The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), an organization within the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has announced that they have received approval to offer follow up urine arsenic testing for Hayden and Winkelman residents who participated in the April 2015 testing. The ATSDR plans to offer the testing sometime between October – December 2017, but have not set any official dates.
ATSDR does plan to work with the community to possibly coordinate their testing during other community events.
ATSDR is offering this follow up arsenic testing because they need more information to determine how much arsenic participants have in their bodies when air pollution levels are typical for the community.
The smelter was shut down for maintenance during the 2015 testing, which lowered arsenic and lead in the air. ATSDR plans to communicate with ASARCO to ensure the follow up testing will occur when the plant is operating normally. The results from the first phase of testing were released several months ago, the results did not return a higher than normal level of arsenic or lead in the individuals tested.
ASARCO currently is conducting a major smelter retrofit that was ordered under a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency. The retrofit will further improve the air quality in the Hayden/Winkelman area.