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HEALTH CONSULTATION

FORMER DILLER BATTERY SITE
DES MOINES, POLK COUNTY, IOWA


CONCLUSIONS

  1. The FDB site poses a public health hazard based on current site conditions and a review of available information. Long-term exposure to soil contaminants at the site through incidental ingestion, inhalation, and direct dermal contact could result in increased risk of adverse health effects.
  2. The site is not fenced and is easily accessible to the public. Children visit the site after school and during the summer, employees park their cars on the site five days a week, a homeless person is living on the site, and some residents walk their dogs there.
  3. On-site surface soil samples contained lead at concentrations as high as 8,600 mg/kg. Elevated levels of arsenic and PAHs were found in on-site surface soil as well, although the PAHs may be unrelated to FDB operations. Off-site surface soil samples contained lead up to 630 mg/kg, along with elevated arsenic and PAH concentrations. Concentrations of lead, arsenic, and PAHs exceeded their relative background concentrations, health-based benchmarks, and health guideline values. More off-site surface soil samples are necessary to estimate migration of contaminants, especially in residential areas.
  4. The site is immediately adjacent to Riverview Park Lake and the lake is lower in elevation than the site, therefore, there is the potential for contaminant migration via surface runoff to the lake. However, because of the absence off surface water and sediment sampling data the impact to the lake is unknown.
  5. The homeless person living on the site was tested for his blood lead level. Test results detected a level of 16 g/dL. Although this level is higher than the mean level of 3.1 g/dL for persons 50-69 years of age, no adverse health effects are likely to occur. No data or information could be found regarding blood lead levels of people living around the site.
  6. Residents and a homeless man living on the site were not aware of soil contamination. No information was available to the employees who park their cars on the site regarding their knowledge of site contamination.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Based on the available analytical results and current site conditions, site access should be limited.
  2. Conduct additional off-site surface soil sampling to evaluate the extent of off-site lead contamination.
  3. Determine if site-related contamination has impacted surface water and sediment of Riverview Park Lake, especially in the area adjacent to the site.
  4. Health education to the exposed and potentially exposed population will be provided by TSEP staff and will include the development and distribution of a site-specific fact sheet. This population includes children (including students at North High School), residents, employees of the nearby businesses, and the homeless man living on the site. This individual will be encouraged to not continue living on this contaminated property, but seek a healthier place of residence. Continuing medical education programs will also be made available to health professionals serving the Des Moines area.

REFERENCES

  1. Des Moines Register. Toxic Levels of Lead at Riverview Site Stall Work on Nature Island Project. Des Moines, Iowa. January 20, 1997.

  2. Kozel, Ron. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa. Emergency Response, Correspondence to Ron McChutcheon, U.S. EPA, Region VII. September 18, 1995.

  3. Ecology and Environment, Inc. Integrated Site Assessment Report: Former Diller Battery, Des Moines, Iowa. October 18, 1996.

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Lead. Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993.

  5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vol. 46/No. 7. February 21, 1997.

  6. Casarett & Doull. Toxicology, Fifth Edition. Page 705. McGraw-Hill, 1996.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993.

  8. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Atlanta: ATSDR, August 1995.

  9. Mahaffey KR, Fowler BA. Effects of concurrent administration of lead, cadmium, and arsenic in the rat. Environ Health Perspect 19:165-171. 1977.

  10. Mahaffey KR, Capar SG, Gladen BC, et al. Concurrent exposure to lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Effects on toxicity and tissue metal concentrations in the rat. J Lab Clin Med 98:463-481. 1981.

  11. David Crawford, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VII. Personal communication. October 21, 1997.


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