Atlanta (GA) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), has released the results of a health consultation conducted on the Delphi Energy and Engine Management Systems (Delphi) site in Fitzgerald, Georgia. This health consultation was prepared by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) under a cooperative agreement with ATSDR and is available for review at the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Library located at 123 North Main Street in Fitzgerald, Georgia or online at https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/PHA/index.asp
DPH evaluated the health impacts of potential offsite exposures to lead from Delphi and reviewed cancer data to determine if there is an association between contaminants from the site and reported cancer cases in the community. Following review of offsite soil samples, cancer incidence data from Ben Hill County, and blood-lead data for Fitzgerald, Georgia, DPH concluded that past and current exposures to lead from the former Delphi operations are unlikely. The majority of elevated blood-lead cases in Fitzgerald were from children living in older housing, where they are likely to be exposed to lead-based paint chips and dust.
The primary source of lead exposure is from older homes built before 1978. Lead exposure may cause:
- nervous system damage,
- slow growth and development,
- damaged hearing, and
- affect ability to pay attention and learn.
Children less than 6 years old and the unborn children of pregnant women are at greatest risk for those health effects.
For more information about health consultations or to learn more about lead exposure, visit the DPH’s Chemical Hazards Program website at www.dph.georgia.gov/chemical-hazards or the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program website at www.dph.georgia.gov/lead