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PETITIONED PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

T.H. AGRICULTURE AND NUTRITION (ALBANY)
ALBANY, DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GEORGIA


APPENDIX A - FIGURE


Figure 1. Intro Map



APPENDIX B - TABLES

Table 1: T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition Site 1994 Ambient Air Data

Chemical Maximum
Concentration
(µg/m3), on-site
before LTTD
Maximum
Concentration
(µg/m3), on-site
during LTTD
Maximum
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Off-site
Comparison
Value (µg/m3)
Type of
Comparison
Value
alpha-BHC 0.045 0.095 ND 0.0006 CREG
beta-BHC 0.030 0.038 ND 0.002 CREG
DDD 0.035 ND ND 0.026 RBC-C
DDE 0.060 0.049 ND 0.018 RBC-C
DDT 0.194 0.147 0.016 0.01 CREG
Dieldrin 0.025 0.030 ND 0.0002 CREG
Endosulfan I 0.029 0.030 ND 22 RBC-N
Endosulfan II 0.013 0.006 ND 22 RBC-N
Lindane ND 0.0036 ND 0.0048 RBC-C
Respirable
Particulates
1,244.0 2,458.7 Not Available 50
5,000
EPA PM10
OSHA PEL

In addition, the following chemicals were tested for but not detected: aldrin, delta-BHC, alpha-chlordane, gamma-chlordane, endrin, toxaphene.

Source: Focus, 1994.

Notes:

"Before LTTD" measurements occurred immediately before LTTD, when no contaminated soil was being moved or processed on the site. LTTD took place from July 13 to October 22, 1993. Off-site measurements occurred both before and during LTTD.

BHC = Hexachlorocyclohexane
CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
DDD = 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane
DDE = 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene
DDT = 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane
EPA PM10 = EPA health-based Particulate Matter (10 micron diameter) standard
LTTD = Low Temperature Thermal Desorption
ND = Not Detected
OSHA PEL = Occupational Safety and Health Administration Permissable Exposure Limit
RBC-C = EPA Risk Based Concentration for Carcinogenic effects
RBC-N = EPA Risk Based Concentration for Noncarcinogenic effects
µg/m3 = Microgram per cubic meter


Table 2: T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition Site 1995 Surface Water Data


Chemical South Pond Maximum Concentration (µg/L) Depression Area Maximum Concentration (µg/L) Comparison Value (µg/L) Type of Comparison Value
2,4-D 3.9 Not Detected 70 MCL
Aluminum 68 66 3700 RBC-N
Atrazine 8.9 2.1 3 MCL
Barium 15 36 260 RMEG-child
Calcium 17,000 38,000 NA NA
Iron 400 680 1100 RBC-N
Magnesium 1,200 2,000 NA NA
Manganese 18 310 50 RMEG-child
Potassium 2,400 1,800 NA NA
Sodium 680 2,900 NA NA
Strontium 26 49 6,000 RMEG-child
Zinc 3.4 5.4 3,000 C-EMEG-child

In addition, the following chemicals were tested for but not detected: arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium VI, cobalt, copper, lead, nickel, vanadium, 2-butanone, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, total xylenes, anthracene, benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene, flouranthene, indeno(1,2,3)pyrene, octahydrodimethyl(methylethyl)phenanthrene, pentachlorophenopl, pyrene, 2,4,5-T, 4,4'-DDD, 4,4'-DDE, 4,4'-DDT, dieldrin, dinoseb, endosulfan I, endrin, endrin ketone, methoxychlor, toxaphene.

Source: EPA, 1995.

Notes:
C-EMEG = Chronic Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level for drinking water (EPA)
NA = Not Available (ATSDR has no comparison value for this chemical)
RBC-N = EPA Risk-Based Concentration (Noncarcinogenic)
RMEG = Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
µg/L = Micrograms per liter


Table 3: T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition Site 1995 Sediment Data


Chemical South Pond Maximum
Concentration (ppm)
Depression Area
Maximum
Concentration (ppm)
Comparison
Value (ppm)
Type of
Comparison
Value
4,4'-DDD 29 31 3 CREG
4,4'-DDE 29 51 2 CREG
Aluminum 2,200 10,000 78,000 RBC-N
Arsenic ND 7.3 0.5
20
CREG
C-EMEG-child
Barium ND 26 4,000 RMEG-child
Beryllium ND 2.3 100 RMEG-child
Cadmium ND 16 10 C-EMEG
Chromium 7.3 24 200 RMEG-child
Iron 6,100 35,000 23,000 RBC-N
Lead 7.2 31 400 EPA screening
value
Manganese 35 380 7,000 RMEG-child
Nickel ND 13 1,000 RMEG-child
Petroleum Product Presumed present ND NA  
Phenol * * 30,000 RMEG-child
Sodium ND 960 NA  
Toxaphene 210 (estimated) ND 0.6
50
CREG
I-EMEG-child
Vanadium 15 80 200 I-EMEG-child
Zinc 11 51 20,000 C-EMEG-child

In addition, the following chemicals were tested for but not detected: silver, cobalt, calcium, copper, magnesium, 4,4'-DDT, 2,4-D, endrin ketone, phenanthene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, chrysene, benzo(b and/or k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, methyl ethyl ketone.

Source: EPA, 1995.

Notes:
* = QA/QC indicated that data are unusable, chemical may or may not be present.
C-EMEG = Chronic Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
DDD = 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane
DDE = 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene
DDT = 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane
EPA = Environmental Protection Agency
I-EMEG = Intermediate Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
NA = Not Available (ATSDR has no comparison value for this chemical)
ND = Not Detected
RBC-N = EPA Risk-Based Concentration (noncarcinogenic)
ppm = parts per million
RMEG = Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide


Table 4: T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition Site 1992 Groundwater Data


Chemical Minimum
Concentration
(ppb)
Maximum
Concentration
(ppb)
Comparison
Value (ppb)
Type of
Comparison Value
Volatile Organic Compounds
Acetone 1.7 740 1,000 RMEG-child
Benzene 1.9 20 1 CREG
2-Butanone 4.8 4.8 6,000 RMEG-child
Carbon disulfide 44 44 1,000 RMEG-child
Chlorobenzene 1.8 80 200 RMEG-child
Chloroform 1 140 6
100
CREG
C-EMEG-child
1,2-Dibromo-3-chloro-propane 2 47 0.047 RBC-C
1,2-Dibromoethane 2 1,100 0.0004
0.05
CREG
MCL
1,1-Dichloroethene 2 2 0.06
90
CREG
C-EMEG-child
1,2-Dichloropropane 1 280 700 I-EMEG-child
Ethylbenzene 1 18,000 1,000 RMEG-child
2-Hexanone 960 960 1,500 RBC-N
Methylene chloride 1 3 5 CREG
Tetrachloroethene 1 230 0.2
100
CREG
I-EMEG-child
Toluene 2 890 200 I-EMEG-child
Trichloroethene 1 2 3 CREG
Xylenes (total) 4 51,000 2,000 I-EMEG-child
Semi-volatile Organic Compounds
1,4-Dichlorobenzene 3 15 4,000 I-EMEG-child
Isophorone 4 25 40 CREG
2-Methylnaphthalene 2 2,500 NA  
2-Methylphenol 5 5 1,800 RBC-N
Naphthalene 7 1,000 20 I-EMEG-child
Nitrobenzene 22 22 5 RMEG-child
4-Nitrophenol 570 570 290 RBC-N
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene 2 62 100 RMEG-child
Pesticides / Herbicides
Aldrin 0 2 0.002
0.3
CREG
C-EMEG-child
alpha-HCH 0 63 0.006
100
CREG
I-EMEG-child
alpha-Chlordane 12 12 0.03
6
CREG
C-EMEG-child
beta-HCH 0 86 0.02
6
CREG
I-EMEG-child
2,4-DB 2 2 NA  
DDD 0 200 0.1 CREG
DDE 1 13 0.1 CREG
DDT 0 300 0.1
5
CREG
I-EMEG-child
delta-HCH 1 58 0.006
0.1
CREG
I-EMEG-child
Dicamba 1 1 300 RMEG-child
Dieldrin 0 5 0.002
0.5
CREG
C-EMEG-child
Dinoseb 0 2,700 10 RMEG-child
Endosulfan I 2 69 20 C-EMEG-child
Endrin 2 48 3 C-EMEG-child
Endrin aldehyde 3 3 NA  
Endrin ketone 0 13 NA  
Ethyl parathion 20 20 220 RBC-N
gamma-HCH (Lindane) 0 53 0.1 I-EMEG-child
Malathion 18 18 200 RMEG-child
Methyl parathion 0 12 3 C-EMEG-child
2,4,5-T 0 1 100 RMEG-child
Toxaphene 13 2,000 0.03
10
CREG
I-EMEG-child
Metals
Aluminum 100 24,400 37,000 RBC-N
Barium 10 260 700 RMEG-child
Beryllium 10 10 20 RMEG-child
Cadmium 10 10 2 C-EMEG-child
Calcium 28,500 2,950,000 NA  
Chromium 10 120 30 RMEG-child
Cobalt 10 10 2,200 RBC-N
Cyanide, Total 10 10 200 RMEG-child
Iron 200 51,500 11,000 RBC-N
Lead 10 30 15 EPA action level
Magnesium 620 15,920 NA  
Manganese 10 4,800 50 RMEG-child
Nickel 40 40 200 RMEG-child
Potassium 6,100 19,400 NA  
Sodium 5,100 102,000 NA  
Vanadium 10 230 30 I-EMEG-child
Zinc 20 220 3,000 C-EMEG-child

Samples were tested for volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and metals; table represents only detected compounds.
Source: WCC, 1992b.

Notes:

C-EMEG = Chronic Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
DDD = 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane
DDE = 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene
DDT = 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane
EPA = Environmental Protection Agency
HCH = Hexachlorocyclohexane
I-EMEG = Intermediate Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level
NA = Not Available (ATSDR has no comparison value for this chemical)
ppb = parts per billion
RBC-C = EPA Risk-Based Concentration (Carcinogenic)
RBC-N = EPA Risk-Based Concentration (Non-carcinogenic)
RMEG = Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide


Table 5: T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition Site 1998/1999 Groundwater Data


Chemical Concentration
Range for On-
site Wells (ppb)
Concentration
Range for
Perimeter Wells (ppb)
Comparison
Value (ppb)
Type of
Comparison Value
Volatile Organic Compounds
Acetone 0.79 J - 380 J ND 1,000 RMEG-child
Benzene 1.4 J - 13 ND 1 CREG
2-Butanone ND 4.4 J 6,000 RMEG-child
Chlorobenzene 0.55 J - 41 ND 200 RMEG-child
Chloroform 0.2 J - 3.9 J 0.11 J; 1.4 6
100
CREG
C-EMEG-child
1,2-Dibromo-3-chloro-propane 3.3 ND 0.047 RBC-C
1,2-Dibromoethane 0.47 J - 490 ND 0.0004
0.05
CREG
MCL
1,2-Dichloroethane 10 ND 0.4
5
CREG
MCL
1,1-Dichloroethene ND 0.16 J 0.06
90
CREG
C-EMEG-child
1,2-Dichloropropane 0.73 J - 110 ND 700 I-EMEG-child
Ethylbenzene 0.69 J - 13,000 ND 1,000 RMEG-child
Methylene chloride 0.27 J - 140 J 0.10 J - 0.41 J 5 CREG
Toluene 0.20 J - 560 J 0.12; 0.24 J 200 I-EMEG-child
Xylenes (total) 4.2 - 55,000 ND 2,000 I-EMEG-child
Pesticides / Herbicides
alpha-HCH 0.64 - 28 ND 0.006
100
CREG
I-EMEG-child
beta-HCH 0.05 - 67 0.29 0.02
6
CREG
I-EMEG-child
DDD 0.56 - 62 ND 0.1 CREG
DDT 0.11 - 26,000 ND 0.1
5
CREG
I-EMEG-child
delta-HCH 0.079 - 24 ND 0.006
0.1
CREG
I-EMEG-child
Dieldrin 0.49 ND 0.002
0.5
CREG
C-EMEG-child
Endosulfan I 2.0 - 4,000 ND 20 C-EMEG-child
Endosulfan II 2.0 - 4,700 ND 20 C-EMEG-child
Endrin 0.28 - 3,100 J ND 3 C-EMEG-child
gamma-HCH (Lindane) 0.28 - 16 ND 0.1 I-EMEG-child
Heptachlor 0.47 J ND 0.008
0.4
CREG
MCL
Heptachlor epoxide 0.39 ND 0.004
0.2
CREG
MCL
Toxaphene 12000 ND 0.03
10
CREG
I-EMEG-child

Samples were tested for volatile organic compounds and pesticides; table represents detected compounds only. On-site wells were sampled in February 1999 and perimeter wells were sampled in September 1998.
Source: EPA, 1999.

Notes:

C-EMEG = Chronic Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
DDD = 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane
DDT = 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane
HCH = Hexachlorocyclohexane
I-EMEG = Intermediate Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
J = Estimated value
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level
NA = Not Available (ATSDR has no comparison value for this chemical)
ND = Not detected
ppb = parts per billion
RBC-C = EPA Risk-Based Concentration (Carcinogenic)
RBC-N = EPA Risk-Based Concentration (Non-carcinogenic)
RMEG = Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide

Appendix C - Comparison Values

Comparison Values

ATSDR comparison values are media-specific concentrations that are considered to be safe under default conditions of exposure. They are used as screening values in the preliminary identification of site-specific "contaminants of concern." The latter term should not be misinterpreted as an implication of "hazard." As ATSDR uses the phrase, a "contaminant of concern" is merely a chemical substance detected at the site in question and selected by the health assessor for further evaluation of potential health effects. Generally, a chemical is selected as a "contaminant of concern" because its maximum concentration in air, water, or soil at the site exceeds one of ATSDR's comparison values.

However, it must be emphasized that comparison values are not thresholds of toxicity. Although concentrations at or below the relevant comparison value may reasonably be considered safe, it does not follow automatically that any environmental concentration that exceeds a comparison value would be expected to produce adverse health effects. The whole purpose behind highly conservative, health-based standards and guidelines is to enable health professionals to recognize and resolve potential public health hazards before they can become actual public health consequences. Thus, comparison values are designed to be preventive, rather than predictive, of adverse health effects. The probability that such effects will actually occur depends, not on environmental concentrations alone, but on a unique combination of site-specific conditions and individual lifestyle and genetic factors that affect the route, magnitude, and duration of actual exposure.

Listed and described below are the various comparison values that ATSDR uses to select chemicals for further evaluation, as well as other non-ATSDR values that are sometimes used to put environmental concentrations into a meaningful frame of reference.

CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
MRL = Minimal Risk Level
EMEG = Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
I-EMEG = Intermediate Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RMEG = Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
RfD = Reference Dose
RfC = Reference Dose Concentration
RBC = Risk-Based Concentration
DWEL = Drinking Water Equivalent Level
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level
CLHA = Child Longer Term Health Advisory
EPA PM10 = EPA health-based Particulate Matter (10 micron diameter) standard
OSHA PEL = OSHA Permissable Exposure Limit

Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs) are estimated contaminant concentrations expected to cause no more than one excess cancer in a million persons exposed over a lifetime. CREGs are calculated from EPA's cancer slope factors (CSFs), or cancer potency factors, using default values for exposure rates. However, neither CREGs nor CSFs can be used to make realistic predictions of cancer risk. The true risk is always unknown and may be as low as zero.

Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) are estimates of daily human exposure to a chemical (doses expressed in mg/kg/day) that are unlikely to be associated with any appreciable risk of deleterious noncancer effects over a specified duration of exposure. MRLs are calculated using data from human and animal studies and are reported for acute (<14 days), intermediate (15-364 days), and chronic (>365 days) exposures. MRLs are published in ATSDR Toxicological Profiles for specific chemicals.

Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs) are concentrations that are calculated from ATSDR minimal risk levels by factoring in default body weights and ingestion rates.

Intermediate Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (I-EMEGs) are calculated from ATSDR minimal risk levels; they factor in body weight and ingestion rates for intermediate exposures (those occurring for more than 14 days and less than 1 year).

Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide (RMEG) is the concentration of a contaminant in air, water or soil that corresponds to EPA's RfD for that contaminant when default values for body weight and intake rates are taken into account.

EPA's Reference Dose (RfD) is an estimate of the daily exposure to a contaminant unlikely to cause noncarcinogenic adverse health effects. Like ATSDR's MRL, EPA's RfD is a dose expressed in mg/kg/day.

Reference Concentrations (RfCs) is a concentration of a substance in air that EPA considers unlikely to cause noncancer adverse health effects over a lifetime of chronic exposure.

Risk-Based Concentrations (RBC) are media-specific concentrations derived by Region III of the Environmental Protection Agency Region III from RfDs, RfC's, or EPA's cancer slope factors. They represent concentrations of a contaminant in tap water, ambient air, fish, or soil (industrial or residential) that are considered unlikely to cause adverse health effects over a lifetime of chronic exposure. RBCs are based either on cancer ("C") or noncancer ("N") effects.

Drinking Water Equivalent Levels (DWEL) are based on EPA's oral RfD and represent corresponding concentrations of a substance in drinking water that are estimated to have negligible deleterious effects in humans at an intake rate of 2 L/day for life, assuming that drinking water is the sole source of exposure.

Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) represent contaminant concentrations in drinking water that EPA deems protective of public health (considering the availability and economics of water treatment technology) over a lifetime (70 years) at an exposure rate of 2 liters of water per day.

Child Longer Term Health Advisory (CLHA) represents the concentration of a substance in drinking water that would have no deleterious effect on a child exposed for up to 7 years.

EPA health-based Particulate Matter (<10 micron diameter) standard (EPA PM10) represents the annual average particulate matter level that EPA deems protective of public health, based on lifetime exposure.

OSHA Permissable Exposure Limits (OSHA PEL) are based on the avoidance of adverse health effects, averaged over an 8 hour workday.


APPENDIX D - ATSDR METHODOLOGY

In public health assessments, ATSDR addresses the likelihood that exposure to contaminants at the maximum concentrations detected would result in adverse health effects. Although the relative toxicity of a chemical is important, the response of the human body to a chemical exposure is determined by several additional factors, including the concentration (how much); the duration of exposure (how long); and the route of exposure (breathing, eating, drinking, or skin contact). Lifestyle factors (i.e., occupation and personal habits) have major impacts on the likelihood, magnitude, and duration of exposure. Individual characteristics such as age, sex, nutritional status, overall health, and genetic constitution affect how a human body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and eliminates a contaminant. A unique combination of all these factors will determine the individual's physiologic response to a chemical contaminant and any adverse health effects the individual may suffer as a result of the chemical exposure.

ATSDR has determined levels of chemicals that can reasonably (and conservatively) be regarded as harmless, based on the scientific data the agency has collected in its toxicological profiles. The resulting comparison values and health guidelines, which include ample safety factors to ensure protection of sensitive populations, are used to screen contaminant concentrations at a site and to select substances ("chemicals of concern") that warrant closer scrutiny by agency health assessors and toxicologists.

It is a point of key importance that ATSDR's (and EPA's) comparison values and health guidelines represent conservative levels of safety and not thresholds of toxicity. Thus, although concentrations at or below a comparison value may reasonably be considered safe, it does not automatically follow that any concentration above a comparison value will necessarily produce toxic effects. To the contrary, ATSDR's (and EPA's) comparison values are intentionally designed to be much lower, usually by orders of magnitude, than the corresponding no-effect levels (or lowest-effect levels) determined in laboratory studies. ATSDR uses comparison values (regardless of source) solely for the purpose of screening individual contaminants. In this highly conservative procedure, ATSDR considers that a compound warrants further evaluation if the highest single recorded concentration of that contaminant in the medium in question exceeds that compound's lowest available comparison value (e.g., cancer risk evaluation guides or other chronic exposure values) for the most sensitive, potentially exposed individuals (e.g., children or pica children). This highly conservative process results in the selection of many contaminants as "chemicals of concern" that will not, upon closer scrutiny, be judged to pose any hazard to human health. However, ATSDR judges it prudent to use a screen that "lets through" many harmless contaminants rather than one that overlooks even a single potential hazard to public health. Even those contaminants of concern that are ultimately labeled as potential public health hazards are so identified solely on the basis of the maximum concentration detected. The reader should keep in mind the protectiveness of this approach when considering the potential health implications of ATSDR's evaluations.

Because a contaminant must first enter the body before it can produce any effect, adverse or otherwise, on the body, ATSDR's evaluations focus primarily on completed pathways of exposure, i.e., contaminants in media to which people are known, or are reasonably expected to have been exposed, such as water that may be used for drinking water and air in the breathing zone.

To determine whether people were, or continue to be, exposed to contaminants originating from a site, ATSDR evaluates the factors that lead to human exposure. These factors or elements include 1) a source of contamination, 2) transport through an environmental medium, 3) a point of exposure, 4) a route of human exposure, and 5) an exposed population. Exposure pathways fall into one of three categories:

  • Completed Exposure Pathway. ATSDR calls a pathway "complete" if it is certain that people are exposed to contaminated media. Completed pathways require that the five elements exist and indicate that exposure to the contaminant has occurred, is occurring, or will occur.
  • Potential Exposure Pathway. Potential pathways are those in which at least one of the five elements is missing but could exist. Potential pathways indicate that exposure to a contaminant could have occurred, could be occurring, or could occur in the future. Potential exposure pathways refer to those pathways where 1) exposure is documented, but not enough information is available to determine whether the environmental medium is contaminated, or 2) an environmental medium has been documented as contaminated, but it is unknown whether people have been, or may be, exposed to the medium.
  • Eliminated Exposure Pathway. In an eliminated exposure pathway, at least one of the five elements is missing and will never be present. From a human health perspective, pathways can be eliminated from further consideration if ATSDR is able to show that 1) an environmental medium is not contaminated, or 2) no one is exposed to contaminated media.

Please refer back to Section 4 of this public health assessment for ATSDR's evaluation of the T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition site.


APPENDIX E - GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Absorption
The process of taking in, as when a sponge takes up water. Chemicals can be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream and then transported to other organs. Chemicals can also be absorbed into the bloodstream after breathing or swallowing.
 
Acute
Occurring over a short time, usually a few minutes or hours. For purposes of health assessment, ATSDR defines acute exposures as those lasting up to two weeks. An acute exposure can result in short- or long-term health effects.

Ambient

Surrounding. For example, ambient air is usually outdoor air (as opposed to indoor air).

Carcinogen
Any substance that may produce cancer.

Chronic
Occurring over a long period of time (more than 1 year).

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 does fresh water.

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

Dermal
Referring to the skin. Dermal absorption means absorption through the skin.

Dose
The amount of substance that actually enters the body over a specified period of time. Dose is expressed in terms of unit weight of chemical per unit body weight per unit of time, e.g., mg/kg/day.

Epidemiology
The study of the occurrence of disease in human populations and the factors associated with the frequency and distribution of that disease.

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

Hazard
A possible source of danger or harm (i.e., in this context, of adverse health effects).

Health Outcome Data
Information on the prevalence of death, disease, or other health-related factors in the community. Such information may be derived from local, state, and national databases, medical records, tumor and disease registries, and health studies.

Indeterminate Public Health Hazard
A formal conclusion category that ATSDR reserves for sites at which, due to the unavailability of critical information, no determination can be made regarding the existence or non-existence of a potential threat to health in the community.

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

Inhalation
Breathing. Exposure may occur from inhaling contaminants, because the contaminants can be deposited in the lungs, taken into the blood, or both.

Media (Environmental)
Soil, water, air, plants, animals, or any other parts of the environment that can contain contaminants.

Petitioned Public Health Assessment
A public health assessment conducted at the request of a member of the public. When a petition is received, a team of environmental and health scientists is assigned to gather information to ascertain, using standard public health criteria, whether a reasonable basis exists for conducting a public health assessment. Once ATSDR confirms that a public health assessment is needed, the petitioned health assessment process is essentially the same as the public health assessment process.

Public Health Action
As used in ATSDR public health advisories, public health assessments, and public health assessments, this term refers to activities designed to prevent exposures and/or to mitigate or prevent adverse health effects in populations living near hazardous waste sites or releases. These actions may include eliminating immediate exposures (e.g., by providing an alternative water supply), monitoring indicators of exposure in bodily fluids (e.g., blood and urine) to better assess exposure, and providing health education for health care providers and community members.

Public Health Hazard
A formal conclusion category that ATSDR reserves for sites at which chronic, long-term exposure (>1 year) to potentially hazardous contaminants may cause illness in the community.

Route of Exposure
The way in which a person may contact a chemical substance. The primary routes of exposure are ingestion (as in eating or drinking), inhalation (as in breathing), and dermal or skin contact (as in bathing).

Toxicological Profile
An ATSDR reference document that identifies and reviews key, peer-reviewed literature describing the properties of a hazardous substances, the levels of significant exposure to that substance, and the associated acute, subacute (intermediate), and chronic health effects in laboratory animals and humans, where known. Toxicological Profiles also describe the experimental and/or epidemiological bases of ATSDR's existing comparison values for the substance, and identify knowledge gaps and research needs.

Table of Contents

  
 
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