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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

INDUSTRI-PLEX
WOBURN, MIDDLESEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS


SUMMARY

The 244 acre Industriplex site is located in Woburn, Massachusetts, and was previously the location of various chemical manufacturing plants, and most recently a hide glue manufacturing plant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has included the site in a study area that extends west of the site to New Boston Street and south to Mishawaum Road. Various chemicals have been detected on-site and off-site in the surrounding study area. Arsenic, chromium, lead, benzene, and toluene are the primary contaminants on-site and were generally detected at elevated concentrations in soils and sediments. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (semi-VOCs), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other metals were also detected on-site and in the study area.

Populations with the greatest potential for historical exposures to contaminants originating from the site are on-site workers, unauthorized individuals who accessed the site, and workers and residents in the site vicinity. Exposure pathways of concern include inhalation of contaminated fugitive dusts, ingestion of soils, sediments, and surface water, and absorption due to dermal contact. Based on the available information, this site represents a public health hazard due to the risk to human health resulting from probable exposure to hazardous substances at the site in the past. The chemical present at concentrations at which adverse human health effects is known to occur is arsenic. Individuals who may have accessed the site in the past would have been at the greatest risk of exposure due to contamination of the soil (0-12 inch depth), subsurface soil, and sediment. The main exposure route at the site would have been ingestion of these contaminated media. It should be noted that the sampling in surface soil and sediment were done at 0-12 inches depth. However, the ATSDR considers soil and sediment from the top 0-3" to represent the depth to which most people are likely to be exposed. If the contaminants are concentrated in the top three inches of the media, sampling at 0-12" will in general underestimate exposure. Conversely, if the contaminants increase in concentration as you increase in depth, the exposure will be overestimated. At the time of the writing of this health assessment no data were available for soil or sediment sampling at 0-3".

The health effects which are expected to occur as a result of exposure to site related contaminants are mainly associated with exposure to contaminants in on and off-site soil 0-12". Ingestion of arsenic contaminated soil 0-12" may have resulted in abdominal pain, diarrhea, and sore throat. Dermal exposure to chromium in this media could have enhanced already existing dermatitis. Ingestion of lead contaminated soil may have caused mild hematological effects by disrupting enzyme activity. All these effects are reversible and would have been effectively halted with the termination of exposure.

The site is currently considered a no apparent public health hazard because no exposures to levels of concern are believed to be ongoing. Exposure to contaminated soil is reduced by the present remediation activities which include the decontamination of workers and equipment that enter and leave the site. The presence of soil cover over approximately one-third of the site, fencing, and a 24 hour security guard also reduce opportunities for exposure via ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact with contaminated soil. An air sparging system that removes VOCs in ground water will also reduce the potential for volatilization of VOCs into the indoor air of buildings in the path of the groundwater plume. Exposure to contaminants through contact with surface water is also limited by the location and site of on-site surface water bodies which make them highly undesirable for recreational use. However, the extent of residents' access and whether or not they fish in these waters should be evaluated. Finally, the current remediation of the site has reduced the risk of soil gas migration and contamination of indoor air.

Recommendations made in this public health assessment call for prevention of the future use of contaminated groundwater in the Aberjona River aquifer for drinking water supplies. Community education to discuss the site issues is also recommended.

The data and information developed in the public health assessment for the Industri-plex Site have been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel. Because of probable past exposure and community health concerns regarding adverse health effects, the HARP determined that community education, including the results of the Woburn Environment and Birth Study and Woburn Childhood Leukemia Follow-Up Study, should be provided. The MDPH will provide this education to the Woburn community to assist in their understanding of potential exposures and assessing any adverse health occurrences. HARP concluded that no other health studies or actions are needed at this time because of these two studies. However, the MDPH will continue to monitor cancer incidence rates for the town of Woburn through the Massachusetts Cancer Registry at MDPH.

Should additional information become available that alters the findings of this public health assessment or addresses the data needs described herein, a health consultation will be written to address any additional issues surrounding this site.

BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

Site Location and Current Physical Appearance

The Industriplex National Priority List (NPL) site is located in Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, approximately ten miles north of Boston (Figure A-1). The Industriplex site is located at the north end of an industrial park known as the Industriplex property (Figure A-2). The site is bounded to the east by Route 93, to the north by private property, to the west by the boundaries of the Boston Edison Right-of-Way, New England Pigments and Resin and private property, and to the south on a line running perpendicular to the railroad tracks in the area south of Atlantic Avenue. It is located near the intersection of two major highways, Interstate 93 and Interstate 95. The 244 acre site was placed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Interim List of "115" Top Priority Sites in December 1981. EPA's National Priority List is a list of top priority hazardous waste sites that are eligible to receive federal funding towards site investigation and cleanup [19].

Between 1853 and 1931 the site was the location for production of a variety of chemical products. For a short period between 1931 and 1934 no manufacturing operations were conducted at the site. From 1934 to 1968 the site was the location of two successive glue manufacturing companies. In 1968 the site was purchased by Mark Phillip Trust to be developed as an industrial park [19]. Currently, the site is enclosed by a chain link fence topped with barbed wire. Within the fence are the following: (1) the arsenic pit (11 acres); (2) the chromium lagoons (9.5 acres); (3) the east hide pile (3.2 acres), the west hide pile (2.6 acres), the east central buried hides (5.7 acres), the south central hide pile (1.4 acres); and (4) the remains of a former factory (Figure A-3). A total of seven air monitoring stations are located on-site. Three of these stations are at set locations, and four of the stations are mobile. Approximately one-third of the land on-site has been covered with soil cover (on the west side of the MBTA tracks) and remediation of the remaining two-thirds is presently under way. Wetland remediation is also underway at the site. The foundation of an air sparging system is located on the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) property. This system was not completed and a new air sparging system is in place off-site, north of the Halls Brook Holding Area on the Edison Right of Way. In November 1994, pilot studies were conducted to test the efficacy of this new system.

Since the completion of these pilot studies, a proposed work plan was submitted, in September 1995, for an enhanced demonstration of this proposed remedial option. This latest plan is based upon oxygen injection system, and is currently under review.

Operational Activities

Industriplex was designated an NPL site in 1981 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on contamination of water and soil. From 1934 to 1969, Stauffer Chemical Company (and companies Stauffer acquired) owned and operated a hide glue manufacturing plant on 184 acres of the 244 acre site. The site boundary and former Stauffer property is shown in Figure A-4. A Consent Order between Stauffer, the EPA, and the Department of Environmental Quality Engineering (DEQE, now the DEP) was signed in May 1982 which required Stauffer to undertake a two phase remedial investigation and recommend appropriate remedial action for the site. A Remedial Investigation is a summary report of the information collected on the nature and extent of contamination found at a Superfund site and the problems that the contamination causes. Remedial action is action taken to correct site contamination problems through identifying the nature and extent of cleanup strategies under the Superfund program.

Since 1853, the Industriplex site was used for manufacturing various products. Between 1853 and 1933, Woburn Chemical Works, Merrimac Chemical Company, and Monsanto Chemical Company occupied the site. From 1934 to 1969, New England Chemical Company, Consolidated Chemical Company, and Stauffer Chemical Company operated on-site. Since 1969, Mark Phillip Trust and a few other parties have occupied the site, during which time construction activity for an industrial park uncovered the industrial by-products and wastes that had accumulated on the site during the previous 120 years [21].

Between 1853 and 1933, chemical manufacturing for local textile mills, leather and paper industries, and for arsenic insecticides, acetic acid, and dry colors was conducted on-site by Woburn Chemical Works (1853 - 1863), Merrimac Chemical Company (1863 - 1929), and the Merrimac Division of Monsanto (1929 - 1933) [21].

A major chemical produced at the site during that time was sulfuric acid, which was subsequently used to manufacture hydrochloric acid and tin chlorides. The major substances used in the manufacturing processes were lead, arsenic, sulfur, pyrite ore, and dry colors. The pyrite ore contained a number of heavy metals and the dry colors probably contained lead, mercury, and chromium [21].

Based on available information, it appears that most wastes from these operations were disposed of on-site by filling in swampy, low-lying areas [21]. According to the Phase I Investigation, two streams and ponds or swamps ran through the site in 1888. However, by 1926, large areas of ponds or swamps had been filled in (Figure A-5). Up to 10 feet of artificial fill covers approximately 26 acres of the 244 acre site [21]. This artificial fill includes waste deposits from manufacturing operations. A settling lagoon area was present in the vicinity of the present arsenic pit in the north central portion of the site [21].

From 1931 - 1934 the property was vacant and no operations were conducted on-site. In 1934, the property was sold to the New England Chemical Company, and an animal glue manufacturing plant was constructed on-site. The property was purchased by Consolidated Chemical Company in 1936, and then by Stauffer Chemical Company in the late 1950's. The glue manufacturing process involved cooking raw animal hides and waste chrome tanned hides to extract the glue and then concentrating the extract by evaporation and drying. Chromium present in the chrome tanned hides was removed before cooking. This chrome tankage and other wastes were then hauled to burial pits on-site. Sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, and magnesium carbonate were used to speed the extraction process [21].

Wastewater from the glue manufacturing process was discharged to a primary treatment system consisting of a small settling basin (75' to 100' on each side), a series of grease collection basins, and a large settling lagoon (300' x 400'). The large settling lagoon constructed in 1938 was split into 2 sections after 10 years of operation. One section of the lagoon was only used for a year and then taken out of service to dewater. After treatment, the wastewater was discharged to the municipal sewer system. Sludge, consisting primarily of lime, hair, and larger pieces of hide, was allowed to settle to the bottoms of the basins and lagoon. The sludge was then removed and hauled to the disposal pits or spread on the ground east of the main plant building [21].

Other solid waste consisted of trash, dewatered solids from pits on the east and west side of the small concrete settling basin, dewatered solids from wastewater settling lagoons, and tankage and wood shavings left after cooking the hides for glue. All solid waste was buried on-site in pits, a few of which are estimated to be up to 18-20 feet deep [21]. These pits were covered with soil when filled.

The area where Stauffer buried waste on the site was located in the south central and central portions of the site. For an approximate location of Stauffer waste burial material, refer to Figure A-6.

In 1969, Stauffer sold the major portion of its property to the Mark Phillip Trust and a small fraction to others. The Mark Phillip Trust began to develop the site for industrial use. Excavation activities during this development period created noxious odors by exposing decaying hide material. In addition, these activities relocated and combined many waste deposits into piles near swampy areas on the property [21]. Waste deposits were relocated into the current east and west waste piles which cover several acres adjacent to or in the north pond. In addition, the site was allegedly used by third parties for dumping various sludge and liquids. According to local newspaper articles, various wastes were observed being dumped at the site [21].

Site Regulatory History

The excavation of the site by Mark Phillip Trust in the late 1970's uncovered the hide disposal areas and created noxious odors. Due to continuing noxious odors and site development, concerned local citizens attempted through local, state, and federal officials to force the Mark Phillip Trust to either control odors and dust or to stop development completely. The DEQE (now the DEP) and the Town of Reading obtained a restraining order in 1977. However, activity continued until EPA obtained a Court Order stopping development in 1979. In 1981, the site was listed on the Superfund Interim List of "115" Top Priority Hazardous Waste Sites [21]. About 150 acres of the site were fenced in 1984 [22].

Remediation History

In May 1982, the Stauffer Chemical Company voluntarily signed a Consent Order with the EPA and the DEQE (now the DEP). Stauffer agreed to evaluate the site to collect information needed to locate waste deposits, assess the environmental impacts of waste deposits, delegate responsibilities, and evaluate and recommend remedial actions.

In April 1983, Phase I of the Woburn Environmental Studies Investigation was completed. It was designed to screen the site to locate waste deposits and gather information on groundwater, surface water, and odors needed to assess the extent of environmental contamination [21].

Phase II of the investigation consisted of a Remedial Investigation and a Feasibility Study which were completed in August 1984. During Phase II investigations, additional site data were collected on soil and waste deposits, groundwater quality, and volatile chemical emissions [22].

As part of the "Pre-Design Investigation (PDI) Task GW-2", the sampling and analysis of the discharge water from the step test and the pumping test was performed in October 1990 to determine if the groundwater might contain contaminants at concentrations that could adversely effect stream plants and animals [15].

In April and June of 1990, sediment samples were collected and analyzed as part of the "PDI Task SW-1" to determine the extent of hazardous substances in wetland and surface water sediments [18].

Air monitoring data were presented in three reports: "The Interim Report of Particulate Monitoring at the Woburn Hazardous Waste Site" in December 1980, "The Evaluation of Hydrogen Sulfide Concentrations at Residential and Commercial Sites Surrounding a Woburn Construction Area" in August 1977, and "The Analysis of Industriplex 128 Hi-Vol Filters by Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma (ICAP)" in June 1981 [10,4,9]. A baseline air survey was conducted in August, 1990 for the "PDI Task A-1" to establish an effective air monitoring program and to determine acceptable on-site and off-site air quality standards for hazardous volatile compounds and/or other odorous compounds and dusts (14).

The "PDI Task S-1" and its "Supplemental Report" were conducted to assess, by soil boring and test pits, the horizontal and vertical extent of hazardous substances within the site. Developed areas of the site were sampled as well as undeveloped areas of the site where existing data are inadequate. The "PDI Task S-1" and the "Supplemental Report" were completed in September 1990 and in January 1991, respectively [16,17].

Groundwater quality was also tested in 1980 in two reports entitled "The Evaluation of the Hydrogeology and Groundwater Quality of East and North Woburn, MA" (June 1982) and "The Inventory and Analysis of Existing Well Data for East and North Woburn, MA" (January 1981) [5,6]. In a report conducted by the DEQE (now the DEP) in October 1979, the sampling of soils for metals was conducted at the Industriplex site [3].

"The Groundwater/ Surface Water Investigation Plan (GSIP I) Phase 1 RI Final Report", from June 1991 characterized the contaminants present in the groundwater and surface water and stream sediment on site [24]. In May 1992, "GSIP II" further characterized groundwater conditions and HBHA sediments [25]. "The 100% Design Report Part 1", completed in April 1992, details design information on the selected remedy for groundwater, surface soil, soil gas, and surface water [28]. "The Surface Water Quality Sampling Report for the Fourth Quarter at the: Industriplex Site Remediation Project-October - December 1993 was completed in January 1994. This report dealt with surface water quality at the site [23].

B. Site Visit

On June 25, 1992, a site visit was conducted at the Industriplex site by a MDPH Environmental Analyst (Gail Garron Whyte) and a Toxicologist from the Woburn Environment and Birth Study (Elaine Krueger). During the course of the site visit, the current site appearance (physical hazards and security) was noted. The undeveloped portion of the site is surrounded by a fence topped with barbed wire. The access gate is well maintained, and warning signs are prominently placed on the gates and periodically along the entire fence. Physical hazards at the site include the arsenic pit, the chromium lagoons, animal hides, both buried and in piles, the remains of the former on-site factory, several trailers, and various pieces of debris (tires, car batteries, empty drums, pieces of wood and iron) which appear to have been thrown over the fence onto the site. The items mentioned here would be accessible to unauthorized individuals who access the site. However, it is unlikely that people will gain entry. A small child might be able to fit through the fence, but there is no evidence of human activity on-site. Other observations included the presence of grass and plants covering the hide piles, the location of surface water bodies, the location of nearby businesses and residences, and the overall maintenance of the site. The site is generally clean and well maintained.

Located on-site are streams, ponds, operating facilities (i.e., chemical corporations, manufacturing facilities, and offices), the remains of an abandoned chemical factory, waste deposits buried and in piles, railroad tracks, and utility rights-of-way. The site has several small surface water bodies including the Aberjona River and its three tributaries which discharge into the Mystic River. Other on-site surface water bodies include the railroad drainage ditch which is fed by several smaller ditches, Phillips Pond next to Route 93, and two to three other ponds east of Commerce Way. The Boston and Maine Railroad tracks run through the western portion of the site and the Boston Edison Right-of-Way runs along the western site border.

An additional site visit was conducted on February 22, 1994 to the Industriplex site in Woburn, Massachusetts. The visit was carried out by an MDPH Environmental Analyst (Julie Watts), the DEP Project Manager for the site, the Remedial Trust Site Manager, and the coordinator for the Industriplex Site Remedial Trust (ISRT).

Several changes had occurred on-site since the last site visit in June 1992. Most notably, workers are on-site doing remediation work. None of the physical hazards noted above are currently present on-site. Physical hazards observed during the February 1994 site visit are presented in the "Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards" section.

The site is located in a light industrial area near a shopping mall, bus depot, and residential neighborhood. The main entrance to the site is secured by a chain link fence and a 24 hour security guard. The area is covered with vegetation and gravel. The hide piles were evidenced by an increase in the elevation of land in some areas on the site. Four fixed air monitoring stations were pointed out by the Site Manager. The Aberjona River and MBTA tracks were seen during the visit. Remediation workers were observed on-site in several of the areas. A slight odor was noticeable during the visit. There was no evidence of trespassing.

Halls Brook Holding Area was seen in the study area, off the site boundary. It is readily accessible to residents and trespassers. However, the area is undesirable and no one was observed using the area during the site visit. Nevertheless, the extent of residents' access to the Halls Brook Holding Area and any fishing activity should be evaluated. Light industrial and office buildings were observed on and off-site, within the study area. The foundation of an air sparging station was observed on the property of Digital Equipment Corporation. This has been abandoned, and another station has been built nearby.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Demographics

The Industriplex site is located in the northeastern section of Woburn, with Reading bordering the site to the east and Wilmington to the north. The 1990 U.S. Census indicated 35,943 individuals live within the City of Woburn [20]. The population size decreased by 1.9% during the period 1980 to 1990. The closest residences are located approximately one and a quarter miles to the south of the site on Mishawum Road, a mile to the east of the site in Reading across Route 93, half a mile to the north of the site in Wilmington on Oxbow Drive, and half a mile to the west of the site at the intersection of North Maple and Merrimac Streets. The closet school is a daycare center located on School street less than 1 mile from the site. The closest businesses are located both on-site and adjacent to the site to the south, west, and north.

The city of Woburn obtains its drinking water from wells in the Horn Pond aquifer in south central Woburn approximately three and a half miles southwest of the site. The Horn Pond aquifer is separate from the aquifer affected by the site. The municipal supply is supplemented by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) with water originating at a surface water reservoir located in western Massachusetts [8].

There is only one school in Woburn within a one-mile radius of the Industriplex site. The Altavesta School on Main Street and the Linscott School on Elm Street are located just outside the one-mile radius [13]. There are no hospitals within a one-mile radius of the site. The Choate Clinic, located more than two miles southwest of the site on Warren Avenue, is the closest medical facility. Neither of the two nursing homes in Woburn are located within one mile of the site. Of the four elderly housing complexes within the city of Woburn, none are located within one mile of the site. The closest is located just outside the one-mile radius on the Nichols Street Extension [11].

Land Use

Land use on-site and in the site vicinity is mainly commercial/industrial. The site from south of Commerce Way to the Wilmington border is zoned as an Industrial Park [12]. The undeveloped portion of the site, parts of which are wetlands, is situated north of Commerce Way and Atlantic Avenue and extends to the northern site boundary. Currently, this portion of the site is fenced and guarded to prevent access by unauthorized personnel. It has been reported that in the past, portions of the fence have been cut and access was obtained for recreational vehicle use [12]. However, according to the Woburn Planning Office, no known access has occurred within the past year.

Within the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) "List of Confirmed Disposal Sites and Locations to be Investigated, March 1990", at least thirty DEP known or suspected sites are listed within a mile of the site [7]. The nine DEP sites closest to Industriplex are Dundee Park, New England Resins and Pigments, Globe Ticket Company, Three C Company, Winn Trucking Terminal, and Stafford Manufacturing Company on New Boston Street, Destafano Studios on Commerce Way, Chomerics on Commonwealth Avenue in Woburn, and Edward Whitney and Son on Woburn Street in Wilmington. Woburn's sanitary landfill is located adjacent to the northwestern corner of the site just west of the railroad tracks.

Natural Resource Use

Historically, the Woburn municipal drinking water supply has been primarily obtained from wells in the Horn Pond and the Aberjona River aquifers. Prior to 1979, Woburn received its drinking water primarily from two sets of wells. Seven municipal drinking water wells are located in the vicinity of Horn Pond in the southern part of Woburn and two wells, Wells G and H, are situated near the Aberjona River. Wells G and H were closed in 1979 due to the presence of contaminants in the groundwater [8]. They were listed as a separate NPL site by the EPA in 1982. ATSDR has evaluated contamination in those wells in a public health assessment specific to that site.

Currently, Woburn drinking water comes from the seven Horn Pond aquifer groundwater wells, supplemented with water from the MDC which originates at a surface water reservoir located in western Massachusetts. The Horn Pond aquifer is separate from the Aberjona aquifer and the water quality of the Horn Pond wells is not affected by contamination in the Aberjona watershed [8].

The Woburn study area is located entirely within the Aberjona River Watershed. The Aberjona River, which drains the watershed, has its headwaters in Reading and flows to the south for 8.7 miles before discharging into the Upper Mystic Lake.

The study area is underlain and surrounded by a large aquifer. The site is located within a regional buried glacial valley which is incised into igneous bedrock. This feature, called the Fresh Pond Buried Valley, trends south-southeast, and begins just to the north of the site. The Fresh Pond Buried Valley has been traced from Wilmington to Boston and coincides with the course of the Aberjona River. Beneath the site, this remnant valley measures approximately 2 miles across and up to 170 feet deep in places. The unconfined aquifer underlying the Industriplex study area (the Aberjona River aquifer) is comprised of mainly unconsolidated stratified glacial drift deposited during and subsequent to glaciation of the area. The unconfined aquifer thins to less than 10 feet in the northern portion of the study area and thickens to greater than 100 feet in the south-central portion. The site is underlain by bedrock of low permeability. Unconsolidated deposits overlying the bedrock are low permeability glacial till, permeable outwash sands, peat, and miscellaneous fill deposits (including chemical wastes and hide residues).

The water table within the study area exhibits a valley or trough-like shape similar to the buried bedrock valley beneath. Groundwater enters the site from the north. The primary direction of groundwater flow is to the south through the central portions of the aquifer. Along the edges of the aquifer, the water table is steep and surficial deposits are thinner. Groundwater west of the buried valley will flow towards the southeast, whereas groundwater east of the valley will flow towards the southwest.

It is known that there are no industrial wells drawing water from the site. The current installation of groundwater wells is limited to those used for remedial purposes [12]. The only known currently operating industrial wells are used for the irrigation of the lawns of businesses on Constitution Way [12]. There are no known potable supply wells in the Aberjona valley downgradient of the site within the area of investigation north of Mishawum Road [21]. Mishawum Road is located approximately 1.25 miles to the south of the site and is hydrogeologically downgradient of the site. Three domestic wells are located downgradient and further south of the site, but the status of their use is not known. These wells are located 1.5 miles to the south, 1.5 miles to the southwest, and 3 miles to the south of the site. Although required by state law to report the installation of private domestic water supply wells to the local board of health, it should be emphasized that the ownership of such wells is self-reported, and that non-reported wells may exist. Enforcement of the law by towns within the state is variable. Older private wells are not likely to be reported.

Currently, Horn Pond to the southwest of the site is the only known surface water body used for recreational purposes in the area [8]. This pond is not affected by the Industriplex site because it is fed by a different aquifer. Surface water bodies on and around the site are not used recreational due to their location and size. The Aberjona River runs through the center of Commerce Way and is the size of a small stream at this point. The wetland areas of the site are surrounded by industries and are not appealing to the public as areas of recreation.

D. Health Outcome Data

Relevant health outcome data were obtained from the Massachusetts Cancer Registry which is maintained by the MDPH Bureau of Health Statistics, Research and Evaluation. Cancer incidence data for the years 1982 - 1988 included types of cancer determined to be of concern based on exposure to chemicals at the site and community concerns. Analyses were made at the city and census tract levels. Population data were obtained from the Region I Office of the U.S. Census.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Community concerns about the Industriplex site are evident. Numerous newspaper articles have reported on health impacts from the site and a high volume of correspondence has been received by state and federal regulatory and health officials. On the community level, a citizen group called "For a Cleaner Environment" (FACE) was established because residents were concerned about the number of childhood leukemia cases in the area.

Topics identified as being of particular public health concern include the past, present, and future threat to public health due to site related contaminants in soil, air, and groundwater. Citizens have also continued to express concern about adverse health effects including leukemia, reproductive outcomes, and child health issues that may be related to environmental exposures. Specific health concerns are stated as follows:

  1. Could exposure of children or their parents to chemicals from the site be responsible for the excess of leukemia cases?

  2. Is the incidence of adverse reproductive outcomes in the site vicinity elevated when compared to the normal or average population?

  3. Are the chemicals at the site posing a current health risk?

  4. Could the odorous gases emanating from the site during the excavation of hide piles have affected the public health?

On August 11, 1995, in the Daily Times Chronicle, the MDPH invited public comments on the public health assessment for the Industri-plex site. During the public comment period, which ended on September 12, 1995, no comments were received.



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