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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ATLAS TACK SITE
(a/k/a ATLAS TACK CORPORATION)
FAIRHAVEN, BRISTOL COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS


BACKGROUND

A. Purpose and Health Issues

The Atlas Tack site was listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the NationalPriorities List (NPL) in 1990. When a site is proposed for listing, the Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry (ATSDR) is required by federal law to conduct a Public health assessment (PHA) forthe site. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has a cooperative agreement withATSDR to conduct PHAs at NPL and other sites in Massachusetts. In this capacity, MDPH conducteda preliminary PHA for the Atlas Tack site in June 1990. This PHA was conducted at the request of EPAto review the environmental data that have been generated since 1990 and to update the previousassessment.

Public health assessments and risk assessments both investigate the impact or potential impact ofhazardous substances at a specific site on public health. However, the two types of assessment differin their goals and focus. Quantitative risk assessments are geared largely toward arriving at numericestimates of the risk posed to a population by the hazardous substances found on a site. Thesecalculations use statistical and biological models based on dose-response data from animaltoxicologic studies and (if available) human epidemiological studies. Risk assessments estimate thepublic health risk posed by a site, and their conclusions can be used to establish allowablecontamination levels, or to establish clean-up levels and select remedial measures to be taken at thesite.

Public health assessments are intended to determine the past, current or future public healthimplications of a specific site, but focus more than risk assessments do on the health concerns of thespecific community. Public health assessments are based on environmental characterizationinformation (including information on environmental contamination and exposure pathways),community health concerns associated with the site, and community-specific health outcome data.They make recommendations for actions needed to protect public health (which might include thedevelopment and issuing of health advisories), and they identify populations in need of further healthactions or studies.

The 1990 preliminary PHA concluded that, based on the information available at that time, the site wasconsidered to be of potential public health concern caused by the possibility of exposure to hazardoussubstances. The potential pathways cited were ingestion of shellfish harvested at or near the site andingestion of contaminated soils. The lack of groundwater hydrogeological characteristics precludedMDPH's ability to assess the possibility of human exposure to site contaminants via ingestion ofcontaminated groundwater. The 1990 assessment also recommended that appropriate warnings be postedin the area until such time when proper soil containment or removal measures be implemented.

The Atlas Tack Company conducted various manufacturing processes on this site beginning in 1901 andceasing in 1985. Tacks, nails, and an assortment of different metal products were produced in their plant.When the 1990 preliminary PHA was done, there was a welding company operating on the site. Thewelding company ceased their operations on the site in the early 1990s (Craffey 1999).

B. Site Description and History

The Atlas Tack site is located in Fairhaven, Massachusetts (see Figure 1). This site comprises a 24-acre area and includes former manufacturing areas (i.e., approximately 13 acres) owned by Atlas Tack Corporation, Boys Creek, the adjacent marsh both inland and outside of a hurricane barrier that was constructed in the mid-1960s, and the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area (see Figure 2). The main entrance to the site is located on Pleasant Street, which bounds the site to the west. The site is bounded to the south and east by a tidal marsh that drains into Buzzards Bay. The site is also bounded to the south by Church Street and to the north by an unpaved, private road and Railroad Avenue, which is now a paved bike path open to public use. North of the bike path are some commercial businesses and open space. There are a number of residences immediately adjacent to the southern edge of the site on Church Street, as well as a few residences on Pleasant Street. MDPH is not aware of any private wells in this area.

Manufacturing activities took place at the site between 1901 and 1985. These activities includedforging, machining, annealing, blueing, pickling, electroplating, painting, enameling, and partscleaning. Among the products produced at the site were lining nails, tufting buttons, paper andleather headed tacks, cast head coffin tacks, eyelets, glaziers points, bolts, screws, rivets, bottlecrowns, and shoe findings (Weston 1995). A variety of materials were used in these processes, someof which include acids, solvents, and metals such as copper and zinc (EPA 1999). Currently, thereare persons reclaiming bricks at the site. Also, since 1985, there have been either one or two personsmaintaining the alarm and fire suppression system for the buildings at the site (Craffey 2001).

The site consists of four distinct areas: the manufacturing area, the former lagoon , the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area, and the Boys Creek area. The manufacturing area consists of a main manufacturing building complex, an oil-fired boiler plant, a garage-like building east of the main building complex, and a used machinery building (see Figure 2). The original manufacturing building and power plant were built in 1901. The main manufacturing building has three distinct sections: the west building which is a two-story brick-walled office area that faces Pleasant Street, the east building which is a three-story brick-walled area at the eastern edge of the building, and the former one-story area that was located in between the other two sections and covered the majority of the building space. The one-story area of the building was demolished in December 1998, leaving the concrete floor of the building exposed and the other two sections standing (see Figure 3). A carpenter shop and a recreation building were previously located on site. The carpenter shop, which was located to the northeast of the main manufacturing building complex, burned down. The recreation building, which was located southwest of the main manufacturing building complex, was removed sometime during the 1980s (Craffey 1999). Since approximately 1985, periodic removal of debris from the site has occurred. The debris from the former carpenter shop was removed in July 1985. Also, in 1992, other materials (e.g., building materials) in the main manufacturing building were removed (Craffey 2000). At the time of this public health assessment, some debris from the demolition of the one-story area of the main manufacturing building remains; however, most of it has been removed (Craffey 2001).

The former lagoon is a 100 square foot collection basin approximately 200 feet east of themanufacturing building (see Figure 2). The lagoon, constructed in the early 1940s, was used as areservoir for acid waste from electroplating operations. Sulfuric acid wastes were also reportedlyneutralized with alkaline substances from "other plant operations" and disposed of in the lagoon. InJanuary of 1947, an exposure incident took place at the lagoon. Two children fell through the iceresulting in the death of one child and injury to the other. Rescuers experienced skin ailments thatwere believed to be caused by the waste substances in the lagoon. The lagoon was remediated in1985 by the MA DEP to eliminate the imminent hazards. This action did not completely remediatethe former lagoon. During these remedial activities, sludge from the lagoon was displaced into adrying area and then disposed of in an off-site, secure hazardous waste landfill in New York (Weston1995). Final remediation of the former lagoon area will occur as part of the overall site remediation(EPA 2000).

There is an area to the immediate east of the former lagoon containing industrial fill from the facility.This area extends out from the eastern edge of the former lagoon for approximately 250 feet and isapproximately 300 feet long from north to south. The fill material in this area was deposited on topof the marsh surface and averages about three feet in thickness (Weston 1995).

The Commercial and Industrial Debris Area is located to the southeast of the manufacturing area andis not part of the Atlas Tack Corporation property (see Figure 2). The Commercial and IndustrialDebris Area is on property owned by Hathaway/Braley Wharf Company (EPA 2000). TheCommercial and Debris Area is approximately 220 feet by 160 feet and contains industrial fill abouttwo to three feet deep. Review of aerial photographs tentatively identified a transport road leadingfrom the manufacturing area to the debris area. Thus, it is a possibility that solid waste from AtlasTack was disposed of at the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area (Weston 1995).

The Boys Creek area consists of the creek itself and a marsh adjacent to the creek. Boys Creekbegins north of the manufacturing area, south of Center Street. From there, the creek flowsaround the former lagoon and the adjacent fill area before flowing underneath the hurricanebarrier, eventually discharging into Buzzards Bay. Nearly the entire extent of the creek, from itsorigin to the hurricane barrier, is located within the fenced area of the Atlas Tack site (see Figure2). At the time of this heath assessment, there was a ban on shellfishing in the area of Boys Creekbecause of the potential for bacterial contamination (Craffey 2001).

C. Site Visit

For the purposes of this public health assessment, MDPH staff conducted two site visits: one onAugust 11, 1999 with a representative from the Atlas Tack Company and one on October 11,2001. During both site visits, there were fences surrounding the Atlas Tack facility as well as theformer lagoon area, and access was limited to authorized personnel only (see Figure 2). Duringthe August 1999 site visit, it was noted that the fence was in disrepair in two specific sectionsand could have been circumvented in these areas. One section of fence in disrepair was located atthe gate that separates the commercial area of the site from the fenced area that surrounds theformer lagoon. The other section of fence in disrepair was located where the fence crosses Boy'sCreek adjacent to the hurricane dike. During the October 2001 site visit, those areas were seen tohave been repaired, but the fence along the marsh was observed to be down. Also, MDPH staffobserved a part of the fence, near where Boy's Creek enters the site, which did not have barbedwire and thus, could be accessed by climbing an adjacent tree. Abutting the facility fences to thenorth of the site, there is a paved bike path on which MDPH staff observed a fair amount of traffic (see Figure 2).

During both site visits, there was some evidence of trespassing (e.g., graffiti, broken bottles)within the fenced portion of the site. On the hurricane dike just outside of the facility there wasevidence of moderate recreational use in the form of beer and liquor bottles, and trash on top ofthe hurricane dike as well as within Boy's Creek. Presently, there might be less trespassing on thesite because some trees and shrubs have been removed, thereby increasing visibility (Craffey2001). There is also a semi-worn path that leads to the formerly downed section of the fence thatencloses the former lagoon at Atlas Tack. No trespassing activities were witnessed during the site visits.

D. Demographics

The Atlas Tack site is located within the town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts. The 2000 U.S.Census showed a population of 16,159. Within the town of Fairhaven, the Atlas Tack site islocated in both Census Tract 6553 and Census Tract 6554. The 2000 U.S. Census shows that3,533 individuals reside in Census Tract 6553 and 4,215 individuals reside in Census Tract 6554.The sex, race, and age breakdowns for Fairhaven are presented in Table 1.

E. Health Outcome Data

In response to community health concerns, the MDPH has conducted numerous environmentalhealth investigations in the town of Fairhaven during the past two decades. These include, but arenot limited to the Greater New Bedford PCB Health Effects Study (MDPH 1987), ChildhoodLeukemia in Fairhaven (MDPH 1982) and more recently, the Health Consultation for GalaryProperty, Fairhaven, Massachusetts (MDPH 1997).

For purposes of this public health assessment, the most recent cancer incidence data forFairhaven will be reviewed. In addition, because lead is a contaminant of concern at the site, childhood lead poisoning prevalence data will also be reviewed.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

To evaluate whether a site poses an existing or potential hazard to an exposed or potentiallyexposed population, health assessors review all available on-site and off-site environmentalcontamination data for all media (e.g., soil, surface water, groundwater, air, biota). The quality ofthe environmental data is discussed in the Quality Assurance and Quality Control section.Physical conditions of the contaminant sources and physical hazards, if any, are discussed in the Physical and Other Hazards section.

A. On-Site Contamination

Surface soil, subsurface soil, sediment, surface water, groundwater, and biota (i.e., hard shellclams, soft shell clams, mussels) data from environmental sampling conducted at the Atlas Tacksite from 1991 through 1999 were reviewed (Weston 1995; USACE 1998; Rizzo 1999). Data forsurface soil, sediment, surface water, groundwater, and biota samples were tabulated andscreened for this site. Data for subsurface soil was qualitatively analyzed and found to havecontaminant concentrations approximate to surface soil.

Health assessors use a variety of health-based screening values, called comparison values, to helpdecide whether compounds detected at a site might need further evaluation. These comparison valuesinclude environmental media evaluation guides (EMEG), reference dose media evaluation guides(RMEG), cancer risk evaluation guides (CREG), and maximum contaminant levels for drinkingwater (MCL). These comparison values have been scientifically peer reviewed or were derived fromscientifically peer-reviewed values and published by ATSDR and/or EPA. The MA DEP hasestablished Massachusetts's maximum contaminant levels (MMCL) for public drinking watersupplies. EMEG, RMEG, MCL, and MMCL values are used to evaluate the potential for noncancerhealth effects. CREG values provide information on the potential for carcinogenic effects. Forchemicals that do not have these comparison values available for the medium of concern, EPA risk-based concentrations (RBCs) developed by EPA regional offices, are used. For lead, EPA hasdeveloped a hazard standard for residential soil (EPA 2001a).

If the concentration of a compound exceeds its comparison value, adverse health effects are notnecessarily expected. Rather, these comparison values help in selecting compounds for furtherconsideration. For example, if the concentration of a chemical in a medium (e.g., soil) is greater thanthe EMEG for that medium, the potential for exposure to the compound should be further evaluatedfor the specific situation to determine whether noncancer health effects might be possible.Conversely, if the concentration is less than the EMEG, it is unlikely that exposure would result innoncancer health effects. EMEG values are derived for different durations of exposure according toATSDR's guidelines. Acute EMEGs correspond to exposures lasting 14 days or less. IntermediateEMEGs correspond to exposures lasting longer than 14 days to less than one year. Chronic EMEGscorrespond to exposures lasting one year or longer. CREG values are derived assuming a lifetimeduration of exposure. RMEG values also assume chronic exposure. All the comparison values (i.e.,CREGs, EMEGs, RMEGs, and RBCs) are derived assuming opportunities for exposure in aresidential setting.

Soil

Table 2a shows the minimum, mean, and maximum values detected in soil compounds in thecommercial area of the site that exceeded their respective health-based comparison values or forwhich comparison values are not available. The commercial area of the site includes the mainmanufacturing building and boiler plant. It is separated from the noncommercial area of the site bya fence that runs adjacent to the former lagoon (see Figure 4). For 0- through 2-ft soil, ten sampleswere taken and tested for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds(SVOCs), between 23 and 27 samples were taken and tested for metals, and eight samples weretaken and tested for pesticides and PCBs. Of the compounds that were detected in the commercialarea of the site, the ones that exceeded health comparison values or typical background levels in soilor for which there are no comparison values were antimony, arsenic, cadmium, calcium, chromium,copper, cyanide, iron, lead, nickel, vanadium, zinc, two SVOCs (i.e., bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, and4-nitroaniline), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene,benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene,dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, phenanthrene, and pyrene), PCBs(Arochlor 1260), and one pesticide (i.e., beta-benzene hexachloride [beta-BHC]). For the soilsamples collected from the commercial area of the site, contaminants are mostly concentrated in afew hot spots. The hot spots are all located in areas that were formerly found within the one-storysection of the main manufacturing building. These hot spots are the plating pit, tumbling room, tackwash area, and manhole #2 (see Figure 5).

The highest lead level in soil at the site was found in the catch basin of a floor drain in the tack washarea, which has a small cover but is accessible, and had a concentration of 5,950 milligrams perkilogram (mg/kg) (Craffey 2001). The next highest lead levels in soil from the commercial area werefound in the plating pit, and had concentrations of 3,160 mg/kg, 1,380 mg/kg, 1,030 mg/kg, and 879mg/kg. Soil samples collected from the tumbling room, manhole #2, and the pickling trench had leadconcentrations of 2,800 mg/kg, 1,370 mg/kg, and 1,150 mg/kg, respectively. Three other soilsamples collected from the commercial area also had lead concentrations over a comparison value.Two samples collected adjacent to the southern wall of the main building had lead concentrationsof 1,630 mg/kg and 1,300 mg/kg. The third sample had a lead concentration of 380 mg/kg and wascollected from the woods adjacent to the boiler plant. The background soil concentrations of leadin the eastern United States average 17 mg/kg and generally range from less than 10 mg/kg to 300mg/kg (Shacklette 1984).

For chromium, cyanide, and zinc, the only soil samples collected from the commercial area thathad concentrations over comparison values were collected from the plating pit (see Figure 5).Chromium had a single sample over a comparison value, with a concentration of 2,430 mg/kg.This is the concentration for total chromium in the soil. Chromium is a naturally occurringelement that is present in the environment in several different forms. The most common formsare chromium (0), chromium (III) (i.e., trivalent chromium), or chromium VI (i.e., hexavalentchromium). Trivalent chromium occurs naturally in the environment, whereas chromium (0) andhexavalent chromium are generally produced by industrial processes. It is important to identifywhich form of chromium is in the soils because trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromiumhave different toxicological properties. For instance, trivalent chromium is considered to be lesstoxic than hexavalent chromium. Chromium (0) is not currently believed to cause a serioushealth risk. Total chromium is the sum of the concentrations of trivalent and hexavalentchromium. Because total chromium can be the sum of chromium in different oxidation stateswith different toxicities, and the concentrations of each species can vary, there is no comparisonvalue for it (ATSDR 2000b). However, there are comparison values for both trivalent andhexavalent chromium. The soil RMEGs for trivalent chromium for children and adults are80,000 mg/kg and 1,000,000 mg/kg, respectively. The soil RMEGs for hexavalent chromium forchildren and adults are 200 mg/kg and 3,000 mg/kg respectively. To be conservative, thecomparison value for hexavalent chromium, the more stringent of the two values, was used toscreen these soil samples. The background soil concentrations of total chromium in the easternUnited States average 52 mg/kg and generally range from 1 mg/kg to 1,000 mg/kg (Shacklette1984).

For cyanide, three of 27 samples exceeded a comparison value, with concentrations of 16,900mg/kg, 7,650 mg/kg, and 2,350 mg/kg. Three of 27 zinc samples exceeded a comparison value,with concentrations of 190,000 mg/kg, 171,000 mg/kg, and 151,000 mg/kg. The background soilconcentrations of zinc in the eastern United States average 52 mg/kg and generally range fromless than 5 mg/kg to 2,900 mg/kg (Shacklette 1984).

Concentrations of calcium in soil samples from the commercial area ranged from nondetectable to325,000 mg/kg. The maximum level was found in the pickling trench of the building and exceededtypical background levels. Copper concentrations ranged from nondetectable to 54,000 mg/kg withthe highest levels found in the plating pit area of the building. Iron concentrations varied throughoutthe commercial area, with levels exceeding the comparison value found throughout.

For both cadmium and nickel, the soil samples from the commercial area that exceededcomparison values were found solely in the plating pit and the tumbling room sections of thebuilding. Cadmium was found at concentrations of 1,500 mg/kg, 129 mg/kg, and 51.7 mg/kg inthe plating pit and 686 mg/kg in the tumbling room. The chronic EMEG for cadmium is 10mg/kg for a child's exposure. Nickel exceeded the comparison value in two individual samplesfrom the plating pit and tumbling room, with concentrations of 1,630 mg/kg and 1,700 mg/kg,respectively. The RMEG for nickel is 1,000 mg/kg for a child's exposure. The background soilconcentrations of nickel in the eastern United States average 18 mg/kg and generally range fromless than 5 mg/kg to 700 mg/kg (Shacklette 1984).

Antimony concentrations in soil samples from the commercial area ranged from nondetectable upto 118 mg/kg and had a mean concentration of 18.4 mg/kg. Background soil concentrations ofantimony in the eastern United States average 0.76 mg/kg and generally range from less than 1mg/kg to 8.8 mg/kg (Shacklette 1984). The RMEG for antimony is 20 mg/kg for a child's exposure.The highest antimony levels were found in the tack wash, plating pit, and the tumbling room, withconcentrations of 118 mg/kg, 110 mg/kg, and 79.7 mg/kg, respectively. The only soil samples thatexceeded the comparison value for antimony were from the tack wash, plating pit, and the tumblingroom.

Arsenic concentrations in soil samples from the area ranged from 0.55 mg/kg up to 96 mg/kg, witha mean concentration of 12.4 mg/kg. Background soil concentrations of arsenic in the eastern UnitedStates average 7.4 mg/kg and generally range from less than 0.1 mg/kg to 73 mg/kg (Shacklette1984). The highest levels of arsenic in soil from the commercial area were in the plating pit (96mg/kg, 25.5 mg/kg), the tack wash (42.6 mg/kg), and the tumbling room (20.8 mg/kg). All of thesamples collected from this area were at higher concentrations than ATSDR's CREG value of 0.5mg/kg. However, this CREG is also below the background soil concentration. The samples collectedfrom within the building were the only ones with concentrations higher than the chronic EMEG,intermediate EMEG, and RMEG for arsenic, which is 20 mg/kg. All of the arsenic levels in soilsamples from the commercial area were within or close to the typical background concentrations.

Vanadium concentrations in soil samples collected from the commercial area of the site ranged from5.8 mg/kg to 635 mg/kg, with a mean concentration of 38.1 mg/kg. The background soilconcentrations of vanadium in the eastern United States average 66 mg/kg and generally range fromless than 7 mg/kg to 300 mg/kg (Shacklette 1984). Three individual samples from this area exceededthe intermediate EMEG for a child's exposure, which is 200 mg/kg. These samples were collectedfrom an area southeast of the main building and had concentrations of 635 mg/kg, 236 mg/kg, and228 mg/kg. One sample (i.e., the sample with the maximum concentration) exceeded backgroundlevels for vanadium in the eastern United States.

PAHs were found in excess of comparison values in soil samples from the commercial area of thesite. These PAHs were benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene,benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, phenanthrene, and pyrene. All PAHs with reported typical background levels (i.e.,benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene,benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene) had detections that exceeded the range oftheir typical background levels. The PAHs were sampled for only in the plating pit, tumbling room,pickling trench, tack wash, manhole #1, and manhole #2. There were exceedences of comparisonvalues in each of these areas. The PAHs found at the site were for the most part concentrated inmanhole #2 (see Figure 5). The PAHs were two orders of magnitude higher in manhole #2 thananywhere else in this area of the site.

One SVOC (i.e., bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate) was detected once in the commercial area at a levelslightly exceeding its comparison value.

Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) Arochlor 1260 was detected in six of the eight soil samples fromthe commercial area and had concentrations ranging from nondetectable to 36 mg/kg, with a meanconcentration of 10.3 mg/kg. The highest levels were found in the building samples from thetumbling room (36 mg/kg), the tack wash (21 mg/kg), and the pickling trench (13 mg/kg, 8.4 mg/kg).

Other compounds that were detected that did not have comparison values were 4-nitroaniline andbeta-BHC.

Table 2b shows the minimum, mean, and maximum values of soil compounds in the noncommercialarea of the site that exceeded their respective health-based comparison values or for whichcomparison values are not available. For 0- through 2-ft soil, 19 samples were taken and tested forVOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, and PCBs, and between 10 and 18 samples were taken and tested formetals. Of the compounds that were detected in the noncommercial area of the site, the ones thatexceeded health comparison values or typical background levels in soil or for which there are nocomparison values were antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, iron, lead, nickel,zinc, PAHs (i.e., anthracene, benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene,benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, and pyrene), PCBs (Arochlor 1260), and pesticides (i.e., aldrin, 4,4'-DDT, dieldrin,endosulfan sulfate, and endrin ketone). The fill area to the east of the former lagoon and theCommercial and Industrial Debris Area are the areas of greatest concern in the noncommercial areaof the site (see Figure 4). The contaminant concentrations are highest in these two areas. In additionthere was evidence of trespassing in the former lagoon area.

Background soil concentrations of lead in the eastern United States generally range from less than10 mg/kg to 300 mg/kg, with a mean concentration of 17 mg/kg (Shacklette 1984). The highest leadlevels in soil samples collected from the noncommercial area of the site were found in theCommercial and Industrial Debris Area and had concentrations of 2,450 mg/kg, 2,680 mg/kg, 2,750mg/kg, and 2,790 mg/kg. The next highest levels of lead in soils from the noncommercial area werefound in the fill area to the east of the former lagoon (see Figure 4). The 12 surface soil samplescollected from the fill area had lead concentrations that ranged from 410 mg/kg to 1510 mg/kg, withan average concentration of 612 mg/kg. Every sample collected from the fill area was above therange of background soil lead concentrations (see Figure 4).

The surface soil samples collected from the noncommercial area with cadmium and nickelconcentrations in excess of comparison values were found solely in the fill area. The four sampleswith cadmium concentrations that exceeded a comparison value had levels of 19.7 mg/kg, 27.9mg/kg, 32.6 mg/kg, and 3,000 mg/kg. The two surface soil samples with nickel concentrations inexcess of a comparison value had levels of 2,960 mg/kg and 17,900 mg/kg.

Antimony concentrations in surface soil samples from the noncommercial area ranged fromnondetectable to 162 mg/kg, with a mean concentration of 41.5 mg/kg. Each of the four soil samplesthat had detectable concentrations of antimony was found at levels in excess of the comparisonvalue. The samples were found in the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area at concentrations of53.6 mg/kg, 55.8 mg/kg, 104 mg/kg, and 162 mg/kg.

Arsenic concentrations in surface soil samples from the noncommercial area ranged from 2.4 mg/kgto 72.5 mg/kg, with an average of 23.8 mg/kg. The highest arsenic concentrations in soil samplescollected from the noncommercial area were found in the fill area, with concentrations of 36 mg/kg,38.4 mg/kg, 52.6 mg/kg, and 72.5 mg/kg, and in the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area, withconcentrations of 35.6 mg/kg and 48.3 mg/kg. Although the arsenic concentrations in all 18 surfacesoil samples collected from the noncommercial area were in excess of the CREG value and severalof the samples had arsenic levels in excess of the chronic EMEG for a child's exposure, all of theconcentrations detected in the noncommercial area were within the range of typical backgroundlevels. Background soil concentrations of arsenic in the eastern United States average 7.4 mg/kg andgenerally range from less than 0.1 mg/kg to 73 mg/kg (Shacklette 1984).

Chromium concentrations in soil samples from the noncommercial area ranged from 8.3 mg/kg to768 mg/kg, with an average of 145 mg/kg. The chromium concentration in one sample collectedfrom the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area exceeded the comparison value for hexavalentchromium (see discussion on chromium above) and had a concentration of 768 mg/kg. Chromiumis a naturally occurring element that is present in the environment in several different forms (e.g.,chromium (0), trivalent chromium, and hexavalent chromium). The soil RMEGs for trivalentchromium for children and adults are 80,000 mg/kg and 1,000,000 mg/kg, respectively. The soilRMEGs for hexavalent chromium for children and adults are 200 mg/kg and 3,000 mg/kgrespectively.

Copper concentrations in soil samples that exceeded comparison values were found only in the fillarea and in the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area. Cyanide concentrations in soil samples thatexceeded comparison values were found only in the fill area. Iron concentrations in soil samples thatexceeded the comparison value were found throughout the site, but the highest concentrations werefound in the fill area and in the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area. Zinc concentrations thatexceeded the typical background levels were found throughout the site and two concentrations thatexceeded the Chronic EMEG for children were found in the fill area.

Several PAHs were found in excess of comparison values in soil samples collected from thenoncommercial area of the site. These PAHs were anthracene, benzo(a)anthracene,benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene,dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, and pyrene. Benzo(a)anthracene,benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, and chrysene had detections thatexceeded the range of their typical background levels. The PAHs in soil from the noncommercialarea that exceeded comparison values were all found at the highest concentration in the fill area.

PCBs and five pesticide compounds (i.e., aldrin, dieldrin, 4,4'-DDT, endosulfan sulfate, and endrin ketone) were detected in soil samples collected from the noncommercial area. PCB Arochlor 1260 concentrations in soil samples from the noncommercial area ranged from nondetectable to 260 mg/kg, with a mean concentration of 14.9 mg/kg. The three highest concentrations of PCBs (i.e., 260 mg/kg, 6.1 mg/kg, and 6.0 mg/kg) were found in the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area. Aldrin was detected in two samples, both in the fill area and at concentrations of 0.22 mg/kg. Dieldrin was detected in a single sample in the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area at a concentration of 0.059 mg/kg. The 4,4'-DDT concentrations at the site ranged from nondetectable to 46 mg/kg, with an average concentration of 2.9 mg/kg. The two highest concentrations of 4,4'-DDT (i.e., 46 mg/kg and 2.2 mg/kg) were found in the Commercial and Industrial Debris Area (see Figure 4). Endosulfan sulfate and endrin ketone do not have comparison values.

Sediment

Table 3 shows the minimum, mean, and maximum values of sediment compounds in Boys Creekthat exceeded their respective health-based comparison values or for which comparison valuesare not available. Eleven sediment samples were collected from the creek and analyzed forVOCs, SVOCs, metals, pesticides, and PCBs. Of the compounds that were detected in sedimentsamples, the ones that exceeded health-based comparison values or background levels or for whichthere are no comparison values were arsenic, cadmium, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium,sodium, one SVOC (i.e., carbazole), PAHs (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, anddibenzo(a,h)anthracene), and one pesticide (i.e., endosulfan II). It should be noted that thecomparison values used for evaluating the sediment data are based on soil exposure because EPA andATSDR have not developed health-based comparison values based on exposure to sediment. It wouldexpected that opportunities for exposure to soil would be greater than sediment. Hence, this is aconservative approach.

The background levels of arsenic in sediment would be expected to be approximately the same asthe background concentrations of arsenic in soil (see discussion above, regarding Table 2aresults). Although the arsenic concentrations in all 11 sediment samples collected from BoysCreek were in excess of the CREG value and some of the samples had arsenic levels in excess ofthe chronic EMEG for a child's exposure, all of the concentrations detected in thenoncommercial area were slightly higher than average, but within the range of typicalbackground levels. Cadmium was detected once at a level exceeding the chronic EMEG forchildren. Some detections of iron were above the background sediment levels found at nearbyWest Island and above typical background soil levels (Shacklette 1984).

Three PAHs (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, and dibenzo(a,h,)anthracene) were detectedin sediment samples at levels exceeding their comparison values.

Other compounds that were detected that did not have comparison values were calcium, magnesium,potassium, sodium, carbazole, and endosulfan II.

Surface Water

Table 4 shows the minimum, mean, and maximum values of surface water compounds that exceededtheir respective health-based comparison values or for which comparison values are not available.The surface water samples were collected from locations within Boys Creek during low and hightides. For surface water, five samples were taken and tested for VOCs and SVOCs, eleven sampleswere taken and tested for pesticides and PCBs, and between 10 and 24 samples were taken and testedfor metals. Of the compounds that were detected, the ones that exceeded health-based comparisonvalues in surface water or for which there are no comparison values were metals (i.e., antimony,arsenic, barium, cadmium, calcium, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, mercury, potassium, silver,thallium) and two pesticides [i.e., aldrin, and alpha-benzene hexachloride (alpha-BHC)]. It shouldbe noted that the comparison values used for evaluating this surface water data are based on drinkingwater exposure (i.e., consumption of two liters per day). The surface water at the site is brackish andnot fit for consumption. Therefore, the use of drinking water comparison values is a moreconservative method of screening these data than other methods (e.g., assuming a dermal exposure).

Several metals (i.e., antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, silver, andthallium) and one pesticide (i.e., aldrin) were detected at least in once in surface water at levelsexceeding their comparison values. Other compounds that were detected that did not havecomparison values were calcium, magnesium, potassium, and alpha-BHC.

Groundwater

Table 5 shows the minimum, mean, and maximum values of groundwater compounds that exceededtheir respective health-based comparison values or lacked comparison values. Groundwater samplingwas conducted at 27 wells across the site during July 1991 and April 1992. For groundwater, 23samples were taken and tested for VOCs, between 21 and 23 samples were taken and tested forSVOCs, 22 samples were taken and tested for pesticides and PCBs, and between 13 and 30 sampleswere taken and tested for metals. Of the compounds that were detected, the ones that exceededhealth-based comparison values in groundwater at the site or for which there are no comparisonvalues were aluminum, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, calcium, chromium, copper, cyanide,iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel, potassium, sodium, vanadium, zinc, VOCs (i.e., benzene,ethylbenzene, methylene chloride, 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane, and toluene), SVOCs (i.e., benzyl acid,carbazole, 4-chlorophenyl-phenylether, 4-methylphenol, and 3-nitroaniline), one PAH (i.e.,phenanthrene), and one pesticide (i.e., endrin ketone).

Elevated levels of the VOCs ethylbenzene [i.e., 160 micrograms per liter (g/l)], methylene chloride(i.e., 820 g/L), and toluene (i.e., 52,000 g/L) were found in groundwater from a monitoring wellin the area of the former carpenter shop (see Figure 4). Compounds that were detected once in theformer carpenter shop at an elevated level included 4-methylphenol and 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane.The former carpenter shop has been listed as a potential waste dumping location for solventcontaminated sawdust and toluene (Weston 1995). A monitoring well immediately downgradientof the well in the area of the former carpenter shop, was also sampled and had no detections oftoluene.

The highest concentration of toluene in a groundwater sample at the site, 220,000 g/l, was collectedfrom a monitoring well in the area of the former lagoon (see Figure 4). However, the monitoring wellimmediately downgradient from the monitoring well in the former lagoon did not have anydetections of toluene. Analysis of groundwater data from 1987 through 1992 showed no trends inVOC concentrations of samples collected from the carpenter shop area, the former lagoon, or thewell on the eastern edge of the site (Weston 1995).

The concentrations of several inorganic compounds in groundwater were highest near the formercarpenter shop, where VOC compounds were also detected in groundwater samples (see Figure 4).Beryllium, cadmium, chromium, and nickel were all found at concentrations over their respectiveEPA maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) in the area of the former carpenter shop. Zinc was alsofound at a concentration over a comparison value in a well adjacent to the former carpenter shop.Similarly, chromium and cyanide were found at concentrations in excess of their MCLs in wellsdowngradient from, or within, the former lagoon, which is also an area where VOC compounds weredetected in groundwater samples. The highest concentrations of copper, lead, manganese, andvanadium in groundwater samples were all found in wells within the Commercial and IndustrialDebris Area. Aluminum and iron were detected in several samples across the site at levels exceedingtheir comparison values. Arsenic was detected at its highest level in the fill area, though all thedetection limits exceeded the CREG value for arsenic. Barium was detected once in the fill area andonce in the former lagoon at levels exceeding the RMEG for children. Overall, while there wassubstantial contamination detected in groundwater beneath the site, no plumes have been explicitlydelineated. Groundwater beneath the site flows in the general direction of the former lagoon.

Other compounds that were detected that did not have comparison values were calcium, magnesium,potassium, sodium, benzyl acid, carbazole, 4-chlorophenyl-phenylether, 3-nitroaniline, phenanthrene,and endrin ketone.

Shellfish and Fish

Tables 6 and 7 show the minimum, mean, and maximum values of contaminants of concern in hardshell and soft shell clams collected near the mouth of Boys Creek that either exceeded theirrespective health-based comparison values or typical background levels or lacked comparisonvalues.(1) Table 8 shows the minimum, mean, and maximum values of contaminants of concern inribbed mussels that were deployed at three stations in Boys Creek in order to evaluate thebioaccumulation of selected metals, PCBs, and pesticides. Tissue samples from four hard shell clamsand three soft shell clams were analyzed for metals, VOCs, SVOCs, PCBs, and pesticides. Hard shelland soft shell clams were chosen for analysis because they are the dominant species of biota on thissite.

Hard shell clam tissue samples showed elevated levels of arsenic and mercury in each of the foursamples. These levels were less than the background concentrations derived by collecting andanalyzing samples from nearby West Island, though the background levels exceeded the comparisonvalues. Arsenic concentrations ranged from 8.2 mg/kg to 14.3 mg/kg, with an average of 11.7 mg/kg.Mercury concentrations ranged from 0.66 mg/kg to 0.85 mg/kg, with a mean concentration of 0.76mg/kg. There were also low-level detections of several SVOCs, pentachlorophenol, and 4,4'-DDTin hard shell clam samples. It should be noted that the detection limits for several PAH compoundsin these samples were higher than their respective comparison values.

The arsenic and mercury levels in soft shell clam samples were very similar to those in the hard shell clam samples. Arsenic and mercury concentrations exceeded their respective comparison values in each of the three soft shell clam samples analyzed. Arsenic concentrations in soft shell clams ranged from 10.4 mg/kg to 15.1 mg/kg, with a mean concentration of 12 mg/kg. The specific form of arsenic is not identified (i.e., organic or inorganic). Inorganic arsenic is recognized as a human toxin. In contrast, studies have shown organic arsenic to be much less toxic. The arsenic found in shellfish tends to exist in an organic form that is essentially non-toxic (ATSDR 2000a). Mercury concentrations ranged from 0.79 mg/kg to 0.89 mg/kg, with an average of 0.82 mg/kg. Antimony, iron, and bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate were detected at levels in soft shell clams that exceeded comparison values. One compound (i.e., lead) was detected which had no comparison value.

Ribbed mussel samples were deployed and then analyzed as part of the site investigation (see Table8) but will not be discussed in this assessment because they are not used for human consumption.They were collected to help determine seasonal habitat utilization and for use in ecologicalcharacterizations of the site (Weston 1995).

Mummichogs are the dominant fish species within Boys Creek. Mummichogs are not valued ascommercial or sport fishes but are an important part of the ecological food chain (USACE 1985).They will not be discussed in this assessment because they are not expected to be used for humanconsumption. The hurricane barrier prevents any larger size fish from entering into the upper sectionof Boys Creek. No additional shellfish, finfish, or lobster data were gathered during site investigation activities.

B. Off-Site Contamination

Table 9 shows the minimum, mean, and maximum values of soil compounds that exceeded theirrespective health-based comparison values in the residential area adjacent to the Atlas Tack site. Onesample was taken near the Rogers Elementary School, one was taken at a residence on PleasantStreet across from the Atlas Tack site, and one sample was taken from a residence located wherePleasant Street intersects Church Street (see Figure 6). The three soil samples were tested for VOCs,SVOCs, metals, pesticides, and PCBs. Of the compounds that were detected, the one that exceededhealth-based comparison values in soil from the residential area was arsenic (i.e., maximumconcentrations of 2.5 mg/kg for arsenic). The detections of arsenic were within background concentrations for the eastern United States (i.e., observed ranges from less than 0.1 mg/kg to 73 mg/kg with a mean of 7.4 mg/kg for arsenic).

C. Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC)

The site investigations that have taken place at the Atlas Tack site since the MDPH PreliminaryPublic health assessment were also associated with a Quality Assurance Project Plan thatincluded information on QA/QC. EPA performed extensive QA/QC on the environmentalsampling data collected in the remedial investigation. The validity of the conclusions made inthis public health assessment depends on the accuracy and reliability of the data provided in thecited reports.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

In the past, the former lagoon presented a physical hazard. In January 1947, two children fell intothe lagoon. One child died, the other child sustained injuries, and the rescuers were treated for skinailments believed to be caused by the contaminants in the lagoon (Weston 1995). The one-story(middle) building was removed in 1998. The deteriorating roof and floors of the three-story (east)building make it structurally unsound, and it could present serious physical hazards to individualstrespassing on the site or contract employees working on the premises. As noted during the site visit,the fence was in disrepair in two specific sections and could have been circumvented in these areas.One section of fence in disrepair was located at the gate that separates the commercial area of thesite from the fenced area that surrounds the former lagoon. The other section of fence in disrepairwas located where the fence crosses Boy's Creek adjacent to the hurricane dike. Although thesesections have been repaired, there is at least one section that is in disrepair (i.e., the fence along themarsh is down) (Craffey 2001). The pickling trench area is covered only with plywood and theplating pit is covered with a blue tarp. The tack wash area is not covered (Craffey 2001). Though thetwo-story (west) building is currently sound, it will not remain so unless maintenance-work isperformed (USACE 1996). In the past, the condition of the building made it a potential fire hazard.However, at the time of this public health assessment this has been somewhat improved by theaddition of an operating fire extinguishing system. In August 1999, EPA filed a UnilateralAdministrative Order for Atlas Tack to remove friable asbestos from the east building and the boilerplant. The majority of the windows had been broken and the building was open to the elements (EPA1999). Between September 1999 and February 2000, EPA removed all of the asbestos-containingmaterials (EPA 2000). Hence, the opportunity for exposure to friable asbestos material is no longerpresent at the site. While it is difficult to quantify the risk from past opportunities for exposure to asbestos, it is quite possible that there could have been opportunities for exposure at levels of health concern, particularly for those who might have trespassed on the site.


PATHWAY ANALYSIS

To determine whether nearby residents and people on-site were, are, or could be exposed tocontaminants, an evaluation was made of the environmental and human components that lead tohuman exposure. The pathway analysis consists of five elements: a source of contamination,transport through an environmental medium, a point of exposure, a route of human exposure, anda receptor.

Exposure to a chemical must first occur before any adverse health effects can result. Five conditionsmust be met for exposure to occur. First, there must be a source of that chemical. Second, a medium(e.g., water) must be contaminated by either the source or by chemicals transported away from thesource. Third, there must be a location where a person can potentially contact the contaminatedmedium. Fourth, there must be a means by which the contaminated medium could enter a person'sbody (e.g., ingestion). Finally, the chemical must actually reach the target organ susceptible to thetoxic effects from that particular substance at a sufficient dose for a sufficient time for an adversehealth effect to occur (ATSDR 1993).

A completed exposure pathway exists when all of the above five elements are present. A potentialexposure pathway exists when one or more of the five elements is missing and indicates thatexposure to a contaminant could have occurred in the past, could be occurring in the present, orcould occur in the future. An exposure pathway can be eliminated if at least one of the five elementsis missing and will not likely be present. The discussion that follows incorporates only thosepathways that are important and relevant to the site.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

Surface Soil

Past and present opportunities for exposure to contaminants in soil (i.e., metals, cyanide, PAHs,PCBs) at this site likely occurred. Opportunities for exposure might be expected to have begunaround 1901, when manufacturing operations began at the site. Populations that would have hadexposure opportunities include past employees (i.e., plant workers, maintenance personnel, groundskeepers, etc.), present employees (i.e., grounds keepers, contractors, demolition workers, etc.), andpersons (e.g., children) trespassing on the site. Past or present exposure opportunities might haveoccurred through incidental ingestion of contaminated soils or possibly skin absorption as a resultof direct contact with contaminated soils in both the commercial and noncommercial areas of thesite.

Sediment

Past and present opportunities for exposure to contaminants in sediment (i.e., metals, PAHs) at thissite likely occurred. As in surface soil, opportunities for exposure might have begun in the early1900s. Populations that might have had opportunities for exposure include past employees (i.e., plantworkers, maintenance personnel, grounds keepers, etc.), present employees (i.e., grounds keepers,contractors, etc.), and persons trespassing on the site. Past or present exposure opportunities mighthave occurred through incidental ingestion of contaminated sediments or possibly skin absorptionas a result of direct contact with contaminated sediments in both the area near the former lagoon andthe marsh area in and around Boys Creek.

Surface Water

Past exposure to contaminants in surface water occurred in the former lagoon between itsconstruction in the early 1940s and its remediation in 1985. At least one incident of exposure tookplace in the former lagoon (i.e., January of 1947). During this incident, two children fell through theice covering the lagoon. One of the children died, the other sustained injuries and the rescuers weretreated for skin ailments believed to be caused by contaminants in the lagoon (Weston 1995).

Other past and present opportunities for exposure to contaminants in surface water (i.e., metals,pesticides) at this site likely occurred. These exposures might have begun in the early 1900s.Potentially exposed populations include past employees (i.e., plant workers, maintenance personnel,grounds keepers, etc.), present employees (i.e., grounds keepers, etc.), persons trespassing on the site,and persons recreating in Boys Creek adjacent to the hurricane barrier outside of the Atlas Tackproperty fence. Past or present exposures might have occurred by skin absorption through directcontact with contaminated surface water in Boys Creek. The water in Boys Creek is brackish, andwould not be used for human consumption. The shallow depth of Boys Creek makes it highlyunlikely that people would swim in Boys Creek. MDPH staff did not observe any evidence ofpersons swimming in Boys Creek during the site visit. The Fairhaven Board of Health was not awareof any persons swimming in Boys Creek (Fowle 2001). Therefore, the main route of exposure tocontaminants in surface water would be through skin absorption if someone were to wade in thewater, which also is unlikely to occur to any great extent due to reported field observations and thebrackish nature of the water. Given that metals do not tend to be readily absorbed through the skin,adverse health effects from current exposures to contaminants in surface water are not likely.

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

Ambient Air

Past opportunities for exposure to compounds (e.g., VOCs and metals) in ambient air (e.g.,emissions from the power plant and manufacturing processes) at this site might have occurred forformer Atlas Tack employees and residents living in neighborhoods adjacent to the site throughdaily inhalation. At the time of this public health assessment, there did not appear to be anyopportunities for exposure through the ambient air pathway. In the future, opportunities forexposure to contaminants in ambient air (e.g., volatilization, fugitive dusts) could occur forresidents living in adjacent neighborhoods and workers on the site should remedial or excavationactivities take place.

Shellfish

There is currently a ban on shellfishing in the area of Boys Creek because of the potential forbacterial contamination (Craffey 2001). The local shellfishing warden has observed a singleoccurrence of an individual illegally shellfishing in the Boys Creek area. The area is activelypatrolled by the shellfishing warden and the Environmental Police to enforce the ban (Costa 1999).Should the ban on shellfishing in this area be lifted, or should illegal harvesting and consumptionof shellfish from Boys Creek take place, people could be exposed to contaminants (e.g., metals,PAHs, PCBs, and pesticides) in shellfish.

Subsurface Soil

Future exposures to contaminated soils might occur should excavation activities or pavementremoval take place. Data for subsurface soil was qualitatively analyzed and found to havecontaminant concentrations approximate to surface soil. At this time, MDPH is not aware of excavation activities taking place on the site.

C. Eliminated Exposure Pathways

Groundwater

In August of 1992, a residential well survey was conducted by EPA to determine the presence andusage of private wells within one-half mile of the Atlas Tack site. This survey was distributed to 981residents with a one-third response rate. An additional effort was made to reach approximately 400of the residents who either submitted incomplete surveys or did not reply to the mailing. Noresidences were identified as using the groundwater for human consumption in the survey area(Weston 1995). In addition, the Fairhaven Board of Health consulted the Fairhaven WaterDepartment on December 16, 1999, and determined that there are 1,849 residences within half a mile of the site. Only one residence in this area has a potable well and it is located almost half a mile upgradient from the site.


DISCUSSION

MDPH staff have summarized the available environmental data and exposure pathways for theAtlas Tack site in this public health assessment. Completed exposure pathways included past andpresent contact with surface soil, sediment and surface water in the former lagoon. The maincompounds of concern at the site are metals. In soil samples, the other compounds that exceededeither screening, typical background values or for which there are no comparison values wereSVOCs (i.e., bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate and 4-nitroaniline), PAHs (i.e., anthracene,benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene,benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene,phenanthrene, and pyrene), PCBs, and pesticides (i.e., aldrin, beta-BHC, dieldrin, 4,4'-DDT,endosulfan sulfate, and endrin ketone). In sediment samples, the other compounds that exceededeither screening, typical background values or for which there are no comparison values werePAHs (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene), one SVOC (i.e.,carbazole), and a pesticide (i.e., endosulfan II). Opportunities for exposure to these compoundsare primarily via incidental ingestion of surface soil or sediments at the site.

Surface water in Boys Creek is contaminated with metals (i.e., antimony, arsenic, barium,cadmium, calcium, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, mercury, potassium, silver, and thallium) andtwo pesticides (i.e., aldrin and alpha-BHC). The contaminants are assumed to be coming from thesite. Opportunities for exposure to contaminants in the surface water are limited because the water inBoys Creek is brackish (i.e., unfit for consumption) and the Creeks depth is shallow (i.e., not suitablefor swimming).

Groundwater at the site is contaminated with metals, VOCs (i.e., benzene, ethylbenzene, methylene chloride, 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane, and toluene), SVOCs (i.e., benzyl acid, carbazole, 4-chlorophenyl-phneylether, 4-methylphenol, and 3-nitroaniline), one PAH (i.e., phenanthrene), and one pesticide (i.e., endrin ketone). The groundwater at the site generally flows in a northeasterly direction and away from the nearby residences along Church Street. A well survey performed in 1992 by EPA identified no residences using the groundwater for residential use within one-half mile of the site. According to the Fairhaven BOH, only one residence within one-half mile of the site has a potable well and it is located upgradient from the site. Should new private wells be dug and used for consumption, or should residents begin using their wells for residential use, people could be exposed to contaminants in groundwater. Although the opportunity for persons to be exposed to contaminants in surface water at the site is present, health effects are not expected to result from the kind of exposures likely at the site (i.e., dermal contact with surface water). At the time of this public health assessment, there do not appear to be any opportunities for exposure through the ambient air pathway. However, opportunities for exposure to contaminants in ambient air could have occurred in the past to residents living in adjacent neighborhoods and workers on the site and could occur in the future should remedial or excavation activities take place.

Hard shell clams were found to have elevated levels of metals (i.e., arsenic, calcium, magnesium,mercury, potassium, and sodium), SVOCs (i.e., bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, 2-methylnaphthalene,2-nitrophenol, and pentachlorophenol), PAHs (i.e., acenaphthylene, benzo(a)anthracene,benzo(b)fluoranthene, and benzo(g,h,i)perylene), and one pesticide (i.e., 4,4'-DDT). Soft shellclams were found to have elevated levels of metals (i.e., antimony, arsenic, iron, lead, andmercury) and one SVOC (i.e., bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate). Although the levels were elevated, atthe time of this public health assessment, this area is closed to shellfishing. Therefore, there areno opportunities for exposure to these contaminants in clams.

A. Chemical-Specific Toxicity Information

As noted earlier in this public health assessment, metals, two SVOCs, PAHs, PCBs, and pesticidesin surface soil at the site exceeded either comparison or typical background values or had nocomparison values. Several metals, one SVOC, three PAHs, and one pesticide in sediment at the siteexceeded comparison values or typical background values or had no comparison values.

The average concentration of arsenic in soil and sediment in different areas of the site was close to orwithin typical background levels for this metal. Because of the limited number of detections abovecomparison or background levels, and because it is unlikely that a person visiting or trespassing on thesite would consistently come into contact with the few areas that show higher contamination levels,arsenic will not be considered further in this assessment.

The average concentration of zinc in soil in the commercial area of the site and the maximumconcentration found in the noncommercial area of the site slightly exceeded the chronic EMEG forchildren. For the commercial area, this is due to a few large detected concentrations (i.e., 151,000mg/kg, 171,000 mg/kg, and 190,000 mg/kg) in the plating pit area. The maximum concentrationfound in the noncommercial area was located in the fill area. Since it is unlikely that someone wouldbe consistently exposed to the highest concentrations of zinc, it will not be considered further in thisassessment.

Three detections of vanadium from the commercial area exceeded the intermediate EMEG for achild's exposure. These samples were collected from an area southeast of the main building and hadconcentrations of 635 mg/kg, 236 mg/kg, and 228 mg/kg. Since the average concentration found inthe commercial area was 38.1 mg/kg, the average background level ranges from less than 7 mg/kg to300 mg/kg, and it is unlikely that someone would be consistently exposed to the highestconcentrations of vanadium, it will not be considered further in this assessment.

Calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium were detected at concentrations in soil and/or sedimentthat exceeded background levels but because they are naturally occurring minerals, they will not beconsidered further in this assessment.

Several SVOCs (i.e., bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, carbazole, and 4-nitroaniline) and pesticides (i.e.,aldrin, beta-BHC, dieldrin, endosulfan sulfate, endosulfan II, and endrin ketone) were detected in soiland sediment between one and three times. One detection of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, one detectionof dieldrin, and two detections of aldrin slightly exceeded their comparison values while the othercompounds did not have comparison values. Since these compounds were found infrequently on thesite and when detected were found at low concentrations, they will not be considered further in thisassessment.

One pesticide (i.e., 4,4'-DDT) was detected twice at levels exceeding a comparison value but since itis unlikely that someone would be consistently exposed to these two concentrations, it will not beconsidered further in this assessment.

Of the contaminants in soil that exceeded their respective health-based comparison values,cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, iron, lead, nickel, PCBs, and PAHs are of the mostconcern at this site.

In order to evaluate possible public health implications, estimates of opportunities for exposureto compounds (e.g., in soil) must be combined with what is known about the toxicity of thechemicals. ATSDR has developed minimal risk levels (MRLs) for many chemicals. An MRL isan estimate of daily human exposure to a substance that is likely to be without an appreciable riskof adverse noncancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. MRLs are derivedbased on no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) or lowest-observed-adverse-effect levels(LOAELs) from either human or animal studies. The LOAELs or NOAELs reflect the actuallevels of exposure that are used in studies. ATSDR has also classified LOAELs into "lessserious" or "serious" effects. "Less serious" effects are those that are not expected to causesignificant dysfunction or whose significance to the organism is not entirely clear. "Serious"effects are those that evoke failure in a biological system and can lead to illness or death. Whenreliable and sufficient data exist, MRLs are derived from NOAELs or from less serious LOAELs,if no NOAEL is available for the study. To derive MRLs, ATSDR also accounts for uncertaintiesabout the toxicity of a compound by applying various margins of safety, thereby establishing alevel that is well below a level of health concern.

Asbestos

Asbestos is the name for a group of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals with heat and chemicalresistant properties. Because of their heat resistant properties, they were frequently used in buildingmaterials such as insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, roof shingles, and cement. Inhalation of asbestosfibers suspended in air is the most common route of exposure. Asbestos does not readily, if at all,pass through the skin into the body.

EPA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program(DHHS/NTP) have classified asbestos as a known human carcinogen. Lung cancer andmesothelioma are the cancers associated with asbestos exposure.(2) Chronic, high-level exposure toasbestos can lead to a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs (ATSDR 1995a).

Cadmium

Cadmium is used in a variety of consumer products including metal coatings and some metal alloys.Although it is a naturally occurring element, most of the cadmium enters the environment as a resultof human activities. On average, about 25% of the cadmium inhaled by humans is absorbed by thebody, and about 5% of the cadmium consumed (in food, soil, water, etc.) is absorbed by the body.Very little cadmium enters the body through the skin. Ingestion of low levels of cadmium over anextended period of time can cause cadmium to build-up in the kidneys, which in turn can result inkidney damage and weakened bones. DHHS/NTP has determined that cadmium and cadmiumcompounds might reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogens (ATSDR 1999a). EPA has classifiedcadmium as a "probable human carcinogen" based on limited evidence from occupationalepidemiological studies. One study is considered to supply limited evidence of an increase in lungcancer due to exposure to cadmium via inhalation (EPA 1998).

Chromium

Chromium is a naturally occurring element that is present in the environment in several differentforms. The most common forms are chromium (0), chromium (III) (i.e., trivalent chromium), orchromium VI (i.e., hexavalent chromium). Trivalent chromium occurs naturally in theenvironment, whereas chromium (0) and hexavalent chromium are generally produced byindustrial processes. It is important to identify which form of chromium is in the soils becausetrivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium have different toxicological properties. Forinstance, trivalent chromium is considered to be less toxic than hexavalent chromium. Chromium(0) is not currently believed to cause a serious health risk. Total chromium is the sum of theconcentrations of trivalent and hexavalent chromium. Because total chromium can be the sum ofchromium in different oxidation states with different toxicities, and the concentrations of eachspecies can vary, there is no comparison value for it (ATSDR 2000b). The soil RMEGs fortrivalent chromium for children and adults are 80,000 mg/kg and 1,000,000 mg/kg, respectively.The soil RMEGs for hexavalent chromium for children and adults are 200 mg/kg and 3,000mg/kg respectively.

EPA has determined that hexavalent chromium in air is a human carcinogen and that there isinsufficient information to determine whether hexavalent chromium in water or food andtrivalent chromium are human carcinogens (ATSDR 2000b).

Copper

Copper is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment. It is an essential element for allknown living organisms. Most copper compounds found in the environment are strongly attachedto dust and dirt or imbedded in minerals so that they cannot easily affect human health. Copper isnot known to cause cancer but long term exposure to copper dust can be a nose, mouth, and eyeirritant and can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea (ATSDR 1991).

Cyanide

Cyanide and some cyanide compounds are used in electroplating and metallurgy as well as otherindustrial uses. Smoking cigarettes and breathing smoke-filled air during a fire are the majorsources of cyanide exposure for people not employed in cyanide-related industries. Certain kindsof food (e.g., cassava roots, lima beans, almonds) contain cyanide compounds. Low-levelexposures can cause blood changes, difficulties in breathing, headaches, heart pains, vomiting,and enlargement of the thyroid gland (ATSDR 1997a).

Iron

Iron is an essential element that is vital to oxygen transport and metabolism. The RecommendedDietary Allowance (i.e., the daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the requirements ofalmost all healthy individuals in each age and gender group) of iron is 10 mg for children age fourto eight years old, 8 mg for males age 19-50 years old, and 18 mg for women age 19-50 years old.Iron is found in different forms in meat and plants and the forms have different uses in the body.Adult men and post-menopausal women lose very little iron, except through bleeding [NationalInstitute of Health (NIH) 2001].

Some studies have suggested an association between high iron stores in the body and coronary heartdisease. Available data do not provide convincing support for this connection. Individuals withhereditary hemochromatosis (a hereditary disease where iron can build up to dangerous levels in thebody) have an increased risk of liver cancer. Evidence is inconclusive about an association betweeniron levels in humans and incidence of cancer, though several studies have reported a high rate oflung cancer mortality in workers who were exposed to iron oxide and other potentially carcinogenicsubstances in mines and smelters (EPA 2001b, NIH 2001).

Lead

Most of the lead in urban soils comes from old automotive exhaust from when leaded gasolinewas used and from leaded paint. Background soil concentrations of lead in the eastern UnitedStates average 17 mg/kg and range from less than 10 through 300 mg/kg (Shacklette 1984).However, lead concentrations in soil vary widely. The upper levels of soil beside busy roadwaysare typically 30 through 2000 mg/kg higher than natural levels. Soils adjacent to houses withexterior lead based paints might have lead levels of greater than 10,000 mg/kg. Exposure to lead,which could occur in unvegetated areas, is particularly a concern for young children even at lowexposure levels. At low levels, lead can affect mental and physical growth in children. At higherlevels, lead can affect blood and brain function (ATSDR 1999b). No ATSDR comparison valuesare available for lead in soils and sediments. EPA has developed a hazard standard for residentialsoil (EPA 2001a).

Nickel

Nickel is an element naturally found in abundance in the environment. It is often combined into alloycompounds with other metals and used in nickel plating and the production of various metal products anditems. The most common adverse health effect associated with exposure to nickel is an allergic reaction.After a person becomes sensitized to nickel, subsequent exposures to it will produce reactions such asa rash (most common) or possibly an asthma attack (less common) (ATSDR 1997b).

PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls are considered a probable human carcinogen by EPA and the InternationalAgency for Research on Cancer (IARC), based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animalstudies and limited supporting evidence from human studies. PCBs are associated with liver canceras well as other cancers such as skin, biliary tract, and intestinal, in human studies, and are clearlyliver carcinogens in animals. Monkeys, which are more biologically similar to humans than mostlaboratory animals, appear to be the most sensitive species to the non-cancer health effects (e.g.,immunological effects, developmental toxicity) of PCBs.

Currently, human and animal studies of the toxic effects of PCBs have indicated that PCBs areassociated with a variety of systemic health effects in addition to cancer. Skin conditions, such asacne and rashes, have been observed in people exposed to high levels, but these effects are notconsidered likely to result from environmental exposures. Studies in workers suggest that exposureto PCBs can cause respiratory irritation, gastrointestinal discomfort, changes in blood chemistry,depression, and fatigue. Studies have shown that human poisoning with PCBs has resulted inimmunological damage, thyroid hormone malfunction, skin damage and liver function alteration.In animal studies, ingestion of high levels of PCBs was associated with anemia, skin conditions, andsystemic damage including altered function in the liver, immune system, and endocrine system.Studies of women who were exposed to PCBs during pregnancy have suggested that lower birthweight infants, and neurological and behavioral effects on infants, can result. Animal studies haveshown similar reproductive and developmental damage.

PAH Compounds

PAHs are ubiquitous in soil. Combustion processes release PAHs into the environment. Therefore,the major sources of PAHs in soils, sediments, and surface water include fossil fuels, cigarettesmoke, industrial processes, and exhaust emissions from gasoline engines, oil-fired heating, and coalburning. PAHs are also found in other environmental media and in foods, particularly charbroiled,broiled, or pickled food items, and refined fats and oils (ATSDR 1995b).

There are a variety of different types of PAHs. Benzo(a)pyrene is the most toxic. The primary healthconcern for these compounds is carcinogenicity, and EPA considers several (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene,benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene, dibenzo(a,h,)anthracene, andindeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene) to be "probable human carcinogens," based on sufficient evidence inanimal studies and inadequate evidence for human studies (ATSDR 1995b).

B. Evaluation of Possible Health Effects

Populations that could have had opportunities for exposure to compounds in surface soil andsediments include past and present employees of Atlas Tack, workers associated with thedemolition of a section of the manufacturing building in December 1998, and persons trespassingon the site. Although the site is fenced, there is at least one section that is in disrepair (i.e., thefence along the marsh is down) (Craffey 2001). The section of fence that crosses Boys Creekwould allow relatively easy access to Boys Creek and the associated marsh. MDPH staffobserved evidence of trespassing (e.g., graffiti, alcohol containers) occurring in both thecommercial and noncommercial areas of the site.

Past and present employees of Atlas Tack are assumed to have spent approximately 250 days peryear on the site. These employees would have had the greatest opportunity for exposure tocontaminants in soil. Of the contaminants in soil that exceeded their respective health-basedcomparison values, cadmium, chromium, cyanide, lead, nickel, PCBs, and PAHs are of the mostconcern at this site. To further evaluate the public health impact of these contaminants,opportunities for exposure based on ingestion of contaminated soil were evaluated for childrentrespassing on the site and employees working on the site.

The estimated exposure for ingestion of cadmium at the maximum concentration found in soil (i.e.,3,000 mg/kg) at the site is 0.003 mg/kg/day for an employee on the site(3) and 0.02 mg/kg/day for achild trespassing on the site.(4) The estimated exposures are higher than ATSDR's chronic oralminimal risk level (MRL) for cadmium, which is 0.0002 mg/kg/day.

The oral MRL is based upon a lifetime accumulated threshold of 2,000 mg of cadmium fromdietary sources. This threshold is associated with an increased incidence of proteinuria, which isa symptom of renal complications. The average dietary cadmium intake of adult Americans isapproximately 0.0004 mg/kg/day, which suggests that Americans do not have a margin of safetywith respect to cadmium intake (ATSDR 1999a). Although this estimated exposure is calculatedusing the maximum concentration found in the soils at the site, some conservative assumptionsare made in estimating this exposure, and an uncertainty factor of 10 is calculated into the MRL,there is still a concern for potential for adverse health effects (e.g., renal effects) that might resultfrom opportunities for exposure to cadmium in the soils of the site.

The estimated exposure for ingestion of copper at the maximum concentration found in soil (i.e.,70,000 mg/kg) at the site is 0.04 mg/kg/day for an employee on the site and 0.2 mg/kg/day for a childtrespassing on the site. The estimated exposure for an employee at the site is equal to, and theestimated exposure for a child trespassing on the site is greater than EPA's chronic oral referencedose of 0.04 mg/kg/day. While the possible exposure from the maximum levels of copper on the siteexceeds the EPA reference dose, it is unlikely that a person would have consistently been in contactwith only the highest spot.

The estimated exposure for ingestion of total chromium at the maximum concentration found in soil(i.e., 2,430 mg/kg) at the site is 0.001 mg/kg/day for an employee on the site(5) and 0.006 mg/kg/dayfor a child trespassing on the site.(6) Under most conditions hexavalent chromium will be reduced totrivalent chromium in the environment (ATSDR 2000b). Thus, assuming that the chromium in soilis trivalent chromium, the chromium concentrations in the soils at the site are well below thecomparison values, and thus below levels of health concern. In addition, the mean soil values forchromium are below levels of health concern for children and adults using screening values forhexavalent chromium. While the maximum levels of chromium on the site do considerably exceedthe screening values for the hexavalent form, it is unlikely that a person would have consistentlybeen in contact with only the highest spot (e.g., in plating pit).

The estimated exposure for ingestion of cyanide at the maximum concentration found in soil (i.e.,16,900 mg/kg) at the site is 0.009 mg/kg/day for an employee on the site(7) and 0.04 mg/kg/day fora child trespassing on the site.(8) The estimated exposure for a child trespassing is slightly higher thanEPA's chronic oral reference dose for cyanide, which is 0.02 mg/kg/day. Given the conservativenature in which the estimated exposure dose was calculated (e.g., maximum rather than average soilconcentrations selected), the uncertainty factor of 100 and the assumptions of daily exposure on ayearly basis for the chronic oral reference dose, adverse health effects are not likely from exposureto cyanide in the soils of the site.

The estimated exposure for ingestion of iron at the maximum concentration found in soil (i.e.,305,000 mg/kg) at the site is 0.2 mg/kg/day for an employee on the site and 0.7 mg/kg/day for a childtrespassing on the site. The estimated exposure for a child trespassing is higher than the EPA'sprovisional chronic oral reference dose of 0.3 mg/kg/day. Given the conservative nature in whichthe estimated exposure dose was calculated (e.g., maximum rather than average soil concentrationsselected), the uncertainty factor of 100 and the assumptions of daily exposure on a yearly basis forthe chronic oral reference dose, adverse health effects are not likely from exposure to iron in the soilsof the site.

The high levels of lead found in the soils of the site (i.e., greater than 2,000 ppm) could present health concerns for children playing on the site. The EPA soil standard for residential environments is 400 mg/kg. It is important to note that public health screening for lead in children indicates that lead paint in older housing stock continues to be the most important risk factor for lead exposure in children (ATSDR 1999b). Compared to lead paint, soil is generally believed to be a lessor contributor to elevated blood lead levels or lead poisoning in children. However, lead in soil at this site is high and could possibly contribute to a child's lead level. Hence, area children who might trespass onto this site might have opportunities for exposure of health concern.

The estimated exposure for ingestion of nickel at the maximum concentration found in soil (i.e.,17,900 mg/kg) at the site is 0.01 mg/kg/day for an employee on the site(9) and 0.04 mg/kg/day for achild trespassing on the site.(10) This estimated exposure for a child trespassing on the site is slightlyhigher than the EPA chronic oral reference dose for nickel, which is 0.02 mg/kg/day. Given theconservative nature in which the estimated exposure dose was calculated (e.g., maximum rather thanaverage soil concentrations selected), the uncertainty factor of 300 and the assumptions of dailyexposure on a yearly basis built into the chronic oral reference dose, adverse health effects are notlikely from exposure to nickel in the soils of the site.

The estimated exposure for ingestion of PCBs at the maximum concentration found in soil (i.e., 260mg/kg) at the site is 0.00014 mg/kg/day for an employee on the site(11) and 0.00064 mg/kg/day for achild trespassing on the site.(12) These estimated exposures are higher than the chronic oral MRL forPCBs, which is 0.00002 mg/kg/day. It is unlikely that persons exposed would have had contact withthe maximum detected concentration of PCBs in soil every day they were at the site. With theexception of the sample with the maximum concentration, PCBs are not found in high concentrationsat this site. Given the conservative nature in which the estimated exposure dose was calculated (e.g.,maximum rather than average soil concentrations selected) and the assumptions of daily exposureon a yearly basis for the chronic oral Minimum Risk Level (MRL), adverse health effects are notlikely from exposure to PCBs in the soils of the site.

The concentrations of several PAH compounds in soil samples were in excess of their respectiveCREGs. Except for benzo(a)pyrene, no health-based comparison values have been derived byATSDR or EPA for PAH compounds in soil. However, using the CREG for benzo(a)pyrene, CREGsfor several other PAHs can be calculated using toxicity equivalency factors (TEFs). TEFs serve tocompare the toxicity of several PAHs to benzo(a)pyrene. TEFs were used to calculate thebenzo(a)pyrene equivalent concentration for PAHs in soil on the site. This showed that for workersand children trespassers on the site, being exposed on a continual basis to the maximumconcentrations of the PAHs could result in cancer risks higher than what environmental regulatoryagencies typically consider unacceptable in terms of cleanup actions. It is unlikely, however that aperson would have consistently been in contact with only the highest spot. For workers and childrentrespassers on the site, being exposed on a continual basis to the mean concentrations of the PAHswould result in cancer risks within the range typically acceptable to environmental regulatoryagencies.

None of the estimated exposures to compounds that exceeded comparison values in sedimentexceeded available ATSDR MRLs or EPA reference doses.

There is no friable asbestos present in any of the buildings on the site (Craffey 2000). Hence, the opportunity for exposure to friable asbestos material is no longer present at the site. While it is difficult to quantify the risk from past opportunities for exposure to asbestos, it is quite possible that there could have been opportunities for exposure at levels of health concern, particularly for those who might have trespassed on the site.

Three on-site soil samples were taken from locations near the fence on the southern side of theproperty. Three of the samples were tested for metals, VOCs, SVOCs, PAHs, PCBs, and pesticides.Arsenic was the only compound detected at a level greater than its comparison value. Each of thethree detections were within the background concentrations for the eastern United States (i.e.,observed ranges from less than 0.1 mg/kg to 73 mg/kg with a mean of 7.4 mg/kg for arsenic).However, due to the location and small number of samples, additional sampling information fromalong the fence on the southern side of the property would be useful.

The three off-site soil samples were taken from locations west and northwest of the site.

If the use of the site changes (e.g., development), the physical characteristics of the site changes (e.g.,wooded areas would be cleared, construction activities occur), then the opportunities for exposure couldpossibly increase.

C. Health Outcome Data Analysis

This public health assessment has indicated that exposure, particularly to lead, cadmium, or PAHsin site soils or within the buildings might pose a risk for workers or trespassers on the site. The mostrecent health outcome data available for review include cancer incidence data from theMassachusetts Cancer Registry from 1993 through 1997 (MDPH 200a) and childhood lead poisoningprevalence data from 1990 through 1998 (MDPH 2000b). Based on a review of the literature, thecancer types most likely associated with opportunities for exposure of most concern at the site (e.g.,ingestion of soil containing PAHs) include stomach, skin, and lung cancers. Information on leadpoisoning prevalence is of interest because lead in soil is also a contaminant of concern.

Cancer incidence data for the years 1993 through 1997 were obtained from the Massachusetts CancerRegistry. To determine whether elevated numbers of cancer cases have occurred in Fairhaven,standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated by the MDPH's Bureau of Health Statistics,Research and Evaluation for the time period 1993 through 1997 (MDPH 2000a).

Table 10 summarizes cancer incidence data for the town of Fairhaven during the years 1993 through1997. Review of available town-wide cancer incidence data for Fairhaven indicated that leukemia(4.02 expected vs. 11 observed) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (9.00 expected vs. 16 observed) werestatistically significantly elevated among females in Fairhaven. Uterine cancer was also statisticallysignificantly elevated (14.44 expected vs. 24 observed). Cancers of the lung and stomach, as wellas melanoma (skin) occurred more often than expected, but no elevation achieved statisticalsignificance. For lung cancer, 83 cases were observed vs. about 71 expected. Sixteen cases ofmelanoma occurred among males and females combined vs. about 12 expected cases. Eleven casesof stomach cancer occurred vs. about nine expected.

Review of available town-wide cancer incidence data for Fairhaven indicated that leukemia,non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and uterine cancer were statistically significantly elevated amongfemales. Uterine cancer is most strongly associated with nonenvironmental risk factors (e.g., familyand reproductive history). MDPH further evaluated leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma amongFairhaven females. Addresses at the time of diagnoses were mapped. The majority of leukemiacases resided in a census tract other than that in which the Atlas Tack site is located and casesappeared widely distributed throughout Fairhaven.

It is important to note that there are four major types of leukemia, which have their own riskfactors and characteristics: acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML),chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). ALL occurspredominantly among children. Exposure to ionizing radiation is a known risk factor and otherrisk factors (e.g., genetics) are suspected but not well established. In Fairhaven, 2 of the 11leukemia cases among females occurred in children, and both children had ALL. CLL isprimarily an adult disease, where ninety percent of individuals diagnosed with CLL are over theage of 50 years. Genetics, viruses, and diseases of the immune system have been suggested asplaying a role in the development of CLL. In Fairhaven, two individuals were diagnosed withCLL and both were over the age of 70. The incidence of AML increases slightly in childhoodand levels off through middle age and then rapidly increases in incidence after about age 55. High dose radiation exposure, exposure to benzene, and exposure to alkylating agents have beenassociated with increased risk of developing AML. In Fairhaven, five cases of AML occurredamong females, with the age at diagnosis ranging from the upper 60s to the lower 90s. Thus, theage distribution for the different leukemia types diagnosed among Fairhaven females does notappear to be unusual relative to information from the medical literature.

As with leukemia, NHL cases among females appeared to be widely distributed throughoutFairhaven, with the majority of cases in census tracts other than that in which the Atlas Tack siteis located. NHL occurs among all ages but the incidence of NHL generally increases with age. In Fairhaven, all but two of the sixteen cases occurred in individuals over the age of 50 years. The median age of diagnosis among Fairhaven females was 68 years. Several viruses have beenshown to play a role in the development of NHL. Some occupations have also been associatedwith NHL, such as farming, herbicide and pesticide applicators, and grain workers.

Based on a review of the information about cancer incidence in Fairhaven as a whole and a moredetailed review of those cancer types statistically significantly elevated for the town as a whole, itdoes not appear that the patterns of cancer incidence observed for the town as a whole suggestthat the presence of the Atlas Tack site contaminants played a primary role.

Review of childhood lead poisoning prevalence data indicates that the rate of lead poisoning (i.e.,blood lead level greater than or equal to 25 micrograms per deciliter [mg/dL]) over the time periodfrom 1990 through 1998 was 2.41 per 1,000 for Fairhaven children screened compared to 2.15 per1,000 for MA children screened (MDPH 2000b). Additionally, from July 1, 1993 to July 1, 2001,no cases of lead poisoning (i.e., blood lead levels greater than 25 mg/dL) were reported for residenceson streets located near the site (MDPH 2000b).

D. ATSDR Child Health Initiative

ATSDR and MDPH, through ATSDR's Child Health Initiative, recognize that the uniquevulnerabilities of infants and children demand special emphasis in communities faced withcontamination of their environment. Children are at a greater risk than adults from certain kinds ofexposure to hazardous substances emitted from waste sites. They are more likely exposed becausethey play outdoors and because they often bring food into contaminated areas. Because of theirsmaller stature, they might breathe dust, soil, and heavy vapors close to the ground. Children are alsosmaller, resulting in higher doses of contaminant exposure per body weight. The developing bodysystems of children can sustain permanent damage if certain toxic exposures occur during criticalgrowth stages. Most importantly, children depend completely on adults for risk identification andmanagement decisions, housing decisions, and access to medical care.

MDPH evaluated the likelihood of exposures to children from compounds in surface soil at the AtlasTack site and the adjacent residential neighborhood. See section B above ("Evaluation of Possible HealthEffects") for a discussion of these exposure scenarios. Because lead is a contaminant of concern at thissite, MDPH also reviewed available information for childhood lead poisoning for the streets located nearthe site, town of Fairhaven, and for MA as a whole (please see "Health Outcome Data" section). Thispublic health assessment was released for public comment and additional discussion regarding community health concerns are included in Appendix A.


1. Comparison values used were derived assuming fish consumption because EPA and ATSDR comparison values are not available for shellfish consumption.
The equation used to derive a comparison value for contaminants with a cancer slope factor was:

mathematical equation

The equation used to derive a comparison value for contaminants without a cancer slope factor was:

mathematical equation

Cancer Risk = 1 x 10-6; SF = Slope Factor (mg/kg)-1; BW = Body Weight (kg);
CR = Consumption Rate (kg/d); RfD = Reference Dose (mg/kg/d); Comparison (or screening) value is in mg/kg.

2. Mesothelioma is cancer of the thin membrane that surrounds the lung and other internal organs. It is invariably fatal within a few months of diagnosis (ATSDR 1995a).

3.

Exposure Dose (employee) = (max. contaminant concentration) (ingestion rate) (exposure factor x 10-6)
Body Weight
Exposure Factor = (5 days/week) (50 weeks/year) (40 years)
(70 years) (365 days/year)
Ingestion Rate = 100 mg/day
Body Weight (adult) = 70 kg

4.

Exposure Dose
(child trespassing)
= (max. contaminant concentration) (ingestion rate) (exposure factor x 10-6)
Body Weight
Exposure Factor = (4 days/week) (39 weeks/year) (18 years)
(18 years) (365 days/year)

5. See footnote 3 on page 24.
6. See footnote 4 on page 24.
7. See footnote 3 on page 24.
8. See footnote 4 on page 24.
9. See footnote 3 on page 24.
10. See footnote 4 on page 24.
11. See footnote 3 on page 24.
12. See footnote 4 on page 24.



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