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​Health Assessment Program

Public Health Assessments and Health Consultations
Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education: Safe Siting Program
Child Day Care Environmental Health
Health Education Activities
Contact Us

Since 1989, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has funded the Health Assessment Program (HAP) to publish reports on toxic waste sites and other environmental health hazards in Pennsylvania under the Cooperative Agreement Program known as APPLETREE: ATSDR’s Partnership to Promote Local Efforts To Reduce Environmental Exposure. 

Public Health Assessments and Health Consultations

HAP publishes public health assessments and health consultation documents to help community members, health care professionals, private organizations and other government agencies understand the public health impact of an environmental health issue. Any of these entities can submit a request for a public health assessment or health consultation document to be prepared. Please see our page on Reporting an Environmental Health Concern for more information about the types of environmental health concerns our team evaluates, and the information we need in order to conduct an evaluation. HAP prepares three types of documents, described below.  

Letter Health Consultations (LHC): LHCs are short documents addressed to a specific person or group using a letter format. They are written in response to a specific public health issue or question (usually a single exposure pathway) that requires a focused and brief response.

Health Consultations (HC): HCs are longer documents addressed to a specific person or group using a report-style format. They are written in response to a specific public health issue or question (usually one or two exposure pathways) that requires a more thorough review of data. HAP reaches a public health conclusion based upon site-specific data including chemical, physical and health outcome data.

Public Health Assessments (PHA): PHAs are similar to health consultations except that they may consider multiple exposure pathways and therefore are more comprehensive, longer documents. They are always released for public comment and include a response to comments received.

All types of health consultation documents can be ATSDR-certified or state-released. A certified document is one that has been formally reviewed by ATSDR. A state-released document is one that may have been written with contributions from ATSDR but has not been revised or edited by ATSDR before publication by HAP. 


Recently Released Documents: 


State-Released Documents:

​Site Name / Topic​Type​Town / CityCounty​​Date
Barefoot Disposal Site: Vapor Intrusion​​LHC​Hollidaysburg​Blair​09/19/16
​Barefoot Disposal Site: Private Wells​LHCHollidaysburg​Blair​05/14/13
Bruce Mansfield Power Plant​​HC​Shippingport​Beaver​04/22/11
​Chem Fab: Cancer Data Review​LHC​Doylestown​Bucks​03/11/13
​Chestnut Valley Landfill​LHC​McClellandtown​Fayette​02/07/14
​Daleville Groundwater Contamination​LHC​Daleville​Lackawanna​11/25/14
​Eastwick Cancer Incidence Analysis​LHC​Philadelphia​Philadelphia​02/16/12
​Elk Lake: OP-FTIR Data Review​LHC​Springville/Kingsly​Susquehanna​09/22/17
​Glasgow Ambient Air​LHC​Glasgow​Beaver​08/25/16
​Lower Darby Creek Area: City Park Soil ​LHC​Philadelphia​Philadelphia​02/20/13
​Monessen Ambient AirLHC​​Monessen​Washington​04/15/15
​Passyunk Soil Gas Site​LHC​Philadelphia​Philadelphia​05/17/13
Passyunk Soil Gas Site​LHC​Philadelphia​Philadelphia​01/09/18
Pittston Cancer Incidence Analysis​HC​Pittston​Luzerne​02/29/12
​Precision National Plating Site​LHC​Clarks Summit
​Lackawanna​11/08/11
Price Battery Site​PHA​Hamburg​Berks​03/20/12
Tervita Landfill​LHC​Rostraver​Westmoreland04/26/13​
​Tobyhanna Cancer Data Review​LHC​Tobyhanna​Monroe​03/13/13
​Toxic Metals
​LHCBath Borough
Northampton​07/30/18
Additional Links:

ATSDR-Certified Documents

Fact Sheets
Keystone Sanitary Landfill Health Consultation
BoRit Asbestos

Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education: A Safe Siting Program

The Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education (CSPECE) initiative helps to ensure that new child care centers are located in healthy environments. Pennsylvania has a rich industrial history with numerous properties that have been contaminated by past or current industrial use. Some of these properties have been remediated while others remain as a possible source of environmental contamination to child care centers. This can put staff and especially children – who are more sensitive to the effects of chemicals – at risk of health problems. CSPECE is designed to identify and evaluate potentially contaminated sites before new child care centers open nearby or within an area of contamination, thereby preventing harmful exposures. Naturally occurring environmental hazards, such as radon in indoor air, are also considered as part of this initiative.

HAP and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) have been partnering on a safe siting program for child care facilities in Pennsylvania since 2014, formerly known as Healthy & Green. In 2017, the CSPECE initiative became a component of the federally funded APPLETREE program.

Safe Siting Survey

To initiate safe siting activities, owners and operators of future early child care and education facilities can fill out the environmental health survey as soon as they have a location in mind. The survey asks for the physical address of the facility, its proximity to polluting industries such as hazardous waste sites and dry cleaners, the past use of the property or neighboring properties, and other questions aimed at identifying environmental health hazards. HAP then uses the provider’s survey responses and GIS mapping to compare their location to a geodatabase of known environmental health hazards in Pennsylvania.

Initiating safe siting activities early will ensure environmental health hazards are identified prior to child care providers being granted a certificate of occupancy or license to operate, making it easier for providers to pursue environmental remediation or to choose another location for their child care facility. OCDEL also directs newly licensed child care providers to complete DOH’s voluntary environmental health survey.

Health Education Activities

HAP provides community members, health care providers and other professionals with community environmental health education products to increase environmental health literacy. These products include information about specific types of exposures to hazardous substances, exposure routes and pathways, health effects, treatment options and how to prevent or minimize exposures to hazardous substances in the environment.

HAP’s health education activities also include participating in and hosting interactive educational events that provide community members with opportunities to talk directly with health educators and learn more about the environmental health issues that are most important to them.

Additional Links:
ATSDR Environmental Health Education: Resources for the Public