Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

DIAMOND HEAD OIL REFINERY DIVISION SITE
KEARNY, HUDSON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY


SUMMARY

The Diamond Head Oil Refinery Division (DHO) site is located at 1401 Harrison Turnpike, Kearny, New Jersey. The DHO site is situated on approximately 15 acres of land located in an urban/industrial area of Hudson County. The DHO site is currently inactive and undeveloped. The site consists of wetland areas, drainage ditches, several small ponds, and the remains of an old oil refinery operation.

Several environmental investigations have been conducted at the DHO site. Preliminary sampling was performed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 1985. Most recently, environmental samplings were conducted in 1991 and 1999 by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) contractors. During these activities, the contractors collected surface and subsurface soils, sediments, groundwater and surface water samples from the site. Volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and metals were the major contaminants detected on-site. No air monitoring data or off-site environmental data are available at this point.

Based on the information reviewed, the ATSDR and NJDHSS have concluded that the DHO site currently represents no public health hazard. Based upon current site conditions and data/information available to the ATSDR and the NJDHSS, there are no documented human exposures to site-related contamination in the groundwater, soil, sediments, surface water and air. This conclusion is based on the fact that an exposed (receptor) population is absent. The site is located in a remote area and has a perimeter fence, making unauthorized access difficult and unlikely. There are no known wells used for public or private drinking water supply located within 4 miles of the site or drinking water intakes located in any surface waters within 15 miles downstream of the site. There is no evidence the site impacts biota associated with the human food chain, and commercial fishing is prohibited in nearby surface waters. Moreover, there are no known special populations located near the site. According to the Hudson Regional Health Commission and the USEPA, there are no known community health concerns regarding the DHO site. Because of a lack of exposure pathways and an absence of community concerns, health outcome data was not evaluated for the DHO site.

Although the ATSDR and the NJDHSS have not identified completed human exposure pathways associated with the DHO site, contamination of on-site soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater is present at levels above health comparison values. Therefore, without long-term remedial action, these levels represent a potential public health concern if conditions or land use at the site change, resulting in future exposures.

Thus, the ATSDR and the NJDHSS concur with the restriction of public access to contaminated areas of the site. The ATSDR and the NJDHSS also suggest a complete delineation of potentially affected environmental media on-site. If new site data and information become available or if future changes in site conditions or land use at the site create potential human exposure pathways, the ATSDR and NJDHSS may reevaluate the public health implications of the site.


PURPOSE AND HEALTH ISSUES

This Public Health Assessment evaluates the public health issues associated with the Diamond Head Oil Refinery Division (DHO) site, which was proposed for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL) on July 27, 2000. NPL or "Superfund" sites represent those sites which are associated with significant public health or ecosystem concern in terms of the nature and magnitude of contamination present and the potential to adversely impact health or the environment.

This document will evaluate human exposure pathways associated with known contaminated environmental media within, or associated with, the DHO site and the public health implications of exposures, if identified. In addition, this document will recommend actions consistent with protection of the public health, as warranted. At the DHO site, the contaminated media of concern include on-site soil, sediments, groundwater and surface water from on-site drainage.


BACKGROUND

Diamond Head Oil Refinery Div.A. Site Description and History

The Diamond Head Oil Refinery Division (DHO) site is located at 1401 Harrison Turnpike, Kearny, Hudson County, New Jersey (inset). The DHO site occupies approximately 15 acres of an urban/industrial area of Hudson County (Figure 1). The site is bounded by Harrison Avenue to the north; entrance ramp M of Interstate 280 (I-280) to the east; and I-280 to the south (Figure 2). Along the western border of the site is a business known as the Campbell Distribution Foundry.

The DHO site is currently inactive and undeveloped. The site consists of wetland areas, drainage ditches, several small ponds, and the remains of an old oil refinery operation. The remaining on-site structures consist of building foundations and the concrete pads of two former storage tanks. Also, present on the site are various types of building and road construction debris.

The Diamond Head Oil Refining Company, Inc. operated an oil reprocessing facility on the site from 1946 until November 1, 1973. From 1973 until November 3, 1976, another owner (PSC Resources), continued the oil reprocessing operation under the same name. The property was purchased in 1976 by the Ag-Met Oil Service, Inc. The Ag-Met Oil Service changed its name to Newtown Refining Corporation, but continued with the business involving the collection, refining, and recycling of liquid waste oil into fuel oil and lubricants. In January 1985, the Newtown Refining Corporation sold the property to the Mimi Urban Development Corporation. On August 23, 1985, the Mimi Urban Development Corporation changed its name to Hudson Meadows Urban Development Corporation (HMURDC). The HMURDC is the present owner of the DHO site.

During the years of its operation, the DHO refinery division used two large above-ground pits (and possibly underground tanks) to store waste oil on the site. Reportedly, the DHO refinery division intermittently dumped these stored wastes directly on the ground in several nearby on- and off-site areas. This dumping also created what was referred to as an "oil lake" in the wetland area to the south of the site.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) acquired the property just south of the DHO facility in 1968 for the construction of I-280. It has been reported by the USEPA that when the NJDOT began construction of I-280, it was necessary to remove 9 million gallons of oil-contaminated water and 5 to 6 million cubic yards of oil sludge from the disposal pits. The NJDOT also reported that during the construction of the highway they found an "underground lake," presumably free oil product floating upon the groundwater. This "underground lake" was found to extend to the eastern limits of the NJDOT right-of-way to Frank's Creek to the west.

Although the DHO facility was closed in 1979, the site was not completely fenced until 1982. During this interim period, reports indicate that dumping of waste oils and other debris continued to occur at the site (USEPA, 2000). In May 1982, the Eastern Chemical Cleaning Company was hired by the owners of the site for remedial work. About 7,500 gallons of liquid waste were removed from the on-site storage tanks. In addition, 27 tons of contaminated soil were removed. Contaminated materials were reportedly disposed of at an off-site location.

Several environmental investigations have been conducted at the DHO site. Preliminary sampling was performed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in 1985. In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) contractor conducted a site inspection.

Most recently, an Expanded Site Inspection (ESI) was conducted in December 1999 by the USEPA through the environmental contractor, Roy F. Weston Inc. (USEPA, 2000). In the 1999 ESI, surface and subsurface soils, and groundwater samples were collected throughout the site. In addition, the USEPA collected sediment samples from the on-site wetland and pond areas, as well as the wetland areas along the southern border of the site (Figure 3).

The USEPA proposed the DHO site for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL, a.k.a. Superfund) on July 27, 2000.

B. Demography and Land Use

The DHO site is located in an industrial area near the New Jersey Turnpike and I-280 (Figure 1). There are no schools, day care facilities, or homes on or within at least 1/4 mile of the property.

Population demographics based upon the 1990 census have been prepared by the ATSDR using area-proportion spatial analysis, and are presented in Figure 4. Within a one mile radius there are approximately 4,311 housing units with as many as 11,396 people.

There is a small stream west of the site, known as Frank's Creek, that reportedly accepts drainage water from the DHO site. Frank's Creek is located less than 700 feet south west from the site border. Frank's Creek flows to the south approximately another 2000 feet into the Passaic River.

C. Past ATSDR/NJDHSS Involvement

There were no ATSDR/NJDHSS activities at the DHO site prior to the February 15, 2001 site visit (see below).

D. Site Visit

On February 15, 2001, James Pasqualo, J. J. Winegar, Steve Miller and Stella Man-chun Tsai of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) conducted a site visit. The NJDHSS staff were accompanied by the USEPA's Remedial Project Manager, Grisell Diaz-Cotto and the ATSDR Regional Representatives, Tom Mignone and Chris Agnew.

Weather conditions at the time of the inspection were sunny and the temperature was approximately 45 degrees F, with winds from the west at 10 - 20 mph. The following observations were made during the site visit:

  • The site is located in a remote industrial area near the entrance to the New Jersey Turnpike (exit 15W) and Route I-280 West. The Campbell Distribution Foundry is located west of the site. All other areas of the site are surrounded by county roads and highways. No residential buildings were observed near the site.


  • The site is currently inactive with a locked gate. A chain-link fence was installed to prevent trespassers from entering the site. However, a section of fence was observed to be missing along the east side of the property. This section of fence was apparently removed to facilitate access by machinery associated with remedial activities. There was no indication of unauthorized access to the site.


  • The site is highly vegetated with extensive wetland areas. Also, observed were several small ponds at the southern edge of the property, a landfill to the west of the property, and the foundations of previous buildings and oil tanks from previous operation. Drum carcasses and various types of construction debris were observed at different locations on the site.


  • An apparent petrochemical sheen was observed on one of the small ponds.


  • A pile of road work debris was dumped near the entrance to the site.

DISCUSSION

A. On-Site Contamination

Several investigations on-site have been conducted by different agencies and site owners (USEPA, 2000). The two most detailed and recent site investigations by USEPA contractors were conducted in 1991 by Halliburton NUS Environmental Corporation (USEPA, 1991), and in 1999 by Roy F. Weston, Inc (USEPA, 2000). The summary results from these two investigations are described in this section. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and metals were the major contaminants detected on-site.

Site Investigation in 1991

On July 1 and 2, 1991, the USEPA contractor (Halliburton NUS Environmental Corporation) conducted a site inspection (SI). Several surface & subsurface soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water, liquid waste (from the top of one monitoring well), and solid waste samples were collected on-site from different locations. All samples were analyzed by the USEPA Contract Laboratory Program (CLP) laboratories for Target Compound List (TCL) organic and inorganic compounds at both low and high concentrations.

Samples collected from on-site soil and sediment samples from stained soil and areas of the "oil lake" indicated the presence of elevated VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs and metals. Elevated levels of tetrachloroethylene (25 mg/kg) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (3.2 mg/kg) were detected in a sample collected from the sediment of the former oil lake. Elevated levels of lead, zinc, PCBs, tetrachloroethylene and 1,1,1-trichloroethane were detected near the tank foundations.

One groundwater sample collected from a monitoring well at the eastern portion of the site indicated the presence of VOCs and SVOCs which were similar to those found in soil and sediment samples on-site.

During the site inspection, the USEPA contractor used an organic vapor analyzer (OVA), a flame ionization detector and a HNu photoionization detector to measure contaminants released from the surface soil to the air. The presence of VOCs in the air was indicated in these tests collected above the soil surface.

Site Investigation in 1999

In December 1999, the USEPA contractor (Roy F. Weston, Inc.) conducted an Expanded Site Inspection (ESI) at the DHO site (EPA, 2000). During this investigation, the USEPA collected surface and subsurface soil samples from 20 locations in the areas of the former building and tanks, northwest of the property and areas of the former oil lake. Surface soil samples were collected at the depth of zero to two feet and analyzed for metals. (Note: the ATSDR generally considers surface soil collected from a depth of zero to 3 inches to be more representative of human exposure.) One subsurface soil sample was analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs and for pesticides/PCBs. The USEPA also collected 15 sediment samples from the on-site wetland/pond area (former oil lake area) and the wetland area extending along the southern perimeter of the site for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs and metals. Three sediment samples collected from a wetland northeast of the site were used to document background wetland sediment conditions. One surface water sample from the southern perimeter and four groundwater samples throughout the site were collected for analysis. Figure 3 shows locations of surface soil, subsurface soil and sediment sample locations. The summary results of on-site contamination from ESI are listed as follows:

On-Site Sediments

A total of 15 sediment samples were collected from the on-site wetland/pond area and the wetland area extending along the southern perimeter of the site. Three off-site sediment samples were collected to determine the background levels of contaminants. These samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs and metals.

Analytical results of these samples indicated the presence of VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs and metals. Some of these contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heptachlor epoxide, PCBs and metals, were above health-based comparison values (Table 1).

On-Site Surface and Sub-Surface Soil

A total of 20 surface (0-2 feet) and sub-surface soil samples were collected for metal analysis. The analysis results indicated elevated metal levels throughout the site. The compounds exceeding health-based comparison values and the NJDEP's soil cleanup criteria are listed in Table 2.

One sub-surface soil sample (SS07) was analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides and PCBs. An elevated level of benzo(a)pyrene (5.7 mg/kg) was detected in this sample.

On-Site Surface Water

One surface water sample collected from a drainage pathway was analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs and metals. The surface water sample was collected from a drainage pathway that leaves the site. The results of analyses indicated the presence of elevated VOCs (trichloroethene or TCE at 5 µg/L) in this sample.

On-Site Groundwater

A total of four groundwater samples were collected on-site for metal analyses. Elevated arsenic, chromium, lead, manganese, thallium and vanadium were detected in these samples (Table 3).

On-Site Air Monitoring

No on-site air monitoring samples were collected during the Expanded Site Inspection (ESI) in 1999.

B. Off- Site Contamination

There are no data or information available on contaminant levels in off-site environmental media.

C. Pathways Analysis

This section contains a discussion of the exposure pathways at the site and their public health implications, if applicable. An exposure pathway is the process by which an individual is exposed to contaminants that originate from some source of contamination.

A completed exposure pathway must include each of five elements that link a contaminant source to a receptor population. The five elements of a completed exposure pathway are as follows:

(1) Source of contamination;
(2) Environmental media and transport mechanisms;
(3) Point of exposure;
(4) Route of exposure; and
(5) Receptor population.

ATSDR/NJDHSS classifies exposure pathways into three groups: (1) "completed pathways," that is, those in which exposure has occurred, is occurring, or will occur; (2) "potential pathways," that is, those in which exposure might have occurred, may be occurring, or may yet occur; and (3) "eliminated pathways," that is, those that can be eliminated from further analysis because one of the five elements is missing and will never be present, or in which no contaminants of concern can be identified.

At the DHO site, the environmental media have been shown to be contaminated at levels of potential public health concern (i.e., above health-comparison values). However, based upon current site conditions and data /information available to the ATSDR and the NJDHSS, there are no documented human exposures to site-related contamination in groundwater, soil, sediments, surface water and air. This conclusion is based on the fact that a receptor population is absent. The site is located in a remote area and has a perimeter fence, making unauthorized access difficult and unlikely. Also, as noted during the site visit, on 2/15/01, there was no indication of any unauthorized access at the site. There are no known wells used for public or private drinking water supply located within 4 miles of the site (USEPA, 1991). No known drinking water intakes are located in any surface waters within 15 miles downstream of the site. In addition, there is no evidence the site impacts biota associated with the human food chain. Commercial fishing is prohibited in nearby surface waters (USEPA, 1991). Finally, there are no known special populations located within the influence of the site or community health concerns about exposures or adverse health effects.

D. Public Health Implications

There are no identified completed exposure pathways associated with the DHO site. Thus, there are no public health implications to be evaluated. There are environmental contaminants on the site which are at concentrations above the health comparison values. Future changes in land use or site accessibility may result in potential future exposures at levels above health-comparison values.

E. ATSDR Child Health Initiative

ATSDR's Child Health Initiative recognizes that the unique vulnerabilities of infants and children demand special emphasis in communities faced with contamination in their environment. Children are at greater risk than adults from certain kinds of exposures to hazardous substances emitted from a waste site. They are more likely to be exposed because they play outdoors and they often bring food into contaminated areas. They are shorter than adults, which means they breathe dust, soil, and heavy vapors closer to the ground. Children are also smaller, resulting in higher doses of chemical exposure per body weight. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages. Most important, children depend completely on adults for risk identification and management decisions, housing decisions, and access to medical care.

Under current conditions, there were no identified completed exposure pathways associated with the DHO site. If site conditions change that result in potential exposures to children or pregnant women, the NJDHSS/ATSDR will reexamine childhood health issues.

F. Community Health Concerns

In order to gather information on community health concerns at the DHO site, the NJDHSS spoke with the Hudson Regional Health Commission, Division of Environmental Health, and the USEPA Remedial Project Manager. According to our conversations with these agencies, there are no current community concerns regarding the DHO site.

The ATSDR and the NJDHSS will review and evaluate any community health concerns which may arise. Future removal work at the site and the release of the public health assessment may generate interest among the public during the public comment period. A public availability session is not currently being planned at this site. A public availability session to gather community concerns and comments will be held in the future if a need is indicated.

G. Health Outcome Data

Because of a lack of exposure pathways and an absence of community concerns, health outcome data was not evaluated for the DHO site.

H. Public Comment

This Public Health Assessment was released for public comment during the period July 9 through August 10, 2002. No comments were received.


CONCLUSIONS

Hazard Category: Diamond Head Oil Refinery Division Site

Based on the information reviewed, the ATSDR and NJDHSS have determined that the Diamond Head Oil Refinery Division (DHO) site currently represents no public health hazard. This evaluation is predicated upon the fact that past and current completed human exposure pathways are not likely to exist under the past and current land use conditions, respectively.

Although the ATSDR and the NJDHSS have not identified completed human exposure pathways associated with the DHO site, on-site soils, sediments, surface water, and groundwater contamination is present at levels of potential public health concern (i.e., above health-comparison values). Without long-term remedial action, future changes in land use or other conditions at the site may result in potential human exposure pathways that may require a reevaluation by ATSDR and the NJDHSS of the hazard posed by the site.


RECOMMENDATIONS

A. Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. It is prudent to continue the restriction of public access to contaminated areas of the site. The break in the perimeter fence should be mended to discourage unauthorized site access.


  2. If new site data or information become available, the ATSDR and NJDHSS may reevaluate the site to determine the need for other cease/reduce exposure recommendations, as necessary.

B. Site Characterization

The following information is needed for additional evaluation of the public health impact from the DHO site:

  1. A complete delineation of potentially affected environmental media related to the site should be conducted. This should include taking soil samples at depths that better represent surface conditions; ATSDR recommends 0-3" sampling to evaluate surface conditions.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Diamond Head Oil Refinery Division site contains a description of the actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or NJDHSS at or in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this Public Health Assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this health assessment 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 ATSDR/NJDHSS to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented by ATSDR/NJDHSS are as follows:

A. Public Health Actions Taken

  1. Available environmental data and other relevant information for the DHO site have been evaluated to determine human exposure pathways and public health issues.


  2. The NJDHSS has prepared a Citizen's Guide to this Public Health Assessment for the DHO site which will be made available to local health agencies and other interested parties.

B. Public Health Actions Planned

  1. The ATSDR and the NJDHSS will coordinate with the appropriate environmental agencies to develop plans to implement the cease/reduce exposure and site characterization recommendations and will evaluate new site data when it becomes available.


  2. This Public Health Assessment will be placed in a local repository, and will be provided to persons who request it.


  3. The ATSDR and the NJDHSS will reevaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) as warranted. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions, may determine the need for additional actions at this site.

CERTIFICATION

This Public Health Assessment was prepared by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) 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.

Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
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.

Alan W. Yarbrough
for Roberta Erlwein
Chief, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Preparers of Report:

Jeffrey J. Winegar
Research Scientist; Health Assessment Project
Consumer and Environmental Health Services
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

Stella Man-Chun Tsai
Research Scientist; Health Assessment Project
Consumer and Environmental Health Services
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

Steven M. Miller
Environmental Scientist; Health Assessment Project
Consumer and Environmental Health Services
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

ATSDR Regional Representative:

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

ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Gregory V. Ulirsch
Environmental Health Engineer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Any questions concerning this document should be directed to:

James Pasqualo
Health Assessment Project Manager
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Consumer and Environmental Health Services
PO Box 369
Trenton, NJ 08625-0369


REFERENCES

  1. USEPA 2000, Hazard Ranking System Documentation Package, Diamond Head Oil Refinery Div., Kearny, Hudson County, New Jersey, July 2000, prepared by Roy F. Weston Inc.


  2. USEPA 1991, Final Draft, Site Inspection Report, Diamond Head Oil Refinery Div.,Kearny, Hudson County, New Jersey, December 31, 1991, prepared by Halliburton NUS Environmental Corporation.

FIGURES

General Site Location Map
Figure 1. General Site Location Map

Detailed Site Location Map
Figure 2. Detailed Site Location Map

Surface Soil and Sediment Sample Locations
Figure 3. Surface Soil and Sediment Sample Locations

Demographics
Figure 4. Demographics


TABLES

Table 1. Sediment samples collected from on-site wetland/pond area (SD04-SD15), and the wetland areas extending along the southern perimeter (SD16-SD18) of the site with contaminant concentrations higher than comparison values or NJDEP soil cleanup criteria. These samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs and metals. Units in mg/kg or ppm. Sampling locations are marked in Figure 3 (USEPA, 2000).

Compounds Maximum Concentration Detected Comparison Values or Soil Cleanup Criteria and Sources Sampling Locations Above Comparison Values or Soil Cleanup Criteria
Benzo(a)anthracene 36 7.8-RBC SD16
Benzo(b)fluoranthene 21 7.8-RBC SD16
Benzo(a)pyrene 31 0.1-CREG SD07-SD18
Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene 18 7.8-RBC SD16
Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene 7.6 0.78-RBC SD13, SD16, SD17
Heptachlor epoxide 0.19 0.08-CREG SD05, SD10, SD18
Dieldrin 0.059 0.04-CREG SD05
Aroclor-1242 13 2.9-RBC SD05, SD10, SD12, SD18
Aroclor-1260 3.3 2.9-RBC SD05, SD10, SD18
Aluminum 8630 4000-Intermediate EMEG (pica) SD04, SD05, SD08, SD09, SD11, SD13-SD18
Antimony 16.4 0.8-RMEG (pica) SD04, SD05, SD07-SD09, SD11-SD18
Arsenic 37.7 0.5-CREG SD04-SD18
Barium 3370 100-RMEG (pica) SD04-SD18
Cadmium 26.1 0.4-Chronic EMEG (pica) SD04-SD18
Chromium 658 6-EMEG (pica) SD04-SD18
Lead 84300 600-DEP Soil Cleanup Criteria SD04-SD06,SD08-SD17
Manganese 449 100-RMEG (pica) SD04, SD05, SD07-SD09, SD11-SD18
Nickel 136 40-RMEG (pica) SD05, SD08, SD09, SD11, SD13, SD16, SD17
Thallium 7.2 2-DEP Soil Cleanup Criteria SD04, SD09, SD11, SD12
Vanadium 41.7 6-Intermediate EMEG (pica) SD04-SD18
Zinc 17700 600-RMEG (pica) SD4, SD5, SD8, SD10, SD18

RBC-USEPA Region III Risk-Based Concentration
CREG-Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1x10-6 Excess Cancer Risk
EMEG-ATSDR Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RMEG-Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide


Table 2. Samples collected from on-site soils for metal analysis which exceeded comparison values or NJDEP soil clean-up criteria. Units in mg/kg or ppm. A total of 20 boring locations throughout the site of surface and sub-surface soil samples (S01-S20 and SS01-SS20) were analyzed. The sampling locations are marked in Figure 3 (USEPA, 2000).

Compounds Maximum Concentration Detected Comparison Values or Soil Cleanup Criteria and Sources Sampling Locations Above Comparison Values or Soil Cleanup Criteria
Aluminum 19700 4000-Intermediate EMEG (pica) SS01-04, SS06, SS07, SS09-SS13, SS15-SS20, S01-S14, S16, S17, S19
Antimony 20.3 0.8-RMEG (pica) SS01, SS02, SS04-07, SS09-SS20, S01-S14, S17, S19
Arsenic 19.1 0.5-CREG SS01-SS20, S01-S20
Barium 2930 100-RMEG (pica) SS01-SS03, SS05, SS07, SS08, SS11-SS15, SS17-SS20, S01-S04, S06-S08, S10-S14, S16, S17, S19, S20
Cadmium 16.3 0.4-Chronic EMEG (pica) SS02, SS06, SS07,SS12, SS13, SS18-SS20, S01-S04, S06-S08, S14, S18-S20
Chromium 3610 6-EMEG (pica) SS01-SS20, S01-S20
Lead 23500 600-DEP Soil Cleanup Criteria SS03, SS12-SS14, SS28-SS20, S01, S06-S08, S12, S14, S16-S20
Manganese 691 100-RMEG (pica) SS01-SS20, S01-S14, S16-S20
Nickel 450 40-RMEG (pica) SS01, SS02, SS04, SS06, SS07, SS09-SS13, SS16, SS18, SS19, S01, S02, S04-S13, S17, S19
Thallium 3.4 2-DEP Soil Cleanup Criteria SS19
Vanadium 6770 6-Intermediate EMEG (pica) SS01-SS20, S01-S14, S15-S20
Zinc 1720 600-RMEG (pica) SS07, SS15, SS18, SS20, S01, S07, S08, S13, S19

CREG-Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1x10-6 Excess Cancer Risk
EMEG-ATSDR Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RMEG-Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide


Table 3. Samples collected from on-site monitoring wells for metal analysis which exceeded comparison values or remedial action level. Units in µg/L or ppb. A total of four monitoring wells throughout the site were analyzed (USEPA, 2000).

Compounds Maximum Concentration Detected Comparison Values or Remedial Action Level and Sources
Arsenic 26.3 0.02-CREG
Chromium 327 100-NJ MCL
Lead 200 15- USEPA Remedial Action Level
Manganese 570 500-RMEG (child)
Thallium 11.7 2-MCL
Vanadium 213 30-Intermediate EMEG (child)

CREG-Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1x10-6 Excess Cancer Risk
EMEG-ATSDR Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RMEG-Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
MCL-Maximum Contaminant Level


ATSDR PLAIN LANGUAGE GLOSSARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH TERMS

Absorption:
How a chemical enters a person's blood after the chemical has been swallowed, has come into contact with the skin, or has been breathed in.


Acute Exposure:
Contact with a chemical that happens once or only for a limited period of time. ATSDR defines acute exposures as those that might last up to 14 days.


Additive Effect:
A response to a chemical mixture, or combination of substances, that might be expected if the known effects of individual chemicals, seen at specific doses, were added together.


Adverse Health Effect:
A change in body function or the structures of cells that can lead to disease or health problems.


Antagonistic Effect:
A response to a mixture of chemicals or combination of substances that is less than might be expected if the known effects of individual chemicals, seen at specific doses, were added together.


ATSDR:
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR is a federal health agency in Atlanta, Georgia that deals with hazardous substance and waste site issues. ATSDR gives people information about harmful chemicals in their environment and tells people how to protect themselves from coming into contact with chemicals.


Background Level:
An average or expected amount of a chemical in a specific environment. Or, amounts of chemicals that occur naturally in a specific environment.


Biota:
Used in public health, things that humans would eat - including animals, fish and plants.


CAP:
See Community Assistance Panel.


Cancer:
A group of diseases which occur when cells in the body become abnormal and grow, or multiply, out of control


Carcinogen:
Any substance shown to cause tumors or cancer in experimental studies.


CERCLA:
See Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.


Chronic Exposure:
A contact with a substance or chemical that happens over a long period of time. ATSDR considers exposures of more than one year to be chronic.


Completed Exposure Pathway:
See Exposure Pathway.


Community Assistance Panel (CAP):
A group of people from the community and health and environmental agencies who work together on issues and problems at hazardous waste sites.


Comparison Value (CVs):
Concentrations or the amount of substances in air, water, food, and soil that are unlikely, upon exposure, to cause adverse health effects. Comparison values are used by health assessors to select which substances and environmental media (air, water, food and soil) need additional evaluation while health concerns or effects are investigated.


Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA):
CERCLA was put into place in 1980. It is also known as Superfund. This act concerns releases of hazardous substances into the environment, and the cleanup of these substances and hazardous waste sites. ATSDR was created by this act and is responsible for looking into the health issues related to hazardous waste sites.


Concern:
A belief or worry that chemicals in the environment might cause harm to people.


Concentration:
How much or the amount of a substance present in a certain amount of soil, water, air, or food.


Contaminant:
See Environmental Contaminant.


Delayed Health Effect:
A disease or injury that happens as a result of exposures that may have occurred far in the past.


Dermal Contact:
A chemical getting onto your skin. (see Route of Exposure).


Dose:
The amount of a substance to which a person may be exposed, usually on a daily basis. Dose is often explained as "amount of substance(s) per body weight per day".


Dose / Response:
The relationship between the amount of exposure (dose) and the change in body function or health that result.


Duration:
The amount of time (days, months, years) that a person is exposed to a chemical.


Environmental Contaminant:
A substance (chemical) that gets into a system (person, animal, or the environment) in amounts higher than that found in Background Level, or what would be expected.


Environmental Media:
Usually refers to the air, water, and soil in which chemical of interest are found. Sometimes refers to the plants and animals that are eaten by humans. Environmental Media is the second part of an Exposure Pathway.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
The federal agency that develops and enforces environmental laws to protect the environment and the public's health.


Epidemiology:
The study of the different factors that determine how often, in how many people, and in which people will disease occur.


Exposure:
Coming into contact with a chemical substance.(For the three ways people can come in contact with substances, see Route of Exposure.)


Exposure Assessment:
The process of finding the ways people come in contact with chemicals, how often and how long they come in contact with chemicals, and the amounts of chemicals with which they come in contact.


Exposure Pathway:
A description of the way that a chemical moves from its source (where it began) to where and how people can come into contact with (or get exposed to) the chemical.

ATSDR defines an exposure pathway as having 5 parts:
  1. Source of Contamination,

  2. Environmental Media and Transport Mechanism,

  3. Point of Exposure,

  4. Route of Exposure; and,

  5. Receptor Population.

When all 5 parts of an exposure pathway are present, it is called a Completed Exposure Pathway. Each of these 5 terms is defined in this Glossary.


Frequency:
How often a person is exposed to a chemical over time; for example, every day, once a week, twice a month.


Hazardous Waste:
Substances that have been released or thrown away into the environment and, under certain conditions, could be harmful to people who come into contact with them.


Health Effect:
ATSDR deals only with Adverse Health Effects (see definition in this Glossary).


Indeterminate Public Health Hazard:
The category is used in Public Health Assessment documents for sites where important information is lacking (missing or has not yet been gathered) about site-related chemical exposures.


Ingestion:
Swallowing something, as in eating or drinking. It is a way a chemical can enter your body (See Route of Exposure).


Inhalation:
Breathing. It is a way a chemical can enter your body (See Route of Exposure).


LOAEL:
Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level. The lowest dose of a chemical in a study, or group of studies, that has caused harmful health effects in people or animals.


Malignancy:
See Cancer.


MRL:
Minimal Risk Level. An estimate of daily human exposure - by a specified route and length of time -- to a dose of chemical that is likely to be without a measurable risk of adverse, noncancerous effects. An MRL should not be used as a predictor of adverse health effects.


NPL:
The National Priorities List. (Which is part of Superfund.) A list kept by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the most serious, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. An NPL site needs to be cleaned up or is being looked at to see if people can be exposed to chemicals from the site.


NOAEL:
No Observed Adverse Effect Level. The highest dose of a chemical in a study, or group of studies, that did not cause harmful health effects in people or animals.


No Apparent Public Health Hazard:
The category is used in ATSDR's Public Health Assessment documents for sites where exposure to site-related chemicals may have occurred in the past or is still occurring but the exposures are not at levels expected to cause adverse health effects.


No Public Health Hazard:
The category is used in ATSDR's Public Health Assessment documents for sites where there is evidence of an absence of exposure to site-related chemicals.


PHA:
Public Health Assessment. A report or document that looks at chemicals at a hazardous waste site and tells if people could be harmed from coming into contact with those chemicals. The PHA also tells if possible further public health actions are needed.


Plume:
A line or column of air or water containing chemicals moving from the source to areas further away. A plume can be a column or clouds of smoke from a chimney or contaminated underground water sources or contaminated surface water (such as lakes, ponds and streams).


Point of Exposure:
The place where someone can come into contact with a contaminated environmental medium (air, water, food or soil). For examples:
the area of a playground that has contaminated dirt, a contaminated spring used for drinking water, the location where fruits or vegetables are grown in contaminated soil, or the backyard area where someone might breathe contaminated air.


Population:
A group of people living in a certain area; or the number of people in a certain area.


PRP:
Potentially Responsible Party. A company, government or person that is responsible for causing the pollution at a hazardous waste site. PRP's are expected to help pay for the clean up of a site.


Public Health Assessment(s):
See PHA.


Public Health Hazard:
The category is used in PHAs for sites that have certain physical features or evidence of chronic, site-related chemical exposure that could result in adverse health effects.


Public Health Hazard Criteria:
PHA categories given to a site which tell whether people could be harmed by conditions present at the site. Each are defined in the Glossary. The categories are:
  1. Urgent Public Health Hazard

  2. Public Health Hazard

  3. Indeterminate Public Health Hazard

  4. No Apparent Public Health Hazard

  5. No Public Health Hazard

Receptor Population:
People who live or work in the path of one or more chemicals, and who could come into contact with them (See Exposure Pathway).


Reference Dose (RfD):
An estimate, with safety factors (see safety factor) built in, of the daily, life-time exposure of human populations to a possible hazard that is not likely to cause harm to the person.


Route of Exposure:
The way a chemical can get into a person's body. There are three exposure routes:
- breathing (also called inhalation),
- eating or drinking (also called ingestion), and
- or getting something on the skin (also called dermal contact).


Safety Factor:
Also called Uncertainty Factor. When scientists don't have enough information to decide if an exposure will cause harm to people, they use "safety factors" and formulas in place of the information that is not known. These factors and formulas can help determine the amount of a chemical that is not likely to cause harm to people.


SARA:
The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act in 1986 amended CERCLA and expanded the health-related responsibilities of ATSDR. CERCLA and SARA direct ATSDR to look into the health effects from chemical exposures at hazardous waste sites.


Sample Size:
The number of people that are needed for a health study.


Sample:
A small number of people chosen from a larger population (See Population).


Source (of Contamination):
The place where a chemical comes from, such as a landfill, pond, creek, incinerator, tank, or drum. Contaminant source is the first part of an Exposure Pathway.


Special Populations:
People who may be more sensitive to chemical exposures because of certain factors such as age, a disease they already have, occupation, sex, or certain behaviors (like cigarette smoking). Children, pregnant women, and older people are often considered special populations.


Statistics:
A branch of the math process of collecting, looking at, and summarizing data or information.


Superfund Site:
See NPL.


Survey:
A way to collect information or data from a group of people (population). Surveys can be done by phone, mail, or in person. ATSDR cannot do surveys of more than nine people without approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Synergistic effect:
A health effect from an exposure to more than one chemical, where one of the chemicals worsens the effect of another chemical. The combined effect of the chemicals acting together are greater than the effects of the chemicals acting by themselves.


Toxic:
Harmful. Any substance or chemical can be toxic at a certain dose (amount). The dose is what determines the potential harm of a chemical and whether it would cause someone to get sick.


Toxicology:
The study of the harmful effects of chemicals on humans or animals.


Tumor:
Abnormal growth of tissue or cells that have formed a lump or mass.


Uncertainty Factor:
See Safety Factor.


Urgent Public Health Hazard:
This category is used in ATSDR's Public Health Assessment documents for sites that have certain physical features or evidence of short-term (less than 1 year), site-related chemical exposure that could result in adverse health effects and require quick intervention to stop people from being exposed.

Table of Contents

  
 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #