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Acute Toxic Substance Releases

Tracking Acute Toxic Substance Release Incidents

The toxic substance release data on the Tracking Network are from the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) National Toxic Substance Incident Program (NTSIP). These data can be used to

  • track toxic substance release incidents reported by state health departments.
  • monitor trends in acute toxic substance release incidents from various areas across the United States.
  • examine patterns and trends in locations of reported toxic substance releases, types of industries and substances involved, contributing factors, and the resulting injuries and public health actions (i.e. evacuations, decontamination).

Surveillance allows for a better understanding of the causes of incidents and injures, which can help public health officials focus prevention efforts and prepare for future toxic substance emergencies.


NTSIP tracks toxic substance releases incidents reported by state health departments. An incident is defined as an acute uncontrolled or illegal release of any toxic substance which meets the minimum quantity released requirements specific to each substance.

Data are collected about the location, type of incident, type of industry and contributing factors. Specific information on injured persons is collected including age, type of injury, extent of injuries, and distance from spill.

NTSIP is the only surveillance system that tracks public health actions taken in response to an incident such as evacuations and decontamination of people exposed. It is a valuable tool for monitoring trends in acute toxic substance release incidents across the United States.

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