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HEALTH CONSULTATION

HART COUNTY LANDFILL:
PRIVATE WELL CONTAMINATION INVESTIGATION
HARTWELL, HART COUNTY, GEORGIA


CONCLUSIONS

This site poses no apparent public health hazard (CATEGORY D) due to the fact that if there was any past human exposure to contaminated groundwater, the exposure dose would not have exceeded an ATSDR chronic MRL (4).

Although a completed exposure pathway exists for the residents of this home through ingestion of contaminated water, no adverse health effects are expected to occur. This conclusion is based largely on the fact that only one chemical, trichloroethylene, found in the well sample exceeded the comparison value, and the estimated dose that the residents received did not exceed the MRL for that compound. The carcinogenicity of the contaminant is a point of strong debate, and there are not enough data available to address any excess risk of cancer due to exposure.


CHILD HEALTH INITIATIVE

ATSDR's Child Health Initiative 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 due to lower body weights. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages.

We evaluated the likelihood that children would be exposed to contaminants at the residence at levels of health concern. We determined estimated dosages specifically for children and found that they did not exceed the MRL for trichloroethylene. No other contaminants exceeded the comparison values.

We did not identify any current or future exposure situations that would results in adverse health effects for children at this site.


RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Due to the presence of volatile organic chemicals in the drinking water supply at one residence near the landfill, the decision that an alternative supply of water be provided is protective of public health and should be implemented.
  • Due to the close proximity of additional residences to the landfill, which is believed to be leaking contamination to the groundwater, the drinking water wells should be monitored for contamination. If feasible, the City of Hartwell should make available access to the public water system for these residents as offered.

The interpretation, advice, and recommendations presented in this health consultation are based on the data and information referenced. Additional data could alter the recommendations. The conclusions and recommendations are situation-specific and should not be considered applicable to any other situations. As additional data become available, we will review the data, and we will respond to additional requests to evaluate public health issues at the site.


REFERENCES

  1. Site Investigation, Private Well Sampling. Tribble and Richardson Consultants. February 27, 1998.

  2. Site Visit and Consultation. Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health. March 20, 1998.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. 1992.

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene, Update, 1996.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Georgia Department of Human Resources
Division of Public Health
Toxics and Health Hazards Consultation Section

    Scott Harris, Toxicologist

    Harold Emmett, Environmental Engineer

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

    Gail Godfrey, Environmental Health Scientist

CERTIFICATION

This Hart County Landfill Health Consultation was prepared by the Georgia Department of Human Resources 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 public health assessment was begun.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC

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

Richard Gillig
Chief, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR



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