Tennessee is one of seven states to be awarded a grant from Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to begin the National Toxic Substance Incidents Program. Through this program, staff collect information on harmful materials also known as toxic substances and work to prevent the public from coming into contact with them. These materials include chemicals, radiation and naturally occurring matter that could cause harm to people or the environment.
The goals of the program are to:
(1) describe what has occurred,
(2) locate at-risk communities, and
(3) identify, develop and promote activities to prevent the public from
coming into contact with harmful materials.
Once neighborhoods are identified, program staff will perform two data-driven outreach activities: community-based risk from permitted chemical discharges; and school lab chemical cleanout campaign.
Community-based risk from permitted chemical discharges
As the population has grown in Tennessee, properties near industries have been made into neighborhoods, which increase the potential of people coming into contact with industrial areas and pollutants that are being released from these facilities. Data on the amount and types of materials being released will be entered into one database, and using a geographic information system, these communities will be identified.
The Department will work with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Environmental Assistance and local industry leaders to identify ways to lower the amount of harmful substances being released. Industry, health and regulatory agencies will set pollution reduction goals and community outreach and education programs will be held to provide the information.
School Lab Chemical Cleanout Campaign
The main goals of School Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) are to remove chemicals that may be dangerous from schools and educate teachers, and students about proper chemical management, lab safety, greener teaching options, and chemical waste disposal. TDH will partner with the SC3 program to accomplish these goals. Data from the SC3 program will be added to an existing database of Tennessee schools, including public and private elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges and universities. TDH will then track participating schools, the quantities and types of chemicals collected, as well as keep records over time.
The department will also work to improve participation among schools and assist with health education regarding chemical exposure and offer assistance risk reduction.
Learn more about School Chemical Cleanout Campaign.
For more information or to report a toxic substance release in Tennessee,
please call the Environmental Epidemiology Program at (615)741-7247
or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the ATSDR National Toxic Substance Incidents Program.