The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is releasing for public comment a health consultation describing public health implications of exposures to hydrogen sulfide and National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) pollutants. NAAQS pollutants are PM2.5, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and lead.
ATSDR will accept public comments on this health consultation until January 18, 2013. Comments must be made in writing. Comments (without the names of persons who submitted them) and ATSDR’s responses will appear in an appendix to the final health consultation. Names of persons who submit comments will be subject to release in answer to requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
On December 6, 2012, at the Midlothian Conference Center from 7:00pm–8:30pm, ATSDR scientists will provide an overview of the draft health consultation and answer questions about the findings of the report. ATSDR staff also will be available from 3:30pm-5:00pm to talk with interested persons.
To read this health consultation, please visit: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/midlothian. Copies are available at the A.H. Meadows Library, 921 S. 9th Street, Midlothian. They can be reviewed during regular business hours.
Send comments to ATSDRRecordsCenter@cdc.gov, or mail to:
ATSDR Records Center
Attn: Rolanda Morrison
Re: Midlothian NAAQS and H2S Health Consultation
4770 Buford Highway, NE (MS F-09)
Atlanta, Georgia 30341
ATSDR found that harmful effects are possible for certain air pollutants in the past.
- Breathing air contaminated with sulfur dioxide for short periods of time from 1997 to late 2008 could have harmed the health of sensitive persons (e.g. people with asthma, especially while exercising) but not of the general public.
- Breathing air contaminated with PM2.5 for 1 year or more in a localized area of Cement Valley could have harmed people’s health for the years 1996 to 1998.
- Sufficient information exists to warrant concern about exposure of sensitive persons to multiple air pollutants, especially in the past while they were exercising and when sulfur dioxide levels were higher.
- Exposure to lead in air from 1993 to 1998 could have harmed the health of children who lived or frequently played in an area just north of the Gerdau Ameristeel fence line.
ATSDR found that certain air pollutants may have caused harmful effects in both the past and present.
- Short-term elevations above the PM2.5 standards have been infrequent but could result in harmful cardiopulmonary effects, especially in sensitive persons, but not the general public.
- Breathing ozone for short periods from 1997 to the present could increase the likelihood of harmful respiratory effects, especially for active children and adults and people with respiratory diseases such as asthma.
ATSDR is uncertain about exposures to SO2 and PM2.5 downwind of Ash Grove and Holcim because data and information are lacking.
To reduce or prevent harmful exposures to air pollutants in Midlothian, ATSDR recommends that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality:
- Evaluate and reduce emissions and exposures, as needed, to SO2 and PM2.5.
- Continue efforts to reduce regional ozone exposures.
For more information about ATSDR’s work in Midlothian visit http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/midlothian/ or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S., Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects due to exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.