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ORAU Begins Sign-up Process for Medical Toxicology Evaluations for Those Affected by the Fly Ash Spill

More than 100 Kingston, Roane County Residents have Pre-Registered via Phone or Internet

Aug. 24, 2009

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)—in partnership with The Tennessee Poison Center of Vanderbilt University Medical Center—is conducting medical toxicology evaluations for residents who are concerned they have been affected by the Kingston fly ash spill. With more than 100 Kingston and Roane County residents already pre-registered via phone or the Internet, other area residents who are concerned about exposure to the fly ash are encouraged to set up an appointment for a personal evaluation by a medical toxicologist. There will be no charge to Roane County residents for this medical evaluation.

Individuals can sign-up online at, and those without Internet access can call ORAU at (865) 576-3115 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to speak directly to an ORAU representative. Sign up cards are also available at locations around Roane County including the libraries and the Health Department.

Upon submitting information, an ORAU representative will call the resident and conduct a one-on-one interview, which will then be reviewed by physician medical toxicology experts from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Following the physician's review, the ORAU representative will call the resident and schedule an appointment to obtain blood and/or urine for specialized testing, and to provide directions to the local clinic where these tests will be obtained.

“We're planning to work with local physicians and local clinics in order to make this process as easy as possible on the affected residents,” said Dr. Donna Cragle, ORAU Director of Occupational Exposure and Worker Health Programs.

When the lab tests results are returned, ORAU will call the individual to schedule a medical evaluation and examination by a physician medical toxicologist. At the time of the evaluation, the physician will discuss results of the laboratory tests with the individual. For the convenience of the residents, ORAU will once again arrange for the evaluations to occur at a local clinic. Vanderbilt medical toxicologists will travel to the designated clinic.

All patient results will remain confidential and will only be released to the individual receiving the examination. Once the screenings have been completed for the people who sign up, the findings will be made public through a comprehensive report that is stripped of any personally identifiable information.

In addition to screenings, knowing what questions residents may have about potential hazards, the medical screening process, and other health topics are of particular interest to ORAU. Individuals can pick up an “inquiry form” at the Roane County Libraries, TVA Outreach Center/EPA Education Center or at the Roane County Health Department and submit their questions to ORAU, to be included in an online list of frequently asked questions. Answers will also be available at the resource center. Questions can also be emailed to

While the costs of this program are being charged to TVA, the assessments are being conducted independently. No confidential information will be released to TVA or any other entity other than the individual receiving the examination.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146
Cell: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Work: 865.576.0028
Cell: 865.207.7953