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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MUNISPORT LANDFILL
NORTH MIAMI, DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

In this section, we review the environmental data. We judge the adequacy of the sampling, selectcontaminants of concern, and list the maximum concentration and frequency of detection of thesecontaminants. We then compare the maximum concentration found to background levels and tostandard comparison values. We discuss on-site contamination first and off-site contaminationsecond.

We reviewed the environmental sampling data collected at this site since 1975 and selected thefollowing contaminants of concern:

ammonia chloromethane pentachlorophenol
benzene coliform bacteria polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate dieldrin styrene
cadmium lead vanadium
carbon disulfide methylene chloride zinc

We selected these contaminants based on the following factors:

1. Concentrations of contaminants on and off the site.
2. Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design.
3. Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with health assessment comparison values for carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic endpoints.
4. Community health concerns.

Identification of a contaminant of concern in this section does not necessarily mean that exposurewill cause adverse health effects. Identification serves to narrow the focus of the public healthassessment to those contaminants most important to public health. When selected as acontaminant of concern in one medium, we also report that contaminant in all other media. Weevaluate these contaminants in subsequent sections and determine whether exposure has publichealth significance.

In addition to the contaminants of concern listed above, the following chemicals were detected inthe ground water at concentrations above selection guidelines:

arsenic chlordane molybdenum
barium chromium nickel
beta-BHC manganese strontium

We eliminated these chemicals from further consideration, however, because ground water is nota likely past, current, or future human exposure pathway. See the Pathways Analyses section for details. Appendix B contains a list of 28 chemicals found in various media at this site that lack sufficient toxicological data to determine their public health significance.

To identify industrial facilities that could contribute to the contamination near the MunisportLandfill site, we searched the 1987, 1988, and 1989 EPA Toxic Chemical Release Inventory(TRI) data base. EPA developed TRI from the chemical release information (air, water, and soil)provided by certain industries. Two industrial facilities in the Munisport Landfill area (33181 zipcode) reported releases. Only the Magnum Marine Corporation marina, 14100 BiscayneBoulevard, reported releases of site-related contaminants of concern. Magnum MarineCorporation reported non-point air releases of 2,600 pounds of styrene in 1988 and 12,000pounds in 1989.

Four facilities within 0.5 mile of the site have requested reimbursement from the Florida DER forcleanup of leaking underground petroleum storage tanks. Dade County DERM reports groundwater at three of these facilities is, or has been, contaminated with petroleum products: DadeCounty Water and Sewer Authority, 2575 N.E. 151st St.; Phillips 66, 14200 Biscayne Blvd.; andFlorida International University, 3000 N.E. 145th St. No ground water contamination has beendiscovered at Rinker Materials, 2001 N.E. 146th St.

In this assessment, the contamination that exists on the site will be discussed first, separatelyfrom the contamination that occurs off the site. "On site" is defined as the area within theMunisport Landfill property boundary (Figure 3, Appendix A). This includes all land within thedike, whether or not it was used for the landfill. "On-site" also includes the small section of landbetween N.E. 135th St. and Biscayne Bay but excludes the State of Florida Mangrove Preserve. This definition of "on-site" is consistent with past site descriptions.

In the following subsections we discuss contamination by media: landfill leachate, soil, surfacewater, sediments, ground water, air, and biota. Summary tables for the contaminants of concernin each medium are located in Appendix C. These summary tables list the maximumconcentrations found, frequency of detection, and background and comparison values.

A. On-site Contamination

We compiled data in this subsection from City of North Miami, Dade County Department ofEnvironmental Resource Management (DERM), Florida Department of EnvironmentalRegulation (DER), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigations.

On-Site Landfill Leachate

In 1980, EPA collected one grab sample from a leachate outbreak near the north end of thenorthwest lake (5). Because the leachate outbreaks were sporadic, EPA was unable to collectadditional samples. Leachate is the liquid that has passed through landfill material and usuallycontains dissolved chemicals and suspended solids. EPA found elevated levels of some metalsand volatile organic chemicals in the leachate. Of the metals, only the concentration of lead wasabove its comparison value (Table 1, Appendix C). EPA did not analyze the leachate forextractable chemicals, pesticides, or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Without additionalsamples, we do not know if this sample is representative of the landfill leachate.

On-Site Soil

In 1984, EPA collected two soil samples from the landfill along the north lake and inside the dikenear the southeast lake (Figure 3, Appendix A) (6). In 1988, EPA collected 23 more on-site soilsamples and 2 off-site background samples (7). Figures 5-7 (Appendix A) show the locations ofthese soil samples, and Table 2 (Appendix C) reports the contaminants of concern and theirmaximum concentrations. We considered soil samples BK-1 (Biscayne Blvd. near the drive-intheater) and BK-2 (Biscayne Blvd. at N.E. 151st St.) as representative of background soil quality.

Although volatile organic chemicals, such as benzene were not detected, a few on-site soilsamples contained di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, dieldrin, pentachlorophenol, and PCBs. Lead wasfound in most (18 of 25) soil samples taken on the site. Lead concentrations ranged from "notdetected" to 87 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). Although the on-site soil lead concentrationswere less than the background samples (110 and 180 mg/kg), the background samples are notrepresentative of Florida soils. The lead concentration of most Florida soils is less than 10 mg/kg(8). The two background samples were collected along Biscayne Boulevard, a heavily traveledroad likely to have high soil lead levels from deposition of leaded automobile exhaust.

Because the number of soil/fill samples is limited, we cannot determine the extent ofcontamination in the landfill portion of the site. Cover soil sampling on the landfill portion ofthe site (10 cover soil samples from 170 acres; 1 sample every 17 acres) is inadequate to fullycharacterize the extent of contamination. The fill material has not been sampled. Additionalchemicals may be discovered and the concentrations of chemicals previously detected in thecover soil may be higher. As stated in the 1988 EPA remedial investigation report, "...limitedsoil sampling was conducted at the Munisport Landfill Site. There was no attempt to thoroughlycharacterize the soils in the landfill..." This report goes on to explain that no samples were takenfrom the fill material itself, only the cover soil, 0-1 foot deep (7). Thorough soil/fill sampling isespecially important because of reports of hazardous waste disposal at this site. Nearby residentsreport the landfill operated 24 hours per day with little supervision. In 1976 Dade CountyDERM discovered 12 drums of liquid chemicals on the site. Recently a truck driver reporteddelivering drums and buckets of waste solvents to this site from a nearby boat manufacturingfacility. The lack of thorough soil/fill sampling on the landfill portion of this site is a significantdata gap.

Fifty surface soil samples (0 to 3 inches deep) and sixty fill material samples (5 to 10 feet deep)from the landfill portion of this site will be necessary to fully characterize the extent ofcontamination. This is based on an average one sample for every three acres of landfill (170acres/3 = 57; minus 10 surface samples already collected = 47). The surface soil samples (0 to 3inches deep) are necessary to identify the contaminants to which humans may be exposed if thevegetation is removed. Fill material samples (5 to 10 feet deep) are necessary to identify thecontaminants to which humans may be exposed if the landfill material is uncovered.

On-Site Surface Water

Between 1975 and 1982, Florida DER and Dade County DERM analyzed 36 water samples fromthe eight on-site lakes. They also analyzed water samples from inside the dike and the culverts(9). In 1984, EPA analyzed 12 water samples from the on-site lakes (6). In 1988, EPA again sampled the water from the on-site lakes. They also took four water samples from inside the dike and two at the culverts (7). Figures 8 and 9 (Appendix A) show the locations of these surfacewater samples, and Table 3 (Appendix C) reports the contaminants of concern and maximumconcentrations. Analyses detected ammonia and coliform bacteria in most water samples, carbondisulfide and zinc in some, and other contaminants of concern in few or none. Thebacteriological quality of the on-site lakes has not been tested since 1982. There is no on-sitebackground surface water with which to compare these concentrations. For this public healthassessment, these samples adequately characterize the on-site surface water quality. Up-to-datesampling is needed, however, to determine current bacterial contamination in the on-site lakes.

On-Site Sediments

In 1984, EPA analyzed 12 sediment samples from the on-site lakes (6). In 1988, EPA analyzedfour additional sediment samples from these lakes and two from the culverts (7). Figures 8 and 9(Appendix A) show the locations of these sediment samples and Table 4 (Appendix C) reportsthe contaminants of concern and maximum concentrations. Analyses detected ammonia,vanadium, and zinc in most sediment samples; lead and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) weredetected in only a few. Other contaminants of concern were not detected. There are no on-sitebackground sediments with which to compare these concentrations. For this public healthassessment, these samples adequately characterize on-site sediment quality.

On-Site Ground Water

From 1975 to 1980, Florida DER and Dade County DERM analyzed ground water from six on-site monitor wells (Figure 10, Appendix A) (9). In 1984, EPA analyzed ground water from thesewells and one new well (5). In 1987, the City of North Miami and the Florida DER analyzed theammonia concentrations in ground water from five new on-site monitor wells (Figure 11, Appendix A) (10). In 1988, EPA analyzed ground water from 17 new on-site monitor wells(Figure 12, Appendix A) (7). We compiled analytical results for the contaminants of concern in Table 5 (Appendix C). Analyses detected ammonia in most ground water samples; coliformbacteria, lead, vanadium, and zinc in some; and other contaminants of concern in few or none. For this public health assessment, these samples adequately characterize on-site ground waterquality.

We used ground water analyses from monitor wells #TW-1 (near the Biscayne Blvd. siteentrance) and #MW-11A+B (about 1,000 feet west of the Biscayne Blvd. site entrance) asrepresentative of background ground water quality.

On-Site Air

On April 10 and 11, 1990, EPA collected eight on-site air samples using Summa canisters andcarbon tubes (11). This sampling was in response to complaints from nearby residents of smokefrom a fire at the landfill. A fire started in the landfill material early in March 1990 anddiminished by early April. Samples were taken directly from smoking vents in the landfill andalso downwind (west) of the fire (Figure 13, Appendix A). The results (Table 6, Appendix C)show high concentrations of benzene in the smoke from the fire. Concentrations of benzene inthe downwind sample were 100 times lower. EPA did not analyze the air samples for metals,bacteria, particulates, or extractable chemicals. EPA did not sample the background air qualityfor comparison.

Since EPA was unable to take air samples at the peak of the fire, these results are notrepresentative of maximum air contaminant concentrations.

B. Off-site Contamination

"Off site" is defined as the area outside the Munisport landfill property boundary (Figure 3, Appendix A). We compiled data in this subsection from City of North Miami, Dade CountyDepartment of Environmental Resource Management (DERM), Florida Department ofEnvironmental Regulation (DER), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigations. These agencies collected ground water, surface water, sediment, and biota (fish and oysters) fromthe adjacent mangrove preserve, Biscayne Bay, and Oleta River.

Off-Site Surface Soil

No off-site soil samples have been collected. We do not believe off-site surface soil sampling isnecessary since there have been no reports or evidence of off-site disposal. Also, there have beenno reports or evidence of significant transport of site contaminants to off-site surface soils. Stormwater run-off from the site has been mostly through the mangrove preserve where EPA hascollected sediment samples.

Off-Site Surface Water

Between 1975 and 1982, Florida DER and Dade County DERM analyzed surface water samplesfrom an off-site canal (9). In 1988, EPA analyzed four water samples from outside the dike, fivefrom the canal south of the site, three from Biscayne Bay near the site, eight from the OletaRiver, and one from the lagoon east of the site (7). In 1989, EPA analyzed five water samplesfrom the mangrove preserve southeast of the site (12). Figures 9 and 14 (Appendix A) show thelocations of these surface water samples and Table 7 (Appendix C) reports the contaminants ofconcern and maximum concentrations. Although impacted by nearby discharges, we usedsurface water samples #OR-6 (Oleta River north of North Miami Beach Boulevard), DC-1(Dania Creek culvert), BP-1 (Black Point Creek), and BC (Biscayne Creek) as representative ofoff-site background surface water quality.

Analyses detected vanadium and coliform bacteria in most surface water samples, ammonia andcarbon disulfide in some, and other contaminants of concern in few or none. The concentrationof vanadium in the background sample was slightly greater than the maximum concentration inany other off-site samples. For this public health assessment, these samples adequatelycharacterize off-site surface water quality.

Off-Site Sediments

In 1984, EPA analyzed one sediment grab sample from the mangrove preserve southeast of thesite (6). In 1988, EPA analyzed four sediment grab samples from the mangrove preserve andfive from the Oleta River (7). In 1989, EPA analyzed six additional sediment grab samples fromthe mangrove preserve (9). Figures 9 and 14 (Appendix A) show the locations of these samples, and Table 8 (Appendix C) reports the contaminants of concern and maximum concentrations. Analyses detected ammonia, vanadium, and zinc in most samples; lead in some; and othercontaminants of concern in few or none. For this public health assessment, these samplesadequately characterize off-site sediment quality.

We used sediment sample #OR-6 (Oleta River north of North Miami Beach Boulevard) and thesix regional sediment samples from the 1989 EPA Water Quality and Toxic Assessment Study(12) as representative of background sediment quality.

Off-Site Ground Water

From 1975 to 1980, Florida DER and Dade County DERM analyzed ground water from six off-site monitor wells (9). In 1984, EPA analyzed ground water from three new wells (6). In 1988,EPA analyzed ground water from 10 new off-site monitor wells (7). Figures 10 and 12(Appendix A) show the locations of these wells. We compiled analytical results for thecontaminants of concern in Table 9 (Appendix C). Analyses detected ammonia in all groundwater samples, lead and zinc in some, and other contaminants of concern in few or none. Forthis public health assessment, these samples adequately characterize off-site ground waterquality.

We used ground water analyses from monitor wells #TW-1 (near the Biscayne Blvd. siteentrance) and #MW-11A+B (about 1,000 feet west of the Biscayne Blvd. site entrance) asrepresentative of background ground water quality.

Off-Site Biota

In 1987 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collected eight fish and oyster samples from the Statemangrove preserve and Biscayne Bay near the site. For comparison, they also collected six fishand oyster samples from areas of Biscayne Bay distant from the site. EPA analyzed thesesamples for metals, pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (7). Figures 15-18(Appendix A) show the sampling locations and Table 10 (Appendix C) summarizes themaximum concentrations of the contaminants of concern. Analyses identified zinc and PCBs inboth fish and oysters near the site and at background locations away from the site. From thepattern of fish and oyster contamination, it does not appear that this site is the source of PCBs inBiscayne Bay. Additional samples are necessary to determine the extent of PCB contaminationof fish, oyster, and other aquatic life in Biscayne Bay and the resulting threat to public health.

Off-Site Air

There are no air quality data for Highland Village mobile home park or other neighborhoods nearthe site. There are no air quality data on dust when the landfill was in operation. Since on-siteair monitoring occurred after the 1990 landfill fire had subsided, we cannot determine themaximum off-site air concentrations. The site is now heavily vegetated, and off-site migration ofcontaminated dust is unlikely. Any future remediation, construction, or development thatremoves vegetation or uncovers the landfill material, however, may generate contaminated dust.

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

EPA confirmed that their analytical data underwent a formal quality assurance and qualitycontrol validation. We could not review this data review summary since it has already beenarchived. We assumed that estimated data (J) and presumptive data (N) were valid. Thisassumption errs on the side of public health by assuming that a contaminant exists when actuallyit may not exist. Florida DER and Dade County DERM did not perform formal data reviews onthe samples they collected. We assume these data are valid, however, since environmentalsamples were collected and analyzed by state agencies or their contractors.

In preparing this public health assessment, we relied on the information provided by theseagencies and assumed that adequate quality assurance and quality control measures werefollowed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. The validityof the analysis and conclusions drawn for this public health assessment are determined by thecompleteness and reliability of the referenced information.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

A 30-foot high mound of soil exists in the middle of the landfill. Although it is covered withvegetation, a 10-foot cliff where the soil has eroded could be a physical hazard to children whoplay on it. Dense undergrowth along the southwest site boundary next to the Highlands Villagemobile home park harbors snakes, scorpions, and spiders that may threaten the health of theseresidents. These animals are not related to site contamination but are native to this area andthrive in the dense undergrowth.

As described in the previous section, prior to 1982 Florida DER and Dade County DERM foundhigh levels of coliform bacteria in the on-site lakes. Children swimming in these lakes were atrisk of infections such as hepatitis, meningitis, and gastroenteritis. The bacteriological quality ofthese lakes, however, has not been tested since 1982.

PATHWAYS ANALYSES

To determine whether nearby residents are exposed to contaminants migrating from the site, weevaluate the environmental and human components of exposure pathways. Exposure pathwaysconsist of five elements: a source of contamination, transport through an environmental medium,a point of exposure, a route of human exposure, and an exposed population.

We categorize exposure pathways as either completed or potential. For completed pathways, allfive elements exist and exposure to a contaminant has occurred, is occurring, or will occur. Forpotential pathways, at least one of the five elements is missing, but could exist: exposure couldhave occurred, could be occurring, or could occur in the future. An exposure pathway iseliminated if at least one of the five elements is missing and will never be present.

Table 11 (Appendix C) identifies the completed exposure pathways and Table 12 (Appendix C)identifies the potential exposure pathways. Only those pathways that are important and relevantto this site are discussed in detail.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

Soil Pathway

Contaminated landfill soil/fill is a source, medium, and point of exposure for past, present, andfuture exposures (Table 11, Appendix C). There is ample evidence to support residents'assertions that children play and ride bicycles/motorbikes on the site. These children (numberunknown) are the receptor population exposed to contaminated surface soil via skin contact andincidental ingestion.

Surface Water Pathway

Contaminated surface water in the on-site lakes is a medium and point of exposure for past,current, and future exposures (Table 11, Appendix C). Surface water contamination most likelyoriginated in the landfill contents and leached into the adjacent lakes. Residents report thatchildren (number unknown) swim in these lakes. Exposure occurs during swimming via skinabsorption and incidental ingestion of the water.

Fish and Oyster Pathway

Ingestion of fish and oysters from Biscayne Bay is a past, current, and future exposure pathway(Table 11, Appendix C). The concentrations of PCBs in the fish and oysters collected near thesite were similar to the concentrations collected from other distant areas of Biscayne Bay. Thispattern suggests this site is not the source of PCBs in Biscayne Bay. Given its close proximity toa large urban area, there are many possible sources of the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)found in the fish and oysters of Biscayne Bay. PCBs are adsorbed to particulate matter andcarried from upland areas to the bay suspended in surface water or stormwater run-off. Fish andoysters then accumulate PCBs from particulates in the water. People who eat these contaminatedfish and oysters are exposed via ingestion. Sport and subsistence fishing occurs in Biscayne Bay. Although, Biscayne Bay is closed to commercial oyster harvesting, the Dade County PublicHealth Unit reports unregulated private oyster harvesting and consumption. The number ofpeople who eat fish and oysters from Biscayne Bay is unknown.

Air Pathway

Inhalation of contaminated dust is a past and future air exposure pathway (Table 11, Appendix C). Contaminated soils and fill material are sources of contaminated dust. Contaminated dust,generated by heavy machinery during landfill operations and by dirt bikes after the landfillclosed, may have been carried by winds to the Highlands Village mobile home park. Approximately 1,500 residents of Highland Village mobile home park may have been exposedby inhalation. We cannot evaluate this pathway, however, since airborne dust was not tested. Currently, generation of dust from the landfill is unlikely due to the heavy vegetative cover. Future exposure is possible if the vegetation is cleared and the site is remediated or developed.

Inhalation of contaminated smoke is a past and future air exposure pathway (Table 11, Appendix C). The landfill material that caught fire in 1990 was the source of airborne contamination. Theresidents of Highland Village mobile home park (approximately 1,500) reported inhalationexposure to heavy black smoke. We cannot fully evaluate this pathway, however, since EPA wasunable to mobilize an air sampling team in time to collect air samples before the fire subsided. Future exposure is possible if the landfill burns again.

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

Stormwater Run-off Pathway

Skin contact with contaminated stormwater run-off is a potential past and future exposurepathway for approximately 500 (one-third of the total) residents of Highland Village (Table 12, Appendix C). Occasionally, heavy rains cause the southeast landfill lake to overflow and floodthe eastern third of Highland Village. On average, these rains may occur once every 2-3 yearsand leave standing water for 2 to 3 days. We can only classify this exposure as potential sincethe stormwater run-off has not been sampled.

Landfill Leachate Pathway

Skin contact with the leachate from the landfill was a potential past exposure pathway for anunknown number of site trespassers (Table 12, Appendix C). Before the landfill closed, EPAfound leachate flowing from the landfill material into one of the on-site lakes. We can onlyclassify this exposure as potential since we do not know if site trespassers came in contact withthis leachate.

Soil Pathway

Incidental ingestion and skin contact with contaminated soil is a potential pathway for future siteworkers (Table 12, Appendix C). Contaminated soil would be the source, medium, and point ofexposure. Incidental ingestion and skin contact would be the routes of exposure and remedialworkers would be the exposed population. This is a potential pathway, however, since exposuremay or may not occur.

Soil Gas Pathway

Inhalation of gases from the landfill is a future potential pathway for residents of HighlandVillage mobile home park (Table 12, Appendix C). If significant areas of the landfill adjacent tothe Highland Village mobile home park are paved, landfill gases that currently migrate upwardand dissipate may migrate latterly into Highland Village. Landfill material would be the source,air the medium, and houses in Highland Village the point of exposure. Inhalation would be theroute of exposure and the residents of Highland Village the potentially exposed population. Wecategorize this pathway as future potential since exposure may or may not occur in the future.

C. Eliminated Pathways

Past, present, or future human exposure to the contaminated ground water at this site is unlikely. In Dade County, ground water near Biscayne Bay is not potable due to saltwater intrusion. Before Munisport began landfill operations in 1974, drinking water and irrigation wells near theBay were abandoned due to saltwater intrusion. Although there have been reports of private welluse in this area as late as 1985, most homes and businesses are supplied with municipal waterfrom wells further inland. Currently there are no plans to use ground water in this area. It isunlikely that contamination from this site will migrate inland since regional ground water flow istoward Biscayne Bay. Since human exposure to the contaminated ground water is unlikely, wewill not discuss it in the remainder of this assessment.

Past, present, or future human exposure to the contaminated sediments is also unlikely since theyremain covered with water and unavailable for skin absorption or incidental ingestion.

PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

In this section we discuss the health effects on persons exposed to specific contaminants,evaluate state health databases, and address specific community health concerns.

A. Toxicological Evaluation

Introduction

To evaluate health effects, ATSDR develops Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) for contaminantscommonly found at hazardous waste sites. An MRL is an estimate of daily human exposure to acontaminant below which non-cancer, adverse health effects are unlikely to occur. ATSDRdevelops MRLs for each route of exposure: skin absorption, ingestion, and inhalation; and forvarious lengths of exposure: acute (less than 14 days), intermediate (15 to 364 days), and chronic(greater than 365 days). ATSDR presents these MRLs in chemical-specific toxicologicalprofiles. These profiles provide information on health effects, environmental transport, humanexposure, and regulatory status. In the following discussion, we use the ATSDR toxicologicalprofiles for ammonia, benzene, di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, cadmium, carbon disulfide,chloromethane, lead, methylene chloride, pentachlorophenol, PCBs, styrene, vanadium, and zinc. When ATSDR MRLs are unavailable, we use the EPA Reference Dose (RfD). RfDs areestimates of daily human exposure that are unlikely to cause adverse health effects over a lifetimeof exposure.

In this section, we use the following standard assumptions to estimate human exposure fromincidental ingestion of contaminated soil, incidental ingestion of contaminated water (duringswimming), and ingestion of contaminated fish and oysters.

To estimate exposure from incidental ingestion of contaminated soil, we assume: 1) childrenbetween the ages of 1 and 6 ingest an average of 200 milligrams (mg) of soil per day, 2) thesechildren weigh about 10 kilograms (kg), and 3) they ingested soil on the landfill at the maximumconcentration measured for each contaminant.

To estimate exposure from incidental ingestion of contaminated surface water during swimmingin the on-site lakes, we assume: 1) children between the ages of 6 and 18 swim in the on-sitelakes, 2) they ingest 0.05 liters of water per hour during swimming, 3) each swimming event lasts1 hour, 4) they swim 72 times per year (3 times/week and 24 week/year), 5) the average weight is35 kilograms (kg), and 6) they were exposed to the maximum concentration measured for eachcontaminant.

To estimate exposure from ingestion of contaminated fish and oysters, we assume: 1)recreational fishermen eat about 66 grams (g) of fish and oysters from Biscayne Bay per day, 2)these fishermen weigh about 70 kilograms (kg), and 3) they eat fish or oysters at the maximumconcentration measured for each contaminant. The fish and oyster consumption rate of 66 g/dayis based on an estimate by Pao et al. (13) of 132 grams per day (the 95th percentile daily intakeaveraged over three days for consumers of fin fish) multiplied by 50% (an estimate of thepercentage of a individual's total fish consumption that comes from Biscayne Bay).

Ammonia

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to ammonia via incidental ingestion of the soil. They may also have been exposed to ammonia via incidental ingestion of the surface water whenswimming in the on-site lakes. These exposures, however, are unlikely to cause adverse healtheffects.

The estimated daily dose of ammonia from incidental ingestion of contaminated soil is less thanthe ATSDR intermediate Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (14). A chronic MRL is not available forcomparison. Ammonia has not been identified as causing cancer. Therefore, for exposures ofless than a year, incidental ingestion of ammonia contaminated soil at this site is unlikely tocause adverse health effects. Adverse health effects from exposure to ammonia from these soilsvia skin absorption is also unlikely since skin absorption is insignificant compared to ingestion.

The estimated daily dose of ammonia from incidental ingestion of contaminated water (duringswimming) is less than the ATSDR intermediate Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (14). A chronicMRL is not available for comparison. Ammonia has not been identified as causing cancer. Therefore, for exposures of less than a year, incidental ingestion of ammonia contaminatedsurface water when swimming in the on-site lakes is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Adverse health effects from exposure to ammonia from this water via skin absorption are alsounlikely since skin absorption is insignificant compared to ingestion.

Even though children 1 to 6 years old are unlikely to swim in these lakes and children 6 to 18years old are less likely to ingest soil, a combination of the estimated doses for both of the aboveroutes of exposure would not exceed the MRL. That is, children exposed to ammonia at this siteby both incidental ingestion of contaminated soil and ingestion of contaminated water duringswimming, are unlikely to suffer ill health effects.

Although EPA did not analyze any biota samples for ammonia, ammonia does not bioaccumulatein fish and oysters. EPA did not analyze the air samples for ammonia. Although EPA did notanalyze the landfill leachate sample for ammonia and has not analyzed any stormwater samples,we consider skin absorption from these two sources insignificant.

Benzene

Although EPA measured benzene in the smoke coming from the landfill, we cannot evaluate thepublic health threat for two reasons. First, EPA was unable to mobilize an air sampling teambefore the fire subsided. The benzene concentrations at the peak of the fire may have beenhigher. Second, EPA collected the air samples at the landfill, not in the nearby residentialneighborhoods where human exposure occurred. We do not know how much the benzene in thesmoke was diluted before it reached these residents. In 1990 and 1991 memos, ATSDRconcluded that the measured benzene concentrations were unlikely to have caused health effectsin nearby residents. ATSDR failed, however, to address the fact that these measurements weretaken weeks after the fire subsided.

The maximum benzene concentration measured in the smoke directly from the landfill exceedsthe draft ATSDR acute Minimal Risk Level (15). Short-term (1-14 days) inhalation of benzeneat this concentration could result in damage to the immune system. Long-term (> 1 year)inhalation of benzene at this concentration could result in a "moderate" increased risk of cancer. Although EPA did not detect benzene in the downwind air samples, we do not know themaximum residential benzene concentrations and therefore cannot evaluate the public healththreat.

Benzene was not detected in the landfill leachate sample or any soil or surface water samples. Although EPA did not analyze any biota samples for benzene, benzene does not bioaccumulatein fish and oysters. Although stormwater run-off has not been sampled, it is unlikely to containbenzene since it was not detected in any surface water samples.

Cadmium

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to cadmium via incidental ingestion ofcontaminated surface water when swimming in the on-site lakes. This exposure, however, isunlikely to cause adverse health effects.

The estimated daily dose of cadmium from incidental ingestion of water (during swimming) isless than the draft ATSDR chronic Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (16). Thus, incidental ingestionof surface water when swimming in the on-site lakes is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Adverse health effects from exposure to cadmium in this water via skin absorption are alsounlikely since skin absorption is insignificant compared to ingestion.

EPA did not detect cadmium in the surface soil, the landfill leachate sample, or the fish andoysters tested. EPA did not test the air samples for cadmium.

Carbon Disulfide

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to carbon disulfide via incidental ingestion ofcontaminated surface water when swimming in the on-site lakes. This exposure, however, isunlikely to cause adverse health effects.

The estimated daily dose of carbon disulfide from incidental ingestion (during swimming) is lessthan the EPA Reference Dose (RfD) (17). Skin absorption of carbon disulfide is likely but therate is unknown. Carbon disulfide has not been identified as causing cancer. Therefore,incidental ingestion of carbon disulfide contaminated surface water when swimming in the on-site lakes is unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

EPA did not detect carbon disulfide in the soil. The fish and oysters were not tested for carbondisulfide but carbon disulfide is not known to bioaccumulate. EPA did not test the landfillleachate sample or the air samples for carbon disulfide.

Chloromethane

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to chloromethane via incidental ingestion ofcontaminated surface water when swimming in the on-site lakes. This exposure, however, isunlikely to cause adverse health effects.

Although there is no evidence of chloromethane causing cancer in humans, EPA has classifiedchloromethane as a possible human carcinogen based on limited evidence in animal testing. Theconcentrations at this site are so low, however, that the risk of cancer from incidental ingestion ofthe surface water is insignificant. Skin absorption of chloromethane is likely but the rate isunknown. Therefore, incidental ingestion of chloromethane contaminated surface water whenswimming in the on-site lakes is unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

EPA detected chloromethane in one air sample but the concentration was below the ATSDRchronic inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL) and is unlikely to cause any adverse health effect(18). EPA did not detect chloromethane in the soil. The fish and oysters were not tested forchloromethane but chloromethane is not known to bioaccumulate. EPA did not test the landfillleachate sample for chloromethane.

Coliform Bacteria

In the past, children and other trespassers on the site may have been exposed to coliform bacteriavia incidental ingestion of contaminated water when swimming in the on-site lakes. Thisexposure may have caused adverse health effects. We can not determine the current health threatfrom swimming in these lakes because they have not been tested for coliform bacteria since1982.

There are no standards to compare an estimate of the dose of coliform bacteria that childrenswimming in the on-site lakes may have been exposed to. The maximum concentration of totalcoliform bacteria measured by Florida DER and Dade County DERM in the on-site lakes prior to1982, however, was 5,400 times the state drinking water standard and 5.4 times the state surfacewater standard (19). Although not considered Superfund hazardous waste, coliform bacteria areindicators of fecal contamination. Florida DER and Dade County DERM also measured elevatedconcentrations of fecal coliform and fecal streptococcus bacteria in these lakes. Thus childrenswimming in the on-site lakes may have been exposed to disease causing bacteria or viruses. Asa result of this exposure, these children were at a higher risk of infections such as hepatitis,meningitis, and gastroenteritis.

Dieldrin

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to dieldrin via incidental ingestion of thecontaminated soil. People eating fish and oysters from Biscayne Bay may also have beenexposed to dieldrin. The combined exposure to soil, fish, and oyster, however, are unlikely tocause adverse health effects.

The estimated daily doses of dieldrin from ingestion of contaminated fish and oysters andincidental ingestion of contaminated soil are less than the EPA oral Reference Dose (RfD) (20). Although there is no evidence of dieldrin causing cancer in humans, EPA has classified dieldrinas a probable human carcinogen based on limited evidence in animal testing. The fish, oyster,and soil concentrations are so low, however, that the risk of cancer is insignificant. Therefore,incidental ingestion of dieldrin contaminated soil and ingestion of dieldrin contaminated fish andoysters and at this site is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Adverse health effects fromexposure to dieldrin from these soils via skin absorption is also unlikely since skin absorption isinsignificant compared to ingestion.

EPA did not detect dieldrin in any surface water samples.

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate via incidentalingestion of the contaminated soil. The maximum soil concentrations, however, are unlikely tocause adverse health effects.

The estimated daily dose of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate from incidental ingestion is less than theestimated chronic Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (21). Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate has beenidentified as causing cancer in laboratory animals. The soil concentrations are so low, however,that the risk of cancer from incidental ingestion is insignificant. Therefore, incidental ingestionof di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate contaminated soil at this site is unlikely to cause adverse healtheffects. Adverse health effects from exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate from these soils viaskin absorption is also unlikely since skin absorption is insignificant compared to ingestion.

EPA did not detect di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate in any surface water samples. EPA did not analyzethe landfill leachate sample, the air samples, or the fish and oyster samples for di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate.

Lead

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to lead via incidental ingestion of contaminatedsurface soil and incidental ingestion of contaminated surface water when swimming in the on-sitelakes. Although ATSDR and EPA have no lead exposure guidelines (MRLs or RfDs) forcomparison (22), we estimate the combined exposure to on-site soil and surface water areunlikely to cause adverse health effects. EPA did not detect lead in the fish or oysters.

The Centers for Disease Control of the U.S. Public Health Service estimates that blood leadlevels generally rise 3-7 micrograms per deciliter (g/dL) for every 1,000 milligram per kilogram(mg/kg) increase in soil lead concentration (23). Thus the maximum soil lead concentration onthe site, 87 mg/kg, is unlikely to increase the blood lead level of children trespassing on this sitepast the 10 g/dL definition of lead poisoning. Although the maximum concentration of lead inthe on-site lakes (0.063 mg/L) is four times greater than the Florida drinking water standard(0.015 mg/L), we estimate the annual volume of water ingested during swimming in these lakesis 100 times less that the annual volume of water ingested from drinking water sources. Therefore, we estimate the dose of lead from incidental ingestion during swimming in these lakesis about 25 times less than the dose from drinking water at the Florida standard.

Methylene Chloride

Although EPA measured methylene chloride in the smoke coming from the landfill, we cannotevaluate the public health threat for two reasons. First, EPA was unable to mobilize an airsampling team until the fire subsided. The methylene chloride concentrations at the peak of thefire may have been higher. Second, EPA collected the air samples at the landfill, not in thenearby residential neighborhoods where human exposure occurred. We do not know how muchthe methylene chloride in the smoke was diluted before it reached these residents. In 1990 and1991 memos, ATSDR concluded that the measured methylene chloride concentrations wereunlikely to have caused health effects in nearby residents. ATSDR failed, however, to addressthe fact that these measurements were taken weeks after the fire subsided.

The concentration of methylene chloride measured in the smoke directly from the landfill fire isless than the draft ATSDR acute and intermediate Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) (24). A chronicMRL is unavailable. Although there is no evidence of methylene chloride causing cancer inhumans, EPA has classified it as a probable human carcinogen based on limited evidence inanimal testing. The risk of cancer from exposure to the maximum methylene chlorideconcentration measured, however, is insignificant.

EPA did not detect methylene chloride in the landfill leachate sample nor in any soil or surfacewater samples. Although EPA did not analyze any biota samples for methylene chloride, it doesnot bioaccumulate in fish and oysters.

Pentachlorophenol

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to pentachlorophenol via incidental ingestion ofthe contaminated soil. The maximum soil concentrations, however, are unlikely to cause adversehealth effects.

The estimated daily dose of pentachlorophenol from ingestion of contaminated soil is less thanthe intermediate ATSDR Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (25). A chronic MRL is not available. Although there is no evidence of pentachlorophenol causing cancer in humans, EPA hasclassified pentachlorophenol as a possible human carcinogen based on limited evidence in animaltests. The soil concentrations are so low, however, that the risk of cancer from incidentalingestion is insignificant. Therefore, incidental ingestion of pentachlorophenol contaminated soilat this site is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Adverse health effects from exposure topentachlorophenol from these soils via skin absorption is also unlikely since skin absorption isinsignificant compared to ingestion.

EPA did not detect pentachlorophenol in any surface water samples. EPA did not analyze thelandfill leachate sample, the air samples, or the fish and oyster samples for pentachlorophenol.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

People eating fish and oysters from Biscayne Bay may have been exposed to polychlorinatedbiphenyls (PCBs). Long-term ingestion of fish and oysters at the maximum PCB concentrationfound may affect the immune system and result in a "low" increased risk of cancer. The patternof fish and oyster contamination, however, suggest that this site is not the source of PCBs inBiscayne Bay. Trespassers on the site may have also been exposed to PCBs via incidentalingestion of the contaminated soil. The maximum soil concentrations, however, are unlikely tocause adverse health effects.

The estimated daily dose of PCBs from eating contaminated fish and oysters from Biscayne Bayexceeds the draft ATSDR chronic MRL (26). In contrast, the maximum fish and oyster PCBconcentrations are less than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tolerance level of 2mg/kg for fish and shellfish (27). FDA tolerance levels are maximum allowable levels ofpoisonous substances in human food and animal feed. Based on the ATSDR chronic MRL, weconclude that lifetime consumption of fish and oysters from Biscayne Bay at the maximum PCBconcentrations would result in a "low" increased risk of cancer.

The estimated daily dose of PCBs from incidental ingestion of contaminated soil is less than thedraft ATSDR chronic Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (26). Although there is no evidence of PCBscausing cancer in humans, EPA has classified PCBs as probable human carcinogens based onlimited evidence in animal tests. The soil concentrations are so low, however, that the risk ofcancer from incidental ingestion is insignificant. Therefore, incidental ingestion of PCBcontaminated soil at this site is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Adverse health effectsfrom exposure to PCBs in these soils via skin absorption is also unlikely since skin absorption isinsignificant compared to ingestion.

EPA did not detect PCBs in any surface water samples. EPA did not analyze the landfill leachatesample or the air samples for PCBs.

Styrene

Although EPA measured styrene in the smoke coming from the landfill, we cannot evaluate thepublic health threat for two reasons. First, EPA was unable to mobilize an air sampling teamuntil the fire subsided. The styrene concentrations at the peak of the fire may have been higher. Second, EPA collected the air samples at the landfill, not in the nearby residential neighborhoodswhere human exposure occurred. We do not know how much styrene in the smoke was dilutedbefore it reached these residents. In 1990 and 1991 memos, ATSDR concluded that themeasured styrene concentrations were unlikely to have caused health effects in nearby residents. ATSDR failed, however, to address the fact that these measurements were taken weeks after thefire subsided.

The maximum styrene concentrations measured in the undiluted smoke directly from the landfillexceeds the draft ATSDR chronic Minimal Risk Level (28). Long-term inhalation (> 1 year) ofstyrene at this concentration could result in damage to the blood system and a "moderate"increased risk of cancer. Although EPA did not detect styrene in the downwind air samples, wedo not know the maximum residential styrene concentrations and therefore cannot evaluate thepublic health threat.

Styrene was not detected in any soil or surface water samples. Although EPA did not analyzeany biota samples for styrene, it does not bioaccumulate in fish and oysters. EPA did not analyzethe landfill leachate sample for styrene.

Vanadium

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to vanadium via incidental ingestion ofcontaminated water when swimming in the on-site lakes. People eating fish and oysters fromBiscayne Bay may also have been exposed to vanadium. The combined exposures from thesurface water and fish and oyster, however, are unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

The estimated daily dose of vanadium from incidental ingestion of contaminated water (duringswimming) is less than the draft ATSDR intermediate Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (29). Achronic MRL is unavailable. Vanadium has not been identified as causing cancer. Therefore,incidental ingestion of vanadium contaminated surface water when swimming in the on-site lakesis unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Adverse health effects from exposure to vanadium viaskin absorption is also unlikely since vanadium is not well absorbed across the skin.

The estimated maximum dose of vanadium from ingestion of contaminated fish and oysters isless than the draft ATSDR intermediate Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (28). A chronic MRL isunavailable. There is no evidence of vanadium causing cancer. Therefore, the maximumvanadium concentration in fish or oysters tested is unlikely to cause any adverse health effects.

EPA did not detect vanadium in the surface soil or the landfill leachate samples. EPA did nottest the air samples for vanadium.

Zinc

Trespassers on the site may have been exposed to zinc via incidental ingestion of thecontaminated soil and incidental ingestion of contaminated water when swimming in the on-sitelakes. People eating fish and oysters from Biscayne Bay may also have been exposed to zinc. The combined exposures from soil, surface water, and fish and oyster, however, are unlikely tocause adverse health effects.

The estimated daily dose of zinc from incidental ingestion of contaminated soils is less than theestimated ATSDR chronic Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (30). Zinc has not been shown to causecancer. Therefore, incidental ingestion of zinc contaminated soil at this site is unlikely to causeadverse health effects. Adverse health effects from exposure to zinc in these soils via skinabsorption is also unlikely since zinc is not well absorbed across the skin.

The estimated daily dose of zinc from incidental ingestion of water (during swimming) is lessthan the estimated ATSDR chronic Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (30). Zinc has not beenidentified as causing cancer. Therefore, incidental ingestion of zinc contaminated water whenswimming in the on-site lakes is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Adverse health effectsfrom exposure to zinc from this water via skin absorption is also unlikely since zinc is not wellabsorbed across the skin.

The estimated daily dose of zinc from eating contaminated fish and oysters is less than theestimated ATSDR chronic Minimal Risk Level (MRL) (30). There is no evidence of zinccausing cancer. Therefore, the maximum zinc concentration in fish or oysters tested is unlikelyto cause any adverse health effects.

We believe it is unlikely that skin contact with the landfill leachate resulted in significantexposure to zinc since zinc is not well absorbed. EPA did not test the air samples for zinc.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

Guided by community concerns of increased cancer incidence in the population living near thesite, Florida HRS epidemiologists reviewed the Florida Cancer Data System (FCDS). See theBackground, Health Outcome Data section of this report for a description of the FCDS. FloridaHRS epidemiologists found no significant excess of all cancers in the 33181 zip code, whichincludes the site and surrounding neighborhoods. There are, however, limitations with FCDSand environmental epidemiology investigations.

    1. Analyzing cancer rates for the entire 33181 ZIP code, which includes people who live morethan a mile from the site, decreases our ability to detect excess cancers among the people wholive next to the site. The larger population in this ZIP code could mask any increased cancerincidence in the Highland Village mobile home park. Unfortunately, ZIP codes are the smallestgeographical unit in FCDS. Approximately 1,500 people live in Highland Village next to the siteand 12,000 people live in the 33181 ZIP code. It is not possible to analyze FCDS cancer rates forjust Highland Village.

    2. In environmental epidemiology, exposure assessment is difficult. As with most Superfundsites, we do not have direct measures of exposure at this site. We do not know to whichchemicals, to how much of each chemical, and for how long people were actually exposed. Inour analysis of the cancer rates, we used the distance from the place of residence to site as anestimate of exposure. Although distance from the place of residence to the site is a poor estimateof exposure, at this site, it is the best estimate we have.

    3. The high background incidence of cancer makes small increases hard to detect. Thebackground frequency of cancer in the United States is approximately 25%. Increase in thecancer rate near this site would have to be significant to be detected.

In general, failure to establish a link between the site and the health of nearby residents may bemore indicative of the limitations of the existing data and epidemiological methods than the lackof an effect. Based on the available data and epidemiological methods, we can not determine ifthe Munisport Landfill has caused an increase in the incidence of cancer among residents of theHighland Village mobile home park.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

We address community health concern as follows:

Air Exposure Health Concerns

1. Highland Village residents are concerned that until the landfill closed and heavyvegetation covered the site, they were exposed to contaminated dust including asbestos. They are concerned that rashes, respiratory illnesses, and infections they suffered in the1970's and 1980's were caused by exposure to this dust. They are concerned that they willsuffer health effects from exposure to contaminated dust resulting from future remediationand/or construction on the landfill.

    Since there was no air quality monitoring before heavy vegetation covered the site, we do notknow if nearby residents were exposed to contaminated dust or asbestos. Thus, we cannotdetermine if the reported rashes, respiratory illnesses, and infections were caused by exposure tocontaminated dust from the landfill. Since the site is now covered with heavy vegetation,exposure to contaminated dust is unlikely. During any future remediation, construction, ordevelopment that removes vegetation or uncovers landfill material dust should be controlled andthe air on site and in Highland Village should be monitored for contamination, includingasbestos.

2. Highland Village residents are concerned that toxic smoke from the March/April 1990landfill fire aggravated existing respiratory conditions and may result in other long-termhealth effects. They are concerned that the April 10-11, 1990 EPA air monitoring was toolate to measure the maximum concentrations of toxic chemicals generated by this fire.

    Suspended particulates in the smoke from the March/April 1990 fire may have aggravatedexisting respiratory conditions. Any kind of suspended particulates, including those in smoke,are difficult for people with respiratory conditions to tolerate.

    We cannot evaluate the public health threat from inhalation of toxic chemicals from this firesince we do not know the maximum concentrations nearby residents were exposed to. Wecannot estimate maximum residential exposure concentrations from air samples taken at thelandfill after the fire had subsided. Chemical concentrations at the landfill during the peakintensity of the fire may have been higher. Chemical concentrations at nearby residences,however, may have been lower due to dilution. Without peak residential measurements, wecannot estimate exposure or predict health effects.

3. Highland Village residents are concerned that they may suffer adverse health effectsfrom continuous exposure to gases such as methane, benzene, and styrene emitted from thelandfill. They are concerned because the ambient air quality of their neighborhood has notbeen monitored.

    Decaying garbage in landfills produces methane. Methane is a non-toxic gas which rises to thetop of the landfill and disperses in the air. Concentrations of methane are not likely toaccumulate to dangerous levels except under buildings or other enclosed spaces where it can bean explosion hazard. Benzene and styrene were measured in the smoke from the landfill fire. Itis highly unlikely, however, that under current conditions concentrations of benzene, styrene, orother gases from the landfill could accumulate to toxic concentrations in the air above the landfillor in the surrounding neighborhoods. Air monitoring in an suburban area such as North Miami islikely to measure gases from other sources such as gas stations, manufacturing facilities, andautomobile exhaust. Therefore, under current conditions, air monitoring for these gases is notwarranted.

Skin Exposure Health Concerns

4. Highland Village residents are concerned that they may suffer health effects from skincontact with contaminated stormwater that runs off the landfill and floods theirneighborhood. They are concerned that the proposed remediation will increase thefrequency of flooding of their neighborhood.

    Skin contact with the water in the on-site lakes is not likely to cause adverse health effects. Ofthe contaminants of concern that readily cross the skin, the concentrations are too low to causehealth effects. The stormwater run-off from these lakes, however, has not been tested and maybe different due to suspended particulates. Florida DER plans to analyze the stormwater run-offnext time it floods Highland Village. Until the stormwater run-off is analyzed, we can notdetermine its health threat.

    EPA, Florida DER, and the City of North Miami plan to further characterize the local hydrologyand develop a plan to control stormwater runoff and flooding in Highland Village.

5. Highland Village residents are concerned that their children swam in the on-site lakesand may suffer health effects from exposure to toxic chemicals.

    Although not a Superfund hazardous waste, the coliform bacteria in the on-site lakes areindicative of fecal contamination. In the past, children swimming in these lakes may have beenexposed to disease causing bacteria or viruses via incidental ingestion of the contaminated waterand may have suffered a higher rate of infection and illness such as hepatitis, meningitis, andgastroenteritis. It is not possible to determine the current health threat from swimming in theselakes because they have not been tested for coliform bacteria since 1982. It is unlikely thatchildren will suffer health effects from exposure to the chemicals found in these lakes since theconcentrations were low.

6. Highland Village residents are concerned that their children have suffered increasedrates of eye irritation and infection from swimming at the Oleta State Recreation Area andin the lagoon adjacent to Florida International University.

    We cannot evaluate the possibility of infections from swimming in these two bodies of watersince they have not been tested for bacteria or viruses. It is unlikely, however, that this site is thesource of bacterial contamination of nearby surface water. Bacterial transport via stormwaterrun-off is unlikely since stormwater run-off from this site is infrequent. Similarly, bacterialtransport via ground water is restricted by the filtering effect of the aquifer material.

7. The manager of a youth facility northeast of the site is concerned that their childrendeveloped serious skin infections after being cut or scratched.

    Although we can not determine the source of these infections, it is possible they were the resultof swimming in the on-site lakes, especially if the levels of bacterial contamination had notchanged since 1982.

Other Health Concerns

8. Highland Village residents are concerned that they may have been exposed to radiationfrom radioactive hospital waste disposed of in the landfill.

    In January 1989, Dade County Public Health Unit personnel removed a small pile of hospitalwaste from the landfill. Some of it may have been radioactive. Most of the radioactive isotopesused in hospitals and doctor's offices, however, have short half-lives (days or weeks). FloridaHRS requires hospitals and doctors to hold radioactive waste for 10 half-lives. After 10 half-lives, the remaining radioactivity is insignificant. If radioactive waste from hospitals or doctor'soffices was ever buried at this landfill, it is unlikely that it posed a health threat. Most of theseisotopes are short lived and the radiation is too weak to penetrate even a thin layer of soil.

9. Highland Village residents are concerned that their children and other trespassers on thelandfill may have suffered higher rates of infection from exposure to hospital waste.

    In January 1989, Dade County Public Health Unit personnel removed a small pile of hospitalwaste from the landfill. They concluded that this waste was old, dried out, and not a healththreat.

10. Highland Village residents are concerned that they may suffer health effects fromcontact with snakes, scorpions, and spiders that live in the dense undergrowth along thesouthern landfill boundary.

    Highland Village residents may suffer adverse health effects from contact with snakes, scorpions,and spiders that live in the dense undergrowth along the southern landfill boundary. Werecommend that the appropriate local, state, or federal agency clear and maintain a buffer free ofdense undergrowth (15 feet minimum) along the southwest site boundary where it borders theHighlands Village mobile home park. We also recommend that Highland Village residents cleartheir property of dense undergrowth and debris.

11. Highland Village residents are concerned that people who eat landcrabs from the tidalareas near the landfill may be exposed to toxic chemicals.

    During the two to three weeks of the year when they are abundant, landcrabs are eaten by only afew people. Until these crabs are tested we cannot evaluate possible health effects from theirconsumption. Since the exposure period is short and the exposed population limited, we do notrecommend the landcrabs be tested at this time. If soil/fill testing identifies high levels ofcontaminants likely to accumulate in landcrabs, we will recommend the appropriate local, state,or federal agency test these crabs for contamination.

12. Highland Village residents are concerned that there have been an inordinately highnumber of cancers in their neighborhood during the past 10 years. They are concernedthese cancers are caused by exposure to toxic chemical from the landfill.

    Florida HRS epidemiologists evaluated cancer incidence in this area. The available data andenvironmental epidemiology methods are too limited, however, to determine if the landfill hascaused an increase in the incidence of cancer among residents of the Highland Village.

13. One Highland Village resident has experienced intermittent swelling of the face, hands,and feet. This resident is concerned the swelling is caused by exposure to sitecontaminants.

    Since the surface soil and fill material at this site have not been adequately characterized, it is notpossible to rule out site contaminants as the cause. The association of health effects withenvironmental exposure to chemicals, however, is an inexact science. The swelling could also bean allergic reaction to home and yard pesticide exposure, insect bites, plant pollen, or indoor airmolds and spores.


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