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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

FEDERAL CREOSOTE
MANVILLE, SOMERSET COUNTY, NEW JERSEY


CONCLUSIONS

On the basis of the information reviewed, the NJDHSS and the ATSDR conclude the following:

  1. Past and present exposures to surface soil represent no apparent public health hazard, as levels of PAHs and other contaminants measured are not likely to result in adverse health effects under realistic exposure scenarios. Through meetings and conversations between residents and ATSDR regional staff, residents have not indicated that they have had skin irritations or other dermal effects expected from creosote exposure; therefore, the NJDHSS concludes that exposures likely to produce acute effects have not occurred in the past. However, this conclusion does not rule out the need to continue remedial activities.


  2. Exposure to sub-surface soil does not pose a public health hazard as long as the sub-surface soil is not disturbed through digging or other activities. The NJDHSS and the ATSDR recognize that source material (creosote) and its components (including PAHs) remain in residential sub-surface soil. Sub-surface contamination at this site may pose a long-term public health hazard to those residents living above or adjacent to the former canals or lagoons if soil at levels of 2 feet below ground surface is disturbed.


  3. Exposure to site contaminants through ingestion of garden produce represents no apparent public health hazard, as produce is unlikely to take up PAHs from soil at levels of health concern.


  4. Exposure to site contaminants in groundwater represents an indeterminate public health hazard, and may pose a future public health hazard if it remains unremediated and the public supply wells, presently not impacted by the site, become affected. This pathway will be further examined after the USEPA completes its monitoring.


  5. The ATSDR and the NJDHSS conclude that the USEPA plan to relocate residents is appropriate in order to remove source material from the site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The NJDHSS and ATSDR recommend that the USEPA continue its remedial plans to remove source material from the site. The ATSDR, the USEPA, and the NJDHSS should continue to ensure that community concerns are addressed, particularly as they relate to temporary or permanent relocation of residents. During remedial activities, the USEPA should take suitable precautions to minimize release of dusts and airborne contamination to surrounding residences (whether or not they are occupied).

The USEPA should also continue its delineation of groundwater contamination to ensure that public water supplies remain unaffected by the site.

Residents should continue to avoid exposure to sub-surface soil, particularly in areas near the former lagoons and canals.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Federal Creosote 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. The ATSDR has developed indoor air guidelines for residential exposure to coal tar creosote-related contaminants.


  2. The ATSDR has reviewed surface and subsurface soil data within the context of human exposure pathways.


  3. The ATSDR has discussed specific medical concerns with residents. It has also ensured that issues relating to the community's level of stress were addressed early in the site evaluation process.


  4. The ATSDR has met and continues to meet regularly (at least bi-monthly) with residents, in both public and private forums, to discuss community concerns and the outcomes of the health consultations.


  5. The ATSDR has conducted 2 stress management workshops specifically for those residents who will be permanently relocated from their homes.

B. Public Health Actions Planned

  1. The ATSDR and NJDHSS will continue to evaluate site data for its relevance to public health, and inform the community of these evaluations.


  2. The NJDHSS will assess the need for, and provide as necessary, health care provider education related to this site.


  3. The ATSDR should continue to ensure that the community's level of stress is monitored as families are permanently or temporarily relocated during the USEPA's remediation of individual properties.


  4. The NJDHSS and ATSDR will evaluate potential exposures to groundwater as data becomes available from the USEPA.


  5. NJDHSS will place this health assessment in area repositories, and will provide copies to persons who request it.


  6. ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan when needed. New environmental, toxicological, health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions, may determine the need for additional actions at this site.

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 waste sites. 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 the growing child can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages. Children depend completely on adults for risk identification and management decisions, housing decisions, and access to medical care. The NJDHSS and the ATSDR evaluated the likelihood of children living on or near the Federal Creosote site being exposed to contaminants at levels of public health concern. Children may be exposed to contaminants that may pose a long-term risk to health if they have exposure to sub-surface soil. This is because children are more likely than adults to have contact with and ingest soil. Eliminating children's exposure to contaminated soil, either temporarily through barriers or permanently through removal of soil or dissociation of the household, is prudent and protective of children's health.


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.

Richard Gillig
Acting Chief, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


Site Team/Authors

Preparer of Report:

Sharon L. Kubiak
Program Specialist 1; Health Assessment Project
Consumer and Environmental Health Services
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

ATSDR Regional Representative:

Thomas Mignone
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 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360


REFERENCES

  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Health Consultation, Federal Creosote Site, Manville, NJ; May 1, 1997


  2. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Health Consultation, Federal Creosote Site, Manville, NJ; May 15, 1997


  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Health Consultation, Federal Creosote Site, Manville, NJ; January 16, 1998


  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Health Consultation, Federal Creosote Site, Manville, NJ; April 24, 1998


  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Health Consultation, Federal Creosote Site, Manville, NJ; February 11, 1999


  6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Creosote (Update); August 1996


  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Update, August 1995


  8. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Lead (Draft Update); February 1998


  9. US Environmental Protection Agency, Summary Report: Indoor Air Monitoring at Federal Creosote Site; September 9, 1997.


  10. US Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund Proposed Plan: Federal Creosote Site, Manville, New Jersey; April 1999


  11. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Soil Cleanup Criteria (Rev. 5/3/99)


  12. US Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund Program Proposed Plan: Federal Creosote Site; April 2000

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