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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

CAL WEST METALS (USSBA)
LEMITAR, SOCORRO COUNTY, NEW MEXICO


CONCLUSIONS

1. The Cal-West Metals site currently presents no public health hazard for area residents. Contaminated soil has been mixed with cement, buried, and capped. Current soil lead levels have been greatly reduced, so that there is no health threat even if people were to build homes and live on the site. Physical and chemical hazards have been removed from the site and the buildings have been secured.

2. The Cal-West Metals site presents no apparent public health hazard due to past exposures. Children playing in the arroyos and trespassers inside the fence may have been exposed to contaminants, especially lead, from the site in the past. However, such exposures, if any, would have been intermittent in nature and highly unlikely to result in adverse health effects.

3. There is no site-related groundwater contamination of area potable wells, and all nearby residents use a municipal water source.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, requires ATSDR to perform public health actions needed at hazardous waste sites. To determine if public health actions are needed, ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has evaluated the data and information in the Cal-West Metals Public Health Assessment. The site has been cleaned up so that no human exposures to hazardous substances or physical hazards can occur; only intermittent exposures are believed to have been possible in the past. There were past public health concerns regarding the possibility that people may have been exposed to harmful levels of lead in dust blowing from the site, but the data do not indicate that this occurred. There are no known current public health concerns. HARP therefore recommends no further public health actions. In addition, a health consultation previously conducted at Cal-West recommended that blood lead testing be carried out in the site area; based on current information, that recommendation is no longer considered necessary.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Edward W. Gregory, Jr., Ph.D.
Demographic Analyst
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Sherry Orloff
Division of HIV/AIDS
National Center for Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


REVIEWERS OF REPORT

Gary H. Campbell, Ph.D.
Chief, Army Section
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES

Jennifer L. Lyke
EPA Region VI

George L. Pettigrew
EPA Region VI


REFERENCES

  1. US Environmental Protection Agency. Record of Decision. September 1992.

  2. Lyke, Jennifer. Personal communication. February 16, 1995.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Cal-West Metals Trip Report #1. May 10-15, 1992.

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Cal-West Metals Trip Report #3. July 29-31, 1992.

  5. US Environmental Protection Agency. Remedial Investigation. 1992.

  6. US Environmental Protection Agency. Feasibility Study. 1992.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Case Studies in Environmental Medicine: Lead Toxicity. June 1990.

  8. US Environmental Protection Agency. The Safe Drinking Water Act: A Pocket Guide to the Requirements for the Operators of Small Water Systems. September 1990.

  9. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory. Socorro County, New Mexico,1993.


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