Fluoride Action Network

UF6: Thiessen response to ATSDR’s Assessment on fluoride releases from Oak Ridge

Source: Fluoride Action Network | Senior Scientist, Senes Oak Ridge Inc., Center for Risk Analysis
Posted on February 20th, 2009
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

On December 23, 2008, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released the following document for public comment:

Public Health Assessment for K-25 and S-50 Uranium Fluoride Releases
Oak Ridge Reservation (USDOE)
Oak Ridge, Roane County, Tennessee
EPA Facility ID: TN1890090003

On February 20, 2009, Kathleen Thiessen submitted a public comment to ATSDR that dealt with the fluoride releases.

Dr. Thiessen’s submission is the most succinct and up-to-date review of the issue of fluoride releases from the K-25 and S-50 units at the Oak Ridge Reservation.

Dr. Thiessen’s submission corrects many of the statements in ATSDR’s draft document relating to fluoride emissions. She is perhaps the most qualified individual on this issue. In her submission she states:

“… I was involved in the Oak Ridge Dose Reconstruction project that was carried out during the 1990’s to evaluate the potential effects on the off-site population of contaminants released from the Oak Ridge Reservation since the 1940s. I am also the author of an EPA document on the health effects of airborne fluorides (USEPA 1988) and one of the authors of a National Research Council report on fluoride toxicology (NRC 2006).

“In January 2001, I sent a letter to the chair of the Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee with copies to the ATSDR, pointing out that fluoride releases from the Oak Ridge Reservation had not been quantitatively assessed during the Oak Ridge Dose Reconstruction and that they needed to be quantitatively assessed…. the current ATSDR report does not address all aspects of the Oak Ridge fluoride releases, nor does it consider all of the relevant information on fluoride toxicity….”