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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

TIBBETTS ROAD
BARRINGTON, STRAFFORD COUNTY, NEW HAMPSHIRE


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based on available information reviewed, the ATSDR has concluded that the Tibbetts Road site is a public health hazard--this conclusion is primarily based on the evidence that past exposures have occurred to substances at concentrations which may cause adverse health effects. Former residents of the building on the site, were exposed to PCBs and PCE through ingestion from either contaminated surface water or soil at levels of public health concern. It is possible that adverse health effects have occurred or may occur because of exposure to these contaminants, especially PCBs. Currently, there are no know exposures at levels that are likely to result in adverse health effects; hence, at present, the site poses a no apparent public health hazard.

    Residents who used the residential well one-half mile from the site were exposed to acetone (partly site-related), manganese (may not be site-related), and propylene glycol (probably not site-related) at levels that may cause anemia, liver and kidney problems, mild neurological signs, and diminished brain function and mild skin rashes in infants and children. Ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact from past exposure to benzene and TCE through the use of private residential well water within the immediate vicinity of the site is unlikely to result in any non-carcinogenic adverse health effects. However, we estimate that exposure to benzene, through use of the most contaminated well (1R), may result in a slightly low increased risk of cancer over a lifetime. Workers and campers who used the Len-Kay Campground well water are unlikely to suffer adverse health effects because of the low levels and short duration of exposure.

    Past potential routes for human exposure to contaminated media on-site include inhalation, skin contact, and ingestion of waste materials and contaminated indoor dusts.

    Potential routes for human exposure to contaminated media on-site include inhalation, skin contact, and ingestion of residual soil contaminants if the site is used for residential purposes in the future.

  2. Former on-site residents and children who played on the site were exposed to PCBs from soil. The estimated PCB exposure in adults and children exceeded ATSDR's chronic MRL for PCBs. Exposure of laboratory animals to small amounts of PCBs for several months caused reproductive, neurobiological and hematological effects, and the suppression of immunological functions. The estimated doses for adults and children also exceeded the experimental doses. It is probable that mild forms of some of these health effects could occur in the exposed people on site, although the manifestation of any symptoms would partly depend on the presence in PCB mixtures of other toxic contaminants such as chlorinated dibenzofurans. We estimate that former residents on site who were exposed between 10 and 30 years to PCBs may have a slightly high increased risk of developing cancer over a lifetime. However, it is unlikely that the children who occasionally visited the site would develop cancer and non-carcinogenic health effects from their exposures.

    We estimate that children who were exposed to PCE from soil and surface water in the past have a slightly low increased risk of developing cancer over a lifetime. No non-carcinogenic adverse health effects are expected from these past exposures.

  3. On-site and off-site groundwater is contaminated with high levels of various organic and inorganic contaminants. If exposure to some of these contaminants would occur in the future, we estimate that adverse health effects would probably occur in those who may be potentially exposed.
  4. Former residents, especially children who once played on the site, have probably ingested surface water and/or soil contaminated with acetone, DEHP, cadmium, dioxin, ethylbenzene, toluene, and TCE. Health effects from the ingestion of these contaminants are unlikely to occur because of the low levels of exposure.
  5. Except for lead, ATSDR can conclude that residual concentrations of contaminants remaining in on-site soils (post-removal) are unlikely to result in adverse health effects if the site is used as a residential setting in the future. Residual lead levels are about one-half the concentration before remediation in 1986. In the absence of any environmental or health comparison values, it is difficult to determine whether health effects could occur in any persons who may be potentially exposed in the future. The residual and pre-removal concentration of lead in on-site soils is below the 500-1,000 ppm range that was previously considered by CDC to cause elevated blood lead levels in children.
  6. Several community concerns from residents and local officials related to the Tibbetts Road site have been received. These concerns have been summarized and addressed in the Public Health Implication Section.
  7. Because of past recreational activities (children playing) and normal activities at the former on-site residence, it is possible that children and adults breathed volatilized contaminants and contaminated soil dusts in outdoor ambient air. Furthermore, children possibly ingested or came into contact with (skin contact) waste materials contained in drums or spilled onto the ground.

    No outdoor ambient air samples for volatilized contaminants and soil dusts, and for indoor soil dusts were obtained to characterize the concentrations that children and adults were possibly exposed to in the past. Since this pathway relates, in part, to localized ambient air contamination in the past, partially caused by on-site activities (e.g., burning interiors of automobiles), these data will never be available. Given the former conditions of the site and activities that occurred there, it is possible that exposure through these pathways could have been significant.

  8. ATSDR believes that EPA's selected remedial alternative, once implemented, will be protective of public health.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Provide a permanent alternate water supply for users of the Len-Kay Campground well water. Future analysis of water samples from the Len-Kay Campground well should include all site-related groundwater contaminants detected above health comparison values. The EPA has addressed this recommendation by providing a permanent alternate water supply to the campground.
  2. Provide, as soon as possible, a permanent alternate water supply for users of the residential well water located one-half mile from the site. Water from the well should be monitored on a regular basis for all site-related groundwater contaminants detected above health comparison values, and for ethylene and propylene glycols. The EPA has addressed this recommendation by providing a permanent alternate water supply to this residence.
  3. Institutional controls should be implemented to ensure that no drinking water wells are placed in a contaminated aquifer.
  4. Continue monitoring residential wells (especially bedrock wells) still in use in the area of the site. Future analysis of water from these wells should include all site-related groundwater contaminants.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP) RECOMMENDATION

The data and information developed in the Public Health Assessment for the Tibbetts Road site, Barrington, New Hampshire, have been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel for appropriate follow-up with respect to health actions. The Panel determined that persons exposed to TCE and/or benzene contaminated drinking water be considered for inclusion in the subregistries for those contaminants. Although persons exposed to the TCE are eligible for inclusion in the subregistry, no additions are occurring at this time. The HARP also determined that further community involvement may be indicated if public comments indicate an ongoing need for persons who have been exposed to understand their exposure.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Actions for the Tibbetts Road site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR, NHDPHS, EPA, and NHDES at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included, is a commitment on the part of ATSDR to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented are as follows:

  1. ATSDR has reviewed public comments and determined that additional education is needed for the residents of one household, that was exposed to manganese and acetone (may not be site-related and may be partially site-related, respectively), and their physician. This education will be performed by the New Hampshire Department of Public Health Services.
  2. NHDPHS will continue to provide health information and recommendations to the owners of private wells in the area of the Tibbetts Road site concerning the results of sampling of water from their wells.
  3. EPA is planning to implement institutional controls, if possible, on groundwater use for those residences added to the Swain's Lake Water Supply System. That is, all residences that are placed on the alternate water supply system will have institutional controls, such as deed restrictions prohibiting the withdrawal of groundwater, as a condition for tying into the system.
  4. EPA is planning to identify all potentially affected private drinking water wells in the area and to establish a regular monitoring program.
  5. NHDES will continue to monitor water from private wells in the area on a regular basis. Water samples that are found to be contaminated will be referred to the NHDPHS for a health evaluation (see PHAP #2).
  6. ATSDR will provide an annual follow up to this PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this public health assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.

ATSDR will reevaluate and expand this Public Health Action Plan when needed. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determine the need for additional actions at the site.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Moses Kapu, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Health Sciences Section
Remedial Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Gregory V. Ulirsch, M.S.
Environmental Health Engineer
State Programs Section
Remedial Programs Section
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Susanne Simon
Region I Representative
Regional Operations
Office of the Assistant Administrator


REFERENCES

  1. Environmental Protection Agency. Remedial Investigation Report of the Tibbetts Road Site, Barrington, New Hampshire. Boston, MA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I, June 1992; EPA Contract No. 68-W9-0045.

  2. Environmental Protection Agency. Draft Feasibility Study Report of the Tibbetts Road Site, Barrington, New Hampshire. Boston, MA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I, June 1992; EPA Contract No. 68-W9-0045.

  3. Personal Communication. Site Manager, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, June 5, 1992.

  4. New Hampshire Department of Health Services. Health Risk Assessment for Tibbetts Road Waste Site, Barrington, New Hampshire. Final Report, September 1986.

  5. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Environmental News. Boston, MA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of External Programs, Region I, June 12, 1992.

  6. Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 1 (New Hampshire) [machine-readable data files]/prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington, D.C.: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.

  7. Personal Communication. Remedial Project Manager, EPA, Region I, May 14, 1992.

  8. New Hampshire Water Supply and Pollution Control Commission (NHWSPCC). Hydrogeological Investigation--Commission Report #144, Tibbetts Road Hazardous Waste Site. May 15, 1985.

  9. Environmental Protection Agency. Interim Procedures for Estimating Risks Associated with Exposure to Mixtures of Chlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and -Dibenzofurans (CDDs and CDFs) and 1989 Update. Washington, D.C.: Risk Assessment Forum, March 1989.

  10. Dragun, James. The Soil Chemistry of Hazardous Materials. Hazardous Materials Control Research Institute, Silver Springs, MD: 1988.

  11. United States Geological Survey. Geohydrology and Water Quality of Stratified-Drift Aquifers in the Exeter, Lamprey, and Oyster River Basins, Southeastern New Hampshire. Water Resources Investigations Report 88-4128.

  12. Letter from Julie Belaga, Regional Administrator, EPA, Region I, to Congressmen William H. Zeliff, Jr., August 14, 1992.

  13. Environmental Protection Agency. Exposure Factors Handbook. Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, July 1989; EPA document No. 600/8-89/043.

  14. Klassen, CD, Amdur MO, and Doull J, eds. Casarett and Doull's Toxicology, The Basic Science of Poisons. 3rd ed. New York, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986.

  15. Ram, N., Russell, F.C., and Cantor, K., eds. Significance and Treatment of Volatile Organic Compounds in Water Supplies. Chelsea, Michigan: Lewis Publishers, 1990.

  16. Personal Communication, Section Supervisor, NHDES, February 1, 1993.

  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Benzene. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, October, 1991; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Di(2-Ethylhexyl)Phthalate). Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, April, 1989; Contract No. 68-02-4228.

  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, October, 1991; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  20. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for 2,3,7,8-Tetrachloro-Dibenzo-p-Dioxin. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, June, 1989; Contract No. 68-C80004.

  21. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Ethylbenzene. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, December, 1990; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  22. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, October, 1991; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  23. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Aroclor -1260, -1254, -1248, -1242, 1232, 1221, and -1016). Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, October, 1991; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  24. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, October, 1991; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  25. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Toluene. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, December 1989, 1989; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  26. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Trichloethylene. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, October, 1991; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  27. Agency for Toxic Substances and disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethenes. Atlanta, Ga: ATSDR, December 1990.

  28. U.S.Department of Health and Human Services. Sixth Annual Report on Carcinogens. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Toxicology Program. Research Triangle Park, Summary 1991.

  29. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Manganese. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, July 1992.

  30. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Technical Report on Ethylene/Propylene Glycol. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, March 1992.


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