PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
MORGAN FALLS MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILL
ROSWELL, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA
EPA ID No. GAD980559413
October 28, 2004
The Georgia Department of Human Resources
Under a Cooperative Agreement with
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Overlooking the Blue Heron Golf Course, located at the former Morgan Falls Landfill site.
Softball field located adjacent and east to the former Morgan Falls Landfill.
View from Morgan Falls Station looking north toward the former Morgan Falls Landfill located on top of the hill.
Morgan Falls Lake located on teh southern portion of Morgan Falls Station.
Morgan Falls Dam located on the Chatahoochee River west of the former Morgan Falls Landfill.
The process of taking in. For a person or animal, absorption is the process of a substance getting into the body through the eyes, skin, stomach, intestines, or lungs.
Occurring over a short time [compare with chronic].
Contact with a substance that occurs once or for only a short time (up to 14 days) [compare with intermediate duration exposure and chronic exposure].
A biologic response to exposure to multiple substances that equals the sum of responses of all the individual substances added together [compare with antagonistic effect and synergistic effect].
Adverse health effect
A change in body function or cell structure that might lead to disease or health problems.
Requiring oxygen [compare with anaerobic].
Surrounding (for example, ambient air).
An average or expected amount of a substance or radioactive material in a specific environment, or typical amounts of substances that occur naturally in an environment.
Decomposition or breakdown of a substance through the action of microorganisms (such as bacteria or fungi) or other natural physical processes (such as sunlight).
The transfer of substances from the environment to plants, animals, and humans.
Plants and animals in an environment. Some of these plants and animals might be sources of food, clothing, or medicines for people.
Any one of a group of diseases that occurs when cells in the body become abnormal and grow or multiply out of control.
A theoretical risk of for getting cancer if exposed to a substance every day for 70 years (a lifetime exposure). The true risk might be lower.
A substance that causes cancer.
Central nervous system
The part of the nervous system that consists of the brain and the spinal cord.
Occurring over a long time (more than 1 year) [compare with acute].
Contact with a substance that occurs over a long time (more than 1 year) [compare with acute exposure and intermediate duration exposure].
Comparison value (CV)
Calculated concentration of a substance in air, water, food, or soil that is unlikely to cause harmful (adverse) health effects in exposed people. The CV is used as a screening level during the public health assessment process. Substances found in amounts greater than their CVs might be selected for further evaluation in the public health assessment process.
Completed exposure pathway [see exposure pathway].
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA)
CERCLA, also known as Superfund, is the federal law that concerns the removal or cleanup of hazardous substances in the environment and at hazardous waste sites. ATSDR, which was created by CERCLA, is responsible for assessing health issues and supporting public health activities related to hazardous waste sites or other environmental releases of hazardous substances.
The amount of a substance present in a certain amount of soil, water, air, food, blood, hair, urine, breath, or any other media.
A substance that is either present in an environment where it does not belong or is present at levels that might cause harmful (adverse) health effects.
Referring to the skin. For example, dermal absorption means passing through the skin.
Dose (for chemicals that are not radioactive)
The amount of a substance to which a person is exposed over some time period. Dose is a measurement of exposure. Dose is often expressed as milligram (amount) per kilogram (a measure of body weight) per day (a measure of time) when people eat or drink contaminated water, food, or soil. In general, the greater the dose, the greater the likelihood of an effect. An "exposure dose" is how much of a substance is encountered in the environment. An "absorbed dose" is the amount of a substance that actually got into the body through the eyes, skin, stomach, intestines, or lungs.
Dose (for radioactive chemicals)
The radiation dose is the amount of energy from radiation that is actually absorbed by the body. This is not the same as measurements of the amount of radiation in the environment.
The relationship between the amount of exposure [dose] to a substance and the resulting changes in body function or health (response).
Soil, water, air, biota (plants and animals), or any other parts of the environment that can contain contaminants.
Environmental media and transport mechanism
Environmental media include water, air, soil, and biota (plants and animals). Transport mechanisms move contaminants from the source to points where human exposure can occur. The environmental media and transport mechanism is the second part of an exposure pathway.
United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Contact with a substance by swallowing, breathing, or touching the skin or eyes. Exposure may be short-term [acute exposure], of intermediate duration, or long-term [chronic exposure].
The process of finding out how people come into contact with a hazardous substance, how often and for how long they are in contact with the substance, and how much of the substance they are in contact with.
The route a substance takes from its source (where it began) to its end point (where it ends), and how people can come into contact with (or get exposed to) it. An exposure pathway has five parts: a source of contamination (such as an abandoned business); an environmental media and transport mechanism (such as movement through groundwater); a point of exposure (such as a private well); a route of exposure (eating, drinking, breathing, or touching), and a receptor population (people potentially or actually exposed). When all five parts are present, the exposure pathway is termed a completed exposure pathway.
Water beneath the earth's surface in the spaces between soil particles and between rock surfaces [compare with surface water].
A source of potential harm from past, current, or future exposures.
Potentially harmful substances that have been released or discarded into the environment.
A review of available information or collection of new data to respond to a specific health question or request for information about a potential environmental hazard. Health consultations are focused on a specific exposure issue. Health consultations are therefore more limited than a public health assessment, which reviews the exposure potential of each pathway and chemical [compare with public health assessment].
The act of swallowing something through eating, drinking, or mouthing objects. A hazardous substance can enter the body this way [see route of exposure].
The act of breathing. A hazardous substance can enter the body this way [see route of exposure].
Intermediate duration exposure
Contact with a substance that occurs for more than 14 days and less than a year [compare with acute exposure and chronic exposure].
Lowest-observed-adverse-effect level (LOAEL)
The lowest tested dose of a substance that has been reported to cause harmful (adverse) health effects in people or animals.
Milligram per kilogram.
Milligram per square centimeter (of a surface).
Milligram per cubic meter; a measure of the concentration of a chemical in a known volume (a cubic meter) of air, soil, or water.
Minimal risk level (MRL)
An ATSDR estimate of daily human exposure to a hazardous substance at or below which that substance is unlikely to pose a measurable risk of harmful (adverse), noncancerous effects. MRLs are calculated for a route of exposure (inhalation or oral) over a specified time period (acute, intermediate, or chronic). MRLs should not be used as predictors of harmful (adverse) health effects [see reference dose].
No apparent public health hazard
A category used in ATSDR's public health assessments for sites where human exposure to contaminated media might be occurring, might have occurred in the past, or might occur in the future, but where the exposure is not expected to cause any harmful health effects.
No-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL)
The highest tested dose of a substance that has been reported to have no harmful (adverse) health effects on people or animals.
No public health hazard
A category used in ATSDR's public health assessment documents for sites where people have never and will never come into contact with harmful amounts of site-related substances.
A craving to eat nonfood items, such as dirt, paint chips, and clay. Some children exhibit pica-related behavior.
A volume of a substance that moves from its source to places farther away from the source. Plumes can be described by the volume of air or water they occupy and the direction they move. For example, a plume can be a column of smoke from a chimney or a substance moving with groundwater.
Point of exposure
The place where someone can come into contact with a substance present in the environment [see exposure pathway].
A group or number of people living within a specified area or sharing similar characteristics (such as occupation or age).
Parts per billion.
Parts per million.
Public health action
A list of steps to protect public health.
Public health assessment (PHA)
An ATSDR document that examines hazardous substances, health outcomes, and community concerns at a hazardous waste site to determine whether people could be harmed from coming into contact with those substances. The PHA also lists actions that need to be taken to protect public health [compare with health consultation].
Public health hazard
A category used in ATSDR's public health assessments for sites that pose a public health hazard because of long-term exposures (greater than 1 year) to sufficiently high levels of hazardous substances or radionuclides that could result in harmful health effects.
Public health hazard categories
Public health hazard categories are statements about whether people could be harmed by conditions present at the site in the past, present, or future. One or more hazard categories might be appropriate for each site. The five public health hazard categories are no public health hazard, no apparent public health hazard, indeterminate public health hazard, public health hazard, and urgent public health hazard.
People who could come into contact with hazardous substances [see exposure pathway].
Reference dose (RfD)
An EPA estimate, with uncertainty or safety factors built in, of the daily lifetime dose of a substance that is unlikely to cause harm in humans.
See reference dose.
The probability that something will cause injury or harm.
Route of exposure
The way people come into contact with a hazardous substance. Three routes of exposure are breathing [inhalation], eating or drinking [ingestion], or contact with the skin [dermal contact].
A portion or piece of a whole. A selected subset of a population or subset of whatever is being studied. For example, in a study of people the sample is a number of people chosen from a larger population [see population]. An environmental sample (for example, a small amount of soil or water) might be collected to measure contamination in the environment at a specific location.
The number of units chosen from a population or environment.
Source of contamination
The place where a hazardous substance comes from, such as a landfill, waste pond, incinerator, storage tank, or drum. A source of contamination is the first part of an exposure pathway.
Water on the surface of the earth, such as in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and springs [compare with groundwater].
Chemical or physical (for example, radiation, heat, cold, microwaves) agents which, under certain circumstances of exposure, can cause harmful effects to living organisms.
An ATSDR document that examines, summarizes, and interprets information about a hazardous substance to determine harmful levels of exposure and associated health effects. A toxicological profile also identifies significant gaps in knowledge on the substance and describes areas where further research is needed.
The study of the harmful effects of substances on humans or animals.
Mathematical adjustments for reasons of safety when knowledge is incomplete. For example, factors used in the calculation of doses that are not harmful (adverse) to people. These factors are applied to the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) or the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) to derive a minimal risk level (MRL). Uncertainty factors are used to account for variations in people's sensitivity, for differences between animals and humans, and for differences between a LOAEL and a NOAEL. Scientists use uncertainty factors when they have some, but not all, the information from animal or human studies to decide whether an exposure will cause harm to people [also sometimes called a safety factor].
Urgent public health hazard
A category used in ATSDR's public health assessments for sites where short-term exposures (less than 1 year) to hazardous substances or conditions could result in harmful health effects that require rapid intervention.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Organic compounds that evaporate readily into the air. VOCs include substances such as benzene, toluene, methylene chloride, and methyl chloroform.