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U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
announces an open house for Elmore

For more information, contact ATSDR at --
1 (888) 422-8737, atsdric@cdc.gov (public)
(404) 498-0700, atsdrpress@cdc.gov (media)

Immediate Release: June 14, 2001

ATLANTA -- The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will host an open house session for Elmore, Ohio, and the surrounding area on Wednesday, June 27, 2001. ATSDR staff will be available to listen to community health concerns related to beryllium dust, and to discuss ATSDR's future work in the area. ATSDR was requested by U.S. Senator Mike DeWine to investigate the Brush Wellman plant in Elmore to determine whether emissions from the plant and beryllium particles carried off-site on workers clothing in the past pose a health risk to members of the community. Brush Wellman manufactures beryllium products at its Elmore plant.

The open house on June 27 will take place at the Elmore Community Center, 410 Clinton Street, in Elmore between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

The open house is not intended to be a large-scale meeting. Members of the community are invited to drop by at any time during the session to talk with ATSDR staff one-on-one about their health concerns related to beryllium. Members of the community who cannot attend the meeting can pick up information about ATSDR and its work at the (public library) in Elmore. They can also call ATSDR, toll free, to talk about their health concerns or to learn more about ATSDR's work in the area. The telephone number is 1 (888) 422-8737. Callers should ask for Peter Kowalski and refer to the Brush Wellman site in Elmore, Ohio.

The agency will use the information it gathers as it prepares a health consultation for the site. An ATSDR health consultation provides advice on specific public health issues related to actual or potential exposure to hazardous substances. ATSDR prepares about 1,000 health consultations every year. Most of the requests come from the U.S. EPA and state and local health and environmental departments.

ATSDR is the principal federal public health agency involved with hazardous waste issues. ATSDR identifies persons who might be exposed to hazardous substances in their communities, determines whether they have been harmed by their exposure, and recommends actions that need to be taken to safeguard their health and the health of their neighbors.

Community members seeking information about the open house session may contact ATSDR Environmental Health Scientist Peter Kowalski, (toll free) at 1 (888) 42-ATSDR (1 (888) 422-8737) weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. ATSDR Regional Representative Clayton Koher in Chicago, can also be called at 312 353-6086. Members of the news media are requested to make an appointment to interview ATSDR staff. Phone Mike Groutt or Kathy Skipper ATSDR Office of Policy and External Affairs at (404) 639-0501.