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SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH CONSULTATION

ECONOMY PRODUCTS COMPANY SITE
SHENANDOAH, PAGE COUNTY, IOWA

 

DISCUSSION

The IDPH, Bureau of Radiological Health, Superfund Risk Assessor calculated compound specific risk-based removal action levels (RALs) using a Reasonable Maximum Exposure (RME) approach for current and future land uses.3 Analytical results from soil and dust samples were compared to the RALs.Based on the information and data reviewed, soil (surface and subsurface) and groundwater are contaminated with pesticides, and to a lesser extent, VOCs, and herbicides. The vertical and areal extent of pesticide contamination appears to have been established. These boundaries will be used during the remedial activities. However, routine use of pesticides by EMSNC, surface transport via runoff and historic residential use of pesticides may have contributed to the contamination. The highest surface and subsurface soil concentrations are located on-site. Vertical extent of contamination ranges from surficial residues at the site perimeter to the upper water bearing unit in the area where the fire occurred. The highest concentrations appear to be centered around this area. On-site contamination poses little public health threat due to its subsurface location, clay cap, and limited site access. However, if the subsurface soil is unearthed or excavated, long-term exposure could pose a health hazard to unprotected workers or site occupants. This is unlikely because EPA is planning remedial actions to mitigate exposure. Although herbicides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been detected, levels do not pose a health threat. Inhalation of vapors and resuspended dust from areas containing contamination is unlikely. OC pesticides have chemical properties that preclude volatilization (e.g., low volatility, tightly bind with soil and organic matter, etc.). Inhalation of vapors may have occurred during the fire, but this would have been a short-term exposure and should not pose a health threat.

Groundwater beneath the former EPC site is contaminated with pesticides, VOCs, and to a limited extent herbicides. Exposure to contamination in groundwater is unlikely. The City of Shenandoah obtains water from municipal wells located approximately 1.5 miles downgradient from the site. Analysis of samples from the community water supply system did not reveal any site-related contaminants. The city wells range in depth from 40-75 feet. Private residential wells do not exist near the site.

Organochlorine pesticides are neurotoxic and act by poisoning the nervous system. Based on the concentration of pesticides detected in surface soils, short-term exposure is not expected to result in neurological effects. However, some of the compounds are classified by EPA as probable human carcinogens, long-term exposure to levels above the chemical specific clean-up levels could pose a health risk. Consequently, long-term frequent contact with contaminated soil should be avoided. However, long-term exposure is unlikely due to the location of the contamination and planned remedial activities.



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