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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

LOWER DUWAMISH WATERWAY
SEATTLE, KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON
EPA FACILITY ID: WA0002329803

September 30, 2003

Prepared by:

Washington State Department of Health
Under a Cooperative Agreement with the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

UNITS OF MEASURE

GLOSSARY

SUMMARY

BACKGROUND

COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION

PATHWAYS ANALYSIS/PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS EVALUATION

CONCLUSIONS

RECOMMENDATIONS

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

PREPARERS OF REPORT

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A: FIGURES

APPENDIX B: SITE PHOTOGRAPHS

APPENDIX C: EXPOSURE ASSUMPTIONS AND DOSE CALCULATIONS

APPENDIX D: COMMUNITY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

APPENDIX E: PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD CONCLUSION CATEGORIES

APPENDIX F: CONTAMINANT SCREENING PROCESS

APPENDIX G: RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS

CERTIFICATION


LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Comparison between 1990 and 2000 population for Census Tracts 109 (Georgetown) and 112 (South Park) King County, Washington

Table 2. Distribution of fish sample analyses by species used in the health assessment of the Lower Duwamish Waterway site, Seattle, Washington

Table 3. Contaminants of Concern in fish from the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Table 4. Contaminants of Concern in sediment from the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Table 5. Completed Exposure Pathways for the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Table 6. Potential Exposure Pathways for the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Table 7. Contaminant concentrations in Lower Duwamish Waterway fish compared with background areas of Puget Sound

Table 8. Published levels of omega-3 fatty acid compared to PCB levels in Lower Duwamish Waterway fish Seattle, Washington

Table 9. Comparison of PCB levels in striped perch fillets (skinless vs with skin fillets) Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Table 10. Meal limits based on PCB, mercury, and DDE contamination in Lower Duwamish Waterway fish, Seattle, Washington

Table 11. Adjustment of fish meal size based on the body weight of a fish consumer

Table C1. Exposure assumptions used to estimate contaminant doses from consumption of Lower Duwamish Waterway fish, Seattle, Washington

Table C2. Contaminant concentrations used to estimate exposure from consumption of Lower Duwamish Waterway fish (individual species), Seattle, Washington

Table C3. Non-cancer dose calculations for consumption of Lower Duwamish Waterway fish (individual species), Seattle, Washington

Table C4. Cancer risk calculations for consumption of Lower Duwamish Waterway fish (individual species), Seattle, Washington

Table C5. Exposure assumptions used to estimate contaminant doses from consumption of Lower Duwamish Waterway fish (groups), Seattle, Washington

Table C6. Non-cancer dose calculations for consumption of Lower Duwamish Waterway fish (groups), Seattle, Washington

Table C7. Cancer risk calculations for consumption of Lower Duwamish Waterway fish (groups), Seattle, Washington

Table C8. Exposure parameters used to calculate recommended Lower Duwamish Waterway fish consumption limits

Table C9. Adult fish consumption limits for the Lower Duwamish Waterway based on exposure to arsenic, PCBs, mercury, and DDE, Seattle, Washington

Table C10. Exposure assumptions used to estimate contaminant doses from direct contact with Lower Duwamish Waterway sediments, Seattle, Washington

Table C11. Non-cancer dose calculations for exposure to Lower Duwamish Waterway sediment, Seattle, Washington

Table C12. Cancer risk calculations for exposure to Lower Duwamish Waterway sediment, Seattle, Washington

Table F1. Parameters used to calculate comparison values used in the fish contaminant screening process. Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, King County, Washington

Table F2. Frequency of detection for contaminants with screening values in Lower Duwamish Waterway Fish Seattle, WA

Table F3. Frequency of detection for contaminants without screening values in Lower Duwamish Waterway Fish Seattle, Washington

Table F4. Selection of contaminants of concern in Lower Duwamish Waterway fish Seattle, Washington

Table F5. Frequency of detection for contaminants with screening values and selection of contaminants of concern in Lower Duwamish Waterway sediment Seattle, Washington


LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Lower Duwamish Waterway site location, Seattle, Washington

Figure 2a. English sole sample locations in the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure 2b. Striped perch sample locations in the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure 2c. Dungeness and Red Rock crab sample locations in the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure 2d. Mussel sample locations in the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure 2e. Quillback Rockfish sample location near the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure 2f. Chinook and coho salmon sample locations in the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure 3. Lower Duwamish Waterway area and Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) locations, Seattle, Washington

Figure 4. Key public access locations on the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle Washington

Figure 5. Intertidal sediment samples near Duwamish Waterway Park access point, Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure 6. Aerial image of Kellogg Island intertidal area, Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure 7. Shellfish restrictions along the shoreline including the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure F1. Fish contaminant screening flow chart Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington

Figure F2. Sediment contaminant screening flow chart Lower Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, Washington


ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
CREG Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
COC Contaminant of Concern
CSO Combined Sewer Overflow
DOH Washington State Department of Health
DRCC Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
Ecology Washington State Department of Ecology
ECOSS Environmental Coalition of South Seattle
EMEG Environmental Media Evaluation Guide

EPA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ICD International Classification of Disease
LDW Lower Duwamish Waterway
LDWG Lower Duwamish Waterway Group
LOAEL Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level
MRL Minimum Risk Level
MTCA Model Toxics Control Act
NOAEL No Observed Adverse Effect Level
NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service
NPDES National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
NPL National Priorities List
PAEP Pacific Asian Empowerment Program
PCB Polychlorinated Biphenyl
RfD Reference Dose
RMEG Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
PH-SKC Public Health - Seattle & King County
WDFW Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife


UNITS OF MEASURE

g gram
g/day grams per day
kg kilogram
mg milligram
mg/l milligrams per liter = parts per million
mg/kg milligrams per kilogram = parts per million
mg/kg/day milligrams per kilogram per day
ppb parts per billion
ppm parts per million
g microgram
g/l micrograms per liter = parts per billion
g/kg micrograms per kilogram = parts per billion


GLOSSARY

Acute:
Occurring over a short period of time. An acute exposure isone which lasts for less than 2 weeks.


Agency for ToxicSubstances andDisease Registry(ATSDR):
The principal federal public health agency involved withhazardous waste issues, responsible for preventing or reducingthe harmful effects of exposure to hazardous substances onhuman health and quality of life. ATSDR is part of the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services.


Anadromous Fish:
Fish that ascend rivers from the sea at certain seasons forbreeding, such as salmon.


Benthic Fish:
Fish that live and eat near the bottom of a water body.


Cancer RiskEvaluation Guide(CREG):
The concentration of a chemical in air, soil or water that isexpected to cause no more than one excess cancer in a millionpersons exposed over a lifetime. The CREG is a comparisonvalue used to select contaminants of potential health concernand is based on the cancer slope factor (CSF).


Cancer Slope Factor:
A number assigned to a cancer causing chemical that is used toestimate its ability to cause cancer in humans.


Carcinogen:
Any substance that can cause or contribute to the production ofcancer.


CERCLA:
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, andLiability Act, commonly known as Superfund. This lawcreated a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries andprovided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releasesor threatened releases of hazardous substances that mayendanger public health or the environment.


Chronic:
A long period of time. A chronic exposure is one which lastsfor a year or longer.


Comparison value:
A concentration of a chemical in soil, air or water that, ifexceeded, requires further evaluation as a contaminant ofpotential health concern. The terms comparison value andscreening level are often used synonymously.


Congener:
A single, unique, well-defined chemical compound in thePCB, dioxin or furan category. The name of the congenerspecifies the total number and position of chlorine atoms.


Contaminant:
Any chemical that exists in the environment or livingorganisms that is not normally found there.


Dose:
A dose is the amount of a substance that gets into the bodythrough ingestion, skin absorption or inhalation. It iscalculated per kilogram of body weight per day.


Environmental MediaEvaluation Guide(EMEG):
A concentration in air, soil, or water below which adverse non-cancer health effects are not expected to occur. The EMEG is acomparison value used to select contaminants of potentialhealth concern and is based on ATSDR's minimal risk level(MRL).


Epidemiology:
The study of the occurrence and causes of health effects inhuman populations. An epidemiological study often comparestwo groups of people who are alike except for one factor, suchas exposure to a chemical or the presence of a health effect.The investigators try to determine if any factor (i.e., age, sex,occupation, economic status) is associated with the healtheffect.


Exposure:
Contact with a chemical by swallowing, by breathing, or bydirect contact (such as through the skin or eyes). Exposuremay be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic).


Groundwater:
Water found underground that fills pores between materialssuch as sand, soil, or gravel. In aquifers, groundwater oftenoccurs in quantities where it can be used for drinking water,irrigation, and other purposes.


Hazardous substance:
Any material that poses a threat to public health and/or theenvironment. Typical hazardous substances are materials thatare toxic, corrosive, ignitable, explosive, or chemicallyreactive.


Indeterminate publichealth hazard:
Sites for which no conclusions about public health hazard canbe made because data are lacking.


Ingestion rate:
The amount of an environmental medium which could beingested typically on a daily basis. Units for IR are usuallyliter/day for water, and mg/day for soil.


Inorganic:
Compounds composed of mineral materials, includingelemental salts and metals such as iron, aluminum, mercury,and zinc.


Lowest ObservedAdverse Effect Level(LOAEL):
LOAELs have been classified into "less serious" or "serious"effects. In dose-response experiments, the lowest exposurelevel at which there are statistically or biologically significantincreases in the frequency or severity of adverse effectsbetween the exposed population and its appropriate control.


MaximumContaminant Level(MCL):
A drinking water regulation established by the federal SafeDrinking Water Act. It is the maximum permissibleconcentration of a contaminant in water that is delivered to thefree flowing outlet of the ultimate user of a public watersystem. MCLs are enforceable standards.


Media:
Soil, water, air, plants, animals, or any other part of theenvironment that can contain contaminants.


Minimal Risk Level(MRL):
An amount of chemical that gets into the body (i.e., dose)below which health effects are not expected. MRLs are derivedby ATSDR for acute, intermediate, and chronic durationexposures by the inhalation and oral routes.


Model Toxics ControlAct (MTCA):
The hazardous waste cleanup law for Washington State.


No apparent publichealth hazard:
Sites where human exposure to contaminated media isoccurring or has occurred in the past, but the exposure isbelow a level of health hazard.


No Observed AdverseEffect Level(NOAEL):
The dose of a chemical at which there were no statistically orbiologically significant increases in frequency or severity ofadverse effects seen between the exposed population and itsappropriate control. Effects may be observed at this dose butwere judged not to be "adverse."


No public healthhazard:
Sites for which data indicate no current or past exposure or nopotential for exposure and therefore no health hazard.


Oral Reference Dose(RfD):
An amount of chemical ingested into the body (i.e., dose)below which health effects are not expected. RfDs arepublished by EPA.


Organic:
Compounds composed of carbon, including materials such assolvents, oils, and pesticides which are not easily dissolved inwater.


Parts per billion(ppb)/Parts permillion (ppm):
Units commonly used to express low concentrations ofcontaminants. For example, 1 ounce of trichloroethylene(TCE) in 1 million ounces of water is 1 ppm. one ounce ofTCE in 1 billion ounces of water is 1 ppb. If one drop of TCEis mixed in a competition size swimming pool, the water willcontain about 1 ppb of TCE.


Pelagic Fish:
Fish that live and eat near the surface of a water body.


Plume:
An area of contaminants in a specific media such asgroundwater.


Reference Dose MediaEvaluation Guide(RMEG):
A concentration in air, soil, or water below which adverse non-cancer health effects are not expected to occur. The EMEG is acomparison value used to select contaminants of potentialhealth concern and is based on EPA's oral reference dose(RfD).


Remedialinvestigation:
A study designed to collect the data necessary to determine thenature and extent of contamination at a site.


Route of exposure:
The way in which a person may contact a chemical substancethat includes ingestion, skin contact and breathing.


U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency(EPA):
Established in 1970 to bring together parts of variousgovernment agencies involved with the control of pollution.


Volatile organiccompound (VOC):
An organic (carbon-containing) compound that evaporates(volatilizes) easily at room temperature. A significant numberof the VOCs are commonly used as solvents.


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