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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

PEASE AIR FORCE BASE
PORTSMOUTH, ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, NEW HAMPSHIRE


V. CONCLUSIONS

  1. Currently, there is no exposure to site-related contaminants in base drinking water above levelsof concern. Base drinking water meets all state and federal requirements. Active remediationis ongoing to prevent contaminant migration and future contamination of the Haven well, andwater is monitored regularly to ensure compliance with drinking water standards. Therefore,future exposure is unlikely. Past exposure to TCE and nitrates were unlikely to have resultedin adverse health effects. Based upon an evaluation of contamination and exposure levels togroundwater used as a base drinking water supply, this exposure pathway is categorized as no apparent public health hazard.

  2. Past fishing, swimming, and wading in Peverly and Bass ponds posed no public health hazardfrom detected contamination. Currently the ponds are in a wildlife refuge, and recreational useis restricted. Should land use change, it would be wise to periodically evaluate exposure to fish contaminant levels detected under the long-term monitoring plan.

  3. Currently the IRP sites do not pose public health hazards. All contaminated areas have beenassessed, and necessary interim and long-term remedial actions have been completed, areongoing, or are planned. Future exposures to contaminants at IRP sites are unlikely to occurbecause of institutional controls that restrict access to, and use of, contaminated soils and groundwater.

  4. While there are no data on indoor air quality at Pease AFB, limited data on soil gas do notsuggest that current indoor air quality problems would be expected. Based upon a review of existing data on contamination levels and potential exposures, this pathway is currently determined to pose no apparent public health hazard.

  5. No exposures of concern are occurring presently, and ongoing remedial activities,environmental monitoring, and developmental oversight are in place to prevent futureexposures.

VI. RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. The former base housing area shows evidence of past vandalism. Access to the area isunrestricted and ongoing asbestos removal operations are taking place. There may be a physicalhazard to trespassers in the former base housing area. NHDHHS and ATSDR suggest thataccess restrictions be improved and the area be more clearly posted as soon as possible to discourage unauthorized visitors.

  2. NHDHHS and ATSDR recommend that groundwater monitoring programs and efforts toprevent additional contamination of the aquifer be continued, including maintaining compliance with the City of Portsmouth's Wellhead Protection Program.

  3. Institutional controls established for the site should be maintained and enforced, including restrictions on the use of the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

  4. If restrictions on recreational use in the wildlife refuge change to allow fishing in the area,children and adults should follow NHDHHS's state-wide freshwater fish consumption advisory,which recommends that adults should limit consumption of freshwater fish to four 8-ouncemeals per month, pregnant women and children should limit consumption to one 8-ounce mealper month. Information about the advisory should be provided to anglers using the area for recreational fishing.

VII. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan is to ensure that this Public Health Assessment not onlyidentifies any current and potential exposure pathways and related health hazards, but also provides aplan of action to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposures tohazardous substances in the environment. The first section of the Public Health Action Plan for PeaseAFB contains a description of completed and ongoing actions taken at the base to mitigateenvironmental contamination. In the second section there is a list of additional public health actions thatNHDHHS recommends be implemented in the future.

A. Completed, Ongoing, and Planned Actions
Significant progress has been made by the Air Force, NHDES, USEPA, and the surroundingcommunities in restoring the environment at Pease AFB. Following is a summary of majoraccomplishments, work in progress and planned actions:

  1. The Air Force has completed investigations and signed eleven Records of Decision (RODs)covering all zones that required remedy selections for the various IRP sites within them.

  2. Construction and implementation of all required remedial actions for IRP sites are complete or in progress. Long-term operation of remedial equipment is ongoing.

  3. Investigations continue for the flight line and parking apron areas, with development of a final remedial action plan in progress.

  4. Long-term monitoring of air, groundwater, surface water, sediments, soils, and fish tissue is ongoing.

  5. Base property is in the process of transfer for use as a civilian commercial center under the Pease Development Authority.

  6. This Public Health Assessment is based on currently available information and the likely futureland use for the former Pease AFB. If land use or environmental conditions at the base change,NHDHHS and ATSDR will reevaluate the likelihood of exposures to site contaminants aswarranted.

  7. The limited available data on soil gas do not suggest that current indoor air quality problemswould be expected on the base. Nevertheless, the potential for indoor air quality issues shouldbe kept in mind during redevelopment of the base to guard against potential future hazards. Ifnew data for soil gas or indoor air quality are generated, NHDHHS will provide technicalassistance as needed.

  8. NHDHHS will conduct a community needs assessment to determine whether additional health education activities in the surrounding community are warranted.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Report Authors

Scott Sudweeks
Phil Trowbridge
Dennis Pinski
Bureau of Health Risk Assessment
Office of Community and Public Health
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
Concord, New Hampshire

Health Outcome Data Review

Rosemary Caron
Stephanie Miller
Bureau of Health Risk Assessment
Office of Community and Public Health
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
Concord, New Hampshire

Technical Project Officer

Greg Ulirsch
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia


VIII. REFERENCES

American Cancer Society (1996). Cancer Facts and Figures - 1996. U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services. Atlanta. GA. 1996.

American Cancer Society (1998). Cancer Facts and Figures - 1998. U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services. Atlanta, GA. 1998.

ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) (1991). Case Studies in EnvironmentalMedicine, Nitrate/Nitrite Toxicity. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, GA.October 1991.

ATSDR (1995). Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. U.S. Department ofHealth and Human Services. Atlanta, GA. August 1995.

ATSDR (1997). Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene. U.S. Department of Health and HumanServices. Atlanta, GA. September 1997.

ATSDR (1998a). Guidance on Including Child Health Issues in Division of Health Assessment andConsultation Documents. July 1998.

ATSDR (1998b). Toxicological Profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls. Draft for Public Comment. U.S.Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, GA. December 1998.

ATSDR (1999). Toxicological Profile for Mercury. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Atlanta, GA. March 1999.

Bechtel Environmental, Inc. (1997a). Pease AFB Base-Wide Surface Water, Sediment and Fish TissueLong-term Monitoring Plan. August 1997.

Bechtel Environmental, Inc. (1997b). Site 49, Communications Building 22 Contamination AssessmentReport. December 1997.

Benner, B. et al. (1990). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions from the combustion of crude oilon water. Env Sci Tech 1990; 24 (9): 1418-27.

Bove, F. et al. (1995). Public drinking water contamination and birth outcomes. Am J Epidemiol 1995;141:850-62.

Bradley, E. (1982). Trichloroethylene in the Groundwater Supply of Pease Air Force Base. Open-FileReport 80-557. U.S. Geological Survey. Boston, MA. 1982.

CDM (Camp, Dresser and McKee) (1994). Evaluation of Pease Tradeport Water Supply andDistribution System. 1994.

CDM (1996). Summary Report of Technical Review of Pease Water Supply Wells. 1996.

Craven, T. (1998). City of Portsmouth. Personal communication. 1998.

Dawson et. al. (1993). Cardiac teratogenesis of Halogenated hydrocarbon-contaminated drinking water. J Am Coll. Cardiol 21:1466-1472, 1993.

Earth Tech, Inc. (1995). Environmental Baseline Survey, Pease Air Force Base, NH. January 1995.

Fitzpatrick, N.A. and Fitzgerald, J.J (1996). An evaluation of vapor intrusion into buildings througha study of field data. Presented at 11th Annual Conference on Contaminated Soils, University ofMassachusetts at Amherst. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Boston, MA.October 1996.

Goldberg, S. et al. (1990). An association of human congenital cardiac malformations and drinkingwater contaminants. J Am Coll Cardiol 1990; 16:155-64.

Guzelian P., Henry C., Olin S., eds. (1992). Similarities and Differences Between Children and Adults:Implications for Risk Assessment. ILSI Press.

Hilton, S. (1999). NHDES, Waste Management Division. Concord, NH. Personal communication.

Kross, B. et al. (1992). Methemoglobinemia: nitrate toxicity in rural America. Am Fam Phys 1992;46:183-8.

Lagakos, S. et al. (1986). An analysis of contaminated well water and health effects in Woburn,Massachusetts. J Am Stat Assoc 1986; 81:583-96.

Laham, S. (1970). Studies on placental transfer of trichloroethylene. Ind Med 1970; 39:46-49.

Little, J. (1991). Health consultation for Pease Air Force Base, Building 227. ATSDR. Atlanta, GA.August 1991.

Maltoni, et. al. (1986). Experimental Research on trichloroethylene carcinogenesis. In: Maltoni C,Mehlman MA, eds. Archives of research on industrial carcinogenesis series. Vol. V. Princeton ScientificPublishing Co, Inc. Princeton NJ. 1986.

MDPH (1997). Woburn Childhood Leukemia Follow-Up Study, Final Report. MassachusettsDepartment of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment. Boston, MA. July1997.

Grant, W. et al. (1996). Spontaneous abortions possibly related to ingesting nitrate-contaminated wellwater - LaGrange County, Indiana, 1991-1994. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. July 5, 1996:45(26); 569-672.

National Climactic Data Center (NCDC) (1978). Wind Energy Resource Information System Reportfor Pease AFB. U.S. Bureau of Standards, 1978.

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) (1998a). Risk Characterization andManagement Policy. Concord, NH. January 1998.

NHDES (1998b). Residential Indoor Air Assessmnet Guidance Document, Draft. NHDES, WasteManagement Division. Concord, NH. October 1998.

Pease, R. (1999) NHDES, Waste Management Division. Concord, NH. Personal communication.

Schendel et al. (1996). Final report of the Woburn Environmental and Birth Study. MassachusettsDepartment of Public Health. Boston, MA. 1996.

Sonnenfeld, N. (1997). Volatile organic compounds in drinking water and adverse pregnancy outcomes.Interim Report. US Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. ATSDR. Atlanta, GA. 1997.

Sund, J. et al. (1957). Weeds containing nitrate cause abortion in cattle. Agronomy Journal 1957;49:278-9.

Thurlow, R.M. (1990). Radiological Survey of the Weapons Storage Area, Pease AFB, NH. USAFOccupational and Environmental Health Laboratory, Human Systems Division. Report 90-207RC00157LXA. Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. November, 1990.

TN and Associates, Inc. (TN&A) (1998). Letter to Arthur Ditto, P.E., USAF Base Conversion Agency, re: soil gas sampling results from site 49. December 10, 1998.

U.S. Air Force (USAF) (1990). Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Closure of Pease AirForce Base. May 1990.

USAF (1994). Revised Community Relations Plan. Pease AFB. June 1994.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (1993). Toxic Emissions from Aircraft FirefightingTraining: A Search of Available Literature. EPA 453/R-93-027. July 1993.

USEPA (1997).Exposure Factors Handbook. EPA/600/C-99/001. U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency, Office of Research and Development. Washington, DC. August 1997.

USEPA (1998). Risk Based Concentration Table. Superfund Technical Support Section, USEPARegion III. Philadelphia, PA. October 1998.

Weston, R.F., Inc. (1990). Installation Restoration Program Stage 2. Draft Final Report ,Volume 1.West Chester, PA. July 1990.

Weston, R.F., Inc. (1990). Off-Base Well Inventory Report. Pease AFB, NH. West Chester, PA. 1992

Weston, R.F., Inc. (1993). Pease AFB, Zone 3 Remedial Investigation Report, Draft Final.West Chester, PA. September 1993.

Weston, R.F., Inc. (1995). Record of Decision for Zone 3. Pease AFB. West Chester, PA. 1995.


CERTIFICATION

The public Health Assessment for the Pease Air Force Base, Portsmouth, New Hampshire was prepared by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with the approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the Public Health Assessment was begun.

Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
Division of Health Asessment and Consultation (DHAC)
ATSDR

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this Public Health Assessment and Concurs with its findings.

Richard Gillig
Acting Chief, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


Scott D. Sudweeks for Gary Campbell
Section Chief
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch, DHAC, ATSDR


APPENDIX A:Tables

List of Tables

Table 1a: Completed Exposure Pathways at the Pease Air Force Base

Table 1b: Potential Exposure Pathways at the Pease Air Force Base

Table 2: TCE concentrations in the Haven Well, 1977-1993

Table 3: Contaminants of concern in Bass fillet from Peverly and Bass Ponds

Table 4: Contaminants of concern in sediments of Peverly and Bass Ponds

Table 5: Contaminants of concern in surface waters of Peverly and Bass Ponds

Table 1a.

Exposure Pathway Elements
  Pathway Name Contaminant Source Media Point of exposure Route of exposure Exposed population Time of Exposure and Comments
1 Consumption of contaminated groundwater TCE

Nitrate
Zone 3 IRP sites

Flighting
Groundwater Drinking water

Showering
Ingestion

Inhalation
Former base residents

Former base workers
Past

In 1977, TCE was detected in the Haven well that exceeded current drinking water standards (MCLs). No prior sampling data available. As of 1985 TCE levels dropped below MCLs.

Current and future

Water from base supply wells are under a regular monitoring program and currently meeting all drinking water standards. Sources of contamination are under active remediation. Groundwater management zones and use restrictions are in place to prevent installation of wells in areas of known groundwater contamination.
2 Recreational use of Peverly and Bass ponds DDT

DDE

PCB

Arsenic

Mercury
Surface runoff via Peverly Brook

Landfill 1 (IRP Site 1)
Fish

Surface water

Sediment
Fish

Swimming

Wading
Fish consumption

Ingestion of surface water

Skin contact with sediment
Recreational users Past

No historical fish sampling data is available.

Current and future

Ponds are within a national wildlife refuge and no fishing or swimming is currently allowed. Fish, sediments and surface waters are under a long-term monitoring program.


Table 1b.

Potential Exposure Pathways at the Pease Air Force Base
Exposure Pathway Elements
  Pathway Name Contaminant Source Media Point of exposure Route of exposure Exposed population Time of Exposure and Comments
1 Indoor air contamination from volatile groundwater contaminants No data on indoor air quality are available. Groundwater contaminant plumes containing volatile organic compounds Soil gas
Air
Potentially building indoor air, but no data on indoor air quality are available. Inhalation Office workers Current and Future

The Air Force recently completed a soil gas survey to characterize the amount of any vapor migration from groundwater in site 49. The concentrations and composition of contaminants in soil gas did not indicate that appreciable migration of chemicals from the groundwater to the soil gas was occurring. Therefore, contamination of building indoor air quality is unlikely.


Table 2.

TCE concentrations in the Haven Well, 1977-1993
Time Period Detects/Samples Average TCE Concentration(µg/L) Maximum TCE Concentration(µg/L) Comments
May 1977 to April 1978 12/12 194 391 Following the discovery of TCE contamination in 1977, clean drinking water was supplied to the base by the City of Portsmouth until the fall of 1978 (Craven 1998).
May 1978 to July 1979 5/5 122 202  
August 1979 to July 1980 10/10 67 115  
August 1980 to July 1981 12/12 29 82  
August 1981 to May 1982 6/6 11 15  
June 1982 to May 1983 5/5 10 17  
June 1983 to May 1984 9/9 7.3 10  
June 1984 to May 1985 9/10 5.5 7.7 See Note 2
June 1985 to June 1986 5/6 3.7 7.8 See Note 2
July 1986 to December 1993 17/19 2.5 5.0 See Note 2
1. TCE data for Haven well were provided by Cornell Long, Armstrong Laboratory, Occupational and Environmental Health Directorate, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas.
2. Water samples in which TCE was not detected were not used to calculate average concentrations.

Table 3.

Contaminants of concern in Bass fillet from Peverly and Bass Ponds
Contaminant Mean
Concentration
(µg/kg)
Maximum
Concentration
(µg/kg)
Upper Peverly Pond
Mercury 183.0 220.0
DDE 13.6 28.0
PCB (Aroclor 1260) 6.0 12.0
Lower Peverly Pond
Mercury 104.0 110.0
DDE 7.7 16.0
PCB (Aroclor 1260) 3.3 6.3
Bass (Stubbs) Pond
Mercury 436.0 520.0
DDT 9.0 10.0
DDD 34.8 40.0
DDE 60.2 79.0
PCB (Aroclor 1260) 46.5 51.0



0.31
Contaminant Mean
Concentration
(mg/kg)
Maximum Concentration (mg/kg)
Upper Peverly Pond
MEK 0.08
DDD 0.16 0.71
DDE 0.026 0.03
Lower Peverly Pond
DDD 0.03 0.05
DDE 0.02 0.03
DDT 0.45 4.20
Dibutylpthlalate 0.95 4.00
γ-BHC (lindane) 0.0049 0.0049
Bass (Stubbs) Pond
DDD 0.47 1.70
DDE 0.13 0.38
DDT 0.10 0.19


Table 5.

Contaminants of concern in surface waters of Peverly and Bass Ponds
Contaminant Mean Concentration (µg/l) Maximum Concentration (µg/l)
Upper Peverly Pond
Nickel 12.0 29.0
Zinc 25.0 74.0
Lower Peverly Pond
Nickel 9.2 24.0
Zinc 17.0 105.0
Bass (Stubbs) Pond
NA    


NA= Not applicable. Either contaminants were not detected or detected below background concentrations.

APPENDIX B

List of Figures

Location of Pease Air Force Base
Figure 1. Location of Pease Air Force Base

Pease AFB Installation Restoration Program (IRP) sites
Figure 2. Pease AFB Installation Restoration Program (IRP) sites

Areas under institutional Control
Figure 3. Areas under institutional Control

Demographic Statistics within one mile of Pease AFB
Figure 4. Demographic Statistics within one mile of Pease AFB

ATSDR Exposure Evaluation Process
Figure 5. ATSDR Exposure Evaluation Process

Base water supply wells with historic TCE contamination
Figure 6. Base water supply wells with historic TCE contamination

Conceptual model for contamination in the Haven Well
Figure 7. Conceptual model for contamination in the Haven Well

TCE concentrations in the Haven Well, 1977-1993
Figure 8. TCE concentrations in the Haven Well, 1977-1993

Base-wide groundwater contaminant plumes exceeding regulatory standards for drinking water
Figure 9. Base-wide groundwater contaminant plumes exceeding regulatory standards for drinking water


APPENDICES F

Appendices C, D, E, and F were not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. To obtain a hard copy of the document, please contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Attn: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch E-56
1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30333



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