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HEALTH CONSULTATION

STEPHENSON-BENNETT MINE SITE
ORGAN, DONA ANA COUNTY, NEW MEXICO

 

CONCLUSIONS

Based on available information regarding the potentially contaminated soil under trailer homes located near the Stephenson-Bennett Mine site, ATSDR concludes the following:

  1. No apparent public health hazard exists because potentailly contaminated soil remains underneath the trailers. The County ordinance requiring metal skirting and the real estate disclosure law should prevent frequent exposure to the soil. However, if a stringent monitoring program and notification system are not implemented to ensure that people do not come in contact with the soil the potential for future exposure exists.

  2. An apparent public health hazard exists from the elevated levels of lead and arsenic detected in indoor dust at several of the trailer homes.

  3. An indeterminate health hazard exist from potential exposure to the soil on the vacant lots that EPA was denied access to sample or remediate.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

To prevent exposures to the contaminated indoor dust and potentially contaminated soil left in place under trailer homes, ATSDR recommends the following:

  1. Maintain the metal skirting surrounding the trailer homes (required by county ordinance) to prevent children and pets from coming into contact with potentially high levels of soil contamination

  2. Prepare and maintain a notification system to ensure that future property owners are informed about potentially contaminated soil left in place under the trailers. This notification system should also include utility companies to protect workers performing any repair activities in these areas.

  3. Install a monitoring program by a county or other authority to ensure that the current metal skirting around all trailer homes is maintained. Also, contingencies to protect residents from contamination should be in place should a trailer be moved or some other activity results in exposing potentially contaminated soil.

  4. Prepare a letter or fact sheet for each property owner or tenant summarizing removal activities and the potential for exposure to soil left in place under the homes.

  5. Include in the full disclosure real-estate information package a health education fact sheet outlining ways residents can reduce exposures to lead and arsenic contaminated soil and summarizing EPA activities that were conducted at that property.

  6. Conduct indoor dust remediation inside homes where levels of lead and arsenic were determined to represent a public health hazard. Indoor dust remediation is scheduled to occur after all soil remediation is completed. In addition, post indoor dust sampling should also be conducted at these homes to ensure that cleanup activities were effective in removing indoor dust contamination.

  7. Consider conducting indoor dust sampling inside a few select homes during the next six months to a year to ensure contaminated dust is not migrating inside the trailer homes.

  8. Prevent access to vacant lots where EPA was denied the opportunity to sample or remediate. These vacant lots should also be placed on a notification system to ensure that future property owners or renters in the are are informed of the potential soil contamination in these lots.

 

REFERENCES

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Health Assessment andConsultation, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333. Exposure Investigation for Stephenson-Bennett Mine, Dona Ana County, New Mexico. July 28, 1997.

  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333. Health Consultation, Stephenson-Bennett Mine Site, Organ, Dona Ana County, New Mexico. October 27, 1997.

Prepared by:
Tammie McRae, M.S.

 

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USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
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