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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

SANGAMO/TWELVE-MILE CREEK/HARTWELL PCB
PICKENS, PICKENS COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA


CONCLUSIONS

  1. We consider Operational Unit 2 of the Sangamo site to be apublic health hazard. This conclusion is based primarily onthe health risks to individuals consuming large amounts ofPCB-contaminated fish. The few, limited health studies todate have not identified individuals with excessive bodyburdens nor have they identified any diseases/symptomssuggestive of PCB exposure. However, there has been noefforts to conduct studies on the sub-populations with thegreatest exposure potential (that is, subsistence fishermenand sports fishermen).

    The existence of a fishing advisory may not necessarily belimiting exposures since we have no way of knowing iffishermen are complying with the recommendations. Inaddition, the fishing advisory was set according tointerstate commerce limits. Under the exposure scenariodiscussed in the Toxicological Evaluation section for PCBs,the current fishing advisory may not be protective ofsubsistence fishermen.

  2. The presence of PCDFs in fish tissue may pose a health risk for individuals consuming large amounts of fish. However, there has been no PCDD/PCDF analyses of fish that are not included under the current fishing advisory (that is, fish weighing up to 3 pounds). Additional sampling data of fish of this weight class are needed to better characterize the present and future risk from these compounds.
  3. Residential customers of the municipal water systems that directly and indirectly receive raw water from Twelve Mile Creek could face a low increased cancer risk from the consumption of PCB-contaminated drinking water. This risk could be somewhat overestimated considering the intermittent nature of past monitoring data. Additional residential sampling data is needed to better characterize the health impact from this medium.
  4. Dermal contact with and ingestion of contaminated sediments while wading in Town and Twelve Mile Creeks may occur but should pose little or no health threat because the extent of these exposures is minimal. However, potential surface soil contamination along the shoreline at popular places to wade, swim, and fish have not been assessed. The amount of contact with surface soil may be greater than the amount of contact with creek sediments.
  5. Although there has been no evidence to date to suggest thatthe community's reported health problems were caused byexposures to PCB's, the residents remain concerned abouttheir future health risks from long-term exposures.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Maintain SCDHEC's annual fish monitoring program for PCBs. Include periodic assays for PCDFs/PCDDs.
  2. Determine catch/consumption patterns of the general fishing public as well as particular subgroups, such as subsistence and sports fishermen. This should include the type and size of fish caught and consumed as well as the harvest location.
  3. Maintain the advisory against consuming fish from the lake. However, it may need to be modified to protect the subsistence fishermen. Notify neighboring state and local, health and environmental agencies of the status of the fishing advisory, annually.
  4. Determine compliance with the fishing advisory. Check signs around bridges and boat landings on at least a quarterly basis for signs of theft or vandalism, replace when necessary. Develop institutional controls in fishing licenses as a means of disseminating information to fishermen.
  5. Determine the source of contamination in the municipal drinking water supplies. Consider actions to reduce and/or eliminate PCBs in the drinking water serving residential taps. In the meantime, continue monitoring these water supplies for PCBs. Develop a strategy to monitor residential taps within the potentially-affected distribution systems.
  6. Surface soil samples should be collected at popular access points along the shorelines of Town Creek and Twelve Mile Creek to determine if they have been contaminated.
  7. Evaluate the amount of PCBs currently being discharged from the wastewater treatment plant. Take action to reduce and/or eliminate PCB discharges to Town Creek if they are found to be significant.
  8. The data and information developed in the Sangamo Weston, Inc. Public Health Assessment have been evaluated by the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for follow-up health actions. HARP determines the need to perform the following actions: identify people who consume large quantities of fish from areas impacted by the site (data from a catch/consumption survey may be used); conduct a site-specific community health investigation of the impacted communities, particularly for cancers and birth defects; conduct biologic indicators of exposure testing to determine the extent of PCB exposures to the public through both the consumption of fish and municipal drinking water; provide for community education for local residents and health professionals to address possible health effects that may occur from long-term exposures to site contaminants through fish and affected municipal water consumption; and provide a program to notify fishermen of the advisory in effect for fish consumption and to educate them on the possible health effects that may occur from fish consumption. ATSDR and SCDHEC will reevaluate this site for any follow-up health activities that may be indicated as a result of the community health investigation, the exposure study, or other new health or environmental data.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The following Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for Twelve MileCreek/Lake Hartwell OU-2 site contains a description of actionsto be taken by ATSDR and/or SCDHEC at and in the vicinity of thissite subsequent to the completion of this health assessment. Thepurpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this health assessment notonly identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan ofaction designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human healtheffects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in theenvironment. Included in this plan is a commitment on the partof ATSDR/SCDHEC to follow up on this plan to ensure that it isimplemented.

  1. ATSDR will evaluate the feasibility of conducting a site-specific community health investigation of the impacted communities.
  2. ATSDR will evaluate the feasibility of conducting biologic indicators of exposure testing to determine the extent of PCB exposures to the public through both the consumption of fish and municipal drinking water.
  3. SCDHEC will continue to monitor the trend of PCB contamination in fish tissue. The fishing advisory will continue to be updated on an annual basis; it will reflect the data generated by the fish tissue monitoring program and the additional data generated by the other studies/surveys recommended for this site. Information will be shared with neighboring state and local, health and environmental agencies.
  4. SCDHEC will continue to monitor the trend of PCB contamination of municipal drinking water supplies. The public will be notified of all sampling results on an annual basis.
  5. ATSDR and SCDHEC will coordinate with EPA to develop plans to implement the cease/reduce exposure and site characterization recommendations contained in this health assessment.
  6. SCDHEC will review surface soil data when it is available. SCDHEC will recommend any actions necessary to cease/reduceexposures should it be warranted.

PREPARERS OF REPORT
Health Evaluation ReviewersRobert F. Marino, MD, MPH
Director, Division of Health
Hazard Evaluation
SCDHEC

John F. Brown, DVM, PhD
State Toxicologist
SCDHEC

Douglas Blansit
Research Specialist
SCDHEC

Edward Gregory
Program Management Specialist
SCDHEC

ATSDR Regional RepresentativeChuck Pietrosewicz
Public Health Advisor
Office of the Assistant
Administrator
ATSDR Technical Project OfficerRichard R. Kauffman
Remedial Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment
and Consultation



CERTIFICATION

This public health assessment was prepared by the South CarolinaDepartment of Health and Environmental Control under acooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approvedmethodology and procedures existing at the time the public healthassessment was begun.

Richard R. Kauffman
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, hasreviewed this public health assessment, and concurs with itsfindings.

Robert C. Williams
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. ATSDR, Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Aroclor -1260,-1254, - 1248, - 1242, - 1232, - 1212, and 1016),ATSDR/TP-88/21, June 1989.

  2. ATSDR, Toxicological Profile for 2, 3, 7, 8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, ATSDR/TP-88/23, June 1989.

  3. South Carolina Data Center, 1989. South CarolinaStatistical Abstract, 1989. South Carolina Division ofResearch and Statistical Services, South Carolina Budget andControl Board.

  4. South Carolina Department of Health and EnvironmentalControl (SCDHEC) files, 1975 - 1991.

  5. SCDHEC. Drinking water monitoring data for Easley-Central#1 Water District, 1983 - 91. Division of Drinking WaterQuality and Enforcement Bureau of Drinking Water Protection,SCDHEC.

  6. SCDHEC, South Carolina Vital and Morbidity Statistics. 1984- 88. The Division of Biostatistics, Office of VitalRecords and Public Health Statistics.

  7. SCDHEC, A trend Analysis of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)Contamination in Micropterus salmoides, Ictalurus catus, andMorone chrysops spp. in Lake Hartwell, South Carolina. Technical Report 028-82. 1982.

  8. SCDHEC, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish andsediment of Lake Hartwell - 1986, Anderson, Oconee, andPickens Counties, South Carolina. Technical Report 001 -88. 1988.

  9. SCDHEC, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish of LakeHartwell - 1989, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties,South Carolina. Technical Report 004 - 90. 1990.

  10. US Department of Commerce, 1980 Census of Population;General Social and Economics Characteristics, SouthCarolina. Bureau of The Census. Table 181.

  11. USEPA, Update of Toxicity Equivalency Factors (TEFs) forEstimating Risks Associated with Exposures to Mixtures ofChlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans (CDDs andCDFs). Risk Assessment Forum, 1989.

  12. USEPA, Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Volume I,Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part A). Interim Final. Office of Emergency and Remedial Response. 1989.


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