NTSIP Released Its First Annual Report

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NTSIP first report

Did you know that each day, nearly the entire U.S. population is at risk for exposure from toxic substance spills? Thousands of chemicals surround us at home, work, school, or play. Chemicals have made possible advances in medicine, energy production, and digital technology. However, very little information exists about many of these chemicals and the potential threat they pose to the public when they are spilled. We need to understand more about the potential health effects of the chemicals we use every day. Enter CDC/ATSDR’s National Toxic Substances Incidents Program (NTSIP).

In 2010, ATSDR introduced NTSIP as a new program to replace its Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES). HSEES is a national system to track hazardous substance spills. NTSIP collects and combines information from many resources professionals use to develop recommendations to protect people from harm caused by spills and leaks of toxic substances. NTSIP gathers information about harmful spills into a central place. The information can also help experts when a release occurs.

NTSIP recently released its first Annual Report. This report documents the NTSIP’s inaugural year as the only system to collect information on all aspects of acute toxic incidents.

NTSIP Report Highlights

For a glimpse of the kind of information you can find in the report, read these quick highlights:

A fixed facility means not in transportation. It can be a place such as a house, park, factory, or mall.

  • 2,981 actual NTSIP incidents that occurred in seven participating states
  • 1,189 actual number of persons injured as a result
  • 48 actual number of fatalities
  • 15,245 incidents estimated to have occurred across the United States
  • 9,241 incidents estimated to have occurred in fixed facilities
  • 6,004 incidents estimated to be transportation-related.

NTSIP in Action

Here’s how NTSIP helped with an ammonia release from a refrigeration facility in Alabama:

A ruptured pipe on the roof of a refrigeration facility in Theodore, Alabama released ammonia. In August 2010, the state requested assistance from NTSIP’s Assessment of Chemical Exposures (ACE) team. This rupture exposed about 800 Deepwater Horizon (Gulf Coast oil spill) clean-up workers. The ACE team reviewed the medical charts of the 152 persons treated at hospitals and interviewed 116 workers. Based on the assessment, the team made recommendations to monitor the health of the people exposed and survey hospitals to assess the impact. Another recommendation was to assess emergency response procedures in the county.

A review of the response revealed that the neighborhoods near the refrigeration facility were not warned of the release or given instructions to leave the area. As recommended by ATSDR, the county implemented a reverse 911 system, allowing for better notification of the public in an emergency. The ACE team also arranged for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to follow the health of the exposed persons in conjunction with the Gulf Long-Term Follow-Up Study.

For more stories on ATSDR accomplishments, visit the “Your Health, Your Environment” blog.


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Page last reviewed: January 26, 2015
Page last updated: January 26, 2015