ATSDR Mission, Vision, and Impact


Most trusted Agency protecting American communities from environmental health threats through application of state-of-the-art science


ATSDR protects communities from harmful health effects related to exposure to natural and man-made hazardous substances. We do this by responding to environmental health emergencies; investigating emerging environmental health threats; conducting research on the health impacts of hazardous waste sites; and building capabilities of and providing actionable guidance to state and local health partners.


Reduce morbidity and mortality related to exposure to natural and man-made toxic substances.

Core Values

Accountability — As diligent stewards of the funds entrusted to our agency, we act decisively and compassionately in service to people’s health. We ensure that our research and our services are based on sound science to meet real public needs and achieve our public health goals.

Collaboration — We share a common purpose. We work cooperatively to leverage our resources and efficiently achieve our goals. We cannot achieve our vision by acting alone. Partnerships within CDC/ATSDR and with states, territories, localities, tribes, academic institutions, and other organizations are essential.

Innovation — We encourage creativity and innovative thinking to advance public health practice and science. We provide national leadership as we focus on improvements and solutions to the most important environmental health problems.

Equity — We are committed to ensuring a healthy environment for all Americans. We recognize that some among us can be more vulnerable to risks from poor environmental conditions, disproportionate amounts of contamination or exposures, and also may not have fully equitable access to environmental benefits. We are committed to protecting these potentially vulnerable populations.

Integrity — We are honest and ethical in all we do. We will do what we say. We prize scientific integrity and professional excellence.

Respect — We respect and understand our interdependence with all people, both inside NCEH/ ATSDR and throughout the world, treating them and their contributions with dignity and valuing individual and cultural diversity. We are committed to achieving a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization.

ATSDR Priorities

In addition to the goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan, NCEH/ATSDR aims to focus on four topical priority areas: asthma, children’s health, safe drinking water, and innovative laboratory methods. The priorities and related actions were developed through a collaborative process. Each priority maps to multiple objectives in the strategic plan. Priorities are intended to be shorter term than the strategic plan and may be updated in 1-2 years.

NCEH/ATSDR Priorities pdf icon[PDF – 445 KB]

Page last reviewed: April 28, 2017