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HEALTH CONSULTATION

DEKALB PEST CONTROL SERVICES, INCORPORATED
AVONDALE ESTATES, DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA


SUMMARY

The Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health, reviewed groundwater sampling data for DeKalb Pest Control Services, Incorporated. This health consultation will discuss the nature and extent of contaminated groundwater from facility operations, and the actual and/or potential for human exposure associated with the groundwater.

The initial health consultation for this facility investigated the site history, contamination found in on-site soil, the potential health effects from exposure to contaminated soil, and remediation activities. It recommended that groundwater monitoring be conducted to further protect public health [1].

Groundwater samples were collected on April 18 and 19, 2002 from three on-site temporary borings. The samples were analyzed for eight regulated metals and for pesticides. None of these samples contained detectable levels of metals or pesticides [2]. Therefore, the site is characterized as posing no public health hazard because people have never and will never come into contact with harmful amounts of site-related substances in groundwater.

No public health actions are recommended at this time.


SITE DESCRIPTION

DeKalb Pest Control Services, Incorporated (DeKalb Pest Control) is located in a single-family private residence at 135 North Clarendon Drive in Avondale Estates. The area is approximately 50% residential and 50% commercial/industrial. Demographic information for a one-mile radius of the site is provided in Figure 1. The house is bordered by houses to the north and south, Clarendon Drive to the west, and dense woodland to the east. There are no physical hazards at this site. There are three schools within a mile radius of the site, with the closest school approximately 2000 feet to the southeast. There are no known public or individual drinking water wells within three miles of the site.

The site was the operating facility for a commercial pesticide applicator from 1977 until January 1991. At that time, a routine inspection by the Georgia Department of Agriculture led to the discovery of the improper disposal of waste pesticide containers and rinsate from cleaning pesticide equipment in the wooded area behind the house. Laboratory analysis of soil samples revealed levels of the pesticides chlordane, dieldrin, and heptachlor epoxide in soil above levels of health concern [1]. In September 1995, GEPD contractors excavated and removed approximately 50 cubic yards (70 tons) of contaminated soil, which was disposed of at a permitted hazardous waste incineration facility. Following remediation, analytical results indicated that all pesticide levels in soil were below health-based comparison values. The area was backfilled, graded, and reseeded to complete the remediation.

In January 1998, the DeKalb County Board of Health asked the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health (GDPH) to investigate public health issues associated with DeKalb Pest Control. GDPH published a health consultation in June 1998 that evaluated the site history, contamination found in on-site soil, the potential health effects from exposure to contaminated soil and remediation activities. GDPH recommended that groundwater monitoring be conducted to further protect public health [1].

In May 2002, an Interim Site Assessment Report was prepared by a private consultant for the first phase of the groundwater contamination investigation [2].

This health consultation summarizes the findings of the groundwater sampling to determine if health hazards exist from exposure to contaminated groundwater.


DISCUSSION

The GDPH evaluates chemical releases to the environment, the actual and potential for human exposure to those releases, and the health effects that might occur following exposure. An exposure pathway is a description of the process by which a chemical moves from a source of contamination to a receptor population (i.e., people). Exposures may occur from ingestion (e.g. accidentally eating), dermal (skin contact), and inhalation (breathing) pathways. A public health hazard exists only if there is an actual exposure to the chemical at high enough doses to result in adverse health effects.

At the time of the initial health consultation, no groundwater samples had been collected. In order to obtain groundwater samples and depth to water information, temporary groundwater monitor wells were installed on-site. There are no known off-site individual water wells. All residents in the area have been connected to the municipal water supply for several decades. Because there are no public or individual water wells within three miles of the site, there is no exposure pathway to contaminated groundwater through ingestion. Inhalation of contaminated groundwater vapor could occur if contaminated groundwater is near the ground surface underneath homes affected by the site.

Groundwater Sampling and Analysis

Groundwater samples were taken from three temporary borings on April 17 and 18, 2002, to identify the concentration of regulated substances in groundwater in the vicinity of previously excavated soils, establish groundwater depth and flow direction, and determine the need for permanent groundwater monitor wells [2]. The water samples collected were analyzed for the eight Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) metals: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium, and silver, using EPA method 6010b, and mercury, using EPA method 7440. The water samples were also analyzed for nineteen pesticides using EPA method 8081A, which includes those found in soil at the site and other common pesticides used during the time of company operations. None of the samples from the temporary monitor wells at the DeKalb Pest Control Services, Inc., site contained detectable amounts of metals or pesticides [3].

Most of the EPA sampling method detection levels for the metals and pesticides sampled for are below the levels of health concern developed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, except for one metal (arsenic) and three pesticides (heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, and toxaphene). Because the detection levels are above the levels of health concern, we cannot assume that the actual levels of contaminants in groundwater are above the levels of health concern. We do not know the actual amounts, if any, of these contaminants in groundwater, but we do know they are below the EPA sampling method detection levels.

However, there is no known contaminant migration from soil to groundwater at this site, as the source of contamination was removed. In addition, there is no indication that groundwater has been affected by past contamination of soil at this site because no metals or pesticides used by the company have been detected using established sampling methods.

Because there is no evidence of groundwater contamination, and contaminated soil has been removed, it is unlikely that persons have been affected by contaminated soil or groundwater vapor.

Child Health Considerations

GDPH recognizes that the unique vulnerabilities of infants and children demand special emphasis in communities faced with contamination of their water, soil, air, or food. Children are at a greater risk than adults from certain kinds of exposures to hazardous substances emitted from waste sites and emergency events. They are more likely to be exposed because they play outdoors and they often bring food into contaminated areas. They are more likely to come into contact with dust, soil, and heavy vapors close to the ground. Also, they receive higher doses of chemical exposure because of their lower body weights. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages.

Children are not at risk from exposure to contaminated groundwater at DeKalb Pest Control because sufficient environmental sampling indicates there is no contamination of groundwater at this site; past contamination of groundwater is unlikely from activities at this site, and there is no evidence that future groundwater contamination might occur.


CONCLUSIONS

Based on information currently available, the GDPH concludes that the DeKalb Pest Control Services, Inc. site poses no public health hazard because people have never and will never come into contact with harmful amounts of site-related substances in groundwater.


RECOMMENDATIONS

None.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

Actions Completed

In June 1998, GDPH completed a public health consultation that addressed soil contamination concerns for the DeKalb Pest Control Services sites.

In May 2002, a private consultant completed a groundwater contamination investigation for the facility, as recommended in the 1998 health consultation.

Actions Planned

No public health actions are planned at this time.


REFERENCES

  1. Georgia Division Of Public Health, Health Consultation: Dekalb Pest Control Services, Incorporated, Avondale Estates, Dekalb County, Georgia, June 24, 1998.

  2. Roy F. Weston, Inc., Interim Site Assessment Report: DeKalb Pest Control Services, Inc. Site, May, 2002.

  3. Email, Roy F. Weston, Inc., Summary of Analytical Results: DeKalb Pest Control Services, Inc. February 27, 2003.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Preparers

Jane M. Perry, M.P.H.
Chemical Hazards Program
Georgia Division of Public Health

Ebenezer Adedun, B.S.
Environmental Health Section
DeKalb County Board of Health


Reviewers

David Reuland
Hazardous Site Response Program
Georgia Environmental Protection Division

CAPT John Steward, R.E.H.S., M.P.H.
Technical Project Officer
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Robert E. Safay, M.S.
Senior Regional Representative
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


CERTIFICATIONS

The Georgia Department of Human Resources prepared this DeKalb Pest Control Services, Incorporated, Avondale Estates, DeKalb County, Georgia health consultation 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 begun.

Technical Project Officer, DHAC


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

Sven E. Rodenbeck
for Richard Gillig
Chief, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR



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