Indoor Air Quality Evaluation
PHILIP SERVICES CORPORATION
(a/k/a BURLINGTON ENVIRONMENTAL INCORPORATED GEORGETOWN FACILITY)
SEATTLE, KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON
EPA FACILITY ID: WAD000812909
December 23, 2002
Washington State Department of Health
Under a Cooperative Agreement with the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR):
- The principal federal public health agency involved with hazardous waste issues, responsible for preventing or reducing the harmful effects of exposure to hazardous substances on human health and quality of life. ATSDR is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- An underground formation composed of materials such as sand, soil, or gravel that can store and/or supply groundwater to wells and springs.
- Background Levels:
- Levels of chemicals that are present in the environment due to human-made sources, unrelated to a contaminated site.
- Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide (CREG):
- The concentration of a chemical in air, soil or water that is expected to cause no more than one excess cancer in a million persons exposed over a lifetime. The CREG is a comparison value used to select contaminants of potential health concern and is based on the cancer slope factor (CSF).
- Cancer Slope Factor:
- A number assigned to a cancer causing chemical that is used to estimate it’s ability to cause cancer in humans.
- Any substance that can cause or contribute to the production of cancer.
- Comparison value:
- A concentration of a chemical in soil, air or water that, if exceeded, requires further evaluation as a contaminant of potential health concern. The terms comparison value and screening level are often used synonymously.
- Any chemical that exists in the environment or living organisms that is not normally found there.
- A dose is the amount of a substance that gets into the body through ingestion, skin absorption or inhalation. It is calculated per kilogram of body weight per day.
- Environmental Media Evaluation Guide (EMEG):
- A concentration in air, soil, or water below which adverse noncancer health effects are not expected to occur. The EMEG is a comparison value used to select contaminants of potential health concern and is based on ATSDR’s minimal risk level (MRL).
- Contact with a chemical by swallowing, by breathing, or by direct contact (such as through the skin or eyes). Exposure may be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic).
- Water found underground that fills pores between materials such as sand, soil, or gravel. In aquifers, groundwater often occurs 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 the environment. Typical hazardous substances are materials that are toxic, corrosive, ignitable, explosive, or chemically reactive.
- Indeterminate public health hazard:
- Sites for which no conclusions about public health hazard can be made because data are lacking.
- Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL):
- LOAELs have been classified into "less serious" or "serious" effects. In dose-response experiments, the lowest exposure level at which there are statistically or biologically significant increases in the frequency or severity of adverse effects between the exposed population and its appropriate control.
- Soil, water, air, plants, animals, or any other part of the environment 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 derived by ATSDR for acute, intermediate, and chronic duration exposures by the inhalation and oral routes.
- Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA):
- The hazardous waste cleanup law for Washington State.
- Monitoring wells:
- Special wells drilled at locations on or off a hazardous waste site so water can be sampled at selected depths and studied to determine the movement of groundwater and the amount, distribution, and type of contaminant.
- No apparent public health hazard:
- Sites where human exposure to contaminated media is occurring or has occurred in the past, but the exposure is below a level of health hazard.
- Nonaqueous phase liquids:
- Nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) are chemicals that are present in the subsurface as a liquid. These can be individual chemicals like trichloroethene (TCE), a solvent, or a mixture such as gasoline. Light NAPLs (i.e. LNAPLs) are liquids that float on the groundwater table and include chemicals like gasoline. Dense NAPLs (i.e. DNAPLs) are heavier than water and sink forming lenses or pockets of the chemical in a groundwater aquifer. Both LNAPLs and DNAPLs can also be found in the vadose zone as residue on soil particles or in pools or pockets on low permeability soil lenses.
- No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL):
- The dose of a chemical at which there were no statistically or biologically significant increases in frequency or severity of adverse effects seen between the exposed population and its appropriate control. Effects may be observed at this dose but were judged not to be "adverse."
- No public health hazard:
- Sites for which data indicate no current or past exposure or no potential 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 are published by EPA.
- Compounds composed of carbon, including materials such as solvents, oils, and pesticides which are not easily dissolved in water.
- Parts per billion (ppb)/Parts per million (ppm):
- Units commonly used to express low concentrations of contaminants. For example, 1 ounce of trichloroethylene (TCE) in 1 million ounces of water is 1 ppm. 1 ounce of TCE in 1 billion ounces of water is 1 ppb. If one drop of TCE is mixed in a competition size swimming pool, the water will contain about 1 ppb of TCE.
- An area of contaminants in a specific media such as groundwater.
- Remedial investigation:
- A study designed to collect the data necessary to determine the nature and extent of contamination at a site.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
- Established in 1970 to bring together parts of various government agencies involved with the control of pollution.
- Vadose Zone:
- Soils located above the groundwater table.
- Volatile organic compound (VOC):
- An organic (carbon-containing) compound that evaporates (volatilizes) easily at room temperature. A significant number of the VOCs are commonly used as solvents.