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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can the Health Risk Assessment Program assist me if I need information about hazardous substances?
    The Health Risk Assessment program provides concise, easy-to-understand health effects information to citizens who request information.
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  • Does the Health Risk Assessment Program share information with other organizations?
    The Health Risk Assessment Program is responsible to provide toxicological evaluations of chemical hazards to NHDES’ regulatory programs and to other NH state government agencies, i.e., the Department of Agriculture and the Attorney General’s Office, for their use in risk management decisions.

    The Health Risk Assessment Program also works under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under this agreement, the Health Risk Assessment Program performs Public Health Assessments, Health Consultations and Exposure Studies.

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  • How widespread are indoor air quality problems in NH?
    According to the World Health Organization, approximately 30 percent of all office building occupants may be adversely affected by poor IAQ. In addition, a national survey of public school facilities ranked NH schools second in the nation for poor ventilation. It is unknown how many residential homes experience air quality problems.
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  • I am concerned about my family being exposed to chemicals found in areas other than industrial sites. Does the Health Risk Assessment Program publish information regarding chemicals that are known to exist in the environment?
    The Health Risk Assessment Program publishes consumption advisories for recreationally caught fish and other non-regulated food items. We also develop consumption advisories for owners of chemically contaminated drinking water wells. The Health Risk Assessment Program works closely with the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) program that investigates and consults on indoor air quality problems.
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  • What chemical contaminants does the Health Risk Assessment Program evaluate?
    The Health Risk Assessment Program conducts technical risk assessments and public health assessments of the nineteen currently classified Superfund sites in NH as well as state-designated hazardous waste sites. When requested by a citizen or local government official, the program may examine other areas of suspected contamination where there may be concern for human exposure.
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  • What is a Public Health Assessment?
    A public health assessment is the evaluation of environmental data and information related to the release of hazardous substances into the environment in order to assess past, current or future impact on public health. It provides recommendations based on environmental data and community health data, e.g., cancer incidences, asthma rates. The data are used to develop health advisories or other recommendations and identify studies or actions needed to evaluate and mitigate or prevent human health effects.

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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