PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
POMONA OAKS WELL CONTAMINATION
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, ATLANTIC COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
This response summary represents those comments and reactions to the public health assessment for the Pomona Oaks Well Contamination site received by the New Jersey Department of Health during the public comment period which occurred from March 28, 1994 through April 29, 1994. Comments were received from residents of the Pomona Oaks Subdivision, and a legal office involved in litigation regarding the site. In some cases similar commentary was received from various sources, while other concerns were expressed by individuals or groups. Comments and concerns have been grouped by content where possible and are followed by the consequent response.
A resident asked where copies of references 1,3,4,5,6,and 7 could be obtained.
References 1, 3, and 4 are USEPA documents. Copies of these are available in the repositories for the Pomona Oaks site. Residents will need to contact the USEPA to determine whether copies are available to individuals.
References 5,6,and 7 are ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and are available to the public. Persons wishing to procure these or any Toxicological Profile should contact the ATSDR Regional Office; 26 Federal Plaza, Room 3137C, New York, N.Y. 10278. Telephone (212) 264-7662.
Multiple comments were received expressing concern regarding the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from past exposures at the site.
Although statistical review of health outcome data was performed for the Pomona Oaks site, such analysis has limitations, and effects to individuals may not be readily apparent. Those residents who expressed health concerns will be contacted in writing and asked to provide additional information directly to the ATSDR and the NJDOH regarding their situation (please refer to the Public Health Actions section of this health assessment for specific follow-up activities regarding health effects comments).
A resident inquired as to why levels of compounds other than benzene in residential showers where not presented and evaluated in the Toxicological Evaluation section of the Health Assessment.
As stated in the Health Assessment there were no data describing levels of contaminants other than benzene in the Pomona Oaks Exposure Assessment.
A legal office representing residents of Pomona Oaks questioned why a one year duration was used for toxicological evaluation, and maintained that groundwater flow rates cited in the Health Assessment were incorrect.
The health Assessment is based upon data and information which is contained in the cited references. Both the health assessment and the references cited therein have been reviewed by the USEPA for accuracy of data, and with regard to site characterization information. The ATSDR and the NJDOH maintain that the information presented in the health Assessment accurately reflect the site conditions in question.
A legal office representing the residents of Pomona Oaks questioned the applicability of using life time excess cancer risk calculations and claimed that conclusions derived from such calculations were "scientifically invalid and highly misleading" with respect to small groups.
The use of lifetime excess cancer risk calculations is an accepted protocol of the ATSDR and the
NJDOH when attempting to quantify the potential for cancer incidence. The ATSDR and the
NJDOH realize and state the limitations of this method as it applies to individuals and small
groups in the Health Assessment. Individual concerns regarding carcinogenic and
non-carcinogenic health effects will be addressed as noted in the Public health Actions of this