PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
GRAND STREET MERCURY SITE
HOBOKEN, HUDSON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
|(1)||Based on the results of indoor air mercury surveys, urine
mercury analyses, and the presence of pools of elemental mercury in the
floors, ATSDR and NJDHSS concluded that the building at 722 Grand Street
posed an imminent public health hazard. Mercury has been detected in indoor
air samples at concentrations that exceed a level of public health concern.
|(2)||Elevated concentrations of mercury have been detected in urine
samples from former residents. The urinary mercury concentrations in 20
of 29 residents exceeded the range (0-20 µg/L) for an unexposed adult population.
The elevated concentrations of mercury detected in the residents were in
a range potentially associated with subtle neurological changes.
|(3)||The ATSDR and the NJDHSS consider the GSMS to have represented
a public health hazard in the past. Based upon the site data, adults and
children were likely exposed to mercury in building at levels of public
health concern. Subsequent to interim remedial measures conducted by the
USEPA and relocation of residents, the site is evaluated by the ATSDR and
the NJDHSS to present no apparent public health hazard as currently the
exposure pathway has been interrupted.
|(4)||The remedial activities specified in the USEPA's work plan, when implemented, should be sufficient to address concerns of the ATSDR and the NJDHSS regarding the GSMS and are consistent with protection of the public health.|
Based on the ATSDR public health advisory, USEPA's action to relocate residents and completely restricting the access to GSMS have eliminated the site related exposure.
Results of the on-going remedial activities and environmental monitoring program should be periodically reviewed for public health significance when available. Should the data indicate a change in site conditions, it will be evaluated within the context of potential public health implications.
The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Grand Street Mercury 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 (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 ATSDR/NJDHSS to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions undertaken by ATSDR/NJDHSS are as follows:
|(1)||Environmental data and proposed remedial activities have been
evaluated within the context of human exposure pathways and relevant public
|(2)||Urine samples collected from residents were analyzed for total
mercury, specific gravity, and creatinine by the NJDHSS laboratory.
|(3)||ATSDR issued a Public Health Advisory proclaiming an imminent
public health hazard posed to residents of 722 Grand Street from past, current,
and potential future exposures via inhalation, direct dermal contact and
possible ingestion metallic (elemental) mercury and mercury vapor.
|(4)||The NJDHSS has prepared a site specific fact sheet for the
GSMS which was made available to residents, local health agencies, and other
|(5)||Physician education, in the form of Grand Round Case Presentation
was conducted at Bayonne Hospital. Case Studies in Environmental Medicine
(Exposure History and Mercury) and Hudson County Environmental Resource
Guides for Health Care Professionals, were provided to area physicians.
|(6)||ATSDR arranged for medical evaluations of building residents at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) Clinical Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. Results of these evaluations are confidential.|
This document will be provided to the HBH and HRHC. ATSDR will provide an annual follow up to this PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this PHA, and will be provided to persons who request it.
The Public Health Assessment for the Grand Street Mercury 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 health assessment was begun.
Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
Division 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.
Acting Chief, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR
- Pollution Report, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, USEPA, October 31, 1997.
- Record of Decision, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, USEPA, October 6, 1997.
- National Priorities List (NPL) Update, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, USEPA, September 1997.
- Superfund Proposed Plan, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, USEPA, July 1997.
- Community Relations Plan, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, USEPA, July 1997.
- ATSDR Record of Activity, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, USEPA, January 27, 1997.
- National Priorities List Nomination, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, USEPA, November 18, 1996.
- Mercury Exposure Among Residents of a Building Formerly Used for Industrial Purposes, New Jersey, 1995 - MMWR, CDC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, May 24, 1996.
- Public Health Advisory, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, ATSDR, January 22, 1996.
- Mercury Exposure and Health, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, ATSDR, January 4, 1996.
- Health Consultation, Grand Street Mercury Site, Hoboken, Hudson County, ATSDR/NJDHSS, January 3, 1996.
- Memorandum from Jerry Fagliano, NJDHSS to Greg Ulirsch, ATSDR (Analysis of Urine Mercury Data from 722 Grand Street, Hoboken, New Jersey), January 2, 1996.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Mercury, May 1994.
Preparer of Report:
- Narendra P. Singh, MD, MS, CIH
Research Scientist II
ATSDR Health Assessment Project
ATSDR Regional Representative:
- Arthur Block
Senior Regional Representative, Region II
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.
ATSDR Health Assessment Project Manager
Hazardous Site Health Evaluation Program
Consumer and Environmental Health Services
Division of Environmental and Occupational Health
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
210 South Broad Street
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360