Love Canal started it all -- Part One. Founding an agency to protect Americans -- Part Two. Reaching communities through partnerships -- Part Three. Translating science into action -- Part Four. Working for a safer and healthier America -- Useful resources -- Acknowledgments. "The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) works to safeguard communities from chemical exposures. ATSDR investigates community exposures related to chemical sites and releases; works closely with federal, tribal, state, and local agencies to identify potential exposures; assesses associated health effects; and recommends actions to stop, prevent, or minimize these harmful effects. Many times, exposures occurred in the past and are difficult to evaluate. ATSDR scientists can estimate exposures based on previous similar situations (called modeling), test individuals in the area to determine whether exposures have occurred (biomonitoring), and use cutting-edge technology to understand these exposures. State-of-the-art assessment methods--such as news ampling techniques and cancer modeling--help ATSDR evaluate the health effect s of emerging contaminants such as perfluorochemicals. ATSDR also responds during chemical spills and other emergency events. Agency scientists quickly advise local officials about when to evacuate communities, when to allow residents to return, and how to ensure the safety of responders and medical professionals. In all of these efforts, ATSDR builds upon and strengthens the work of other health and environmental agencies and community groups. Importantly, it supports environmental justice work, which addresses disproportionate impacts on certain populations, notably low income communities and members of ethnic and racial minority groups, with implications in the social, economic, and health arenas. Such a cooperative approach helps ATSDR achieve its goal: safeguarding communities from chemical exposures." - p.