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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE
SACRAMENTO, SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA


CONCLUSIONS

The first conclusion of every ATSDR public health assessment identifies the level of public healthhazard posed by the site. Table 21 defines the public health hazard conclusion categories.

  1. ATSDR has defined McAFB as a public health hazard. Areas south and west of McAFB(OUs A, B, C, and D) are identified by ATSDR as public health hazards becausecontaminant sources from those areas have contributed to environmental contaminationto which people on and off site have been, are, or could be exposed. ATSDR has definedcompleted groundwater, ambient air, and soil exposure pathways for contaminants ofconcern (VOCs, PCBs and heavy metals). People have been, are, or may be exposed byway of ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. The estimated exposures, based on thecontaminant concentrations reported and prolonged exposures, could cause adversehealth effects in any segment of the exposed population.
  2. Other areas of the base have not been characterized; they are considered indeterminatepublic health hazards. ATSDR will review environmental information on those OUs andany additional information for OUs A, B, C, and D, as it becomes available, and makefollow-up recommendations as appropriate.

  3. Base wells are a past completed exposure pathway; on-site residents and workers wereexposed to TCE by way of ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. TCE concentrationsin potable water were not high enough to cause noncancerous health effects in workersand residents after long-term exposure. Because TCE was the only contaminant listed atthe point of drinking water distribution , ATSDR could not evaluate health effects of otherVOCs that were in the base water supply system. With the exception of BW 18, themajor supply well for the base, contaminated base supply wells have been abandoned. BW 18 was placed back on-line after installation of a carbon treatment system to removeVOCs. Because the treatment system is monitored weekly for any potentialcontamination, and other supply wells are tested every two weeks, ATSDR does notconsider the base wells a completed pathway at this time.

Table 21. ATSDR Public Health Hazard Conclusion Categories

Category Definition Criteria  
A. Urgent public health hazard This category is used for sites that pose an urgent public health hazard as the result of short-term exposures to hazardous substances. • evidence exists that exposures have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur in the future AND
• estimated exposures are to a substance(s) at concentrations in the environment that, upon short-term exposures, can cause adverse health effects to any segment of the receptor population AND/OR
• community-specific health outcome data indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health that requires rapid intervention AND/OR
• physical hazards at the site pose an imminent risk of physical injury
B. Public health hazard This category is used for sites that pose a public health hazard as the result of long-term exposures to hazardous substances. • evidence exists that exposures have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur in the future AND
• estimated exposures are to a substance(s) at concentrations in the environment that, upon long-term exposures, can cause adverse health effects to any segment of the receptor population AND/OR
• community-specific health outcome data indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health that requires intervention
C. Indeterminate public health hazard This category is used for sites with incomplete information. • limited available data do not indicate that humans are being or have been exposed to levels of contamination that would be expected to cause adverse health effects; data or information are not available for all environmental media to which humans may be exposed AND
• there are insufficient or no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health
D. No apparent public health hazard This category is used for sites where human exposure to contaminated media is occurring or has occurred in the past, but the exposure is below a level of health hazard. • exposures do not exceed an ATSDR chronic MRL or other comparable value AND
• data are available for all environmental media to which humans are being exposed AND
• there are no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health
E. No public health hazard This category is used for sites that do not pose a public health hazard. • no evidence of current or past human exposure to contaminated media AND
• future exposures to contaminated media are not likely to occur AND
• there are no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health
  1. On-site ambient air is both a past and a present completed pathway. Workers in the past in andaround Building 252 were exposed to mercury by inhalation. Other contaminants detected inthe ambient air at concentrations that could result in increased risk of developing cancer includebenzene, TCE, and 1,1-DCE. Earlier air monitoring indicated higher levels of those contaminantsin the industrial section of the site. Using wind direction information, it is not apparent that on-site family housing has been or would be affected by the ambient air exposure pathway. The1991 air toxics report included the results of computer simulations that suggest that people maybe currently exposed to VOCs. Air monitoring detection limits for some chemicals, such as PCBsand vinyl chloride, are higher than health comparison values. It is therefore possible that somechemicals have not been detected that are actually present at levels that exceed healthcomparison values.


  2. Off-site residents, west of the base and near OU D, have been exposed to VOCs andmetals emanating from the site by groundwater migration. Residents in the same areaare exposed to VOCs in the ambient air pathway and to heavy metals in surfacesediments along Magpie Creek. Thus, that community population is exposed to similarenvironmental contaminants through multiple routes of exposure.


  3. Off-site residents' exposure to VOCs and metals in groundwater was first identified in1979; McAFB provided those affected with connections to municipal water supplies in1986-1987. In the interim, residents drank bottled water, but they continued to beexposed by way of inhalation of and dermal contact with the volatile compounds whileusing groundwater for other purposes (bathing, irrigation). Because some private wellsare used for irrigating home gardens and watering livestock, it is possible that certaincontaminants could bioaccumulate in the food chain and be ingested by the propertyowners.


  4. Off-site residents have been or are being exposed by way of the ambient air pathway toVOCs. ATSDR reviewed analyses of air samples from the crawl spaces of homes, soilgas monitoring wells, and air monitoring data from samples taken in the breathing zoneson residential property and air stations adjacent, and upwind of the properties. Evaluation of ambient air data from residential properties and air stations adjacent to theproperties identified benzene, TCE, and 1,1-DCE as contaminants of public healthconcern because exposure to them may result in an increased cancer risk.


  5. Off-site residents, especially children, have been, are, and may be exposed to heavymetals by ingestion of or dermal contact with sediments in Magpie Creek. The exposureto cadmium in the sediments is considered a public health concern. Since cadmium isknown to accumulate in green vegetables and fruits, use of the sediments from the creekin gardening areas is a potential health concern.


  6. Limited on-base surface soil has been sampled. Results for OU B1 indicated PCBs atconcentrations that have significant public health implications. Surface soil is acompleted human exposure pathway. The levels of PCB found OU B1 are high enough tocause an increased risk of developing cancer and other adverse health effects.


  7. Contaminant concentrations in on-site subsurface soils may cause adverse health effectsif an exposure route is completed. Workers involved in remediating contaminated soilsand construction workers disturbing the soil (concurrent dermal contact with andingestion or inhalation of contaminants) would be the potentially exposed populations for the pathway.


  8. Possible concentrations of off-site contaminants in the surface water and sediment ofMagpie Creek are of particular concern to citizens and ATSDR. Preliminary data onsediment samples indicated cadmium at concentrations of public health concern. Incidental ingestion of or dermal contact with the contaminated sediments by childrenmay result in an increased risk of developing adverse health effects. More data, such astesting for PCBs potentially migrating from OU B1, are required for ATSDR to completelyaddress this pathway.


  9. ATSDR has requested health outcome data from CDHS, but they have not yet beenprovided. Sacramento County health outcome data have been available only since 1987. When the data are provided, ATSDR will evaluate them and make follow-uprecommendations as appropriate.


  10. Data inadequacies include these:


    1. The lack of on-site surface soil data at each OU prevents an assessment of thepotential adverse health effects of exposure.


    2. On-site sediment and surface water sampling from Robla, Don Julio, and Magpiecreeks, and from the southern and northern drainage ditches was preliminary. Quality control problems associated with the analyses were noted. Additionalsampling is needed off-site.


    3. Air monitoring stations on site are not positioned to adequately define the natureand extent of air contamination in the residential areas.


    4. Available off-site air monitoring data for some chemicals are of restricted use indefining the level of health concern because the detection limits for thesechemicals are higher than their health comparison values. Thus, a "non detect"for such chemicals could actually be of health concern.


    5. Groundwater samples were field-filtered. Field-filtered samples do not accuratelyrepresent concentrations to which people ingesting contaminated groundwatermay actually be exposed.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Continue testing on-site groundwater supply wells for hazardous contaminants.


  2. Place air monitoring stations on and around McAFB to evaluate the nature and extent of air releases that could affect residential areas.


  3. Conduct a complete residential (private) well-use survey for the defined groundwaterimpact area west of the site.


  4. Continue to perform off-site ambient air sampling in and around the homes near OU D or other areas with high levels of soil gases (at the breathing zone); also analyze formethane.


  5. Analyze groundwater to evaluate human health exposure pathways using unfilteredsamples.


  6. Design sediment and surface water sampling for Magpie Creek to include upstream,downstream, and background samples and to evaluate seasonal changes in contaminantconcentrations; if contaminants are detected in Magpie Creek that have the potential tobioaccumulate in food chain entities (e.g. frog legs and crawfish) and there is evidencethat the food chain entities are being consumed by humans, the food chain entities alsoshould be sampled.


  7. Restrict access to affected areas along Magpie Creek where contaminant concentrations are determined to be of public health concern; perform additional sediment sampling to determine extent of contamination.


  8. If heavy metals that bioaccumulate in biota such as cadmium, lead, chromium, arsenic,and mercury are present in the soil and groundwater, analyze for those contaminants inlivestock, vegetables, fruits, or nuts grown in contaminated soil, or irrigated withcontaminated groundwater.


  9. Continue to provide on-site remedial workers with adequate protective equipment andtraining, in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.120, and follow appropriate National Institutefor Occupational Safety and Health and Occupational Safety and Health Administrationguidelines.


  10. Continue to monitor ambient air and any other appropriate media during remediation to determine if nearby workers or residents are exposed.


  11. Provide NIOSH with information about on-site occupational concerns to evaluate the need for long-term, follow-up health studies.


  12. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980,as amended, requires ATSDR to perform public health actions needed at hazardouswaste sites. To determine if public health actions are needed, ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has evaluated the data and information in the McClellan Air Force Base Public Health Assessment.
  13. The affected community and local health professionals need health education tounderstand, identify, and assess any adverse health effects caused by exposures tohazardous chemical waste. Community health investigations are indicated on and offbase to evaluate and determine health concerns and whether those concerns are linkedto exposures to hazardous substances. Comprehensive epidemiologic studies are alsoneeded because there are indications that identified populations have developed or mayyet develop adverse health effects caused by exposure to hazardous substances in theenvironment. HARP also recommends a community assistance panel (CAP) beestablished for this NPL site to help implement the recommended health actions.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The public health action plan (PHAP) for McAFB NPL site contains a description of actionsundertaken or planned by ATSDR and/or the Air Force (AF) at and in the vicinity of the sitesubsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is toensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but providesa plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting fromexposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health actions to beimplemented are as follows:

Actions Undertaken

  1. McAFB provided the community in the defined impact area west of the base an alternatewater supply (bottled water and connections to municipal water supplies) for potable usewhen contamination was detected in residential wells.


  2. McAFB has collected surface soil samples (< 3 inches) off-site from four residential yardsas requested by ATSDR. Results of the data on those samples were used to evaluate thepotential for adverse public health effects from exposure to contaminants in surface soil.


  3. McAFB has collected groundwater samples from a small number of residential wells,using unfiltered samples as requested by ATSDR for metal analyses, (ATSDR healthconsultation, Appendix E). The results of the study were used to evaluate potentialpublic health effects from current exposures by inhalation and ingestion of, and dermalcontact with contaminants in the groundwater.


  4. McAFB is continuing sampling of groundwater supply wells.


  5. McAFB is conducting air media risk screening and risk assessment modeling (using EPAair modeling programs) as required by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air QualityManagement District.


  6. McAFB is continuing to collect air samples from crawl spaces in homes around McAFB. This sampling will determine the need to sample in the homes.


  7. McAFB is developing a sampling plan to collect background sediment and surface watersamples. After background concentrations have been established, the Air Force willevaluate the need for further sampling.


  8. On-site remedial workers are provided hazard communication training on the hazards oftheir work environment. They are also provided appropriate personal protectiveequipment, briefed on the use and maintenance of the equipment, and required to followwritten health and safety plans.


  9. Health and safety procedures are followed according to written safety plans to ensure that workers and nearby residents are protected.


  10. NIOSH has conducted an on-site visit to evaluate the occupational concerns related to themercury contamination n building 252 and has issued a report of their findings (102).

Actions Planned

  1. The ATSDR Division of Health Education will provide environmental health education forlocal military and civilian health care providers to assist the community in assessingpossible adverse health outcomes associated with exposure to hazardous substances.


  2. The ATSDR Division of Health Studies has proposed an epidemiologic study. Such astudy may include a census and an evaluation of self reported symptoms and diseases,and biomedical testing.


  3. ATSDR is working to implement other community health follow-up activities on and offsite, such as investigations of possible cancer clusters and community health education.


  4. ATSDR will cooperate with the Air Force to implement other public health actionsnecessary for populations on site exposed to environmental contaminants.


  5. ATSDR will maintain active community involvement by the establishment of a communityassistance panel (CAP) at McAFB. The CAP will provide information to the communityon the public health assessment and ongoing public health actions. The CAP will actalso as a liaison to provide information to ATSDR about community concerns.


  6. ATSDR will provide an annual follow up to this PHAP, outlining the actions completedand those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies ofthis public health assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.


  7. McAFB will work with ATSDR and the Armstrong Laboratory of Air Force School ofAerospace Medicine to design a well-use survey.


  8. McAFB will evaluate the results of the well-use survey to determine if biota or soilcontaminated with contaminated groundwater should be sampled.

ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the PHAP when needed. New environmental, toxicological,or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions maydetermine the need for additional actions at the McAFB NPL site.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Leslie Campbell, MS
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Oscar Cerda, MD
Medical Officer
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Leticia Arredondo, MD, MPH
Medical Officer
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Susan L. Kess, MD, MPH
Medical Officer
Office of the Director
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Victoria Ann Smith
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Reviewers of Report:

Mike Allred, PhD
Health Scientist
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Susan McAfee Moore
Environmental Health Scientist/Toxicologist
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

John E. Abraham, PhD, MPH
Section Chief, Defense Facilities Assessment Section
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR Regional Representative:

William Nelson
Public Health Advisor
EPA Region IX


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FIGURES

Location of McClellan AFB
Figure 1. Location of McClellan AFB

McClellan AFB Operable Units and Groundwater Flow Directions
Figure 2. McClellan AFB Operable Units and Groundwater Flow Directions

Communities Adjacent to McClellan AFB, and Schools and Parks in the Vicinity
Figure 3. Communities Adjacent to McClellan AFB, and Schools and Parks in the Vicinity

Off-Base Groundwater Impact Area. All residents within the Off-Base Impact Area have been Supplied with municipal water hook-ups
Figure 4. Off-Base Groundwater Impact Area. All residents within the Off-Base Impact Area have been Supplied with municipal water hook-ups

McClellan AFB, OU D. Locations of Soil Gas Monitoring Wells and Surface Soil Samplings
Figure 5. McClellan AFB, OU D. Locations of Soil Gas Monitoring Wells and Surface Soil Samplings

McClellan AFB, OU B. Groundwater Plume, Zone C
Figure 6. McClellan AFB, OU B. Groundwater Plume, Zone C

Location of Off-Site Residential Wells and MWs Sampled Aug - Sept. 1991
Figure 7. Location of Off-Site Residential Wells and MWs Sampled Aug - Sept. 1991

McClellan AFB Hourly Average Surface Wind Rose
Figure 8. McClellan AFB Hourly Average Surface Wind Rose


GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS

ATSDR

- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
BW - Base Well
CDHS - California Department of Health Services
CERCLA - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
CRWQCB - California Regional Water Quality Control Board
CS - Confirmed Site
DCA - Dichloroethane
DCE - Dichloroethene
DWHA - Drinking Water Health Advisory

EM

- Environmental Management
EMEG - Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency
HARP - Health Activities Recommendation Panel
IRP - Installation Restoration Project
IWTP - Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant
McAFB - McClellan Air Force Base
MC - Methylene Chloride

MCL

- Maximum Contaminant Level
MCLG - Maximum Contaminant Level Goal
MRL - Minimal Risk Level
MW - Monitoring Well
OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration
NPL - National Priorities List
OU - Operable Unit
PCB - Polychlorinated Biphenyl
PCE - Tetrachloroethene
PMCL - Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level
ppb - Parts Per Billion
ppm - Parts Per Million
PRL - Potential Release Location
RfC - EPA Reference Concentration
RfD - EPA Reference Dose
RfDC - Media Concentration Calculated from RfD
SA - Study Area
TCA - Trichloroethane
TCE - Trichloroethene
USGS - United States Geological Survey
UST - Underground Storage Tank
VC - Vinyl Chloride
VOC - Volatile Organic Compound


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: REFERENCES REVIEWED BUT NOT CITED

  1. Henn W, Blin N, Zang D. Polysomy of Chromosome 7 is correlated with overexpression of the erbB oncogene in human glioblastoma cell lines. Human Genetics 1986;74:104-106.


  2. Levi F, La Vecchia C, Te VC. Epidemiology of malignant brain tumors in the swiss canton of Vaud. Neuroepidemiology 1990;9:135-142.


  3. Musicco M, Filippini G, Bordo BM, et al. Gliomas and occupational exposure to carcinogens: Case-control study. Am J Epidemiol 1982;116:782-790.


  4. Olshan AF, Breslow NE, Daling JR, et al. Childhood brain tumors and paternal occupation in the aerospace industry. J Nat Cancer Instit. 1986;77:17-19.


  5. Preston-Martin S. Descriptive epidemiology of primary tumors of the spinal cord and spinal meninges in Los Angeles County, 1972-1985. Neuroepidemiology 1990;9:106-111.


  6. Rothenberg RB, Steinberg K, Thacker SB. The public health importance of clusters: A note from the Centers for Disease Control. Am J of Epidemiol 1990;132:(suppl 1):s3-5.


  7. Stroup NE, Blair A, Erickson GE. Brain cancer and other causes of death in anatomist. J Nat Cancer Instit 1986;77:1217-1224.

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