Listening, Responding, & Taking Action

Involving the community and collaborating with its members are cornerstones of work to improve public health. ATSDR values the voices and participation of community members as part of the process of addressing their environmental health concerns. We actively listen to communities to receive firsthand knowledge for understanding their concerns. We then identify environmental hazards, recommend actions to reduce environmental exposures, respond to questions about exposures, and build capacity of state, tribal, and local health partners to continue the work forward.

ATSDR works to collect and analyze data to deliver evidence-based findings that address communities’ concerns and offers tools and recommendations the community can use to reduce their exposure and protect their health.

In the stories below, witness how ATSDR supports PEHSUs to safeguard the health and well-being of children and families; how we collaborated with the Penobscot Indian Nation to understand the levels of hazardous substance exposure in one of their significant food sources and offered recommendations for reducing exposure; and how we use science and the petition process to empower and protect communities.