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HEALTH CONSULTATION

Perchlorate Contamination in the Arden Cordova Water Service Area

AEROJET-GENERAL CORPORATION
RANCHO CORDOVA, SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA


CONCLUSION

Based upon the information reviewed, there was and is a completed exposure pathway to perchlorate-contaminated water in the Cordova System. Adult residents who lived near and employees who worked at businesses near the contaminated wells may have been or may be exposed on a regular basis to the perchlorate when they drank water and washed or showered with the water. Other exposures occurred over a short duration resulting in a very low dose to the customers and visitors who occasionally frequented the business establishments located near the perchlorate-contaminated wells.

It is hard to say when the perchlorate first contaminated the Cordova System wells but it may have been as early as 1987. As a result of being notified of the perchlorate contamination on February 11, 1997, Southern California Water Company stopped the distribution of water with levels of perchlorate greater than 18 ppb (USEPA's provisional reference dose based on a 70 kg individual consuming two liters of water a day). The water from several Cordova System wells that are currently in use contain perchlorate in lower concentrations (<18 ppb).

Since the uncertainty factors are supposed to account for the somewhat limited toxicological information, it is conceivable that as more toxicological data becomes available, a change in the (provisional) reference dose may occur.

The estimated dose for a adult resident exposed to water from well #13 or a worker exposed to well #15 or 16 exceed the provisional reference dose range which means that noncancer (thyroid depression) health effects may have occurred when the adult resident was exposed to water from these wells. However, because there is a very large uncertainty factor associated with the provisional reference dose and the estimated doses do not approach the NOAEL, it is unlikely that these exposures did cause any noncancer health effects. These wells are no longer being used, thus any noncancer health effects that may have occurred should no longer be occurring now that the exposure has ceased.

The estimated dose for a frequent adult customer/visitor exposed to water from well #15 or 16 does not exceed the provisional reference dose range. This means that noncancer (thyroid depression) health effects would not have occurred to the frequent adult customer/visitor drinking or washing with water from well #15 or 16.

The estimated dose for adult resident exposed to water from well #11 or 14 does not exceed the provisional reference dose range. This means that noncancer (thyroid depression) health effects would not have occurred or should not be occurring to the adult resident drinking or washing with water from well #11 or 14. The estimated dose for worker or a frequent adult customer/visitor exposed to water from well #19 does not exceed the provisional reference dose range. This means that noncancer (thyroid depression) health effects would not have occurred or should not be occurring to the worker or a frequent adult customer/visitor drinking or washing with water from well #19. Wells #11, 14, and 19 are currently in use.

Based upon the information available at the time this health consultation was written, CDHS concludes that well water from Cordova System wells #13, 15, and 16 may have posed a health hazard when these wells were in use. Since the water from these three wells are no longer being used, these wells do not pose a current health hazard. Additionally, the perchlorate levels in the other Cordova System wells that are currently in use do not pose a health hazard.


PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTIONS

The Public Health Recommendations and Actions Plan (PHRAP) for this site contains a description of actions taken, to be taken, or under consideration by ATSDR and CDHS or others at and near the site. The purpose of the PHRAP is to ensure that this health consultation not only identifies public health hazards, but also provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The CDHS and ATSDR will follow-up on this plan to ensure that actions are carried out.

Actions Completed

  1. Southern California Water Company immediately discontinued the delivery of perchlorate contaminated water and now is only delivering water with less than 18 ppb perchlorate.
  2. Southern California Water Company has communicated with the Cordova System water customers by holding a workshop and has released several public notices to keep their customers informed about the perchlorate problem.
  3. CDHS prepared a fact sheet about perchlorate and health. CDHS made this fact sheet available to the affected water purveyors including the Southern California Water Company.

Actions Planned:

  1. CDHS has asked ATSDR to conduct a dose reconstruction exposure investigation of perchlorate exposure in the Cordova System. ATSDR has agreed to come to visit California and investigate the effort that would be needed to conduct the dose reconstruction.
  2. CDHS is in the process of submitting a protocol to ATSDR to conduct a health statistics review of the CDHS Genetic Disease Branch data of newborn thyroid testing in relation to doses from the dose reconstruction exposure investigation.
  3. The Air Force and the Perchlorate Study Group (a number of manufacturers and users of perchlorate) are sponsoring an investigation into fate and transport questions regarding perchlorate. For instance, they will investigate if is perchlorate is taken up and bioconcentrated by vegetable crops and the skin permeability of perchlorate.
  4. The Air Force and the Perchlorate Study Group are also sponsoring a series of animal studies to address some of the information lacking in understanding perchlorate toxicology. CDHS cooperative agreement staff along with other state and federal scientists, were asked by the Air Force to recommend and oversee the planning of the animal studies. As of August 1997, the study protocols have been finalized and the process of choosing a laboratory to conduct the studies is underway. A report on the studies is expected in mid-summer 1998.

Recommendations for Further Action:

  1. Continue communicating with the Cordova System water customers about the perchlorate issue. For instance, send perchlorate fact sheet or some other type of summary in the next mass mailing to the Cordova System well users.
  2. Discontinue, as Southern California Water Company has been doing, using wells that have levels of 18 ppb or greater of perchlorate.
  3. If indicated based on new toxicological information, review toxicological evaluation of past and current perchlorate exposures in the Sunrise District.

REFERENCES

  1. U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation. Preliminary Health Assessment of the Aerojet-General Corporation, Rancho Cordova, CA. December 5, 1988.

  2. Site Review and Update of the Aerojet-General Corporation, Rancho Cordova, CA. Prepared for U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. March 19, 1993.

  3. Health Consultation- Trichloroethylene Levels in Private Wells near the Aerojet-General Corporation, Rancho Cordova, CA. Prepared for U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. July 1996.

  4. Health Consultation- Hazel Avenue Ponds near the Aerojet-General Corporation, Rancho Cordova, CA. Prepared for U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. November 18, 1996.

  5. Health Consultation- Review of Methods of Analysis for the Perchlorate Anion, Aerojet-General Corporation, Rancho Cordova, CA. Prepared for U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. March 18, 1997.

  6. Health Consultation- American River Study Area of the Aerojet-General Corporation, Ranch Cordova, CA. Prepared for U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. February 21, 1996.

  7. California Department of Health Services, Drinking Water Field Operations Branch, Sacramento. Inspection Report for California Water Service, Cordova Water Service. May 15, 1996.

  8. Telephone conversation, concerning Cordova Water System and Perchlorate Contamination. July 7, 1997.

  9. California Department of Health Services, Drinking Water Field Operations Branch in Sacramento. Well/Pump Data Sheets of the Southern California Water Service, Cordova Water System. March 29, 1996.

  10. Southern California Company, Water Quality Program. Water Quality Analyses. For each well, data was available from when the well was created to 1997.

  11. Memorandum to Aerojet file, concerning Meeting on Perchlorate Sampling on 2-11-97. February 11, 1997.

  12. Letter with attached report written to the Chairman of the Perchlorate Study Group, concerning Review of Proposed RfD for Perchlorate. October 23, 1995.

  13. California Department of Health Services, Drinking Water Field Operations Branch, Sacramento. Perchlorate Monitoring Data: 3/11/97 through 6/23/97. July 25, 1997.

  14. California Department of Health Services, Sanitation and Radiation Laboratories Branch. Analytical Report for Inorganic Results- July Sampling. August 13, 1997.

  15. California Department of Health Services, Sanitation and Radiation Laboratories Branch. Analytical Report for Inorganic Results- August Sampling. September 9, 1997.

  16. California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region. Consent Decree with Aerojet-General Corporation Inc. July 1988.

  17. Hydro-Search Inc and Aerojet General Corp. Aerojet Site: GET E and F Evaluation Report. Prepared for Aerojet General Corporation. April 1996.

  18. ATSDR. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. Lewis: Boca Raton, 1993.

  19. Y. Toyoshima and T.E. Thompson. 1975. Chloride flux in bilayer membranes: chloride permeability in aqueous dispersions of single walled vesicles. Biochemistry. 14: 1525-1531.

  20. Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment. Proposed Perchlorate Reference Dose (RfD), Peer Review Draft. Prepared for The Perchlorate Study Group. February 1997.

  21. J.M.C. Connell. 1981. Long-Term Use of Potassium Perchlorate. Postgraduate Medical Journal. 57: 516-517.

  22. K.W. Wenzel and J.R. Lente. 1984. Similar effects of thioamide drugs and perchlorate on thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins in Graves' Disease: Evidence against an immunosuppressive action of thioamide drugs. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 58: 62-69.

  23. D. Barzilai and M. Sheinfeld. 1966. Fatal complications following use of potassium perchlorate in thyrotoxicosis: report of two cases and a review of the literature. Isr J Med Sci. 2: 453.

  24. E. Martino, F. Aghini-Lombardi, S. Mariotti, M. Lenziardi, L. Baschieri, L.E. Braverman and A Pinchera. 1986. Treatment of amiodarone associated thyrotoxicosis by simultaneous administration of potassium perchlorate and methimazole. J Endocrinol Invest. 9: 201-207.

  25. E. Martino, S. Mariotti, F. Aghini-Lomardi, M. Lenziardi, S. Morabito, L. Baschieri, A Pinchera, L. Braverman and M. Safran. 1986. Short term administration of potassium perchlorate restores euthyroidism in amiodarone iodine-induced hypothyroidism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 63: 1233-1236.

  26. E.W.C.M. van Dam, M.F. Prummel, W.M. Wiersinga and R.E. Nikkels. 1993. Treatment of amiodarone-induced hypothyroidism with potassium perchlorate. Neth J Med. 42: 21-24.

  27. L.J.M. Reichert and H.A.M. De Rooy. 1989. Treatment of amiodarone induced hyperthyroidism with potassium perchlorate and methimazole during amiodarone treatment. Brit Med J. 298: 1547-1548.

  28. M.D. Trip, D.R. Duren and W.M. Wiersinga. 1994. Two cases of amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis successfully treated with a short course of antithyroid drugs while amiodarone was continued. Br Heart J. 72: 266-268.

  29. Memorandum to Toxicologist , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, concerning Provisional Non-cancer and Cancer Toxicity Values for Potassium Perchlorate (CASRN 7778-74-7)(Aerojet General Corp./CA). December 2, 1992.

  30. S.C. Werner. 1967. Hyperthyroidism in the pregnant woman and neonate: two discussions on hyperthyroidism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 27: 1637-1654.

  31. A.R. Frisk and E. Josesson. 1947. Thiouracil derivatives and pregnancy. Acta Med Scand (Suppl). 196: 85-91.

  32. K. Sato, H. Mimura, S. Kato, O. Isozaki, T. Tsushima and K. Shizume. 1983. Serum propylthiouracil concentration in patients with Graves' disease with various clinical courses. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 104: 189-194.

  33. S. Retetoff, Y. Ochi, H.A. Selenkow and R.L. Rosenfeld. 1974. Neonatal hypothyroidism and goiter in one infant of each of two sets of twins due to maternal therapy with antithyroid drugs. J Pediatr. 85:

  34. G.N. Burrow. 1965. Neonatal goiter after maternal propylthiouracil therapy. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 25: 4039-4040.

  35. J.G. Thorpe-Beeston and K.H. Nicolaides. Maternal and Fetal Thyroid Function in Pregancy. The Parthenon Publishing Group: New York, 1996.

  36. S. Postel. 1957. Placental transfer of perchlorate and triiodothryronine in the guinea pig. Endocrinol. 60: 53-66.

  37. K Brown-Grant and M.R. Sherwood. 1971. Viability of the rat blastocyst following the oral administration of potassium perchlorate or potassium iodide to the mother. J Reprod Fert. 27: 265-267.

  38. J.B Stanbury and J.B. Wyndaarden. 1952. Effect of Perchlorate on the Human Thyroid Gland. Metabolism. 1: 533-539.

  39. M. Karstadt and J.K. Haseman. 1997. Effect of discounting certain tumor types/sites on evaluations of carcinogenicity in laboratory animals. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 31: 485-494.

  40. C. C. Capen. 1994. Mechanisms of chemical injury of thyroid gland. Prog Clin Biol Res. 387: 173-191.

  41. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment. Exposure Factors Handbook. July 1989.

  42. H Schaefer and T.E. Redelmeier. Skin Barrier: Principles of Percutaneous Absorption. Karger: Basel, 1996.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH EFFECTS ASSESSORS:

Marilyn C. Underwood, Ph.D.
Staff Toxicologist
Environmental Health Investigation Branch
California Department of Health Services

COMMUNITY RELATIONS COORDINATOR:

Jane Riggan, M.S.W.
Public Health Social Work Consultant II
Environmental Health Investigations Branch
California Department of Health Services

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

William Nelson
Senior Regional Representative
Office of Regional Operations, ATSDR - Region IX

ATSDR TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER:

William Greim, M.S., M.P.H.
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch, State Programs Section


CERTIFICATION

The Perchlorate Contamination in the Citizens Utilities' Suburban and Security Park Water Service Areas, Aerojet-General Corporation Health Consultation was prepared by the California Department of Health Services under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the health consultation was initiated.

William Greim
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this health consultation and concurs with its findings.

Richard Gillig
Chief, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR

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