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

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MIDDLESEX SAMPLING PLANT (USDOE)
MIDDLESEX, MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY


TABLES

Table 1. Evaluation of Potential Source Areas at Middlesex Sampling Plant

Potential Source Areas Source Description Suspected Releases Current Status
Soil Groundwater Surface Water Air
Paint Company/ American Marietta Company Original owner of the property. Possible (arsenic, chromium, lead). Possible
(chromium).
Possible. Unknown. No longer operating. Property was sold to Manhattan Engineer District in 1943.
Facility Soil Approximately 11,000 cubic yards of soil is contaminated at the MSP site. An area of 196,523 square feet was contaminated with radiologic material and 128,472 square feet was contaminated with chemical contamination. Yes. Site soil was inadvertently contaminated primarily with radionuclides and metals over years of site operation. Yes. Yes. Contaminants, primarily total uranium have been carried via overland flow. Yes. Both radon gas and particulate emissions. Approximately 70% of the site is now covered with asphalt, leaving little exposed soil.
Middlesex Municipal Landfill (MML) Pile The MML pile, located in the central section of the site, consisted of 31,200 cubic yards of soil contaminated with radioactive material and other hazardous substances. The pile was constructed between 1984 and 1986 with soil removed from the Middlesex Municipal Landfill, which had originally received the soil as fill from the MSP site. Minimal. The pile was constructed with a geotextile liner and it sat on an asphalt pad to minimize erosion and contaminant transport. The pile also contained a leachate collection system. Minimal. The pile was constructed with a geotextile liner and it sat on an asphalt pad to minimize erosion and contaminant transport. The pile also contained a leachate collection system. Minimal. The pile was constructed with a geotextile liner and it sat on an asphalt pad to minimize erosion and contaminant transport. The pile also contained a leachate collection system No. The pile was covered to reduce emissions. The MML pile was removed from the MSP site and disposed of at a certified hazardous material landfill in 1998.
Vicinity Property (VP) Pile The VP pile, located in the southern portion of the MSP site and southwest of the MML Pile, was constructed in 1948. The pile consists of 35,000 cubic yards of soil excavated from contaminated off-site properties and covered approximately 98,000 square feet. The pile was covered and constructed on an asphalt pad. Minimal. The pile was covered and constructed on an asphalt pad. Yes. Yes. Via overland flow. No. The pile was covered to reduce emissions. The VP pile was removed from the site in 1999.

Source: DOE, 1997a, 1998.


Table 2. Exposure Pathways Evaluation Table

Pathway Name Exposure Pathway Elements Comments
Source of Contamination Environmental Medium Point of Exposure Route of Exposure Potentially Exposed Population Time Frame of Exposure

Completed Exposure Pathways

On-Site Surface Soil Middlesex Sampling Plant. Soil - Radium, uranium, and other radionuclides. Also, metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). On-site soil. Ingestion (and external exposure to gamma radiation). Workers. Past.1 Workers from 1943 to 1955 and marines in training at the site could have come in contact with harmful levels of contaminated soil during their routine responsibilities. Information on the frequency, duration, and magnitude of potential exposures is not available to allow a detailed evaluation of this exposure.
Off-Site Surface Soil Middlesex Sampling Plant. Soil - Radium, uranium, and other radionuclides, and associated external gamma radiation. Also, metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Residential yards, a playground and a nearby commercial property. Ingestion (and external exposure to gamma radiation). Local-area residents whose yards were contaminated through the transfer of soil or from migration of contamination from MSP and children playing at an area playground. Past.1 In 1948, soil contaminated with elevated levels of radionuclides was transported from the MSP site to nearby residential and private properties for use as fill. Residents of or visitors to the properties might have contacted contaminated soil via incidental ingestion or from external gamma radiation. No exposure is believed to have occurred after 1980-1981 when the contaminated soil was removed.
Middlesex Municipal Landfill (MML) Pile Middlesex Sampling Plant. Soil - Radium, uranium, and other radionuclides. Also, metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). On site. Ingestion (and external exposure to gamma radiation). Trespassers. Past.1 Contaminated soil was stock piled in the MML pile. ATSDR has reports that people accessed the site in the past and played on the MML pile. Trespassers to the property might have contacted contaminated soil via incidental ingestion or inhalation of dust. Sufficient information is not available to determine whether exposure occurred at levels of health concern.
On-Site Air (Radon and particulates) Middlesex Sampling Plant. Soil - Radium and uranium (and other radionuclides). On site. Inhalation. Workers. Past.1 Workers from 1943 to 1955 and marines in training at the site could have come in contact with harmful levels of radon or particulates of contaminated soil during their routine responsibilities. Information on the frequency, duration, and magnitude of potential exposures is not available to allow a detailed evaluation of this exposure.
Off-Site Air

(Radon)

Middlesex Sampling Plant. Indoor. The Rectory of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Virgin. (Also, likely exposure to occupants of a home on Williams St. but data are not available.) Inhalation. Residents of the rectory at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Virgin. Past.1 In 1948, soil contaminated with elevated levels of radium and uranium was transported from the MSP site to nearby residential and private properties for use as fill. Radon released from the contaminated soil entered the rectory. Residents of the rectory were exposed to elevated levels of radon gas. Reduced exposure, if any, are believed to have occurred after 1981, when the contaminated soil was removed.
On-Site Groundwater Middlesex Sampling Plant. Groundwater None Ingestion None None  
Off-Site Groundwater None Groundwater Private Wells Ingestion Residents with private wells. None No contamination found.

1 No exposure to harmful levels of contaminants is occurring or is expected to occur because the contaminated media has been removed.


Table 3. Summary of Radionuclide Concentrations in On-Site Surface Cover (asphalt and underlying soils)

Radionuclide Concentration pCi/g (Bg/kg) Comparison Value
pCi/g
(Bq/kg)
Maximum Mean
Radium-226 736 (27,232) 13.2 (844.4) 15 (600)1
Thorium-232 19.3 (714.1) 1.7 (62.9) 1.9 (73)2
Uranium-238 961 (35,557) 41.7 (1,542.9) 105.4 (3900)2

Source: SAIC, 1995.

1 EPA Standard for Uranium Mill Tailings per 40 CFR 192 (1983)
2 Recommended Screening Limits for Contaminated Surface Soil, NCRP Report #129, National Council on Radiation Protection And Measurements 1999. Construction, Commercial and Industrial Scenario

Key:

Bq/kg = becquerel per kilogram
pCi/g = picocuries per gram
NCRP = National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.


Table 4. Summary of Metal and PAH Concentrations in On-Site Surface Cover (in situ soil)

Metal Concentration (ppm) Comparison Value (ppm)
Range Mean ATSDR Comparison Value Proposed NJ Soil Remediation Standards
Metals
Arsenic not sampled   200 EMEG (adult)  
Beryllium 0.23 - 1.7 0.64 1,000 RMEG (adult) 1
Cadmium 0.65 - 3.1 0.55 100 EMEG (adult) 1
Chromium not sampled   no value    
Lead 5.8 - 382 52.24 400 EPA SSL 100
Uranium (estimated) 2,953 (maximum) 128 no value    
PAHs
Benzo(a)anthracene up to 41 1.6 0.9 EPA SSL 500
Benzo(a)pyrene up to 45 1.7 0.09 CREG 0.66
Benzo(0b)fluoranthene up to 64 2.4 9 EPA SSL 0.9
Benzo(k)fluoranthene up to 36 1.8 9 EPA SSL 0.9
Chrysene up to 51 2.1 88 EPA SSL 0.9
Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene up to 15 0.7 0.09 EPA SSL 0.9
Ideno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene up to 37 1.7 0.9 EPA SSL 0.9

Source: SAIC, 1995.

Key:

EMEG = environmental media evaluation guide
EPA SSL = Environmental Protection Agency soil screening level
ppm = parts per million
RMEG = reference media evaluation guide.


Table 5. Summary of Radionuclide Concentrations in the MML Pile

Radionuclide Concentration pCi/g (Bq/kg) Comparison Value
Maximum Mean
Radium-226 55.1 (2,038.7) 18.9 (699.3) 15 (600)1
Thorium-232 <3.3 (<122.1) 1.9 (70.3) 1.9 (73)2
Uranium-238 45.3 (1,676.1) 19.5 (721.5) 105.4 (3900)2

Source: SAIC, 1995.

1 EPA Standard for Uranium Mill Tailings per 40 CFR 192 (1983).
2 Recommended Screening Limits for Contaminated Surface Soil, NCRP Report #129, National Council on Radiation Protection And Measurements 1999. Construction, Commercial and Industrial Scenario

Key:

Bq/kg = becquerel per kilogram
pCi/g = picocuries per gram
NCRP = National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.


Table 6. Summary of Metal and PAH Concentrations in the MML Pile

Metal Concentration (ppm) Comparison Value (ppm)
Maximum Mean ATSDR Comparison Value Proposed NJ Soil Remediation Standards Surface Soil
Metals
Arsenic 500 189.5 100
0.5
RMEG (child)
CREG
2
Beryllium 2.40 0.78 100 RMEG (child) 1
Chromium nd nd no value    
Cadmium 2,090 90.65 10 C-EMEG (child) 1
Lead 7,500 2,710 400 EPA SSL 100
Uranium (estimated) 139 60      
PAHs
Benzo(a)anthracene 55 3.1 0.9 EPA SSL 500
Benzo(a)pyrene 62 3.2 0.09 CREG 0.66
Benzo(b)fluoranthene 24 2.6 9 EPA SSL 0.9
Benzo(k)fluoranthene 14 2.4 9 EPA SSL 0.9
Chrysene 60 3.3 88 EPA SSL 0.9
Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene 33 2.7 0.09 EPA SSL 0.9
Ideno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene 23 2.7 0.9 EPA SSL 0.9
TOTAL PAHs* 271 20      
TOTAL PAH TEF EQUIVALENT 239 17.8      

Source: SAIC, 1995

Key:

C-EMEG = chronic environmental media evaluation guide for a child
CREG = cancer risk evaluation guide
ppm = parts per million
RMEG = reference dose media evaluation guide
nd = not detected above NJDEP standard
SSL = EPA soil screening level
TEF = toxic equivalency factor for PAHs


Table 7. Summary of Metal and PAH Concentrations in the VP Pile

Metal Concentration (ppm) Comparison Value (ppm)
Maximum Mean ATSDR Comparison Value Proposed NJ Soil Remediation Standards Surface Soil
Metals
Arsenic 74.5 18 100
0.5
RMEG (child)
CREG
2
Lead 275 108 400 EPA SSL 100
PAHs
Benzo(a)anthracene 8.5 1.1 0.9 EPA SSL 500
Benzo(a)pyrene 14 2.3 0.09 CREG 0.66
Benzo(b)fluoranthene 3.5 1.2 9 EPA SSL 0.9
Benzo(k)fluoranthene 4.4 1.2 9 EPA SSL 0.9
Chrysene 8.3 1.8 88 EPA SSL 0.9
Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene 3 0.9 0.09 EPA SSL 0.9
TOTAL PAHs 41.7 8.5      
TOTAL PAH TEF EQUIVALENT 30.7 7.2      

Source: SAIC, 1995

Key:

C-EMEG = chronic environmental media evaluation guide for a child
CREG = cancer risk evaluation guide
ppm = parts per million
RMEG = reference dose media evaluation guide
nd = not detected above NJDEP standard
SSL = EPA soil screening level
TEF = toxic equivalency factor for PAHs


Table 8. Summary of Radionuclide Concentrations in Off-Site Surface Soil

Radionuclide Maximum Concentration at Off-Site Locations pCi/g (Bq/kg) NCRP Soil Screening Value3
pCi/g (Bq/kg)
Williams Street Residence1 Church Rectory Playground Other Properties
Lead-210 ns ns ns 1,117
(41,329)
1.5
(59)
Radium- 226 4,800
(177,600)
830
(30,710)
810 2
(29,970)
2,401
(8,837)
0.14
(5.4)
Thorium-230 ns ns ns 1,689
(62,493)
0.4
(15)
Uranium-238 5,800
(214,600)
15,000
(555,000)
6.5 2
(240.5)
5,280
(195,360)
56.7
(2,100)

Source: SAIC, 1995.

1 The geometric means for radium-226 and uranium-238 in soil at this address are 45.6 pCi/g and 116 pCi/g, respectively.
2 A sample collected from the playground contained 20,000 pCi/g radium-226 and 21,000 pCi/g uranium-238. These high levels were associated with a rock.
3 Recommended Screening Limits for Contaminated Surface Soil, NCRP Report #129, National Council on Radiation Protection And Measurements 1999. Suburban Scenario with Private Gardens.

Key:

Bq/kg = becquerel per kilogram
NCRP= National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements
ns = not sampled
pCi/g = picocuries per gram


Table 9. Summary of Indoor and Ambient (Near Ground Surface) Gamma Radiation Levels at Off-site Locations1

Location Indoor External Gamma Levels
(µR/hour)
Ambient External Gamma Levels
(µR/hour)
Maximum Average Maximum Average
Williams Street Residence 17 11 330 75.0
Church Rectory 44 19.0 220 33.0
Playground na na 16 16

Source: ORNL, 1977, 1978.

1 Data were collected during a survey conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratories in 1978. Background external gamma readings taken at 1 meter above ground at points between 0.5 and 25 miles from the site were in the range of 5 to 10 R/hour (ORNL, 1977).

Key:

na = not applicable
µR/hour = micro roentgens per hour


Table 10. Summary of Radionuclide Concentrations in On-Site Groundwater Monitoring Wells

Radionuclide Concentration
pCi/L (Bq/L)
Standards
pCi/L (Bq/L)
Maximum Annual Average 1
1982-1993
Maximum2
1994-1999
2000 3 EPA MCL DOE
DCG
pCi/L (Bq/L) year pCi/L (Bq/L) year
Radium-226 7
(0.2)
1989 6.1
(0.2)
1994 4.0
(0.1)
5 4
(0.1)
4
(0.1)
Radium-228 3.6
(0.1)
1993 3.1
(0.1)
1995 <M 1 5 4
(0.1)
4
(0.1)
Thorium-230 0.44
(0.01)
1993 9.63
(0.35)
1999 ns no value 12
(0.4)
Thorium-232 2.1
(0.07)
1991 4.72
(0.17)
1999 ns no value 2
(0.07)
Total Uranium 192
(7)
1988 316.43
(12)
1999 391
(14)
30
(1)
24
(0.8)

Sources: BNI, 1997, 1998, 1999a, 1999b; ATSDR, 2000a, 2000b.

1 Unfiltered samples were collected quarterly from 1982-1993 from a groundwater monitoring network consisting of 17 on-site wells; not every well was sampled each quarter or year. For on-site wells, thorium-232 was added to the analyses in 1990 and radium-228 was added in 1993.
2 Unfiltered samples were collected annually from 1994-1999 from six on-site monitoring wells (B18W24S-B18W29S).
3 Unfiltered samples were collected from two on-site shallow monitoring wells in February 2000 and from seven on-site monitoring wells in April 2000 (BW18W24S-29S and MW12).
4 The MCL is for combined radium-226 and radium-228.

Key:

Bq/l = becquerel per liter
DOE DCG = Department of Energy's drinking water equivalent guidelines (4 percent of derived concentration guide)
MCL = EPA's maximum contaminant level
nd = not detected
pCi/l = picocuries per liter.
ns = not sampled


Table 11. Summary of Metal Concentrations in On-Site Groundwater Monitoring Wells

Metal Concentration (ppb)1 Comparison Value (ppb)
1985-19932 1994-19993 20004 ATSDR EPA MCL or Action Level NJ GWQC
Arsenic 5 J 9.3 13 0.02 CREG 50 0.02
Trivalent Chromium 26 591 25,700 no value   100 100
Lead 505 23.3 17 no value   15 10
Uranium (estimated) 590 971 138 no value   30  

Sources: BNI, 1997, 1998, 1999a, 1999b; ATSDR, 2000a, 2000b.

1 BNI laboratory flags:
     J indicates that the reported value is estimated
     B indicates the presence of trace concentrations of the constituent in the associated laboratory blank.
2 Unfiltered samples were collected quarterly from 1985-1993 from 12 on-site monitoring wells; metals added in 1990.
3.Unfiltered samples were collected annually from 1994-1999 from six on-site monitoring wells (B18W24S-B18W29S).
4 Unfiltered samples were collected from two on-site wells (B18W24S and B18W29S) in February 2000 and from seven on-site monitoring wells (B18W24S-29S and MW 12) in April 2000.

Key:

CREG = ATSDR's cancer risk evaluation guide
EPA MCL = EPA's maximum contaminant level
NJ GWQC = New Jersey groundwater quality criteria
ppb = parts per billion


Table 12. Summary of Radionuclide Concentrations in Off-Site Groundwater Monitoring Wells and Private Wells

Radionuclide Concentration
pCi/L (Bq/L)
Comparison Value
pCi/L (Bq/L)
Off-Site Monitoring Wells Private Wells ATSDR EPA MCL DOE
DCG
1982-19931 1994-19992 20003 1996-1998 4 2000 5
Radium-226 1.9 (0.07) 0.55 (0.02) 0.3 0.13 (0.004) 2 (0.07) no value 5 6 (0.1) 4 (0.1)
Radium-228 ns 0.94 (0.03) nd ns < 1 no value 5 6 (0.1) 4 (0.1)
Thorium-230 ns 0.92 (0.03) ns 0.57 (0.02) ns no value no value 12 (0.4)
Thorium-232 ns 0.34 (0.01) ns 0.26 (0.009) ns no value no value 2 (0.07)
Total Uranium 12.9 (0.4) 144 (5) 6.8 (0.2) 0.64 (0.02) 2.9 (0.1) no value 30 (1) 24 (0.8)

Sources: BNI, 1997, 1998, 1999a, 1999b; ATSDR, 2000a, 2000b.

1 Values represent maximum annual average concentrations. Unfiltered samples were collected quarterly from 1982-1993 from two off-site wells (14 and 15). Thorium-232 analyses for off-site samples was added in 1990.
2 Values represent maximum concentrations. Unfiltered samples were collected annually from 1994-1999 from one off-site well (B18W30S). Radium-228 and thorium-230 analyses for off-site samples were added in 1994.
3 An unfiltered sample was collected from one off-site shallow monitoring well (B18W30S) during ATSDR's February 3-5, 2000, sampling.
4 Unfiltered samples were collected from two private wells--one shallow and one deep--located on residential property south of the site.
5 Samples were collected from 14 private wells/taps in February 2000. In April 2000, ATSDR resampled three wells and sampled three additional private wells.
6 The MCL is for combined radium-226 and radium-228.

Key:

Bq/L = becquerel per liter
DOE DCG = Department of Energy's drinking water equivalent guideline (4% of the derived concentration guide [DCG])
MCL = EPA's maximum contaminant level
nd = not detected
ns = not sampled
pCi/l = picocuries per liter


Table 13. Summary of Metal Concentrations in Off-Site Groundwater Monitoring Wells and Private Wells

Metal Maximum Concentration (ppb) Comparison Value (ppb)
Off-Site Monitoring Wells Private Wells ATSDR EPA MCL or Action Level NJ
GWQS
1990-19931 1994-19992 20003 1996-19984 2000 5
Arsenic 2.6 12.3 2.2 ns 8.1 0.02 50 0.02/8
Hexavalent Chromium ns ns nd ns nd 30 no value  
Total Chromium 19.7 11.7 nd ns 19 no value 100 100
Lead 16.7 1.2 nd ns 16 no value 15 5/10
Uranium (estimated) 39 196 10 0.9 1.5 no value 30  

Sources: BNI, 1997, 1998, 1999a, 1999b; ATSDR, 2000a, 2000b.

1 Values represent maximum annual average concentrations. Unfiltered samples were collected quarterly 1990 to 1993 from two off-site wells (14 and 15).
2 Unfiltered samples were collected annually from 1994-1999 from one off-site well (B18W30S).
3 An unfiltered sample was collected from one off-site well (B18W30S) during ATSDR's February and April 2000 sampling.
4 Unfiltered samples were collected from two private wells--one shallow and one deep--located on residential property south of the site.
5 Samples were collected from 14 private well/taps in February and April of 2000.
6 Analytes that have published practical quantitation limits (PQLs) that are higher than the groundwater quality criteria (GWQC) are noted as such GWQC/PQL.

Key:

MCL = EPA's maximum contaminant level
NJ GWQC = New Jersey groundwater quality criteria
ns = not sampled
ppb = parts per billion


Table 14. Summary of Radionuclide and Metal Concentrations in Surface Water

Analyte Concentration Comparison Value
Maximum Average Annual 1
1980-1993
Maximum 2
1996-1997
April 20004 ATSDR EPA MCL/ ACTION LEVEL DOE
DCG
Conc. year Conc. year Conc.
Radionuclides pCi/l (Bq/l)
Radium-226 26.9 (0.9) 1992 6.34 (0.2) 1996 0.3 no value 5 3 (0.1) 100 (3.7)
Radium-228 4.5 (0.7) 1992 3.06 (0.1) 1996 nd no value 5 3 (0.1) 100 (3.7)
Thorium-230 2.9 (0.1) 1992 2.60 (0.09) 1996 63 no value no value 300 (11)
Thorium-232 1.3 (0.04) 1992 0.27 (0.009) 1996 nd no value no value 50 (1.8)
Total Uranium 134.4 (4) 1980 32.6 (1) 1996 nd no value 30 600 (22)
Metals (ppb)
Arsenic 8.7 1993 2.9 1996 nd 0.2 (CREG) 50 no value
Chromium 6.6 1993 unknown   45 100 (LTHA) 100 no value
Lead 636 1991 15.8 1996 2.2 no value 15 no value
Uranium (est.) 413.3 1980 100 1996 6.7   30  

Sources: BNI, 1997, 1998; SAIC, 1995; ATSDR, 2000b.

1 Samples were collected quarterly 1980-1993 from four downstream and one upstream location and analyzed for total uranium and radium-226; radium-228, thorium-230, and thorium-232 were added to the analyses in 1990.
2 Samples were collected quarterly in 1996 and 1997 from three downstream and analyzed for total uranium and radium-226, radium-228, thorium-230, and thorium-232, and metals.
3 The guideline is the MCL for combined radium-226 and radium-228.
4 Three surface samples were collected during ATSDR's April 2000 sampling.

Key:

DOE DCG = Department of Energy's drinking water equivalent guideline (4% of the derived concentration guide [DCG])
pCi/L = picocuries per liter
ppb = parts per billion
CREG = cancer risk evaluation guide
LTHA = lifetime health advisory.


Table 15. Summary of Radionuclide and Metal Concentrations in Sediment

Analyte Concentration Comparison Value
Maximum Average Annual1
1980-1993
Maximum 2
1996-1997
ATSDR DOE
Conc. year Conc. year
Radionuclides pCi/g (Bq/kg)
Radium-226 16 (592) 1991 5.08 (187.96) 1996 0.16 (6.1) 5 (185)
Radium-228 2.1 (77.7) 1991 7.61 (281.57) 1996 1.6 (60) 5 (185)
Thorium-230 4.1 (151.7) 1992 4.26 (157.62) 1997 0.5 (17) 5 (185)
Thorium-232 2 (74) 1992 1.23 (45.51) 1996 1 (37) 5 (185)
Total Uranium 142.4 (5,268.8) 1980 30.03 (1,111) 1997 81 (3000) 100 (3,700)
Metals ppm
Arsenic ns   8.2 1997 200 (EMEG)  
Chromium ns   35.4 1997 no value  
Lead ns   239 J 1997 400 (EPA SSL)  

Sources: BNI, 1997, 1998; SAIC, 1995.

1 Samples were collected quarterly during 1980-1993 from four downstream locations and one upstream location and analyzed for total uranium and radium-226; radium-228, thorium-230, and thorium-232 were added to the analyses in 1990.
2 Samples were collected quarterly in 1996 and 1997 from three downstream locations and analyzed for total uranium and radium-226, radium-228, thorium-230, and thorium-232, and metals.
Suburban, No Private Gardens Scenario

Key:

EMEG=environmental media guide
EPA SSL = EPA soil screening level
J = estimated value
ppm = parts per million
pCi/g = picocuries per gram
ns = not sampled


Table 16. Summary of Radon Gas Concentrations

Location Radon Gas Concentration (as radon-222)
pCi/L (Bq/L)
Standards (pCi/L)
Maximum
1976 -19781
Maximum Average Annual
1982-1993 2
Maximum Average Daily
1996-1997 3
EPA Action Level
(indoor)
DOE
(outdoor)
Indoor Outdoor Indoor Outdoor Indoor Outdoor
On-site 29 (1) ns 18.9 (0.6) 5 (0.1) 1.4 (0.05) nd 4 (1) 3 (1)
Off-site: Church Rectory 92 (3.4) ns ns ns ns ns 4 (1) 3 (1)

Sources: BNI, 1998; SAIC, 1995; ORNL, 1978.

1 Data were collected during a survey conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratories June 2-12, 1978.
2 Data were collected outdoors and at the site annually from 1982-1993 and indoor samples were collected annually from 1990-1993.
3 Data were collected as part of the Environmental Surveillance program at the MSP site.

Key:

nd = not detected
ns = not sampled
pCi/l = picocuries per liter
Bq/l = becquerel per liter


APPENDIX A: SITE HISTORY

1910 Asphalt paint plant built (name and owner unknown).
1913 Original paint company goes broke; American Marietta Corporation buys asphalt paint company; diversifies from standard black into metal-based paint such as aluminum.
1943 A brick warehouse is leased from the American Marietta Corporation for the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) and is used for sampling and analysis of uranium ores in the effort to develop the atomic bomb. Renamed the Middlesex Sampling Plant (MSP), ores were thawed, crushed, dried, screened, stored, sampled, weighed, and then shipped to refineries. Tailings containing more than 10 percent uranium oxides were stored at MSP or Oak Ridge. Workers dressed as though they were working at the paint company and were sworn to secrecy regarding their jobs.
September 1946 The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC, the successor to MED) purchased by condemnation the leased property from the American Marietta Corporation for $197,000.
1947/1948 MSP was leveled and excess soil was sent to the Middlesex Municipal Landfill (MML). The 9.6-acre MSP site was fenced and 8 acres were paved for drum storage. Some excess soil was used as fill at a private residence in Piscataway and a church rectory (Our Lady of Mount Virgin, Middlesex Borough). A 500-cubic-foot settling tank was installed to collect wastewater from the process building floor. The purpose of the tank was to remove solids and allow effluent to go to the drainage ditch. A sump system under the process building flowed to a catch basin between the process building and garage.
1950 Prior to 1950, uranium oxide (Q-11) was the chief material sampled; after 1950, magnesium di-uranate precipitate (MgX) and beryl ore (INX) were also sampled. Control of site operations was contracted to National Lead Company and a health physicist was hired to monitor employee safety and health. Process building workers subsequently were issued respirators.
1954 MSP no longer sampled INX.
1955 AEC terminated primary activities (sampling, analysis, storage, and shipment of uranium, thorium, and beryllium ores), but continued on-site storage and sampling of thorium residues. Sampling of Q-11 and MgX was transferred to Fenald, Ohio.
1960 AEC surveyed the MML and removed 650 cubic yards of radioactive soil.
1967 All activities were terminated, and the site was decontaminated by a government contractor, Isotopes, Inc. Portions of the paved yard and underlying soil were excavated for transfer to an off-site burial area. The process building crusher and smaller pits were cleaned and covered; in the underground tunnel, the dirt floor was excavated to approximately one foot and the walls were scrubbed; the walls and floor of the men's lavatory were sandblasted and scrubbed; and sampling areas--including the first floor and partial basement, located in the center of the process building--were cleaned.
February 1968 MSP was given to the General Services Administration.
1969 The U.S. Navy acquired the site and used it for U.S. Marine Corps reserve training. Remodeling and construction activities were performed. Specific records were not kept, although later reports indicate that a kitchen, numerous offices, and a basketball court was installed in the process building. Additionally, drawings made by a government contractor in 1979 indicate the existence of a gasoline storage tank and a septic leach field underneath the site.
1976 Oak Ridge National Laboratory surveyed MSP and surrounding properties for residual alpha and beta-gamma radiation levels, radon and radon daughter concentrations in on-site buildings, external gamma radiation levels, and radium soil concentrations.
1978 A flyover detected widespread contamination at the MSP site and on surrounding properties and at 3 more remote locations: the Middlesex Municipal Landfill, a church rectory and associated playground, and a private residence on Williams Street.
1980 The MSP site was transferred to the Department of Energy's (DOE) Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). Phase I of the environmental investigations began, and it included removing contaminated soils and sediments from the most heavily contaminated off-site properties. The environmental surveillance program began in an effort to detect potential contaminant migration in the air and water.
1981 Phase II of the environmental investigations began, and it included excavating soil from the on-site drainage ditch and properties adjacent to MSP. During the Phase I and II remedial actions, the vicinity properties (VP) pile was created on MSP property to temporarily store contaminated soil.
1983 A radiological survey was conducted to characterize the extent of contamination on the grounds.
1984 Radiologic contaminated soil and waste were removed from the MML site and brought back to MSP for temporary storage. This created what was known as the MML pile.
1986 More radiologic contaminated soil and waste were removed from the MML site and brought back to MSP's MML pile.
1991 At the request of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, MSP was characterized for non-radiologic contamination in soil at the site. Additionally, the nature and levels of radiologic and chemical contamination of the VP and MML piles was determined.
1996 Radiological contamination was detected in the sediment in the drainage ditch south of the site. DOE removed the contaminated sediment and installed a carbon filter at the plant outfall to prevent future contamination from the site drainage system to migrate off site. Private wells of two residences immediately south of the site were sampled; results indicated uranium activity levels of 0.35 and 0.43 pCi/L; both were offered alternative drinking water supplies.
1997 Custody of MSP was transferred to the Army Corps of Engineers.
1998 The MML pile was disposed of at a certified hazardous material landfill.
February 1999 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the MSP site on the National Priorities List after EPA was notified that uranium was detected in the Raritan River approximately 3 miles south of the site.
August 1999 Removal of the VP pile was initiated.
September 1999 ATSDR initiated the Public Health Assessment for MSP.
December 1999 ATSDR mailed 4,700 fact sheets to residents in a 1-mile radius of the site.
January 2000 ATSDR received 175 responses from the MSP community--including 80 letters expressing health concerns and questions.
February 2000 ATSDR sampled 3 on-site wells and 14 private wells.
April 2000 ATSDR sampled eight on-site wells; six private wells; and three surface water locations.
January 2001 At ATSDR's request, the NJDHSS completed a cancer incidence analysis of populations living near the MSP.


 

APPENDIX B: LIST OF TYPES OF COMPARISON VALUES

Comparison values represent media-specific contaminant concentrations that are used to select contaminants for further evaluation to determine the possibility of adverse public health effects. The conclusion that a contaminant exceeds the comparison value does not mean that it will cause adverse health effects. The following presents a description of the comparison values (CVs). When evaluating potential health hazards, ATSDR compares concentrations of a contaminant in a particular medium to the most conservative media-specific comparison value available for that particular contaminant.

Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs)
Estimated contaminant concentrations that would be expected to cause no more than one excess cancer in a million (10-6) persons exposed over a 70-year life span. ATSDR's CREGs are calculated from EPA's cancer potency factors (CPFs).

Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs)
EMEGs are based on ATSDR minimal risk levels (MRLs) and factors in body weight and ingestion rates. A MRL is an estimate of daily human exposure to a chemical (in milligrams of contaminant per kilogram of body weight per day [mg/kg/day]) that is likely to be without noncarcinogenic health effects over a specified duration of exposure.

Reference Media Evaluation Guides (RMEGs)
ATSDR derives RMEGs from EPA's oral reference doses (RfDs). The RMEG represents the concentration in water or soil at which daily human exposure is unlikely to result in adverse noncarcinogenic effects.

Risk-Based Concentration (RBC)
The RBCs were developed by EPA Region 3. RBCs for tap water, air, and soil were derived using EPA RfDs and CPFs combined with standard exposure scenarios--such as ingestion of 2 liters of water per day--over a 70-year life span. RBCs are contaminant concentrations that are not expected to cause adverse health effects over long-term exposures.

Soil Screening Level (SSL)
Generic SSLs were derived by EPA (as described in the Soil Screening Guidance: Technical Background Document, EPA document number EPA/540/R-95/128) for nationwide application to sites used for residential areas. SSLs are estimates of contaminant concentrations that would be expected to be without noncancerous health effects over a specified duration of exposure or to cause no more than one excess cancer in a million (10-6) persons exposed over a 70-year life span. Direct ingestion SSLs were selected for use in this PHA.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)
The MCL is the drinking water standard established by EPA. It is the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water that is delivered to the free-flowing outlet. MCLs are considered protective of public health over a lifetime (70 years) for people consuming 2 liters of water per day. MCLs are standards enforceable by EPA.


APPENDIX C: GLOSSARY

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.


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.


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.


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.


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:

  1. breathing (also called inhalation),
  2. eating or drinking (also called ingestion), and
  3. 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.


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.


Superfund Site:
See NPL.


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.

APPENDIX D: RADIATION AND RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL

What is radioactivity?

Radioactivity is the spontaneous emission of radiation from the nucleus of an unstable atom. Atoms are the smallest units of an element that have the same properties as the element. All matter is made up of atoms, and atoms are made up of protons and neutrons (found in the nucleus of the atom) and electrons. The number of protons in an atom of a particular element is always the same, but the number of neutrons can vary. Whether an atom is unstable, or radioactive, is determined by the ratio of neutrons to protons. Isotopes are forms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons. The number of protons and neutrons in the atom are added to name the isotope. For example, an atom of cobalt that has 27 protons and 33 neutrons is called cobalt-60. Cobalt-60 is radioactive and is therefore called a radioisotope or a radionuclide.

Where does radioactivity come from?

All elements heavier than lead (which contains 82 protons) are naturally radioactive. Atoms, such as hydrogen-3 (tritium) and carbon-14, can also become radioactive through natural processes in the environment. Everyone is exposed to naturally occurring radiation from space and from radioactive materials in the ground. Humans can also create radioactive atoms of most elements. For example, humans create radioactive atoms to use as tracers to help measure the flow of materials in the environment. Radioactive material can travel through the air as particles or gases and can also enter soil, water, plants, and animals. The greatest dose from environmental radiation is from radon and its progeny. Radon is an alpha emitter that results from decaying radium-226, which comes from the radioactive decay of natural uranium-238.

What is radiation?

Radiation is the emission of waves or particles from an unstable atom undergoing a transformation to stabilize the number of protons compared to the number of neutrons in its nucleus. This transformation changes the radioactive atom into a stable atom. For example, a proton in a cobalt-60 atom might change into a neutron, emit radiation, and become a nickel-60 atom.

What radioactive materials were used at Middlesex Sampling Plant (MSP)?

DOE used uranium, a naturally occurring radioactive material, at MSP. Naturally occurring uranium may be present as three different radioisotopes: uranium-234, uranium-235, and uranium-238. By weight, 99.3% of natural uranium is uranium-238. When uranium breaks down, it gives off radiation and changes, or decays, to a new element called a daughter product. It takes about 4.5 billion years for one-half of uranium-238 to break down. During the uranium-238 decay processes, a series of new elements are created, including thorium, radium, and radon isotopes, which are also radioactive. Thorium, the daughter product of uranium, is not stable, and it continues to decay until stable lead is formed (ATSDR, 1999).

What are alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma radiation?

Alpha particles can be emitted by atoms that are more massive than lead, such as radium. Alpha particles are comprised of two protons and two neutrons and have a large charge, which can pull electrons off neighboring atoms (or cause them to ionize). Alpha particles cannot penetrate the skin, but can be taken into the human body if they are contained in the air people breathe, or the food or drink people consume. If they enter the human body, alpha particles can be absorbed in the blood, incorporated into molecules in the body, and deposited in living tissue.

Beta particles are electrons that result from a neutron changing into a proton. Some beta particles have very little energy and cannot pass through the dead outer layer of a person's skin, but most can do so and expose the living tissue underneath the outer layer of skin to radiation. Beta particles cannot travel all the way through the human body, however. Exposure to beta radiation can also result from inhaling air or ingesting food or liquids containing radioactive elements that give off beta particles.

Gamma rays result from the release of excess energy when an atom gives off an alpha or beta particle. Gamma rays consist of moving energy and have no mass or charge. They can travel long distances and move through the air, body tissue, or other materials. A gamma ray can pass through the body without hitting anything inside of it, or it can hit atoms in its path and cause them to ionize. Gamma rays are the primary type of radiation that can harm people when they are exposed to it externally.

Source: ATSDR. 1999. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for Ionizing Radiation. September 1999.

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. #