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PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

COOPER DRUM
SOUTH GATE, LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA


CONCLUSIONS

CDHS and ATSDR conclude, based on the information available for review, that under present site conditions the Cooper Drum site poses an indeterminate public health hazard to nearby residents and workers. Past exposures to contaminants in the air from the Cooper Drum site and other surrounding facilities may have caused or contributed to short-term, reversible adverse health outcomes. Available information does not allow for full determination of exposures to contaminants from the site, as well as other sources in the area such as industrial facilities and vehicular emissions. Exposure to site-related contaminants found in onsite and offsite surface soil, municipal drinking water wells, and onsite and offsite ambient air were completed exposure pathways in the past.

The site-related ambient air exposures may be a potential pathway in the present and future as well. Onsite workers, present and future workers at the former Tweedy School property, and nearby residents may be exposed to contaminants from the site through the air pathway.

At the time of the site visits, some workers were observed that may not have been adequately protected against physical and chemical hazards at the site.

Soil sampling is inadequate to determine if contaminants are available to further contaminate the groundwater or volatilize to ambient air and to determine what is adequate protective equipment for present and future workers at the site, including potential remedial workers. Furthermore, soil sampling is inadequate to determine the lateral extent of migration of contaminants from the site. Future excavation of nearby properties, such as the former Tweedy School, could put construction workers and nearby residents at risk of exposure.

Groundwater sampling is inadequate to determine the extent of groundwater contamination. That information could help in identifying other drinking water wells in the area that are in danger of becoming contaminated.

Remedial workers and nearby residents are at greater risk of exposure during remediation processes.


RECOMMENDATIONS

Prevent/Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Protect persons on and off the site during remediation from exposure to any dusts or vapors that may be released.


  2. Reduce exposures to onsite workers through engineering controls, administrative controls, and use of personal protective equipment. Develop a written health and safety program, as required by California Senate Bill 198. Provide required health and safety training to onsite workers.


  3. Implement land use restrictions at both the Cooper and Tweedy sites to ensure that excavation of subsurface soil does not result in exposure to contaminants.


  4. Identify public and private wells that could become contaminated as a result of contaminated groundwater migration from the site. Monitor those wells.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Obtain more recent air monitoring data, both background and site-related to fully characterize the extent of exposure to the Tweedy site from onsite emissions.


  2. Monitor worker exposures to sodium hydroxide, hydrogen chloride, paint fumes, and lead. Also, protect workers and nearby residents by ensuring the current operator is in compliance with permit restrictions needed for operation.


  3. Collect additional surface soil samples (0-3 inches) and subsurface (below 1 foot) samples, in order to characterize the extent of soil contamination both onsite and on the Tweedy property.


  4. Collect additional groundwater samples and drill wells in more locations, in order to characterize the extent of groundwater contamination.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

The data and information developed in the Cooper Drum Facility Public Health Assessment have been evaluated for appropriate follow-up health actions. The ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) determined that people have been and may currently be exposed to contaminants from the site at levels that may cause illness. HARP determined that the appropriate regulatory authority be advised that worker education is indicated. HARP also determined that because important data needed to evaluate past exposures are lacking and because adverse health outcomes reported in the past are no longer being reported, no other follow-up health actions are indicated at this time. ATSDR will reevaluate this site for additional follow-up public health actions if new data become available that indicate a need to do so.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

CDHS provided the current operator, Waymire Drum, with a copy of the draft public health assessment and discussed our concerns about worker health and safety issues with the environmental manager. Waymire Drum responded with a letter documenting health and safety improvements which have been accomplished since Waymire took over the operation in 1992 (Appendix D).

As this letter describes, the current operator has made significant progress in fulfilling our recommendations to ensure worker safety. Waymire has hired a safety director, developed an active safety committee, and provided employee safety training and personal protection equipment. They have also developed clear disciplinary procedures for enforcing safe work practices. They have completed monitoring for noise and blood leads.

CDHS and ATSDR also plan to review new data as they become available and determine from the review if further actions are needed to protect public health.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Environmental and Health Effects Assessors:

Diana M. Lee, MPH
Research Scientist
Environmental Health Investigation Branch
California Department of Health Services

Simone Brumis, MPH
Industrial Hygienist
Environmental Health Investigation Branch
California Department of Health Services

Community Relations Coordinator:

Jane Riggan, MSW
Impact Assessment, Inc., Consultant to
Environmental Health Investigation Branch
California Department of Health Services

ATSDR Regional Representatives

Lynn Berlad
Regional Services, Region IX
Office of Regional Operations

Gwendolyn Eng
Regional Services, Region IX
Office of Regional Operations

William Nelson
Regional Services, Region IX
Office of Regional Operations

ATSDR Technical Project Officer

Gail D. Godfrey
Environmental Health Scientist
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
State Programs Section


CERTIFICATION

The Cooper Drum Facility Public Health Assessment has been prepared by the California Department of Health Services under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was initiated.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC


The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams, P. E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, San Francisco, California. Hazard ranking system documentation record, Cooper Drum Company Site, 1991.


  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, San Francisco, California and California Department of Health Services, Southern California Section. Screening site investigation, Cooper Drum Company Site, 1989.


  3. California Department of Health Services, Contact Report, Art Neslin, Production Manager, Waymire Drum, South Gate, California. November 16, 1992.


  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, San Francisco, California and California Department of Health Services, Southern California Section. Soil and groundwater sampling planning, Cooper Drum Company Site, 1988.


  5. Letter to Roy Kobashigawa, R.S., Hazardous Waste Control Program, Occupational Health Division, County Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, California from Barry A. Brown, Cooper Drum Company, South Gate, California regarding Official Notice of Violation, No. 075740 dated August 24, 1984. September 27, 1984.


  6. Memorandum from Robert C. Gates, Director of Health Services, County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services to Peter Schabarum regarding Tweedy Elementary School/Cooper Drum Company, South Gate, California. April 23, 1987.


  7. Memorandum from C. Douglas Brown, Division Administrator, Building Services Division, Los Angeles Unified School District to Roberta Weintraub, Chairman; Rita Walters, Member; Mark Slavkin, Member; regarding status of original Tweedy Elementary school site. February 15, 1991.


  8. Letter to Dr. Paul Papanek, Chief, Toxic Epidemiology Program, Los Angeles Department of Health, Los Angeles, California from Edward Camarena, Director of Enforcement, South Coast Air Quality Management District, El Monte California regarding results of air monitoring study at the Tweedy Elementary School in South Gate. August 28, 1986.


  9. Hazard ranking system documentation record, Contact Report, Tom Watson, City of South Gate, Public Works Water Service. 9/6/90.


  10. Geotechnical Consultants, Inc. Site investigation report for California Department of Health Services CERCLA Grant Program and Los Angeles County DOHS Hazardous Waste Control Program at Cooper Drum Company, South Gate, California. June 1989.


  11. Ecology and Environment, Inc. CERCLA listing site inspection for Cooper Drum Company, Los Angeles, California. March 23, 1990.


  12. Bernstein L. and Ross RK. Cancer in Los Angeles County, A portrait of incidence and mortality, 1972-1987.


  13. County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services, Public Health Programs, Toxics Epidemiology Program, Los Angeles, California. Summary of Tweedy School Reports, November 14, 1986.


  14. Letter to Rita D. Walters, President, Board of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California from Caswell A. Evans, Jr., D.D.S., M.P.H., Assistant Director of Health Services, Programs, County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, California regarding Tweedy School, South Gate. June 23, 1987.


  15. Letter to Simone Brumis, C.I.H., Department of Health Services, Environmental Health Investigations Branch, Emeryville, California from Charlene D. Burroughs, Environmental Officer, Waymire Drum Company, Inc. South Gate, California regarding lead exposure data. November 13, 1992.


  16. "Toxic Studies Ordered", The South Gate Press, April 10, 1986.


  17. Minutes from Tweedy School Advisory Meeting, South Gate, California. April 10, 1986.


  18. "Tweedy Pupils Severely Ill", The South Gate Press, September 25, 1986.


  19. Interoffice Memorandum, to Jack Walton, Safety Program Supervisor from David J. Sanchez, Principal regarding unhealthy air quality conditions. Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California. August 18, 1986.


  20. Letter to Dr. Caswell A. Evans, Jr., D.D.S., M.P.H., Assistant Director of Health Services Programs, County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, California from Maxine Waters, Assemblywoman, 48th District, Los Angeles, California regarding chlorine gas leak from Purex Plant on February 21, 1986. September 5, 1986.


  21. "School Issues Back on Front Burner", The South Gate Press, July 2, 1986.


  22. "Medical Transfer for Principal Stirs Call to Shut Tweedy School", Los Angeles Times, December 11, 1986.


  23. "Tweedy Lease Extended", The South Gate Press, February 7, 1991.


  24. Toxic Substances Control Division. Preliminary assessment for Cooper Drum Company site. March, 1988.


  25. Geotechnical Consultants, Inc. Phase I groundwater investigation at Cooper Drum Company, South Gate, California. December, 1990.


  26. Engineering-Science. Report of stack testing at Cooper Drum Company, South Gate, California. December 9, 1986.


  27. South Coast Air Quality Management District. Source test report hydrochloric acid and particulate emissions from a scrubber controlling an acid washing line. January 13, 1987.


  28. South Coast Air Quality Management District. Source test report volatile organic compound emissions from a drum coating line. March 3, 1987.


  29. Memorandum to Margil W. Wadley, Laboratory Services Manager from Joan Niertit, Senior Air Quality Chemist, South Coast Air Quality Management District regarding Cooper Drum, South Gate. November 21, 1986.


  30. Conservtech. Site characterization and mitigation workplan, phase I, Cooper Drum Company, November, 1987.


  31. Interoffice Memorandum to Ron Apperson, Legal Advisor from Jack C. Waldron, Chief Safety Officer, Los Angeles Unified School District regarding Tweedy School soil contamination. July 16, 1987.


  32. United States Testing Company, Inc., Report of Test for Los Angeles Unified School District on hydrocarbons in Tweedy School Soil. January 9, 1987.


  33. Interoffice Memorandum to Peter F. Scharbarum, Supervisor, from Robert C. Gates, Director of Health Services, County of Los Angeles. May 4, 1987.


  34. Los Angeles County Health Department. Cooper Drum Company, South Gate, California, Resume of emergency response & findings relative to see page problem. April 2, 1987.


  35. Letter to Simone Brumis, C.I.H., Department of Health Services, Environmental Health Investigations Branch, Emeryville, California from John E. Chambers, Water Superintendent, City of South Gate regarding volatile organic chemical sample results, City of South Gate Municipal Wells. December 2, 1992.


  36. EMS Laboratories. Reports dated October 24, 1986, November 8, 1986, December 9, 1986 & July 1, 1987 regarding air monitoring at Tweedy School.


  37. William Piazza, Los Angeles Unified School District. Data from computer generated air models for 1987 emissions from Cooper Drum Main process area of a) paint spray operation; b) hydrochloric acid wash; and c) sodium hydroxide. December, 1992.


  38. Environmental Protection Agency. Exposure Factors Handbook. Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, July, 1989; EPA document no. 600/8-89/043.


  39. California Department of Health Services. Contact Report, John Chambers, City of South Gate, Public Works Water Service, South Gate, California. November 17, 1992.


  40. Letter to Simone Brumis, C.I.H., Department of Health Services, Environmental Health Investigations Branch, Emeryville, California from John E. Chambers, Water Superintendent, City of South Gate regarding PCE levels. December 8, 1992.


  41. Letter to Charlene Burroughs, Waymire Drum, South Gate, California from Richard E. Dolliver, CNA Insurance Companies, Woodland Hills, California regarding status of planned industrial hygiene Studies. December 2, 1992.


  42. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for tetrachloroethylene. Atlanta: ATSDR, October 1991.


  43. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for trichloroethylene. Atlanta: ATSDR, October 1991.


  44. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for methylene chloride. Atlanta: ATSDR, 10/91.


  45. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for toluene. Atlanta: ATSDR, 10/91.


  46. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 1,1,1-trichloroethane. Atlanta: ATSDR, 12/90.


  47. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Threshold limit values for chemical substances and physical agents and biological exposure indices. Cincinnati, Ohio.


  48. Proctor N.H., Hughes J.P., and Fischman M.L. 1988. Chemical hazards of the workplace. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co.


  49. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for lead. Atlanta: ATSDR, 10/91.


  50. Papanek P.J., Lance L.L., Ward C. and Cole R. A report on symptoms and physical examination results on children at Tweedy Elementary school. Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. March 25, 1987.


  51. Papanek P.J., Lance L.L., Ward C. and Cole R. A report on blood and urine data obtained at Tweedy Elementary school. Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. April 9, 1987.


  52. Letter to Edward Camarena, Director of Enforcement, South Coast Air Quality Management District, El Monte, California from Paul J. Papanek, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services, Public Health Programs, Toxics Epidemiology Program regarding air monitoring results near Tweedy Elementary School. September 29, 1986.

APPENDIX A: FIGURES

Cooper Drum Site Map and Surrounding Areas
Figure 1. Cooper Drum Site Map and Surrounding Areas

City of Southgate Including Location of City Wells
Figure 2. City of Southgate Including Location of City Wells

Soil Sampling Location Map - 1987 Tweedy School Site and Cooper Drum Site
Figure 3. Soil Sampling Location Map - 1987 Tweedy School Site and Cooper Drum Site


APPENDIX B: TABLES

Appendix B (Tables) was not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. To obtain a hard copy of the document, please contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Attn: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch E-56
1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30333


APPENDIX C: FACT SHEET/ANNOUNCEMENT

Appendix C was not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. To obtain a hard copy of the document, please contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Attn: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch E-56
1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30333


APPENDIX D: LETTER FROM WAYMIRE DRUM

Appendix D was not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. To obtain a hard copy of the document, please contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Attn: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch E-56
1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

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