Washington, DC - CDC is seeking public comment on updating federal guidelines used by public health agencies to assess and respond to potential cancer clusters in communities. The request for comment was posted today in the Federal Register and will be available for public comment through July 15, 2019.

The current guidelines, Investigating Suspected Cancer Clusters and Responding to Community Concerns: Guidelines from CDC and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (2013 Guidelines), were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) in September 2013. The 2013 Guidelines are a tool to assist state, tribal, local, and territorial public health agencies in applying a systematic approach when responding to inquiries about suspected cancer clusters in residential or community settings.

Since publication of the 2013 Guidelines, there have been technical and scientific advancements that may be useful to public health agencies in responding to potential cancer clusters. CDC is working with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to develop updated guidelines to ensure that public health agencies and stakeholders have access to current scientific tools and approaches. CDC and ATSDR will update the 2013 Guidelines based on input from subject matter experts, public health agencies, the public, and other stakeholders. We don’t know yet know how the guidelines will change. Once written, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft guidelines.

Interested people and organizations are invited to participate by submitting written views, information, recommendations, and data. For more information and to provide comment, please visit  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/05/15/2019-09998/updating-federal-guidelines-used-by-public-health-agencies-to-assess-and-respond-to-potential-cancer.  You can also visit the CDC web site for more information on the guidelines update: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/clusters/guidelines.htm.