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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MARION PRESSURE TREATING COMPANY
MARION, UNION PARISH, LOUISIANA
EPA FACILITY ID: LAD008473142

December 27, 2002

Prepared by:

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals/Office of Public Health/
Section of Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology
Under a Cooperative Agreement with the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF ACRONYMS

UNITS OF MEASURE

DEFINITIONS OF SELECTED TERMS

1. SUMMARY

2. PURPOSE AND HEALTH ISSUES

3. BACKGROUND

4. DISCUSSION

5. SITE UPDATE

6. CONCLUSIONS

7. RECOMMENDATIONS

8. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

9. AUTHORS

10. REFERENCES

11. CERTIFICATION

APPENDIX A: FIGURE

APPENDIX B: TABLES

APPENDIX C: NEEDS ASSESSMENT SUMMARY


LIST OF ACRONYMS
ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
LDEQ Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
LDHH Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
MPTC Marion Pressure Treating Company
OPH Office of Public Health
RI/FS Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study
PAHs Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons


UNITS OF MEASURE
mg/L Milligrams per liter (a measure of concentration in water, 1 mg/L is equal to 1 part-per-million and 1,000 µg/L)
µg/L Micrograms per liter (a measure of concentration in water, 1 µg/L is equal to 1 part-per-billion and 0.001 mg/L)
mg/kg Milligrams per kilogram (a measure of concentration in soil or tissue, 1 mg/kg is equal to 1 part-per-million and 1,000 µg/kg)
µg/kg Micrograms per kilogram (a measure of concentration in soil or tissue, 1 µg/kg is equal to 1 part-per-billion and 0.001 mg/kg)


GLOSSARY

Background Level:
A typical or average level of a chemical in the environment. Background often refers to naturally occurring or uncontaminated levels.


CERCLA:
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, also known as Superfund. This is the legislation that mandates ATSDR public health assessment activities.


Carcinogen:
A substance that has the potential to cause cancer.


Comparison Values:
Estimated contaminant concentrations in specific media that are not likely to cause adverse health effects, given a standard daily ingestion rate and standard body weight. The comparison values are calculated from the scientific literature available on exposure and health effects.


Concentration:
The amount of one substance dissolved or contained in a given amount of another. For example, sea water contains a higher concentration of salt than fresh water.


Contaminant:
Any substance or material that enters a system (the environment, human body, food, etc.) where it is not normally found.


Dose:
The amount of a substance to which a person is exposed. Dose is expressed as mg/kg of body weight per day.


Environmental Contamination:
The presence of hazardous substances in the environment. From the public health perspective, environmental contamination is addressed when it potentially affects the health and quality of life of people living and working near the contamination.


Exposure:
Contact with a chemical by swallowing, by breathing, or by direct contact (such as through the skin or eyes). Exposure can be short term (acute) or long term (chronic).


Health Consultation:
A response to a specific question or request for information pertaining to a hazardous substance or facility (which includes waste sites). It often contains a time-critical element that necessitates a rapid response; therefore, it is a more limited response than a health assessment.


Ingestion:
Swallowing (such as eating or drinking). Chemicals can get in or on food, drink, utensils, cigarettes, or hands where they can be ingested. After ingestion, chemicals can be absorbed into the blood and distributed throughout the body.


Inhalation:
Breathing. Exposure can occur from inhaling contaminants because they can be deposited in the lungs and absorbed into the blood.


Media:
Soil, water, air, biota (which typically includes plants and animals), or any other parts of the environment that can contain contaminants.


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 a free-flowing outlet. MCLs are considered protective of public health over a lifetime (70 years) for individuals consuming 2 liters of water per day.


Minimal Risk Level (MRL):
An MRL is an estimate of daily human exposure to a substance that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of adverse health effects (noncancer) over a specified duration of exposure. MRLs are derived when reliable and sufficient data exist to identify the target organ(s) of effect or the most sensitive health effect(s) for a specific duration via a given route of exposure. MRLs are based on noncancer health effects only. MRLs can be derived for acute, intermediate, and chronic duration exposures by the inhalation and oral routes.


National Priorities List (NPL):
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) listing of sites that have undergone preliminary assessment and site inspection to determine which locations pose an immediate threat to persons living or working near the site. These sites are most in need of cleanup.


Potentially Exposed:
Valid information, usually analytical environmental data, indicates the presence ofcontaminant(s) of a public health concern in one or more environmental media contactinghumans (i.e., air, drinking water, soil, food chain, surface water), and there is evidence that some of those persons have an identified route(s) of exposure which may include drinking contaminated water, breathing contaminated air, contact with contaminated soil, or eating contaminated food).


Parts per billion (ppb)/ Parts per million (ppm):
Units commonly used to express low contaminant concentrations. For example, one part per billion (ppb) of trichloroethylene (TCE) equals one drop of TCE mixed in a competition-size swimming pool, and one part per million (ppm) equals one ounce of trichloroethylene (TCE) in one million ounces of water.


Public Health Assessment:
The evaluation of data and information on the release of hazardous substances into theenvironment in order to (1) assess any current or future impact on public health, (2) develop health advisories or other recommendations, and (3) identify studies or actions needed to evaluate and mitigate or prevent human health effects; also, the document resulting from that evaluation.


Public Health Hazard:
This public health conclusion category is used for sites that pose a public health hazard due to the existence of exposures to hazardous substances or conditions that could result in adverse health effects.


Risk:
In risk assessment, the probability that something will cause injury, combined with the potential severity of that injury.


Route of Exposure:
The way in which a person can contact a chemical substance. For example, drinking (ingestion) and bathing (skin contact) are two different routes of exposure to contaminants that can occur in water.


Superfund:
Another name for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA), commonly referred to as the Superfund Law.

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