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HEALTH CONSULTATION

GULF COAST RECYCLING
TAMPA, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA


STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The purpose of this health consultation is follow-up on a recommendation in an earlier consult todetermine if two children who, in September 1999, were found to have elevated blood lead levelscontinue to have elevated blood lead levels. The children live near the Gulf Coast Recycling(GCR) facility in Tampa, Florida. This process will help the Florida Department of Health(FDOH) determine appropriate public health actions.

FDOH developed this consultation under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency forToxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The conclusions and recommendations of thisconsultation are only applicable to the participants of this investigation.


DISCUSSION

GCR is located at 1901 North 66th Street in Hillsborough County in Tampa, Florida. GCR beganoperating at this location in 1964. Currently, GCR is a secondary lead smelter, recovering leadfrom lead-acid batteries. During the mid 1970s, GCR buried battery casings on-site.

In 1998, consultants for GCR sampled soils near the site and found high levels of lead in theditches along North 66th Street. In May 1999, the federal Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) requested FDOH's assistance to see if people in the neighborhood north, northeast andnorthwest of GCR had elevated blood lead levels.

In June and July 1999, consultants for GCR sampled soils in the ditches and neighborhoodlocated between North 66th Street, 14th Avenue and North 62nd Street. This area includes AstoriaMobile Home Park. GCR consultants also sampled soils in residential yards west of North 62ndStreet. Surface soil lead levels in the ditches range from 60 parts per million (ppm) to 70,000ppm. The surface soil lead levels in people's yards range from 30 ppm to 1600 ppm. GCRconsultants began removal of the contaminated soils in the ditches in June 1999. In March 2000,GCR consultants removed soils from the ditches surrounding the mobile home park andsoutheast of the mobile home park. Also in March, 2000 they removed contaminated soils fromresidential yards in Astoria Mobile Home Park. They treated the contaminated soils, asnecessary, and sent them to a landfill.

In 1999, the Hillsborough County Health Department (HCHD) and the FDOH offered free bloodlead testing to all children younger than 6 years old and pregnant women living near the GCRsite. The participants lived within the boundaries of the area north of the railroad, south of E.Broadway, east of N. 62nd Street and west of N. 70th Street (Attachment 1). Approximately 70houses are within this area. The FDOH prepared fact sheets describing the upcoming testing andwho could participate. The HCHD distributed the flyers one week before the testing date. FromAugust 7, 1999 to August 20, 1999, the HCHD collected blood samples from 16 childrenyounger than six years old to test for lead. No pregnant women participated in the lead bloodtesting. Each parent signed a consent form accepting responsibility for the testing. On August 7,1999, the HCHD stationed their mobile health unit at the Astoria Mobile Home Park. TheHCHD staff included an Environmental Specialist, a Biomedical Coordinator who collectedblood samples and a Spanish interpreter. A volunteer from the Red Cross also helped withmiscellaneous duties during the testing. The Exposure Investigation Coordinator with the FDOHanswered questions. Also, from August 10 through August 20, 1999, a senior nurse collectedblood samples at the Sulfur Springs Health Clinic. Staff at the FDOH laboratory in Jacksonvilleanalyzed the samples.

In August, 1999 Susan Bland, Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology interpreted the laboratory results. Only two of the children younger than 6 years old had elevated blood lead levels. Those blood lead levels were 11 and 14 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL).

According to the draft 1999 ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Lead, a blood level greater than 10.0 µg/dL indicates that excessive lead exposure may be occurring.1 In children, blood lead levels between 10 and 14 µg/dL should trigger community-wide childhood lead poisoning prevention activities.1 These activities include education on nutrition, keeping lead dust and soil out of the home, avoiding soils contaminated with lead and washing hands often.

On August 20, 1999, the FDOH mailed certified letters to each parent that had their child orchildren tested. FDOH included a copy of their laboratory results for their review and suggestedthat the parents share the results with their child's physician. For those children who hadelevated blood lead levels, FDOH recommended the parents visit their child's physician and havetheir child retested within three months, or follow their physician's orders for retesting. In theletters, FDOH also recommended all children younger than 6 years old have blood lead testingonce a year. Also in August, the HCHD and FDOH provided lead poisoning preventioninformation to the children's parents after notifying them about their results by phone. TheHCHD gave lead prevention information to the parents in person and the FDOH mailedinformation to those who requested additional information.

On August 30, 1999, about 70 residents living near GCR attended an open house at the nearbyKenly Park Recreation Center. The residents had the opportunity to speak with staff fromFDOH, HCHD, Hillsborough Environmental Protection Commission (EPC), Florida Departmentof Environmental Protection (FDEP) and GCR representatives. Residents received answers totheir questions about the blood lead testing and soil cleanup in their neighborhood. During theopen house, the HCHD offered to loan a special vacuum cleaner to those who were concernedwith lead dust in their homes.

In September 1999 Susan Bland with the FDOH contacted the parents of the two children withelevated blood lead levels to see if the children had been retested and, if so, what the resultswere. Each family had their child retested at their own physician and informed her that theresults were below 10 ug/dL.

Also in September 1999, Cynthia Keeton with the HCHD contacted one of the parents of thechild with elevated blood lead levels. The mother of the child did not originally want the HCHDto test her home for lead. A few weeks later she changed her mind and the HCHD sampled herhome on October 4, 1999 using a XRS machine. They tested the carpets, blinds, plates,children's bedroom and doorways. No lead was detected from any of these areas. CynthiaKeeton discussed preventative measures to keep lead dust from entering her home. She alsoadvised the mother to use an air hepa filter in her home. The mother agreed to help form a parentinterest group and speak about lead poisoning to other parents.

On March 16, 2000, Susan Bland called the parents of both families again to follow-up on theirchild's physician visits and blood lead retesting. The mother from one of the families has threechildren, two are less than 6 years old. She informed Ms. Bland that these two children visitedtheir physician in September 1999 and their blood lead test results were less than 10 ug/dL. Oneof her children had an MRI done and the results were normal. Also, in February 2000, both ofher youngest children were retested again for lead and the results were again less than 10 ug/dL. The pediatrician will retest them once a year for lead.

On March 16, 2000, Ms. Bland spoke with the father of the other child with elevated bloodlevels. He said that his child was retested for lead in September 1999, but not since that date. The child's test results from September were normal (<10 ug/dL). The father said they plan tovisit the child's physician and retest her again every six months.

Currently, the Hillsborough Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) is monitoring airquality at four stations near the site. The FDEP is monitoring the groundwater quality. The EPAis in the process of remediating the site.


CONCLUSIONS

Both children who had elevated blood lead levels in August 1999 were retested for blood lead. Their retesting results were less than 10 ug/dL. Based on these results, it is unlikely that childrenare currently being exposed to lead contamination from in the area near the Gulf Coast Recyclingfacility. Based on blood lead sampling results, lead exposure from this site is categorized as a noapparent public health hazard.


RECOMMENDATIONS / PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The FDOH does not have any additional recommendations concerning this site, at this time.


REFERENCES

Toxicological Profile for Lead. Draft dated July, 1999 . Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry


PREPARER OF THE REPORT

Susan Bland
Exposure Investigation Coordinator
Florida Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology


Florida Department of Health Reviewer

Randy Merchant
Manager
Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology


ATSDR Technical Project Officer

Debra Gable
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch


ATTACHMENT 1: AREA MAP

Area Map


CERTIFICATION

The Gulf Coast Recycling Health Consultation was prepared by the Florida Department ofHealth, Bureau of Environmental Toxicology, under a cooperative agreement with the Agencyfor Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the health consultation was begun.

Debra Gable
Technical Project Officer,
S.P.S., SAAB, DHAC
ATSDR

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

Roberta Erlwein
Section Chief,
S.P.S., SAAB, DHAC,
ATSDR

Table of Contents

  
 
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