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PETITIONED PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT ADDENDUM

SOUTHERN WOOD PIEDMONT
AUGUSTA, RICHMOND COUNTY, GEORGIA



APPENDIX 3 - MARCH 1994 HEALTH CONSULTATION

March 3, 1994

Environmental Health Scientist, Community Health Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Health Consultation: Southern Wood Piedmont (#4P12)
Augusta, Georgia

Bob Safay
ATSDR Regional Representative
U.S. EPA, Region IV
Through: Director, DHAC, ATSDR _______
Chief, CHB, DHAC _______
Chief, PRS, CHB, DHAC _______

BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

In 1991, ATSDR finalized the Southern Wood Piedmont Petitioned Public Health Assessment. New environmental and health data were presented to ATSDR, and an addendum to the public health assessment was released in October, 1993. Based on these assessments, follow-up public health activities at this site are ongoing and include a medical records review, an exposure-dose reconstruction project, community health and health profession education (2).

During the public health assessment process, ATSDR noted inconsistent off-site environmental monitoring results. In an ATSDR Health Consultation dated August 19, 1992, ATSDR recommended that EPA, Region IV conduct a systematic sampling program for surface soils and sediments for off-site areas surrounding the Southern Wood Piedmont site in Augusta, Georgia. The results of that sampling plan were reported to ATSDR in September, 1993. This Health Consultation was written to discuss whether long-term exposure to the hazardous substances detected and reported in the "USEPA Region IV Field Investigation of Virginia Subdivision and Hyde Park Neighborhoods" indicate the need for further follow-up activities (1,3).

The EPA Field Investigation includes results of environmental monitoring for surface soil, subsurface soils, ditch sediments and surface water, groundwater, fish, air, and refuse areas. The results were reported by neighborhood regions: the Virginia Subdivision, Hyde Park, the Gravel Pit Road area, and industrial areas. Media were analyzed for inorganic elements, pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organic compounds. Selected samples were analyzed for dioxin/furans (1).

This health consultation will focus on results from surface soil, ditch sediments and surface water, groundwater, fish, and air, since these are primary areas of human exposure (2). The neighborhood regions will be analyzed separately, with the Virginia Subdivision being divided into two regions by the railroad tracks. The area east of the railroad tracks will be identified as the Winter/Nixon Road area and the west side of the tracks will remain the Virginia Subdivision. The other regions (Hyde Park, Gravel Pit Road Area, and industrial areas) will remain the same as defined by EPA (see Attachment 1).

The environmental data are analyzed assuming the worst case scenario: exposures to residential and industrial area surface soil, ditch sediment, groundwater, and fish will be daily, through ingestion, and on a long-term basis. The following is a discussion of the public health implications of exposure to levels of contamination detected by EPA, Region IV. A list of ATSDR and EPA comparison values used in analysis of public health implications is provided in Attachment 2. For further toxicological information regarding exposure to the contaminants highlighted below, see the Addendum to the Southern Wood Piedmont Public Health Assessment (2).

DISCUSSION

Virginia Subdivision

EPA took eleven groundwater samples from the Virginia Subdivision area. Lead was detected in six of the samples, and it exceeded the EPA comparison value every time. Detected lead levels ranged from 0.017 to 0.093 mg/L. Only one result indicated the presence of arsenic, and that level (0.021 mg/L) exceeded the ATSDR comparison value for arsenic. Three samples contained chromium at levels that exceeded the EPA chromium comparison value (0.21, 0.23, and 0.18 mg/L). No other contaminants detected exceeded comparison values. Levels of lead, arsenic, and chromium detected in Virginia Subdivision are a public health threat if residents are consuming private well water on a daily basis; however, because everyone in this area has been connected with the municipal water supply, this groundwater contamination does not currently pose a public health hazard (1,4,8,9,14).

EPA took 35 soil samples and 14 ditch sediment samples from the Virginia Subdivision. None of the contaminants detected in surface soils or ditch sediments were above levels of health concern. The highest level of arsenic was 4 mg/kg; carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (c-PAHs) was 0.714 mg/kg, chromium was 87 mg/kg, lead was 220 mg/kg, and dioxin/furans were 0.000039 mg/kg. None of these levels exceeded ATSDR comparison values. Although lead does not have a comparison value, the maximum level of lead detected was only slightly above background lead soil levels. The levels of lead, c-PAHs, chromium, and dioxin/furans detected in surface soil or ditch sediment are not likely to impact public health (1,5,8,9,13).

Winter/Nixon Road Area

Twelve temporary wells and one private well were sampled from the Winter/Nixon Road Area. Lead and chromium were detected in almost every well, and, when all lead and chromium levels were averaged, both averages exceeded EPA comparison values. The average detected level for lead was 0.05 mg/L and chromium was 0.11 mg/L. Arsenic and benzene were only detected once (arsenic = 0.018 mg/L, benzene = 1.1 mg/L), but the levels detected exceeded ATSDR comparison values. Naphthalene (0.58 mg/L) and cadmium (0.0047 mg/L) were detected above EPA and ATSDR comparison values in the private well only. Generally, this neighborhood had the most wells with contaminants at levels exceeding EPA and ATSDR comparison values. Levels of lead, chromium, arsenic, benzene, naphthalene, and cadmium were in sufficient amounts to be a concern for those consuming private well water on a daily basis; however, because all homes in this area are connected to the municipal water supply, this groundwater contamination does not currently pose a public health hazard (1,4,6,7,8,9,10).

Fifty-five surface soil samples were taken from this area. Lead and chromium were detected in every sample, but the maximum levels detected (lead=80 mg/kg, chromium=68 mg/kg) were not above levels of public health concern. Arsenic and c-PAHs were detected in about half of the samples. Arsenic exceeded the ATSDR comparison value once (33 mg/kg), and the c-PAH levels were all below the ATSDR comparison value. Five samples were tested for dioxin/furans, and three of the levels detected (0.000062, 0.000073 and 0.000092 mg/kg) exceeded the ATSDR comparison value, but only by a narrow margin. Dioxin and arsenic contamination in surface soils may be of public health significance for residents who inadvertently ingest soil in the Winter/Nixon Road area on a daily basis for many years (1,4,8,9,13).

Thirty-nine ditch sediment samples were taken from the Winter/ Nixon Road Area and along the eastern border of the Southern Wood Piedmont property. None of the contaminants detected exceeded ATSDR comparison values. Again, chromium and lead were detected in just about every sample; the maximum concentrations were 150 and 98 mg/kg, respectively. Arsenic, c-PAHs, pentachlorophenol, and dioxin/furans were detected in some of the samples, but again, none of the levels detected exceeded ATSDR comparison values for these contaminants. Therefore, ditch sediments in the Winter/Nixon Road Area do not pose a public health hazard (1,4,5,8,9,11).

Hyde Park

Twenty-six samples were taken from ditch sediments in Hyde Park. PCBs and lead were at levels of public health concern in one ditch running north-south between Goldberg's Recycling and the railroad tracks (see Attachment 1). The highest level of lead detected was 1800 mg/kg, and the highest level of PCBs was 13.2 mg/kg. Ditch surface water also showed elevated levels of lead in the same area (0.049 mg/L). All the maximum levels were detected at the north end of the ditch near Goldberg Recycling. Levels of lead and PCBs in this ditch indicate a public health concern for residents who inadvertently ingest ditch sediment from this ditch on a daily basis for many years (1,9,12).

Sixty-seven surface soil samples were taken from Hyde Park. Nine of these samples were tested for dioxin/furans. On the average, no contaminants detected exceeded ATSDR comparison values. Three of the maximum levels detected exceeded ATSDR comparison values. These were lead (1100 mg/kg), arsenic (59 mg/kg), and dioxin/furans (0.0001 mg/kg). The elevated levels of arsenic and dioxin/furans were detected at the same location. Because only 2 out of the 93 locations had levels of contamination above ATSDR comparison values, levels of lead, arsenic, and dioxin/furans in surface soil are not likely to pose a public health hazard in Hyde Park (1,4,9,13).

Fourteen groundwater samples were taken from temporary wells in the Hyde Park Area. Chromium and lead were detected in eleven of the wells, and, on the average, both exceeded EPA comparison values. The maximum levels detected were 0.36 mg/L for chromium and 0.17 mg/L for lead. These were the only contaminants to exceed EPA or ATSDR comparison values. Chromium and lead were in sufficient amounts to be a public health hazard for any resident consuming well water on a daily basis; however, because Hyde Park residents are connected to the municipal water supply, this groundwater contamination does not currently pose a public health hazard (1,8,9).

Gravel Pit Road

Six ditch sediment samples were taken between New Savannah Road and Rocky Creek. Arsenic was detected above ATSDR comparison values twice (19 and 84 mg/kg), and both were in ditches west of Gravel Pit Road near Rocky Creek (see Attachment 1). Arsenic was also detected in ditch water at elevated levels (0.01 mg/L). Arsenic was the only contaminant to exceed ATSDR comparison values. Arsenic was in sufficient concentrations at the south end of this ditch to be a public health hazard for residents who inadvertently ingest this sediment on a daily basis for many years (1,4).

One temporary and one private well were sampled in the Gravel Pit Road Area. Chromium and lead were detected above EPA comparison values in the temporary wells, and lead was elevated in the private well. The maximum level of lead detected was 0.019 mg/L and chromium was 0.038 mg/L. Lead and chromium concentrations were in sufficient concentrations to be a public health concern for residents consuming groundwater on a daily basis for many years; however, because residents in the Gravel Pit Road Area are connected to the municipal water supply, this groundwater contamination does not currently pose a public health hazard (1,8,9).

Three surface soil samples were taken from the Gravel Pit Road Area. No contaminants detected were at levels of public health concern. The maximum level of arsenic was 4 mg/kg, chromium was 26 mg/kg, and lead was 140 mg/kg (1,4,8,9).

Industrial Areas

Goldberg Recycling had four contaminants in surface soil detected above levels of public health concern. They were arsenic (42 mg/kg), chromium (840 mg/kg), lead (2800 mg/kg), and PCBs (48.4 mg/kg). When averaged, lead and PCB were also at levels of health concern at the Goldberg site (averages = 885 mg/kg for lead and 14.4 mg/kg for PCBs). Of the remaining industries, Tri-Check Seeds and Georgia Car Refuse were the only other sites to have contaminant levels exceeding comparison values, but the contamination was not as widespread as at Goldberg Recycling (1,4,8,9,12).

Air Monitoring

Filters from the Jenkins School air monitoring station in Hyde Park were analyzed for total suspended particulate and inorganic elements. The filters collected air particulates in 1991 and 1992. The highest level of lead detected was 0.00006 mg/m^3, which is below the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for lead. All other elements detected were at levels typical of those found in other urban areas of the Southeastern United States (1,9).

Fish Monitoring

Eight fish samples were taken from the Borrow Pit fishing pond. No contaminants detected exceeded available comparison values, based on a 70 kg adult consuming 18 grams of fish per day for greater than one year (1).

CONCLUSIONS

Ditches

  1. Lead and PCBs levels present in one ditch in Hyde Park are a public health hazard for residents who may inadvertently ingest this sediment on a daily basis for many years, (see Attachment 1).
  2. Arsenic levels present in ditches west of Gravel Pit Road are a public health hazard for residents who may inadvertently ingest sediment on a daily basis for many years, (see Attachment 1).
  3. Results of monitoring data from sediments in ditches in the Virginia Subdivision and the Winter/Nixon Road Area do not indicate a public health hazard.

Surface Soil

  1. Some surface soils around Nixon and Winter Road had levels of dioxin/furans and arsenic that are a public health hazard for residents inadvertently ingesting surface soil on a daily basis for many years.
  2. The Goldberg Recycling site surface soil had widespread lead and PCB contamination at levels that indicate a public health hazard for daily, long-term exposure. Isolated areas of arsenic and chromium were also detected at levels of public health concern for daily, long-term exposure.
  3. Results of monitoring data from surface soils in the Virginia Subdivision, Hyde Park, and the Gravel Pit Road Area do not indicate a public health hazard.

Groundwater

  1. Chromium- and lead-contaminated groundwater was found in the Virginia Subdivision, Hyde Park, the Winter/Nixon Road Area, and the Gravel Pit Road Area at levels that would be a concern for residents ingesting well water on a daily basis for many years. However, because all homes in this area are connected to the municipal water supply, this groundwater contamination does not pose a public health hazard.
  2. Groundwater in the Winter and Nixon Road area also contained arsenic, benzene, naphthalene, and cadmium at levels indicating a concern for residents ingesting well water on a daily basis for many years. Again, because all homes in this area are connected to the municipal water supply, this groundwater contamination does not pose a public health hazard.

Other Media

  1. Air monitoring results found no contaminants at levels of public health significance.
  2. Fish monitoring results found no contaminants above levels of public health significance.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Maintain warning signs around ditches in Hyde Park and near Rocky Creek (see Attachment 1).
  2. Continue to educate children and parents to minimize exposures to surface soils in the Winter Road and Nixon Road areas, because of isolated areas of arsenic and dioxin/furan contamination.
  3. Educate children and residents against frequent trespassing on the Goldberg Recycling Site because of widespread lead and PCB contamination.
  4. Continue to educate residents in Hyde Park, the Virginia Subdivision, the Nixon/Winter Road Area, and the Gravel Pit Road Area not to use groundwater as a drinking water source.
  5. Continue with all other public health actions as stated in the Southern Wood Piedmont Petitioned Public Health Assessment and Addendum.

Lynelle Neufer, RN MPH

REFERENCES

1. USEPA, Region IV. Field Investigation, Virginia Subdivision and Hyde Park Neighborhoods, Augusta, GA. ESD Project Number 93E-094. September, 1993.

2. ATSDR. Addendum to the Southern Wood Piedmont Petitioned Public Health Assessment, Public Comment Release. October, 1993.

3. ATSDR. Health Consultation: Southern Wood Piedmont (4P12) Augusta, Georgia. August 19, 1992.

4. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. April 1993.

5. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Benzo(a)pyrene. May 1990.

6. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Benzene. April 1993.

7. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. April 1993.

8. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Chromium. April 1993.

9. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Lead. April 1993.

10. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Naphthalene. December 1990.

11. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Pentachlorophenol. February 1993.

12. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls. April 1993.

13. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for 2,3,7,8-TCDD. June 1989.

14. USEPA, Region IV. Memo to Margaret Roberts. October 8, 1993.



Appendix 3, Figure 1



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