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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

QUANTA RESOURCES CORPORATION
EDGEWATER, BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY


FIGURES

General Site Location
Figure 1. General Site Location

Demographic information for a one mile radius of the QRC site
Figure 2. Demographic information for a one mile radius of the QRC site

On-Site Detail Map
Figure 3. On-Site Detail Map


TABLES

Table 1. On-Site Sample Results: Quanta Resources Corporation Site
Soil Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Surface Soil Samples (0-0.5 foot depth) Collected between March 1992 - June 1999

Substance No. Samples Analyzed Minimum Concentration Detected (ppm) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppm) ATSDR Health Comparison Value (ppm) NJDEP
Residential Cleanup Criteria (ppm)
NJDEP
Non-Residential Cleanup Criteria (ppm)
Arsenic 12 0.0072 17 0.5 (CREG1) 20 20
Total Chromium 12 0.006 4.8      
Lead 12 0.069 4,540   400 600
Total BTEX2 0     10 (CREG)    
Total PAHs 2 332 14,700 0.1 (CREG3) 0.66 0.66
Total PCBs 11 ND 74 0.4 (CREG) 0.49 2
Total SVOCs 2 349 14,700      
Total VOCs 6 ND ND 10 (CREG4) 3 13

1CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1E-06 excess cancer risk
2BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound for CREG value
3benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
4benzene used as worst case indicator compound
SVOCs = semi-volatile organic compounds; ND = none detected


Table 2. On-Site Sample Results: Quanta Resources Corporation Site
Soil Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Sub-Surface Soil Samples (>0.5 foot depth) Collected between March 1992 - June 1999

Substance No. Samples Analyzed Minimum Concentration Detected (ppm) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppm) ATSDR Health Comparison Value (ppm) NJDEP
Residential Cleanup Criteria (ppm)
NJDEP
Non-Residential Cleanup Criteria (ppm)
Arsenic 20 1.8 67.2 0.5 (CREG1) 20 20
Total Chromium 19 5.4 35      
Lead 19 3.4 553   400 600
Total BTEX2 5 ND 187 10 (CREG)    
Total PAHs 20 0.69 31,600 0.1 (CREG3) 0.66 0.66
Total PCBs 2 ND 0.14 0.4 (CREG) 0.49 2
Total SVOCs 24 0.69 31,600      
Total VOCs 5 ND 187 10 (CREG4) 3 13

1CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1E-06 excess cancer risk
2BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound for CREG value
3benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
4benzene used as worst case indicator compound
SVOCs = semi-volatile organic compounds; ND = none detected


Table 3. On-Site Sample Results: Quanta Resources Corporation Site
Sediment Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Surface Sediment Samples (0-1 foot depth) Collected between June 1995 - June 1999

Substance Total No. Samples Analyzed Minimum Concentration detected (ppm) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppm) NJDEP Guidance for Sediment Quality Evaluations (Freshwater) November 1998 (not human health based) (ppm) NJDEP Guidance for Sediment Quality Evaluations (Saltwater) November 1998 (not human health based) (ppm)
Arsenic 7 14.6 19.1 6 8.2
Total Chromium 7 74.9 83.7 26 81
Lead 7 104 130 31 47
Total BTEX1 0        
Total PAHs2 7 42.9 728 4 4
Total PCBs 7 0.42 0.91 0.07 0.023
Total SVOCs3 7 42.9 728 4 4
Total VOCs4 0        

1BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound
2benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
3 SVOCs assumed same as Total PAHs based on quantitative laboratory results
4VOCs assumed same as Total BTEX based on quantitative laboratory results
SVOCs = semi-volatile organic compounds; ND = none detected


Table 4. On-Site Sample Results: Quanta Resources Corporation Site
Sediment Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Sub-surface Sediment Samples (> 1 foot depth) Collected between June 1995 - June 1999

Substance Total No. Samples Analyzed Minimum Concentration detected (ppm) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppm) NJDEP Guidance for Sediment Quality Evaluations (Freshwater) November 1998 (not human health based) (ppm) NJDEP Guidance for Sediment Quality Evaluations (Saltwater) November 1998 (not human health based) (ppm)
Arsenic 11 17.4 100 6 8.2
Total Chromium 11 147 270 26 81
Lead 11 202 362 31 47
Total BTEX1 1 0.4 0.4    
Total PAHs2 13 51.5 12,600 4 4
Total PCBs 11 0.18 2.5 0.07 0.023
Total SVOCs3 13 65.1 12,600 4 4
Total VOCs4 1 0.82 0.82    

1BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound
2benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
3SVOCs assumed same as Total PAHs based on quantitative laboratory results
4VOCs assumed same as Total BTEX based on quantitative laboratory results


Table 5. Off-Site Sample Results: Neighboring Properties to Quanta Resources Corporation Site
Soil Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Surface Soil Samples (0-0.5 foot depth) Collected between March 1992 - June 1999

Substance No. Samples Analyzed Minimum Concentration Detected (ppm) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppm) ATSDR Health Comparison Value (ppm) NJDEP
Residential Cleanup Criteria (ppm)
NJDEP
Non-Residential Cleanup Criteria (ppm)
Arsenic 34 1.3 27.5 0.5 (CREG1) 20 20
Total Chromium 31 17.2 80.4      
Lead 32 18.5 408   400 600
Total BTEX2 0     10 (CREG) 3 13
Total PAHs 35 ND 1,150 0.1 (CREG3) 0.66 0.66
Total PCBs 7 ND 14.6 0.4 (CREG) 0.49 2
Total SVOCs 35 ND 1,190 0.1 (CREG4) 0.66 0.66
Total VOCs 0     10 (CREG5) 3 13

1CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1E-06 excess cancer risk
2BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound
3benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
4assumed same as Total PAHs based on quantitative laboratory results
5assumed same as Total BTEX based on quantitative laboratory results


Table 6. Off-Site Sample Results: Neighboring Properties to Quanta Resources Corporation Site
Soil Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Sub-Surface Soil Samples (>-0.5 foot depth) Collected between March 1992 - June 1999

Substance No. Samples Analyzed Minimum Concentration Detected (ppm) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppm) ATSDR Health Comparison Value (ppm) NJDEP
Residential Cleanup Criteria (ppm)
NJDEP
Non-Residential Cleanup Criteria (ppm)
Arsenic 154 ND 3,370 0.5 (CREG1) 20 20
Total Chromium 108 2.7 676      
Lead 155 ND 10,800   400 600
Total BTEX2 30 ND 392 10 (CREG) 3 13
Total PAHs3 243 ND 23,400 0.1 (CREG) 0.66 0.66
Total PCBs 75 ND 6,810 0.4 (CREG) 0.49 2
Total SVOCs4 244 ND 24,200 0.1 (CREG) 0.66 0.66
Total VOCs5 30 ND 392 10 (CREG) 3 13

1CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1E-06 excess cancer risk
2BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound
3benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
4assumed same as Total PAHs based on quantitative laboratory results
5assumed same as Total BTEX based on quantitative laboratory results


Table 7. Off-Site Sample Results: Neighboring Properties to Quanta Resources Corporation Site
Sediment Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Surface Sediment Samples (0-1 foot depth) Collected between June 1995 - June 1999

Substance Total No. Samples Analyzed Minimum Concentration detected (ppm) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppm) NJDEP Guidance for Sediment Quality Evaluations (Freshwater) November 1998 (not human health based) (ppm) NJDEP Guidance for Sediment Quality Evaluations (Saltwater) November 1998 (not human health based) (ppm)
Arsenic 28 6.7 2,150 6 8.2
Total Chromium 28 43.2 160 26 81
Lead 28 62.9 1,540 31 47
Total BTEX1 0        
Total PAHs2 28 4.7 1,140 4 4
Total PCBs 28 0.34 3.5 0.07 0.023
Total SVOCs3 28 4.7 1,140 4 4
Total VOCs4 0        

1BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound
2benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
3SVOCs assumed same as Total PAHs based on quantitative laboratory results
4VOCs assumed same as Total BTEX based on quantitative laboratory results


Table 8. Off-Site Sample Results: Neighboring Properties to Quanta Resources Corporation Site
Sediment Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Sub-Surface Sediment Samples (>1 foot depth) Collected between June 1995 - June 1999

Substance Total No. Samples Analyzed Minimum Concentration detected (ppm) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppm) NJDEP Guidance for Sediment Quality Evaluations (Freshwater) November 1998 (not human health based) (ppm) NJDEP Guidance for Sediment Quality Evaluations (Saltwater) November 1998 (not human health based) (ppm)
Arsenic 20 15.7 1,860 6 8.2
Total Chromium 20 61.1 270 26 81
Lead 20 128 780 31 47
Total BTEX1 1 28.2 28.2    
Total PAHs2 22 7 21,500 4 4
Total PCBs 20 ND 6.5 0.07 0.023
Total SVOCs3 22 7 21,500 4 4
Total VOCs4 1 28.2 28.2    

1BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound
2benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
3SVOCs assumed same as Total PAHs based on quantitative laboratory results
4VOCs assumed same as Total BTEX based on quantitative laboratory results


Table 9. Quanta Resources Corporation Site and Neighboring Properties
Groundwater Data From October 1999 Removal Site Investigation Report (GeoSyntec Consultants, Atlanta, GA)

Groundwater Samples Collected in November 1998 and July 1999

Substance No. Samples Analyzed Minimum ConcentrationDetected (ppb) Maximum Concentration Detected (ppb) Groundwater Quality Criteria NJAC 7:9-6 (ppb) NJ Drinking Water Standard: Maximum Contaminant Level (ppb) ATSDR Drinking Water Comparison Value (ppb)
Arsenic 27 13 20,900 0.02 50 0.02 (CREG1)
Total Chromium 27 2.5 34 100 100  
Lead 27 2.8 59 5 15 (Action Level)  
Total BTEX2 27 2 23,100 0.2 1 0.6 (CREG)
Total PAHs3 27 19 30,900 not available 0.2 0.005 (CREG)
Total PCBs 4 ND ND 0.02 0.5 0.02 (CREG)
Total SVOCs4 27 2.3 114,000 not available 0.2 0.005 (CREG)
Total VOCs5 27 2.3 23,900 0.2 1 0.6 (CREG)

1CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1E-06 excess cancer risk
2BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; benzene used as worst case indicator compound
3benzo(a)pyrene used as worst case indicator compound
4SVOCs assumed same as Total PAHs based on quantitative laboratory results
5VOCs assumed same as Total BTEX based on quantitative laboratory results


APPENDIX A

The ATSDR ToxFAQs, found at www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html, are summaries of hazardous substances developed by the ATSDR Division of Toxicology (ATSDR downloaded 2001). More detailed information on these hazardous substances is available from the ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and Public Health Statements. ToxFAQs provide answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about exposure to hazardous substances found around hazardous waste sites and the effects of exposure on human health. Excerpts for the contaminants detected at the QRC site and neighboring properties are described below.

ATSDR Logo

Arsenic

HIGHLIGHTS: Exposure to higher than average levels of arsenic occurs mostly in the workplace, near hazardous waste sites, or in areas with high natural levels. At high levels, inorganic arsenic can cause death. Exposure to lower levels for a long time can cause a discoloration of the skin and the appearance of small corns or warts. Arsenic has been found at 1,014 of the 1,598 National Priority List sites identified by the USEPA.

How can arsenic affect my health?

Breathing high levels of inorganic arsenic can give you a sore throat or irritated lungs. Ingesting high levels of inorganic arsenic can result in death. Lower levels of arsenic can cause nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a sensation of "pins and needles" in hands and feet. Ingesting or breathing low levels of inorganic arsenic for a long time can cause a darkening of the skin and the appearance of small "corns" or "warts" on the palms, soles, and torso. Skin contact with inorganic arsenic may cause redness and swelling.

Organic arsenic compounds are less toxic than inorganic arsenic compounds. Exposure to high levels of some organic arsenic compounds may cause similar effects as inorganic arsenic.

How likely is arsenic to cause cancer?

Several studies have shown that inorganic arsenic can increase the risk of lung cancer, skin cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and prostate cancer. The World Health Organization, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the USEPA have determined that inorganic arsenic is a human carcinogen.

Is there a medical test to show whether I've been exposed to arsenic?

There are tests to measure the level of arsenic in blood, urine, hair, or fingernails. The urine test is the most reliable test for arsenic exposure within the last few days. Tests on hair and fingernails can measure exposure to high levels or arsenic over the past 6-12 months. These tests can determine if you have been exposed to above-average levels of arsenic. They cannot predict how the arsenic levels in your body will affect your health.

Chromium

HIGHLIGHTS: Exposure to chromium occurs from ingesting contaminated food or drinking water or breathing contaminated workplace air. Chromium(III) occurs naturally in the environment and is an essential nutrient. Chromium(VI) and chromium(0) are generally produced by industrial processes. Chromium(VI) at high levels can damage the nose and can cause cancer. Chromium has been found at 1,036 of the 1,591 National Priority List sites identified by the USEPA.

How can chromium affect my health?

Skin contact with certain chromium(VI) compounds can cause skin ulcers. Some people are extremely sensitive to chromium(VI) or chromium(III). Allergic reactions consisting of severe redness and swelling of the skin have been noted.

How likely is chromium to cause cancer?

Several studies have shown that chromium(VI) compounds can increase the risk of lung cancer. Animal studies have also shown an increased risk of cancer.

Lead

HIGHLIGHTS: Exposure to lead can happen from breathing workplace air or dust, eating contaminated foods, or drinking contaminated water. Children can be exposed from eating lead-based paint chips or playing in contaminated soil. Lead can damage the nervous system, kidneys, and reproductive system. Lead has been found in at least 1,026 of 1,467 National Priorities List sites identified by the USEPA.

PAHs

HIGHLIGHTS: Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons usually occurs by breathing air contaminated by wild fires or coal tar, or by eating foods that have been grilled. PAHs have been found in at least 600 of the 1,430 National Priorities List sites identified by the USEPA.

What are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)?

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of over 100 different chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, or other organic substances like tobacco or charbroiled meat. PAHs are usually found as a mixture containing two or more of these compounds, such as soot.

How likely are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to cause cancer?

The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that some PAHs may reasonably be expected to be carcinogens. Some people who have breathed or touched mixtures of PAHs and other chemicals for long periods of time have developed cancer. Some PAHs have caused cancer in laboratory animals when they breathed air containing them (lung cancer), ingested them in food (stomach cancer), or had them applied to their skin (skin cancer).

PCBs

HIGHLIGHTS: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a mixture of individual chemicals which are no longer produced in the United States, but are still found in the environment. Health effects that have been associated with exposure to PCBs include acne-like skin conditions in adults and neurobehavioral and immunological changes in children. PCBs are known to cause cancer in animals. PCBs have been found in at least 500 of the 1,598 National Priorities List sites identified by the USEPA.

What are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)?

Polychlorinated biphenyls are mixtures of up to 209 individual chlorinated compounds (known as congeners). There are no known natural sources of PCBs. PCBs have been used as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment because they don't burn easily and are good insulators. PCBs are either oily liquids or solids that are colorless to light yellow. Some PCBs can exist as a vapor in air. PCBs have no known smell or taste. Many commercial PCB mixtures are known in the United States by the trade name Aroclor. The manufacture of PCBs was stopped in the United States in 1977 because of evidence they build up in the environment and can cause harmful health effects.

How likely are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to cause cancer?

Few studies of workers indicate that PCBs were associated with certain kinds of cancer in humans, such as cancer of the liver and biliary tract. Rats that ate food containing high levels of PCBs for two years developed liver cancer. The Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that PCBs may reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogens. The USEPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have determined that PCBs are probably carcinogenic to humans.


APPENDIX B

Summary of Public Comments and Responses
Quanta Resources Corporation Site Public Health Assessment

This summary presents the comments received from interested parties on the Public Comment Draft of the Quanta Resources Corporation (QRC) site Public Health Assessment, and the subsequent responses of the NJDHSS and the ATSDR. The public was invited to review the draft Public Health Assessment during the extended public comment period which occurred on July 10 through September 10, 2002. Questions regarding this summary or any aspect of this Public Health Assessment may be addressed to the NJDHSS at (609) 588-3120.

Comments are grouped by Commentor, without personal identifiers. Note that page numbers in the comments and responses refer to the Public Comment Draft of the Public Health Assessment.

Commentor A

Comment 1: "Your recommendations state that environmental regulatory agencies should require the investigation and remediation of sites that are near the Quanta Resources Corporation site. ...(Name withheld) has entered into an Administrative Consent Order with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and has conducted an investigation and remediation of former Celotex property under the ACO. NJDEP has required remediation to ensure that there can be no public health threat to current or future residents or users of the former Celotex site."

"In connection with the work on the Celotex site (name withheld) have implemented a full health and safety plan including ambient air monitoring. The air monitoring has shown no concentrations that could cause health effects to either workers or residents of the area as a result of remediation or construction activities on the Celotex site." "...any work on the Quanta site should be subject to the type of air monitoring and other requirements that were applicable to the Celotex site."

Response 1: The comment is noted for the administrative record.

Comment 2: "...enclosed please find a copy of a letter that went to the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Edgewater from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection concerning (name withheld) remediation of the former Celotex site. Please make this letter part of the record for your study and include the conclusions in the letter in your report."

Response 2: The Public Health Assessment was specifically prepared for the QRC site. In preparing this report, however, limited data on properties neighboring the QRC site, including the former Celotex Industrial Park, were reviewed. Neighboring properties had contaminant levels comparable to and sometimes higher than those detected on the QRC site. Concurrence with comments on the former Celotex Industrial Park will not be made until such time as the NJDHSS is requested to conduct an investigation or review of remediation activities of the former Celotex Industrial Park.

Commentor B

Comment 1: "The Public Health Hazard Category recommended for Quanta is 'Indeterminate Public Health Hazard.' ...Since the contamination from Quanta extends beyond its borders onto the adjacent properties, I submit to you that by the development of the Promenade there was a completed exposure pathway. ....I think that the 5 parts of the exposure pathway as defined by the ATSDR did exist. There was a substantial amount of dust and there were a host of fumes that would have made this possible. ...Testing done by private companies hired by property owners and developers who have financial interests at stake would be suspect and should not be permitted. ...until the 115 River Road/Spencer-Kellogg site is fully remediated and de-listed it should be made public knowledge that it is a "Known Contaminated Site."

Response 1: For each of the potential pathways identified in this public health assessment (surface soil and dust, ambient air, sediment), there is presently no route of exposure element to complete the human exposure pathway at the QRC site. This is due to the fact that the site is currently closed to entry, portions of the site are covered with asphalt, and no work activity is occurring at the site at the present time. During both site visits, however, there were indications of trespassers at the QRC site (e.g., footprints, evidence of individuals walking their dogs). The potential for exposure to these individuals on a routine basis is unlikely and does not justify a completed exposure pathway designation.

Based upon available information and observation at the QRC site, potential human exposure routes may include dermal contact with and/or incidental ingestion of contaminated on-site soils and river sediments. Although site-specific air data were not available for review for this public health assessment, general concerns regarding odors at the site may suggest a localized potential air pathway, especially during any future remediation and/or construction activities which disturb on-site soils and river sediments. Additionally, these activities may produce fugitive dust exposures for the nearby community. Activities associated with the Hudson River (i.e., fishing, boating, ingestion of biota) may be associated with an exposure pathway linked to the QRC site, however, there are other well known sources of PCB and other contaminants in the Hudson River (K. Johnson 2001). There are no data currently available that establish a completed exposure pathway to nearby human populations.

Commentor C

Comment 1: "(Name withheld) are unaware of any complaints other than an employee of (Name Withheld). ...(Name withheld) have done an air quality test for this tenant and there is no problem with air quality in this office."

Response 1: According to a USEPA certified mail correspondence dated July 3, 2002, the USEPA "does not accept this testing and the results. A comprehensive indoor air sampling of the office complex at 115 River Road needs to be performed as part of the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for the QRC site. Because the site may pose a health risk to the workers in 115 River Road, (US)EPA is accelerating the initial indoor air sampling and intends to perform this activity as soon as possible in accordance with established (US)EPA guidance."

Commentor D

Comment 1: (Name withheld) comments that definitions were either confusing or lacking and that there was insufficient detail presented in several sections.

Response 1: The comments are noted for the administrative record.

Comment 2: "It does not appear that an extensive effort was made to review all of the data available in USEPA/NJDEP files."

Response 2: In addition to a thorough and exhaustive file review, several in-person meetings and teleconferences with the NJDEP and USEPA, in addition to three site visits, were held with respect to the QRC and neighboring sites. Not all information made available to the NJDHSS was environmental sampling data.

Removal action activities were conducted at the QRC site from 1984 through 1988. Beginning in 1992, the USEPA assessed the removal activities performed by collecting soil, ground and surface water, and sediment samples from the site. The most recent environmental sampling data, indicative of samples collected over a period of several years and from at least four data sources, were organized, categorized, and analyzed for the Public Health Assessment.

Comment 3: "The report repeatedly characterizes the USEPA May 2001 Palisades Child Care Center air monitoring data as 'limited.' No justification for this characterization was provided."

Response 3: The USEPA is currently developing a more comprehensive sampling strategy which they may apply to the Palisades Child Care Center in the near future.

Comment 4: "Soil contamination data is insufficiently discussed and biased. Only maximum values of contaminants of concern are presented."

Response 4: Minimum and maximum concentrations of contaminants detected in soil, sediment, and groundwater (i.e., range) are provided in Tables 1 through 9.

Comment 5: "...all off-site properties are inappropriately grouped together. ...unduly general by treating all of the adjacent sites as a homogeneous groups and does nothing to define potential risks at other properties."

Response 5:

The purpose of the public health assessment was to evaluate the public health implications of potential exposures from the QRC site. Other off-site properties are discussed primarily with regard to their relationship to the QRC site. In the course of research and data analysis, it was determined that properties neighboring the QRC site had contaminant levels comparable to and sometimes higher than those detected on the QRC site. As such, the Public Health Assessment recommends that, "Environmental regulatory agencies should ensure that these neighboring properties are investigated and, if necessary, remediated to protect the health of workers, residents, and the general public. Serious consideration should be given to expanding the current boundary of potential concern and public health risk."

Commentor E

Comment 1: "The draft PHA should be revised to reflect that there is no need for further study at the 115 River Road Property or building."

Response 1: Please see Commentor C, Response 1.

Comment 2: "Alternatively, in the event it is determined that additional study is warranted at the 115 River Road building or property, then the draft PHA should be revised to so as to reflect that additional study is similarly warranted at all properties surrounding and in the immediate vicinity of the QRS."

Response 2: Recommendation 2 of the draft Public Health Assessment for the QRC states that "environmental regulatory agencies should ensure that these neighboring properties are investigated and, if necessary, remediated to protect the health of workers, residents, and the general public. Serious consideration should be given to expanding the current boundary of potential concern and public health risk."

Comment 3: "...The wording of the PHA and any future Citizen's Guides...should be revised to eliminate the alarmist language as regards 115 River Road..."

Response 3: The reference to "alarmist language" does not specify which language to remove. The comment has been noted and added to the administrative record.

Commentor F

Comment 1: "...the Assessment recommends the posting of signs to inform the public that the Quanta site is a designated Superfund site. This is a good first step. However, it is imperative that signage be provided to warn the public regarding the specific dangers of eating fish and crabs caught there."

Response 1: The comment is noted for the administrative record.

Comment 2: "(Name withheld) is concerned over the existing and potential threat to human health posed by the toxic contaminants on the Quanta site. (Name withheld) are ready to assist in warning the public of the threat posed by this site, as well as any other steps needed to protect the public interest with regard to the Quanta site."

Response 2: The comment is noted for the administrative record.


GLOSSARY

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

  
 
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