DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES______________________________________________
Public Health Service
Governor Bob Miller
Dear Governor Miller:
Thank you for your letter of February 3, 1998 requesting assistance from the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR). We appreciate your concerns about human health risks from past weapons testing and from ongoing and proposed nuclear waste disposal activities at the Nevada Test Site (NTS).
ATSDR would be pleased to provide technical assistance to the State of Nevada in your efforts to evaluate the current and future health concerns for nuclear waste materials. In order to establish the appropriate mechanisms and activities, I am asking Dr. Robert Spengler, Assistant Director for Science in our Division of Health Studies, to lead our agency response and coordinate with your point of contact. He will be pleased to meet with state officials to better understand your request and to discuss how ATSDR might assist in these important issues of public health. Dr. Spengler is working closely with the Institute of Medicine in reviewing the National Cancer Institute's recent study of radiation dose estimates from NTS iodine-131 fallout and determining public health recommendations for the exposed population. He has been our lead at the Hanford DOE site where we are conducting several public health activities in response to past radiation releases. I believe that he also met with Mr. Robert Loux, Agency for Nuclear Projects, during a site visit this past December.
Please have your lead person contact Dr. Spengler at (404) 639-6200 to help coordinate our response. If our future activities require substantive support, ATSDR's Office of Federal Programs will work with the DOE Nevada Operations Office to negotiate an interagency agreement to obtain necessary project funding.
If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate in contacting me or Dr. Spengler. Thank you.
Sincerely yours,Barry Johnson
Barry Johnson, Ph.D.