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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

EAST MULTNOMAH COUNTY GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION
GRESHAM, MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OREGON



CONCLUSIONS

Based on the available information, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) concludes that the proposed East Multnomah County Groundwater Contamination National Priorities List (NPL) site is a public health hazard (past, current, and future). ATSDR made this determination because two homes have been and are presently using a contaminated drinking water well and have refused alternative drinking water supplies. It is likely that the amount of trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene will increase in this well. Thus, people continuing to ingest the contaminated water from the well might have a low increased risk of developing cancer because of the accumulative exposures (past, current, and future) to TCE and tetrachloroethylene.

Most of the people who relied upon contaminated drinking water wells have been provided with alternative drinking water supplies. Based on studies of workers and laboratory animals and the low exposure to the contaminants, the exposure to TCE and tetrachloroethylene to people who formerly relied on these residential drinking water wells does not appear to be high enough to result in adverse health effects. Therefore, the proposed East Multnomah County Groundwater Contamination NPL site is not a public health hazard for these people.

If the site is not remediated appropriately, there is a potential for City of Portland wells and other downgradient drinking water wells (i.e., residential wells and the small community wells for the West Interlachen Corporation, Interlachen Corporation, and the Blue Lake Co-op) to be contaminated with TCE and other site-related chemicals.

In order to address the public's concerns about the occurrence of cancer within the site, an evaluation of cancer health statistics should be conducted if the data are available for the site area.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recommends the following:

  1. The homeowners who might still be using the one remaining contaminated private well be encouraged to obtain an alternative drinking water supply.
  2. The drinking water wells downgradient of the sources of groundwater contamination be monitored for site-related contaminants annually. Any well found to be contaminated that could result in human exposures at or above levels of health concern should not be used as a drinking water supply.
  3. The cancer health statistics for the area of this NPL site be evaluated if the data are available.

The proposed East Multnomah County Groundwater Contamination National Priorities List (NPL) site, Oregon, has been evaluated by the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) to determine what future health activities are recommended at this site. Because there are indications that people have been exposed and could still be exposed to site-related contaminants, ATSDR will evaluate health statistics (e.g., hospital cancer registries) for the exposed population to the extent possible with available data.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the proposed East Multnomah County Groundwater Contamination National Priorities List site is a description of actions the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) have taken or will take at the site. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment identifies public health hazards and includes a plan of action to stop or prevent harm to people from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. ATSDR, EPA and ODEQ are committed to this plan and will ensure that it is carried out.

A. Public Health Actions Taken

ODEQ, Boeing Company, and Cascade Corporation have identified which drinking water wells are contaminated. People who rely on these wells have been offered alternative drinking water supplies, and most people have accepted these offers.

In 1993, ODEQ issued an order to Boeing Company and Cascade Corporation concerning the cleanup of the Troutdale Sandstone Aquifer. The order requires the companies to control the migration of site-related contaminants by pumping contaminated groundwater out of the Troutdale Sandstone Aquifer and treating the contaminated groundwater. Initial testing of the groundwater pumping system has been completed. The results of the test and the regional numerical groundwater flow model developed by ODEQ (with support from the Boeing Company and the Cascade Corporation) will be used to design the pump and treatment system. By October 1995, a detailed feasibility report should be issued. This feasibility report will discuss the how the troutdale Sandstone Aquifer will be remediated.

On May 12, 1994, ODEQ issued a cleanup decision for the Swift Adhesives facility. The remedy is a three well pump and treat system for the perched aquifer.

B. Public Health Actions Planned

EPA and ODEQ will ensure that any active downgradient drinking water wells are monitored for site-related contaminants at least annually.

EPA and ODEQ will update ATSDR on any activities at the proposed East Multnomah County Groundwater Contamination National Priorities List site.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Sven E. Rodenbeck, P.E.
Environmental Engineer Consultant
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

John R. Crellin, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Richard W. Robinson
Regional Representative
ATSDR Region X

REFERENCES

  1. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). HRS documentation record, East Multnomah County Groundwater Contamination, Oregon (Region X). Washington, D.C.: EPA, 1993.
  2. State of Oregon, Department of Environmental Quality. Memorandum to Sven Rodenbeck from Bruce Gilles concerning the number of wells contaminated at the East Multnomah County Groundwater Contamination site. 1994 Apr 13.
  3. EMCON Northwest, Inc. Off-site source and receptor survey, Cascade Corporation, Troutdale, Oregon. Portland: 1992 Oct.
  4. Ecology and Environmental, Inc. East Multnomah County groundwater study, Gresham, Oregon. Seattle (WA): 1991 Oct.
  5. Malin R. Summary report, East Multnomah County hydrogeologic study, Boeing of Portland, Cascade Corporation area. Portland: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; 1989 Dec.
  6. Boeing Company of Portland. Boeing Portland, DEQ/EPA presentation. Portland: 1993 Jan.
  7. Landau Associates, Inc. Final report, phase II investigation, Boeing Portland. Edmonds (WA): 1993 Jun.
  8. Dames & Moore. Preliminary remedial investigation final report for Cascade Corporation, Troutdale, Oregon Plant. Seattle (Wa): 1989 Mar.
  9. Century West Engineering Corporation. Phase I, interim data report, remedial investigation and feasibility, Cascade corporation, Troutdale facility. Portland: 1990 Sep.
  10. Century West Engineering Corporation. Interim removal action measures report, remedial investigation and feasibility study, Cascade corporation, Troutdale facility. Portland: 1990 Sep.
  11. Ecology and Environment, Inc. Site inspection report for Cascade Corporation, Troutdale, Oregon. Seattle (Wa): 1991 Oct.
  12. EMCON Northwest, Inc. IRAM performance evaluation, draft report, Cascade Corporation, Troutdale, Oregon. Portland: 1993 Jul.
  13. EMCON Northwest, Inc. Third quarter 1993 data report (July through September), Cascade Corporation, Troutdale, Oregon. Portland: 1993 Oct.
  14. EMCON Northwest, Inc. Preliminary remediation goals, Troutdale facility. Portland: 1993 Oct.
  15. CH2M Hill. Swift Adhesives, Division of Reichhold Chemicals, Inc., final report site investigation. Seattle (Wa): 1990 Jul.
  16. CH2M Hill. Work plan addendum, offsite remedial investigation, Swift Adhesives. Seattle (WA): 1991 Aug.
  17. Ecology and Environment, Inc. Site inspection report for Swift Adhesives, Portland, Oregon. Seattle (WA): 1991 Oct.
  18. EPA. Toxic chemical release inventory. Washington, D.C.: National Library of Medicine, 1987-91.
  19. EPA. Chemical releases and chemical risks. A citizen's guide to risk screening. US Environmental Protection Agency; 1989.
  20. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Public health assessment guidance manual. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, March 1992.
  21. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for 1,2-dichloroethane. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993.
  22. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for 1,1-dichloroethene. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993.
  23. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for cis-1,2-dichloroethene, trans-1,2-dichloroethene, 1,2-dichloroethene. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1990.
  24. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for tetrachloroethylene. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992.
  25. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for 1,1,1-trichloroethane. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993.
  26. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for trichloroethylene. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992.
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  28. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System (computer database). Washington: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1994.
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  32. Byers VS, Levin AS, Ozonoff DM, Baldwin RW. Association between clinical symptoms and lymphocyte abnormalities in a population with chronic domestic exposure to industrial-solvent contaminated domestic water supply and a high incidence of leukemia. Cancer Immunol Immunother 1988;27(1):77-81.
  33. Kilburn KH, Warshaw RH. Prevalence of symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and of fluorescent antinuclear antibodies associated with chronic exposure to trichloroethylene and of the chemicals in well water. Environ Res 1992;57:1-9.
  34. Goldberg SJ, Lebowitz MD, Graver EJ, Hicks S. An association of human congenital cardiac malformations and drinking water contaminants. JACC 1990;16(1):155-164.
  35. Ruijten MWMM, Verberk MM, Sallé HJA. Nerve function in workers with long term exposure to trichloroethylene. Br J Ind Med 1991;48:87-92.
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