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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

CORNELL DUBILIER ELECTRONICS INCORPORATED
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY


CONCLUSIONS

  1. On the basis of the information reviewed, the ATSDR and the NJDHSS have concluded that the CDE site in its present state poses a public health hazard. Supportive findings include PCBs in fish collected in surface water near the site exceed FDA tolerance levels for PCBs; elevated levels of PCBs were detected in indoor dust and the surface soils at residential properties that may pose a health concern or potential health concern to the residents; and, workers and trespassers (adults and children) are likely exposed to PCBs at the site at levels of public health concern.


  2. Available data and information do not adequately characterize the extent of contamination at the site. However, based on the available data the site poses a potential health threat to workers due to the presence of indoor levels of PCB contamination. Although short-term effects are not likely to occur given the levels of contamination, the site does pose a potential long-term health threat to workers. Wipe samples for lead and cadmium are useful as a qualitative indicator of contamination, but cannot be used to assess human exposures.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure

  1. Access to contaminated areas of the CDE site should be restricted as much as is practicable, and the area should be posted to warn potential site trespassers of the potential hazards.


  2. Optimal dust control measures should be utilized during remediation of the site to prevent off-site migration of PCBs in dust or soil. An interim measure or permanent solution to the contaminated residential yards and/or indoor dust should be put in place as soon as possible.


  3. Health education regarding appropriate cleaning methods (e.g., wet/damp dusting and mopping on floors and hard surfaces with a cleaning solution) in the homes where elevated levels of PCBs were detected in indoor dust should be conducted.


  4. On-site workers should be advised of the potential health risks so that precautionary measures may be taken (for example, dust control measures).


  5. Workers should discuss any health concerns regarding potential exposures with their health care providers. The ATSDR and the NJDHSS can supply appropriate information to health care providers regarding these contaminants and health.


  6. Fish from the Bound Brook, the New Market Pond, Spring Lake, and their tributaries should not be consumed, as there is a fish consumption advisory currently in place for these waters.

Site Characterization

  1. Additional sampling should be conducted to adequately characterize the extent of contamination at the CDE site and the surrounding community.


  2. Indoor air sampling should be conducted to determine the potential health threat posed by cadmium and lead contamination because air sampling data would be more useful in estimating potential human exposures than wipe samples.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the CDE site contains a description of the actions to be taken by the ATSDR and/or the NJDHSS at or in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment (PHA). The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this PHA not only identifies public health hazards but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of the ATSDR and the NJDHSS to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented by the ATSDR and the NJDHSS are as follows.

A. Public Health Actions Undertaken by the ATSDR and the NJDHSS

  1. Environmental data have been evaluated within the context of human exposure pathways and relevant public health issues.


  2. The NJDEP, the NJDHSS and the NJDOA, in coordination with the EPA, issued a fish advisory for the entire length of the Bound Brook, Middlesex County and posted signs warning the public not to consume fish from the entire length of the Bound Brook including the New Market Pond. ATSDR provided support to these agencies in the development of the fish advisory. The advisory warned residents of contaminated fish and advised the residents that consumption of the fish could be harmful to their health.


  3. NJDHSS prepared a site-specific fact sheet for the CDE site and made it available to local health agencies and other interested parties.


  4. The Piscataway Township Health Department (PTHD) has posted warning signs at the New Market Pond in English and Spanish advising people not to eat fish from the pond. The PTHD also checks the signs weekly, and replaces them as necessary.

B. Public Health Actions Planned by the ATSDR and the NJDHSS

  1. This Public Health Assessment document and the Citizen's Guide will be provided to the Middlesex County Public Health Department, Middlesex County, New Jersey.


  2. NJDHSS and the ATSDR will assist the Middlesex County Public Health Department by providing public health education materials and professional expertise to explain the potential implications of human exposure to PCBs.


  3. The NJDHSS will assist the PTHD in developing signs that are easily understandable by individuals who do not read English or Spanish regarding the consumption of fish from the New Market Pond.


  4. The NJDHSS will determine what additional languages are likely to be spoken in Piscataway for the purpose of developing signs in languages other than English and Spanish.


  5. As additional data becomes available on the extent and degree of off-site contamination, ATSDR and the NJDHSS will provide health education to residents on ways to reduce their potential exposure to PCBs present in indoor dust and surface soils.


  6. ATSDR will provide an annual follow-up to this PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be provided to persons who request it, and it will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this PHA.

DOCUMENTS REVIEWED

  1. National Priorities List (NPL) Update, Cornell Dubilier Electronics Inc., South Plainfield, NJ, EPA, September 1997.


  2. Health Consultation, Cornell Dubilier Electronics Incorporated, South Plainfield, Middlesex County, NJ, CERCLIS NO. NJD981557879, ATSDR, September 9, 1997.


  3. Fish Consumption Advisory for Bound Brook, New Market Pond, and Spring Lake, Middlesex County, ATSDR, August 1997.


  4. Bound Brook Sampling and Edible Fish Tissue Data Report, Cornell Dubilier Electronics Site, South Plainfield, New Jersey, Environmental Response Team Center, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, EPA, July 1997.


  5. Health Consultation, Cornell Dubilier Electronics Incorporated, South Plainfield, Middlesex County, NJ, CERCLIS NO. NJD981557879, ATSDR, July 31, 1997.


  6. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Cornell Dubilier(Hamilton Industrial Park): Facts for Workers and Area Residents, ATSDR and South Plainfield, New Jersey, Health Department, May 1997.


  7. Health Consultation, Cornell Dubilier Electronics Site (20GZ) (a.k.a. Hamilton Industrial Park), South Plainfield, Middlesex County, NJ, ATSDR, May 27, 1997.


  8. ATSDR Record of Activity, Cornell Dubilier Electronics Site, South Plainfield, Middlesex County, NJ, ATSDR, March 11, 1997.


  9. ATSDR Record of Activity, Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Log # 96-4046, S. Kinsler, September 17, 1996.


  10. ATSDR Record of Activity, Cornell Dubilier Electronics Site, South Plainfield, Middlesex County, NJ, ATSDR, October 7, 1996.


  11. Removal Site Evaluation for the Cornell Dubilier Electronics Site (A.K.A.: Hamilton Industrial Park), South Plainfield, Middlesex County, New Jersey. O.S.C., Removal Action Branch, Region II, EPA.


  12. Toxicological Profile for Lead, Update, US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, ATSDR, April 1993.


  13. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium, Update, US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, April 1993.


  14. Toxicological Profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls, US Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, April 1993.


  15. ATSDR Case Studies in Environmental Medicine, Polychlorinated Biphenyl Toxicity, US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, June 1990.


  16. Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 1991.

CERTIFICATION

The Public Health Assessment for the CDE site was prepared by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior 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.

Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
Aivision of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)

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

Richard Gillig
Chief, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Preparers of Report:

Steven M. Miller, MS, PhD
Environmental Scientist II
ATSDR Health Assessment Project

Narendra P. Singh, MD, MS, CIH
Research Scientist II
ATSDR Health Assessment Project

ATSDR Regional Representative:

Arthur Block
Senior Regional Representative, Region II
Regional Operations
Office of the Assistant Administrator

ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Gregory V. Ulirsch, M.S.
Environmental Health Engineer
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Any questions concerning this document should be directed to:

James Pasqualo, M.S.
Health Assessment Project Manager
Hazardous Site Health Evaluation Program
Consumer and Environmental Health Services
Division of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
210 South Broad Street
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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