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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT ESCAMBIA WOOD - PENSACOLA
(A.K.A. ESCAMBIA TREATING COMPANY)
PENSACOLA, ESCAMBIA, FLORIDA

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the information currently available, we classify this site as a public health hazard. Specific reasons for this classification are as follows:

1.    Dioxin-TEQ is present in surface soil in the residential community adjacent to the north side of the site. Although no non-carcinogenic health effects are likely from this exposure, the cancer risk to people from exposure to dioxin-TEQ is currently under scientific review by the U.S. Public Health Service and EPA. Because of the uncertainty regarding the cancer-causing ability of dioxin-TEQ in humans, more information is needed before we can accurately assess the public health threat of dioxin-TEQ at this site.

2.    While pentachlorophenol (PCP) has not been shown to cause cancer in humans, evidence from animal studies suggests that exposure to PCP could increase the risk of cancer for persons exposed to it. We estimate that former workers at the plant while it was operational, and trespassers and vagrants who have been exposed to these contaminants may be at a "moderate" to "high" risk of developing cancer.

Arsenic, dioxin-TEQ, and PCP are present on the site at levels that could produce non-carcinogenic health effects in persons exposed to them. We estimate that former workers at the plant, trespassers and vagrants may have been exposed to these contaminants at levels that could cause skin irritation, chloracne, damage to the liver, kidney and nervous system, and impairment of the blood-forming and immune systems.

3.    The number and location of warning signs is inadequate to warn the public that the EWP site is a hazardous waste site and to meet the requirements of sections 403.704 and 403.7255, Florida Statutes, and FDEP Rule 17-736.

4.    Future remediation activities could create contaminated dust and release volatile chemicals from soil that could expose remediation workers and nearby residents.

5.    Except for dioxin-TEQ, all of the contaminants of concern have been detected in groundwater at this site. While it is not likely that this contamination will affect drinking water supplies, the groundwater contamination plume is migrating toward Bayou Texar, which is an environmentally sensitive aquatic breeding ground.

6.    Air monitoring off of the site was conducted only during the EPA excavation work. Although long-term inhalation of benzene at the levels found off of the site may increase the risk of leukemia, we do not know if these levels have remained high. Therefore, we cannot determine if there is an increased risk of cancer from exposure to benzene in the air off-site.

7.    The number and location of surface soil samples in residential yards adjacent to the site is insufficient to characterize the extent and nature of contamination of this medium. Until off-site surface soil is more fully characterized, we cannot fully assess the health threat from incidental ingestion.

8.    Dioxin-TEQ and PAHs found in off-site surface soil can be taken up by fruit and vegetable plants. However, no samples of fruits and vegetables grown in residential yards adjacent to the site and used for household consumption have been analyzed.

9.    Residents near the site need assistance in understanding the nature of the contamination at this site, the potential for exposure to these contaminants, and the possible health risks.

10.    Physicians and other health professionals in the area need information about possible health effects in residents near the site.

11.    Former workers at the plant, site trespassers, and nearby residents may have been exposed to levels of site-related contaminants that could increase their risk of cancer. Compared to state of Florida averages, the rates of liver, kidney and lung cancer are elevated in the 32503 and 32505 zip code areas. These zip code areas, however, include a large number of people who were unlikely to have been exposed to contaminants from this site. We do not have any information about the incidence of these cancer types among people who actually worked at or trespassed on the site, or among residents of the neighborhood north of the site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Toxicological Information Recommendations

1.    Develop comprehensive, updated information on the health effects of human exposure to dioxin-TEQ. ATSDR and EPA should evaluate current research findings of the human health effects of dioxin-TEQ exposure to update toxicological profiles and provide improved methods for estimating the carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risks of human exposure to dioxin-TEQ.

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

2.    Maintain site security to reduce the risk of exposure to trespassers and the nearby community. EPA should maintain security at this site and provide future remediation workers with appropriate protective equipment while on site.

3.    Install warning signs indicating the area is a hazardous waste site. EPA should install additional warning signs as specified in FDEP Rule 17-736 to warn the public that the area is a hazardous waste site.

4.    Suppress dust formation by implementing optimal dust control measures and conduct air monitoring during remediation. EPA should suppress dust formation and conduct air monitoring during remediation for worker protection and to ensure that air-borne contamination generated by remediation operations and machinery is not transported off the site.

5.    Conduct periodic surface water sampling of Bayou Texar. The appropriate federal, state or local agency should periodically sample Bayou Texar to ensure that any increases in contaminants entering the bayou are discovered in a timely manner.

Site Characterization Recommendations

6.    Conduct additional off-site air monitoring. EPA should collect and analyze air samples from a minimum of three locations in the neighborhood north of the site to determine the current levels of benzene. Additional samples are needed to determine if inhalation exposure to benzene represents a long-term health risk to local residents.

7.    Analyze a minimum of twelve off-site surface soil (depth 0-3 inches) samples for all contaminants of concern. EPA should collect these samples from residential yards throughout the neighborhood adjacent to the north side of the site. Additional samples are needed to fully characterize the extent of off-site surface soil contamination.

8.    Collect and analyze fruits and vegetables grown in residential yards for dioxin-TEQ and PAHs. If the levels of dioxin-TEQ, PAHs or other contaminants of concern in off-site surface soil samples exceed soil action levels, EPA should collect a sample of each type of fruit and vegetable plant grown in residential yards adjacent to the site and analyze them for all contaminants of concern.

Public Education Recommendations

9.    Continue health education programs to help residents near the site understand their potential for exposure and possible health risks. ATSDR and Florida HRS should continue to provide health information to residents near the site as recommended by the health consultation prepared by ATSDR in 1992 (ATSDR 1992b). This effort is necessary to assist community members in understanding the most recent findings concerning site-related contaminants and the possible health risks from exposure to them.

10.    Continue health professional education programs that were implemented following the recommendations of the 1992 ATSDR health consultation (ATSDR 1992b). ATSDR and Florida HRS should continue to provide physicians and other health professionals treating members of the community with information about the health effects that may occur in individuals exposed to contaminants from the site.

11.    Continue development of a health evaluation of residents near the site as recommended by the 1992 ATSDR health consultation (ATSDR 1992b). ATSDR should continue efforts to design a protocol for a comprehensive community health evaluation to assess the effects of past or possible on-going exposure to site-related contaminants.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended, requires ATSDR to perform public health actions needed at hazardous waste sites. To determine if public health actions are needed, ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has evaluated the data and information developed in the Escambia Wood - Pensacola Public Health Assessment.

Based on the HARP recommendations of the 1992 ATSDR health consultation for the EWP site and the findings of this public health assessment, the Panel has determined that the following actions are needed at this site:

1.    Community education programs that have already been initiated as a result of the previous HARP recommendations should be continued. Residents in the community adjacent to the site will continue to need health education to assist them in understanding their potential for exposure to site-related contaminants and possible health risks, and of measures they may take to reduce their exposure.

2.    Educational programs for health professionals that have already been initiated as a result of the previous HARP recommendations should be continued. Physicians and other health professionals treating members of the community near the site may not be aware of the potential exposures to their patients. Continued education is needed to inform the local medical community about the health effects that may occur in their patients who may have been exposed to contaminants from the site.

3.    Efforts to develop and implement an evaluation of the health status of members of the community near the site, that have already been initiated as a result of the previous HARP recommendations, should be continued. Members of the community adjacent to the site have alleged that exposure to site-related contaminants has produced adverse health effects. A comprehensive community health evaluation is needed to assess the effects of past or possible on-going exposure to site-related contaminants.

If additional information becomes available indicating exposure at levels of concern, ATSDR will evaluate that information to determine what actions, if any, are necessary.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

This section describes what ATSDR and/or Florida HRS will do at the Escambia Wood - Pensacola site after the completion of this public health assessment report. The purpose of a Public Health Action Plan is to ensure that any existing health hazards are reduced and any future health hazards are prevented. ATSDR and/or Florida HRS will do the following:

1.    Florida HRS will continue to develop and provide health education programs to residents near the site. These programs will assist local residents to understand the potential health effects from exposure to site-related contaminants and provide information about what actions they can take to reduce their exposure.

2.    Florida HRS will continue to conduct health professional education programs to inform local doctors and other health professionals of the possibility that their patients may exhibit adverse health effects resulting from exposure to site-related contaminants. These programs will also provide information regarding actions that may be taken to mitigate the health effects resulting from these exposures.

3.    ATSDR will assist Florida HRS in the development of these educational programs to ensure that the information presented is accurate and reflects the most recent scientific findings and agency guidelines.

4.    Florida HRS and the HRS Escambia CPHU will assist ATSDR in conducting a comprehensive community health evaluation of residents near the site. This evaluation should be designed to assess the effects of past or possible on-going exposure to site-related contaminants.

ATSDR and/or Florida HRS will reevaluate the Public Health Action Plan when new environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data are available.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Bruce J. Tuovila
Biological Scientist
Environmental Toxicology
Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services

E. Randall Merchant
Biological Administrator
Environmental Toxicology
Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services

H. Joseph Sekerke, Jr., PhD.
Environmental Manager
Environmental Toxicology
Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services


ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


ATSDR Regional Representative:

Bob Safay
Regional Services
Office of the Assistant Administrator

CERTIFICATION

This Escambia Wood - Pensacola Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative 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 begun.

Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)
ATSDR

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

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ATSDR. 1990a. Toxicological Profile for Benzo(a)pyrene. ICF-Clement: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-88/05.

ATSDR. 1990b. Toxicological Profile for Ethylbenzene. Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-90-15.

ATSDR. 1990c. Toxicological Profile for Naphthalene and 2-Methylnaphthalene. Life Systems, Inc. under subcontract to Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-90-18.

ATSDR. 1990d. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-90-20.

ATSDR. 1990e. Toxicological Profile for Total Xylenes. Clement Associates, Inc.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-90-30.

ATSDR. 1992a. Draft Toxicological Profile for Pentachlorophenol. Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

ATSDR. 1992b. Health Consultation: Escambia Wood Treating Site (40GS), Pensacola, Florida, August 3, 1992.

ATSDR. 1992c. Toxicological Profile for 2-Butanone. Syracuse Research Corporation under subcontract to Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-91-08.

ATSDR. 1993a. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. Life Systems, Inc. under subcontract to Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-92/03.

ATSDR. 1993b. Toxicological Profile for Benzene. Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-92/03.

ATSDR. 1993c. Toxicological Profile for Chromium. Syracuse Research Corporation: U.S. Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-92/08.

ATSDR. 1993d. Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride. Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-92/13.

ATSDR. 1993e. Draft Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane (Update). Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, October 1993.

ATSDR. 1994a. Toxicological Profile for Acetone. Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-93/01.

ATSDR. 1994b. Toxicological Profile for Toluene (Update). Clement International Corporation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR/TP-93/14.

Bertazzi PA, Pesatori AC, Consonni D, Tironi A, Landi MT, Zocchetti C. 1993. Cancer Incidence in a Population Accidentally Exposed to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin, Epidemiology 4 (No. 5):398-406.

Bertazzi PA, Zocchetti C, Pesatori AC, Guercilena S, Consonni D, Tironi A, Landi MT. 1992. Mortality of a Young Population after Accidental Exposure to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, Int J Epidemiol 21 (No. 1):118-123.

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Bruner RJ III. 1982. Report - Hazardous Waste Site Investigation - Escambia Treating Company, Pensacola, Florida. Hazardous Waste Section, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Chatham DM. 1988. Letter (May 16) to Robert Jourdan, Environmental Protection Agency, describing the groundwater aquifer and location of wells in the Pensacola, Florida area, NUS Corporation.

EPA. 1989. Interim procedures for estimating risks associated with exposures to mixtures of chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -dibenzofurans (CDDs and CDFs) and 1989 update. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Risk Assessment Forum, Washington, DC; EPA/625/3-89/016.

EPA. 1991. Action Memorandum from Fred Stroud, OSC, to Donald J. Guinyard, Acting Director, Waste Management Division, Request for a Removal Action at the Escambia Treating Company Site, Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, April 11, 1991.

Ferguson BC. 1992. Field Sampling Investigation, Escambia Treating Company, Pensacola, Florida. Hazardous Waste Section, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Fingerhut MA, Halperin WE, Marlow DA, Placitelli LA, Honchar PA, Sweeney MH, Greife AL, Dill PA, Steenland K, Suruda AJ. 1991. Cancer Mortality in Workers Exposed to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, N Engl J Med 324 (No. 4): 212-218.

Geraghty & Miller. 1992. Final Phase II Remedial Investigation, Agrico Chemical Site, Pensacola, Florida.

Hammond R. 1994. Personal communication with Bruce Tuovila regarding cancer incidence in the 32503 and 32505 zip code areas. February 1994.

Hankinson K. 1987. Documentation Records for Hazard Ranking System, Agrico Chemical, Pensacola, Florida.

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Roy F. Weston, Inc. 1991. Preliminary Assessment, Escambia Treating Company, Pensacola, Florida, Draft Final Report.

Roy F. Weston, Inc. 1992a. Well Sampling, Treatability Sampling and Volume Estimate, Escambia Treating Company, Pensacola, Florida. Preliminary Report.

Roy F. Weston, Inc. 1992b. Air Monitoring and Air Sampling, Escambia Wood Treating, Pensacola, Escambia, Florida. Final Report.

Roy F. Weston, Inc. 1992c. Soil Sampling and Lithologic Characterization, Escambia Wood-Treating Site, Pensacola, Florida. Preliminary Report.

Roy F. Weston, Inc. 1993a. Final Report, Escambia Woodtreating Site, Pensacola, Florida.

Roy F. Weston, Inc. 1993b. Final Report, Air Sampling, Escambia Wood Treating Site, Pensacola, Florida.

Sparks T. 1981. RCRA Interim Status Standards Compliance Inspection Report–Escambia Treating Company. Florida Department of Environmental Regulation.

Tollefson L. 1991. Use of Epidemiology Data to Assess the Cancer Risk of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 13:150-169.

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