory.
SAC is typically asked for an evaluation or to be involved in investigating an environmental issue by ATSDR or a governmental agency which has regulatory authority.  These agencies include the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and other local governmental offices.  SAC also responds to requests from doctors and other health care workers.  SAC can respond to health related questions about environmental exposures from the public. 

Because SAC does not have the ability to regulate in issues related to the environment, SAC cannot take direct action to stop an exposure.  SAC can provide guidance about how to evaluate exposures to chemicals and help find resources for controlling and mitigating exposures.  For complaints or enforcement related to environmental contaminations, please contact the appropriate agency.  These include: the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and local governmental offices.

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Updated Thursday, 01-Aug-2013 12:52:34 CDT