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CDC/ATSDR Activities: Response to the chemical spill in West Virginia

2014 West Virginia Chemical Release

January 9th – At the request of the state of West Virginia, CDC/ATSDR developed a short-term screening level for the water affected by the chemical spill. This calculation was reviewed and approved by a federal interagency workgroup composed of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Toxicology Program, National Institutes of Health, U.S Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

January 16th – Deployed an EPI-AID response team to review medical records, survey hospitals, assess disaster epidemiology capacity, and make recommendations. Results of analysis will be released by the state when analysis is complete.

January 17th – Began posting spill-related information on CDC/ATSDR’s web site. Information includes short-term screening level calculations and explanations as well as links to other supporting materials and resources.

January 17th – Deployed environmental health advisor to provide technical support and guidance on health impacts to West Virginia.

February 5th – Dr. Tanja Popovic, Acting Director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry traveled to West Virginia to participate in a press conference with the Governor and other local, state and federal officials.

February 26th – Briefed members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation on CDC/ATSDR’s response to the chemical spill.

April 23rd – The CDC assisted the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health on the release of results from the medical chart review of patients who presented between January 9 and 23, 2014, to 10 area hospital emergency departments in the 9 counties affected by the Elk River chemical spill.

July 7th – The CDC assisted the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health on the release of the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) report, which surveyed a representative sampling of households across the nine-county area affected by the Elk River chemical spill.

July 23rd – CDC Director Tom Frieden and NCEH/ATSDR Acting Director Robin Ikeda met with West Virginia Senator Joseph Manchin and WVA public health officials to discuss how best to monitor for potential longer-term health effects associated with the event. It was announced that CDC will provide assistance to West Virginia on health surveillance and data collection.

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