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Last Edited: 9/6/2002

What is a public health assessment?

A public health assessment is a written report that reviews available information about hazardous substances at a site and evaluates whether exposure to them might cause any harm to people. A public health assessment is produced by the EHIB for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. A public health assessment report reviews sites in more detail than a health consultation. Three main types of information are contained in the public health assessment: environmental data, health data, and community concerns. In the public health assessment there will be recommendations for federal, state, and local agencies on actions needed to prevent or reduce people's exposure to hazardous substances. A public health assessment is not the same thing as a medical exam, a community health study, health consultation, risk assessment, or exposure investigation. It can sometimes result in one of those activities things, as well as other public health activities such as community environmental health education or professional health care education.