ATSDR studies on chemical releases in the Great Lakes Region
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ATSDR studies on chemical releases in the Great Lakes Region

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    This report responds to and extends a 2001 request from the International Joint Commission (IJC), the binational organization that works to implement the Great Lakes Water Quality

    Agreement (GLWQA) between the United States and Canada. The GLWQA calls for the two nations to define “the threat to human health from critical pollutants” found in the Great Lakes region. This final report supersedes all previous drafts and contains responses to public comments and to those comments in a review of the penultimate draft of this report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.

    A principal value of this report is that it compiles for the first time in one place information on 146 ATSDR site assessments conducted between 1982 and 2007 in the Great Lakes region and also provides updated information on their status. In addition, we provide some information on other chemical inputs into the Great Lakes region from publicly available

    datasets. A major conclusion of this report is that we need better and more integrated scientific data to allow us to assess threats that these chemicals may pose to human health. Even as we work to prevent pollution and to clean up the residua of past emissions—much-needed efforts that are well underway—we need to advance our understanding of the health consequences of chemical exposures. Better data are an essential first step.


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