New ATSDR Brownfield and Land Reuse Site Tools Now Available

Posted on by
Example of land reuse, photo courtesy of ATSDR.

NCEH/ATSDR works to keep you safe and secure from things in the environment that threaten the public’s health. Read on to learn more about how the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) protects communities from harmful exposures at hazardous waste sites.

Is there a vacant lot in your neighborhood that’s an eyesore? Do you wonder what the site was before? Could it have been a gas station or dry cleaner? Are there harmful contaminants that you or others in your community could be exposed to? Finding out the answers to these questions is now much easier!

ATSDR Introduces New Resources

In its ongoing effort to protect people from potentially harmful exposures at hazardous waste sites, ATSDR offers two free tools: the ATSDR Dose Calculator and ATSDR Brownfields and Land Reuse Site Tool.

With these new resources, you can quickly see the risks of chemical exposures at potentially hazardous sites. “ATSDR developed these tools after a survey of local health departments indicated a need for a system that can generate a detailed site inventory, list site characteristics and concerns, and calculate exposure doses from contamination,” said Captain Gary Perlman, Environmental Health Officer, Division of Community Health Investigations.

Captain Perlman has worked on refining these tools for four years.

Features of the ATSDR Dose Calculator

The ATSDR Dose Calculator allows users to compute the amount of a toxic substance an individual may be exposed to (dose). The ATSDR Dose Calculator can:

CAPT. Gary Perlman, Regional Representative,  Region 1, photo courtesy of CAPT. Gary Perlman.
CAPT. Gary Perlman, Regional Representative,
Region 1, photo courtesy of CAPT. Gary Perlman.
  • Select from four scenarios: air, soil, water, or fish consumption
  • Customize exposure parameters, including
    • age of people exposed
    • quantity of soil/ water/fish ingested
    • number of days exposed and
    • limbs exposed (arms, legs, feet, hands, arms, torso, head)
  • Incorporate rapid screening approaches to calculate estimated exposure doses for skin contact scenarios.

Features of the ATSDR Brownfield and Land Reuse Site Tool

The ATSDR Brownfield and Land Reuse Site Tool helps environmental and health professionals identify and catalogue contaminants and health concerns associated with former and current use of the property.

The ATSDR Brownfield and Land Reuse Site Tool can be used to:

  • Screen multiple chemical exposures simply and rapidly
  • Assess sites by
    • past/future use
    • institutional controls
    • sensitive populations
    • suspected or confirmed contamination.
  • Provide an inventory of sites and a “How To” guide for conducting a site visit.

Health Considerations for Communities

ATSDR’s Brownfield/Land Reuse Health Initiative helps communities incorporate health considerations in land reuse decisions,” said Tina Forrester, Ph.D., acting director, Division of Community Investigations, ATSDR . “People can turn vacant or under-used land into places
that benefit the whole area.”

Be sure to download the ATSDR Dose Calculator and Brownfield and Land Reuse Site tools.

Interested in other NCEH/ATSDR resources? Visit the NCEH/ATSDR Your Health, Your Environment blog!


Posted on by

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments posted become a part of the public domain, and users are responsible for their comments. This is a moderated site and your comments will be reviewed before they are posted. Read more about our comment policy »

Page last reviewed: August 25, 2014
Page last updated: August 25, 2014