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HEALTH CONSULTATION

PARKER'S ISLAND AREA
DANVERS, ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

This is the second public health consultation prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment (BEHA) for the Parker's Island site in Danvers, Massachusetts. The first public health consultation was requested by the Danvers Board of Health (BOH) in the fall of 2000. In response to that request, MDPH visited the site (October 2000), examined the available environmental data provided by the BOH (from samples collected between December 1999 and March of 2000), and released a public health consultation in January 2001, formally presenting it at a meeting of the Danvers BOH.

That public health consultation was based on available environmental sampling data from Porter River sediment and dredge materials on the Parker's Island site. Those data indicated that metals and organic chemicals were detected, but at levels that were below health-based comparison values or within the natural background range. Thus, based on limited environmental data and on site conditions observed during the fall of 2000, MDPH concluded that the compounds in question did not appear to be present at levels which would present an apparent public health hazard to neighboring residents or users of nearby facilities. MDPH stressed that this conclusion was based on an assumption that site conditions remained constant and that available data were representative. Given the potential for site conditions to differ as a result of potential season variation, MDPH made the following recommendations:

  • that the site continue to be maintained in such a way that direct public access to the dredged material is restricted;
  • that collection of additional data (e.g. soil, sediment) would enable better characterization of possible health concerns at the site, and MDPH would, upon request, be available to review any data or sampling and evaluation plans when these become available;
  • that a follow-up site visit should be conducted during the summer months to determine if access to the site and/or conditions changed;
  • that the town of Danvers would continue to work with DEP to address routine permitting requirements related to the dredge material;
  • that yacht club workers who may come into contact with the dredged materials utilize best management practices to limit exposure and reduce off-site spread of the materials.

Following release of the first public health consultation, Mr. Peter Mirandi, the Health Director for Danvers, requested that MDPH review and comment on a proposed environmental sampling scope of work developed by REW Environmental Consultants (REW). In April 2001, MDPH responded with a letter commenting on the proposed sampling plan. In the letter, MDPH stated, in part: sampling surface soil would be the best indicator of current opportunities for exposure; composite sampling could decrease the ability to identify higher and lower end concentrations over the site; the consultant should consider for analysis some of the metals commonly used in marine paints; and supplementary subsurface core sampling would be helpful in addressing past exposure. In late April 2001, MDPH performed a second site visit to observe site conditions and activities on one of the days when the consultant was collecting samples at the site. This site visit was conducted at the request of residents living near the site. Participants included Mr. Mirandi, a member of the BOH, and concerned residents. In July 2001, Mr. Mirandi requested that MDPH-BEHA perform a third site visit to Parker's Island, this time during the dry season; that visit took place on August 21, 2001. Mr. Mirandi also asked that MDPH review recent environmental sampling data from Parker's Island generated by REW Environmental Consultants and to present its findings at the September 2001 BOH meeting. On September 13, 2001, MDPH staff verbally presented its findings at a BOH meeting and noted that a written public health consultation would be sent. The findings presented at the meeting were:

  • some metals and PAHs are present at the site;
  • levels of arsenic are above health-based screening values but within natural background levels and are not of health concern;
  • several PAHs are above health-based comparison values and natural background levels but are not of health concern because exposure to these levels is unlikely;
  • site conditions observed at the time of the site visits suggest that physical contact with the site is unlikely, but contact with dust is possible;
  • dust is an irritant that can have a variety of health effects.

The following public health consultation addresses the data generated and activities undertaken since January 2001. MDPH prepared this public health consultation as part of its cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).


SITE DESCRIPTION

Figure 1 shows the area surrounding the site and Figure 2 shows the site layout. The Parker's Island area, located off Route 62 near Route 128, is on property belonging to the Danversport Yacht Club. Parker's Island is located between two tidal channels, which feed into the Porter River. Figure 2 illustrates the proximity of residential areas in the vicinity of the site. Figure 3 illustrates the location of the samples from the April 2001 site investigation.


SITE VISITS

Following the release of the first public health consultation in January 2001, MDPH conducted two additional site visits (i.e., April 30, 2001 and August 21, 2001).

April 30, 2001

On April 30, 2001, an MDPH staff member (i.e., Michael Celona, Environmental Analyst) traveled to Parker's Island to be present for the initial sampling of dredging material. The sampling was being conducted by REW. The consultant who took the samples was Mr. Dick Warren, Licensed Site Professional (LSP). Present to observe the sampling were Mr. Mirandi, Mr. Dick Kowalski (Danvers BOH), and several concerned residents. The weather was sunny and warm, with the temperature in the 70's.

Before the sampling began, one resident read a letter that she had written to Mr. Mirandi and the town of Danvers, in which Ms. Elaine Krueger, Chief, Environmental Toxicology Program at MDPH BEHA, was copied. In the letter, the resident stated that the sampling that is occurring on April 30th and May 1st is not a true reflection of the site conditions. On the previous Saturday, she reported that she observed the owner of the yacht club using a tractor to spread the dredge material around the property. The resident felt that this would eliminate any hot spots and would compromise the sampling plan. She also expressed concerns about dust from the site being generated as the tractor leveled the material.

Mr. Warren said that he had called Mr. Mirandi on Friday and asked him if he could have the dredge material, which was not level across the site, spread out. This would make sampling the soil much easier. Mr. Mirandi called the yacht club owner who agreed to spread out the dredge material. That is what took place on the previous Saturday.

Mr. Warren laid out a sampling grid across the site. The grid consisted of seven rectangular areas. From each of these areas, 16 samples were to be taken from 0 to 2-inches and composited into one sample. The same procedure was to be followed for samples taken from 6 to 8-inches, except those samples would only be taken from three of the sampling areas. Therefore, there were to be 10 total samples- seven from 0 to 2-inches and three from 6 to 8-inches. They were to be tested for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Resource and Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) 5 metals (i.e., arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury), and chromium VI.

The MDPH staff member observed that the soil on the part of the site that did not consist of new dredge material was very dry. The soil exhibited cracks and was brittle to the touch. The site receives full sun exposure all day and on this day, became increasingly warmer during the visit.

August 21, 2001

On August 21, 2001, a MDPH staff member (i.e., Michael Celona, Environmental Analyst) performed another site visit at Parker's Island in Danvers at the request of Mr. Mirandi and in follow-up to a recommendation made in the January 2001 public health consultation. In attendance were Mr. Mirandi, a member of the Danvers Board of Health (i.e., Dr. Robert Kellard), the harbormaster (i.e., Chris Sanborn), two to three members of the Danvers Rivers Committee, and three nearby residents. The weather was sunny and warm, with temperatures in the 70s. It had rained the previous night.

The group first viewed the area where the dredge from the river was placed (i.e., the site). The area had changed from the previous site visit on April 30, 2001. Vegetation (e.g., cattails) had grown up on three sides of the site. The ground was wet because it had rained recently. In some small areas, water had pooled. There were large ruts in the sediment from a bulldozer that had been used to spread the dredged material out over the site. In some places, mixed in with the sediment were mussel shells, clam shells, and trash (e.g., asphalt, two large batteries, rope, metal bars, and plastic debris).

A house on Jersey Lane was visible from the site. It is located approximately 500-feet (ft) west/northwest of the site across a small inlet (see Figure 2). The occupant of that house reported that during certain times of the year, dust blows from the site onto his property, accumulating on windowsills and mentioned health concerns that might be aggravated by dust. Other residents reported dust problems as well. One resident who was present has a house located on Elliot Street, approximately 2200-ft north of the site. Another resident's house is located along the road leading to the site, approximately 300-ft northeast of the site. Numerous other residents' houses are located in the general vicinity of the site.

One of the residents said that the site used to be a pond where children would ice skate in the winter. Then in the 1960s or 1970s, the pond was filled in with rubbish from a Chelsea wrecking company. He reported that around 1970, there was a pile of rubbish adjacent to the site. Complaints to the BOH and the Conservation Commission reportedly resulted in the company pushing the trash into the pond.

Some members of the group walked onto the site. One resident remarked that she smelled an odor near the center that she had smelled in the past. She likened it to a sulfur-like odor. The other members walking on the site did not detect an odor.

A member of the Danvers Rivers Committee commented that the river needed to be dredged so boats can continue to access the yacht club. She voiced her fear that the residents who expressed concerns about the site were against river dredging. One of the residents replied that this was not the case, that on the contrary she would like the dredge material to be either placed somewhere else or dust control measures be implemented. The Conservation Commission's Order of Conditions was specifically referenced with regards to the latter.

There was a discussion about whether the dust could be coming from the parking lot area. Some members of the group observed small amounts of dirt on the asphalt. Paint chips were also observed. Boat maintenance was reported to be performed nearby. One resident said he did not think dust or paint chips from the parking lot were the source of the dust that travels to his house. He pointed out that on the leaves of low growing plants on the border of the site, there was a film of dirt from the last rainfall. He noted that this dust appears very similar to the dust that he observes on his property.

Next, the group drove to the house of one of the concerned residents. Another resident, whose house is approximately 400-ft from the site, joined the group. She reported that dust had collected on her property for years. Her property abuts an inlet that separates it from the site. Members of the group observed water running down from the site into the inlet. The water had discolored the bank so that it was an orange-reddish color. Along marshland in this area, a sulfur-like odor could be detected that was similar to that on the site. From this area, the Salem Harbor Generating Station was visible. A member of the rivers group, who has a boat moored at the yacht club, said that the power plant provides cleaning fluid to the boat owners, so any soot from the power plant can be washed off. Other people disagreed with her. One resident said that he did not think that the dust that accumulates in his windowsills was from the power plant. [Note: MDPH staff spoke with Ms. Malia Griffin, Salem Harbor Generating Station, who stated that they do not supply the Danversport Yacht Club or any boat owners at the club with cleaning material.] Mr. Mirandi mentioned that there are baseball fields located southwest of this area off of Liberty Street and suggested that perhaps dust might be coming from there. The resident thought that this was unlikely because the dust only comes in the windows that face the site. The baseball fields are in the opposite direction.

At this point, some of the residents asked to observe a few additional areas near the site. The first was a former school, located north of the property, which was being renovated and converted into an art center. Before it was a school, it was reported to be a brick factory. Behind this building is a softball field. The infield section of the field was mostly overgrown.

Next, the smaller group passed a residence located near the art center on Elliot Street. The resident who lives in the house said that this spring, water flooded part of her backyard. She said that the odor from the site could be quite strong. She said that she had sometimes left her residence to avoid the odor. She mentioned specific health concerns (e.g., respiratory) regarding her and her family that could be aggravated by dust or odors.

Finally, on the way to another resident's house, site soil was observed to be running into some of the storm drains on the road leading to the site. This resident expressed the opinion that the Conservation Commission should require the effective placement of hay bales, because the storm drains lead to the river. Another resident provided the MDPH staff member with a copy of a site map dated 1987, which showed the site, the boating area and some of the nearby residential structures.


COMPARISON VALUES

Health assessors use a variety of health-based screening values, called comparison values, to help decide whether compounds detected at a site might need further evaluation. Comparison values were described in the January 2001 public health consultation. A description of them is included as Appendix A of this public health consultation.


REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING RESULTS

REW Environmental Consultants, Inc. collected surface soil samples from April 30, 2001 to May 2, 2001. Ten samples were taken from the area on Parker's Island where dredge material is placed and were analyzed for six types of metals (i.e., arsenic, cadmium, chromium VI, total chromium, lead, and mercury), PCBs, and PAHs. REW divided the area into seven sections: sections 1-6 measured on average approximately 16,500 square feet in area each and section 7 measured approximately 5,500 square feet in area (see Figure 3). From sections 1-6, sixteen samples were taken at a depth of 0 to 2-inches and composited into six samples. From section 7, six samples were taken at a depth of 0 to 2-inches and composited into one sample. In addition, in order to provide data on subsurface soil, samples were collected at a depth of 6 to 8-inches from sections 4, 5, and 6 and composited into three samples (see Figure 3). The number of detections of each chemical, number of samples of each chemical taken, and the minimum, maximum, and average quantities detected are shown in Tables 1 and 2. Analytes, which were not detected in any samples, are also included in the tables for informational purposes.

The compounds detected in surface soil samples (0 to 2-inches) that exceeded available health-based comparison values and/or background levels in soil are arsenic, cadmium, and several PAHs (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, and phenanthrene) (see Table 1). The maximum and average values for arsenic exceeded the cancer risk evaluation guide (CREG) comparison value. The average concentration was slightly below the chronic environmental media evaluation guide (EMEG) for children, and the maximum concentration was approximately at the chronic EMEG. However, the concentrations were within the range of natural background levels. All values for cadmium exceeded average background levels but all were below health-based comparison values. The maximum detections of benzo(a)anthracene and benzo(k)fluoranthene exceeded their CREG values but were within natural background levels for urban soil. The maximum and average detections of benzo(a)pyrene exceeded the CREG value but all detections were within rural background levels. The maximum and average detections of chrysene and phenanthrene exceeded the natural background levels but not health-based comparison values.

The compounds detected in subsurface soil samples (6 to 8-inches) that exceeded available health-based comparison values and/or background levels in soil are arsenic, cadmium, and several PAHs (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, and chrysene) (see Table 2). The maximum and average values for arsenic both exceeded its CREG value and the maximum value (but not the average) also exceeded the chronic EMEG for children. However, all concentrations of arsenic were within the range of natural background levels. The maximum and average values for cadmium exceeded average natural background levels but were below health-based comparison values. The maximum detections of benzo(a)anthracene and benzo(b)fluoranthene exceeded the CREG values, and the maximum and average concentration of benzo(a)pyrene also exceeded the CREG value. However, all concentrations of these compounds were within urban background levels. The maximum and average detections of chrysene exceeded the natural background levels but not health-based comparison values.

Benzo(a)pyrene was analyzed for and detected using a detection limit of 0.7 ppm, which is greater than its health-based comparison value (i.e., 0.1 ppm). Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene was analyzed for, and not detected, using a detection limit (i.e., 0.7 ppm) that is greater than the health-based comparison value (i.e., 0.02 ppm).


DISCUSSION

In order to evaluate possible public health implications, estimates of opportunities for exposure to compounds (e.g., in soil) must be combined with what is known about the toxicity of the chemicals. ATSDR has developed minimal risk levels (MRLs) for many chemicals. An MRL is an estimate of daily human exposure to a substance that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of adverse noncancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. MRLs are derived based 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 actual levels of exposure that are used in studies. ATSDR has also classified LOAELs into "less serious" or "serious" effects. "Less serious" effects are those that are not expected to cause significant 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. When reliable 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 uncertainties about the toxicity of a compound by applying various margins of safety, thereby establishing a level that is well below a level of health concern.

To determine whether nearby residents were, are, or could be exposed to contaminants, an evaluation was made of environmental and human components that lead to human 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, and an exposed population.

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

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

The completed pathways that could present opportunities for exposure at the site are direct contact to site soils to people on the site and contact to site soils via offsite migration of dust. The site is surrounded by channels of water and differing amounts of vegetation during the year, making trespassing and direct contact to the soils on the site unlikely. However, opportunities for exposure to site soils are possible as a result of contact with dust transported off the site. During one of the site visits, the soil was observed to be dry and during both site visits it was observed to consist of a fine, clay-like material. Because of the lack of vegetative cover, the site receives full sun exposure during the day. Some residents living to the north and west of the area have stated that dust travels onto their properties on windy days and when the site soils are moved for site management purposes. The presence of dust is consistent with observations of site conditions during the site visits, and the reported mechanical movement of site soils for site management purposes.

As described earlier in the Background and Statement of Issues section, in April 2001, MDPH sent a letter to the Danvers BOH commenting on the proposed sampling plan for Parker's Island. In the letter, MDPH stated, in part: sampling surface soil would be the best indicator of current opportunities for exposure; composite sampling could decrease the ability to identify higher and lower end concentrations over the site; the consultant should consider for analysis some of the metals commonly used in marine paints; and supplementary subsurface core sampling would be helpful in addressing past opportunities for exposure. Because sediment from the Danvers River is occasionally placed on the site and spread, and the site soil is influenced by environmental factors (e.g., wind and rain) what constitutes surface soil is likely to change over time.

MDPH believes that the sampling data that were collected from April 30 to May 2, 2001, provide an adequate indication of what compounds were still present in the top layers of soil on the site. Although composite sampling limits the ability to compare higher and lower concentrations of compounds on the site, none of the data suggest that there are concentrations of compounds at levels of health concern. Different types of marine paints can contain different metals (e.g., chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, titanium, zinc) (NJ DEP 2000, EPA 2000, Bleile and Rodgers 1989). The soil analysis examined two of the more toxic metals (i.e., chromium and lead) and as stated above, the metals are not at levels of health concern. Finally, there have been reports that miscellaneous debris (e.g., automobile tires, iron rods, plastic bottles) is located below the surface soil on the site. While supplementary subsurface sampling would better address any possible past or future opportunities for exposure to subsurface soils if concentrations were different, MDPH is not aware that the subsurface soil will be dug up or moved such that these types of exposure concerns are important.

All concentrations of arsenic exceeded its CREG value but all concentrations were within the range of natural background levels. Residents and children who have opportunities for exposure (e.g., direct contact on site or via dust off site) to these levels of arsenic, every day during the warmer months of the year over 40 years (i.e., adult) or 18 years (i.e., child), would not experience opportunities for exposure that would result in elevated cancer or noncancer concerns.

Cadmium was detected at concentrations exceeding natural background levels. Residents and children who have opportunities for exposure to these levels of cadmium, every day during the warmer months of the year over 40 years (i.e., adult) or 18 years (i.e., child), would not experience opportunities for exposure that would result in elevated cancer or noncancer concerns1.

The concentrations of several PAH compounds (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, and benzo(a)pyrene) were in excess of their respective CREGs. With the exception of benzo(a)pyrene, no health-based comparison values have been derived by ATSDR or EPA for PAH compounds in soil. However, using the CREG for benzo(a)pyrene, CREGs for several other PAHs can be calculated using toxicity equivalency factors (TEFs). TEFs serve to compare the toxicity of several PAHs to benzo(a)pyrene. TEFs were used to calculate the benzo(a)pyrene equivalent concentration for PAHs in soil on the site. This showed that for residents and children who have opportunities for exposure to these levels of PAHs, every day during the warmer months of the year over 40 years (i.e., adult) or 18 years (i.e., child), would not experience opportunities for exposure that would result in elevated cancer concerns1.

Detection limits for two compounds (i.e., benzo(a)pyrene and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene) exceeded their health-based comparison values. To be conservative, MDPH analyzed all non-detected compounds using one-half the detection limit (i.e., as if the non-detected compounds were present at one-half the detection limit). The calculations and subsequent conclusions in this public health consultation are based on this method.

In their evaluation of compounds detected in the soil, REW used Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) soil category-2 (i.e., S-2) standards because they regarded the site as having a low frequency and low intensity use by children and a low frequency and high intensity use by adults. To be conservative, MDPH re-evaluated the data using MA DEP soil category-1 (i.e., S-1) standards, which are based on high frequency and high intensity use by children and adults. Two PAHs (i.e., benzo(a)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene), which exceeded health-based comparison values, also exceeded the S-1 standards. However, the site is not used on a daily basis, which S-1 standards assume. Thus, as stated above, opportunities for exposure are not expected to result in adverse health effects.

Dust in and of itself, regardless of whether or not concentrations of toxic substances are present, can be a lung irritant and result in health effects. Many studies have demonstrated an association between particulate matter (i.e., dust) and respiratory effects. Several examples of health studies are described below. Full abstracts of these selected studies can be found in the appendices.

  • A study involving a group of California nonsmokers found a statistically significant association between particulate matter and the development of symptoms of airway obstructive disease (e.g., chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema), chronic productive cough, and increased severity of airway obstructive disease and asthma (Abbey et al. 1995).
  • A study of the general population in Anchorage, Alaska, found a statistically significant association between particulate matter and respiratory illness (i.e., asthma, bronchitis, and upper respiratory infections) (Choudhury, et al. 1997).
  • A study in Utah found a statistically significant correlation between respiratory hospital admissions and the average monthly particulate matter levels (Pope 1991).
  • A study in Toronto, Canada, found a positive association between air pollution measurements (i.e., particulate matter, aerosol chemistry, and various gaseous pollutants) and the number of daily admissions to hospitals for cardiac diseases (i.e., ischemic heart disease, heart failure, and dysrthymias) or respiratory diseases (i.e., tracheobronchitis, chronic obstructive lung disease, asthma, and pneumonia) (Burnett et al., 1997).
  • A study in Detroit, Michigan, found an association between levels of particulate matter and hospital admissions of persons 65 years and older for pneumonia and chronic obstructed pulmonary disease (Schwartz 1994).
  • A review of then recent studies involving acute respiratory effects of particulate air pollution found evidence for increased mortality and morbidity associated with particulate pollution, even at moderate concentrations. In total, a series of time-series analyses of the associations of daily mortality with particulate air pollution demonstrated an approximate 1% increase in total deaths per day with each 10-µg/m3 (microgram per meter cubed) increase in PM10 (particulate matter measuring less than or equal to 10 microns) concentration. The effect was stronger for cardiovascular disease (1.4% per 10-µg/m3 PM10) and respiratory disease (3.4% per 10-µg/m3 PM10). The combined weighted average of a number of studies gives an estimated effect of 3% increase in lower respiratory symptoms for every 10-µg/m3 increase in PM10 concentration, 0.7% increase in upper respiratory symptoms with each 10-µg/m3 increase in PM10 concentration, and an estimated 1.2% increase in cough associated with each 10-µg/m3 increase in daily mean PM10 concentration (Dockery and Pope 1994).

ATSDR's CHILD HEALTH INITIATIVE

ATSDR and MDPH, through ATSDR's Child Health Initiative, recognize that the unique vulnerabilities of infants and children demand special emphasis in communities faced with contamination of their environment. Children are at a greater risk than adults from certain kinds of exposure to hazardous substances emitted from waste sites. They are more likely to be exposed because they play outdoors and because they often bring food into contaminated areas. Because of their smaller stature, they may breathe dust, soil, and heavy vapors close to the ground. Children are also smaller, resulting in higher doses of chemical exposure per body weight. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if certain toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages. Most importantly, children depend completely on adults for risk identification and management decisions, housing decisions, and access to medical care. This public health consultation evaluated opportunities for exposure to all residents, including children (please see Appendix B).


CONCLUSIONS

  1. The information reviewed for this public health consultation indicates that the concentrations of the compounds are not at levels likely to cause health concern. However, dredge material that is occasionally spread out over the site can be carried away by surface runoff (during rain storms) and dust migration. This may expose soils in the future that are currently below the surface. This conclusion is based on data taken from what still is or was the surface soil between April 30 and May 2, 2001. Changing site conditions may alter the concentrations of chemicals found on the surface of the site.

  2. Many studies have found an association between exposure to dust and health effects. If dust is generated from the area, it may cause health problems, most notably irritant symptoms in some nearby residents, especially those with existing respiratory conditions.

ATSDR requires that one of five conclusion categories be used to summarize findings of public health consultations and public health assessments. These categories are: 1) Urgent Public Health Hazard, 2) Public Health Hazard, 3) Indeterminate Public Health Hazard, 4) No Apparent Public Health Hazard, 5) No Public Health Hazard. A category is selected from site-specific conditions such as the degree of public health hazard based on the presence and duration of human exposure, contaminant concentration, the nature of toxic effects associated with site-related contaminants, presence of physical hazards, and community health concerns.

Based on ATSDR criteria, ATSDR would classify the Parker's Island site under current site conditions as a "No Apparent Public Health Hazard" because opportunities for exposure to compounds on the site are not expected to result in health concerns. However, if dust generated from the area reaches nearby residents, the site could pose "Public Health Hazard" if levels of dust were high enough to cause health problems (e.g., respiratory irritation).


RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. If this subsurface soil were to be dug up or moved (which MDPH understands is not anticipated at this time), MDPH would advise that further environmental testing be conducted.

  2. General dust mitigation practices should be implemented to prevent any dust from leaving the area.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

MDPH is available, upon request, to provide further technical assistance, which may include attending a board of health meeting.

This document was prepared by the Bureau of Environmental Public health assessment of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. If you have any questions about this document, please contact Suzanne K. Condon, Assistant Commissioner, 7th Floor, 250 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108.


FIGURES

Site Location of Parker's Island Area, Davensport Yacht Club, Danvers, Massachusetts
Figure 1. Site Location of Parker's Island Area, Davensport Yacht Club, Danvers, Massachusetts

Parker's Island Area Map
Figure 2. Parker's Island Area Map

Parker's Island Sampling Location Map
Figure 3. Parker's Island Sampling Location Map


CERTIFICATION

The Public Health Consultation for the Parker's Island Area, Danvers, Massachusetts was prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was initiated.

Roberta Erlwein, MPH
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
Division of Health Assesment and Consulttion (DHAC)
ATSDR


The Division of Public health assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment and concurs with its findings.

Richard E. Gillig, M.C. P.
Section Chief, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


TABLES

Table 1: Soil Samples taken from 0-2" depth on Parker's Island on April 30, 2001 and May 2, 2001. Results are presented in parts per million.

Compound Detects/Samples Minimum Mean Maximum Comparison Values Background Levels
Arsenic 7/7 13.20 16.70 20.50 Chronic EMEG (child)- 20
Chronic EMEG (adult)- 200
CREG-0.5
Range: <0.1-73
Mean: 7.4
Cadmium(2) 7/7 1.06 1.37 1.94 Chronic EMEG (child)- 10
Chronic EMEG (adult)- 100
Average: ~0.25
Chromium VI 1/7 ND(10.2) 5.70 9.32 RMEG (child)- 200
RMEG (adult)- 2000
N/A
Chromium Total 7/7 191 295 477 RMEG(child)- 80,000
RMEG(adult)- 1,000,000
for trivalent chromium
Range: 5-1000
Average: 52
Lead 7/7 54.1 73.3 103 EPA- 400 Range: <10-300
Average: 17
Mercury(3) 7/7 0.68 1.03 2.7 RMEG (child)- 20
RMEG (adult)- 200
Range: <0.1-3.4
Average: 0.12
Acenaphthylene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-100 N/A
Acenaphthene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) RMEG(child)- 2000
RMEG(adult)- 30,000
CREG-100
Rural: 0.0017
Anthracene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) RMEG (child)- 20,000
RMEG (adult)- 200,000
CREG- 10
N/A
Benzo(a)anthracene 3/7 ND(0.7) 0.7 1.7 CREG-1 Rural: 0.005-0.02
Urban: 0.169-59
Benzo(b)fluoranthene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-1 Rural: 0.02-0.03
Urban: 15-62
Benzo(k)fluoranthene 1/7 ND(0.7) 0.54 1.7 CREG-1 Rural: 0.01-0.110
Urban: 0.3-26
Benzo(g,h,i)perylene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-10 Rural: 0.01-0.07
Urban: 0.9-47
Benzo(a)pyrene 1/7 ND(0.7) 0.44 1 CREG-0.1 Rural: 0.002-1.3
Urban: 0.165-0.220
Chrysene 2/7 ND(0.7) 0.72 2.5 CREG-10 Rural: 0.0383
Urban: 0.251-0.640
Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-0.02 N/A
Fluoranthene 4/7 ND(0.7) 1.79 7.3 RMEG(child)- 2000
RMEG(adult)- 20,000
CREG-100
Rural: 0.0003-0.04
Urban: 0.2-166
Fluorene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) RMEG(child)- 2000
RMEG(adult)- 20,000
CREG-100
N/A
Indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-1 Rural: 0.01-0.015
Urban: 8-61
2-methylnaphthalene 0/7 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) RBC- 1,600 N/A
Naphthalene 1/7 ND(0.7) 0.6 2.1 Int. EMEG(child)- 1000
Int. EMEG (adult)- 10,000
N/A
Phenanthrene 2/7 ND(0.7) 0.56 1.3 CREG-100 Rural: 0.030
Pyrene 6/7 ND(0.7) 2.3 9.6 RMEG(child)- 2000
RMEG(adult)- 20,000
CREG-100
Rural: 0.001-0.0197
Urban: 0.145-147
PCB 0/7 ND(0.1) ND(0.1) ND(0.1) CREG-0.4 N/A

Unless otherwise noted, the background concentrations for metals in soil are from the USGS Professional Paper 1270 (Shacklette 1984). The background concentrations for PAHs are from the ATSDR Toxicological Profile for PAHs (ATSDR 1995).

Mean values were calculated using one-half the method detection limit for samples in which the compound was below detection.

N/A- Not available
ND- Non-detect; detection limit in parentheses


Table 2: Soil Samples taken from 6-8" depth on Parker's Island on April 30, 2001 and May 2, 2001. Results are presented in parts per million.

Compound Detects/Samples Minimum Mean Maximum Comparison Values Background Levels
Arsenic 3/3 10 16.2 27.8 Chronic EMEG (child)- 20
Chronic EMEG (adult)- 200
CREG-0.5
Range: <0.1-73
Mean: 7.4
Cadmium 3/3 0.96 1.8 3.24 Chronic EMEG (child)- 10
Chronic EMEG (adult)- 100
Average: ~0.25
Chromium VI 0/3 ND(11.2) ND(11.2) ND(11.2) RMEG (child)- 200
RMEG (adult)- 2000
N/A
Chromium Total 3/3 80.7 315.6 665 RMEG(child)- 80,000
RMEG(adult)- 1,000,000
for trivalent chromium
Range: 5-1000
Average: 52
Lead 3/3 48 92.4 148 EPA- 400 Range: <10-300
Average: 17
Mercury(4) 3/3 0.41 0.68 0.89 RMEG (child)- 20
RMEG (adult)- 200
Range: <0.1-3.4
Average: 0.12
Acenaphthylene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-100 N/A
Acenaphthene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) RMEG(child)- 2000
RMEG(adult)- 30,000
CREG-100
Rural: 0.0017
Anthracene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) RMEG (child)- 20,000
RMEG (adult)- 200,000
CREG- 10
N/A
Benzo(a)anthracene 1/3 ND(0.7) 0.83 1.8 CREG-1 Rural: 0.005-0.02
Urban: 0.169-59
Benzo(b)fluoranthene 1/3 ND(0.7) 0.6 1.1 CREG-1 Rural: 0.02-0.03
Urban: 15-62
Benzo(k)fluoranthene 1/3 ND(0.7) 0.57 1 CREG-1 Rural: 0.01-0.110
Urban: 0.3-26
Benzo(g,h,i)perylene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-10 Rural: 0.01-0.07
Urban: 0.9-47
Benzo(a)pyrene 1/3 ND(0.7) 0.63 1.2 CREG-0.1 Rural: 0.002-1.3
Urban: 0.165-0.220
Chrysene 1/3 ND(0.7) 0.67 1.3 CREG-10 Rural: 0.0383
Urban: 0.251-0.640
Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-0.02 N/A
Fluoranthene 1/3 ND(0.7) 1.2 2.9 RMEG(child)- 2000,
RMEG(adult)- 20,000
CREG-100
Rural: 0.0003-0.04
Urban: 0.2-166
Fluorene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) RMEG(child)- 2000
RMEG(adult)- 20,000
CREG-100
N/A
Indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-1 Rural: 0.01-0.015
Urban: 8-61
2-methylnaphthalene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) RBC- 1,600 N/A
Naphthalene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) Int. EMEG(child)- 1000
Int. EMEG (adult)- 10,000
N/A
Phenanthrene 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-100 Rural: 0.030
Pyrene 1/3 ND(0.7) 0.9 2 RMEG(child)- 2000
RMEG(adult)- 20,000
CREG-100
Rural: 0.001-0.0197
Urban: 0.145-147
PCB 0/3 ND(0.7) ND(0.7) ND(0.7) CREG-0.4 N/A

The background concentrations for metals in soil are from the USGS Professional Paper 1270 (Shacklette 1984). The background concentrations for PAHs are from the ATSDR Toxicological Profile for PAHs (ATSDR 1995).

Mean values were calculated using one-half the method detection limit for samples in which the compound was below detection.

N/A- Not available
ND- Non-detect; detection limit in parentheses


REFERENCES

Abbey D.E., Hwang B.L., Burchette, R.J., Vancuren, T., and P.K. Mills. 1995. Estimated long-term concentrations of PM10 and development of respiratory symptoms in a nonsmoking population. Archives of Environmental Health. 50: 139-151.

ATSDR. 2000. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1999. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1995. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1993. Public health assessment Guidance Manual, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL.

Bleile, Henry R. and Stephen Rodgers. 1989. Marine coatings. Philadelphia, PA : Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, TD 899 M28 B57

Burnett, R.T., Cakmak S., Brook J.R., and D. Krewski. 1997. The role of particulate size and chemistry in the association between summertime ambient air pollution and hospitalization for cardiorespiratory diseases. Environmental Health Perspectives, 105(6): 614-620

Choudhury A.H, Gordian M.E., and S.S. Morris. 1997. Associations between respiratory illness and PM10 air pollution. Archives of Environmental Health, 52: 113-117.

Dockery D.W. and C.A. Pope. 1994. Acute respiratory effects of particulate air pollution. Annual Review of Public Health, 15: 107-132.

EPA. 2001. Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR 745. Lead; Final Identification of Dangerous Levels of Lead; Final Rule

EPA. 2000. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water. Draft National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Marinas and Recreational Boating. December 2000.

NJ DEP. 2000. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The Clean Water Book: Choices for Watershed Protection. December 2000.

Pope, C.A. 1991. Respiratory hospital admissions associated with PM10 pollution in Utah, Salt Lake and Cache Valleys. Archives of Environmental Health, 46(2): 90-97.

Schwartz, J. 1994. Air pollution and hospital admissions for the elderly in Detroit, Michigan. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 150: 648-655.

Shacklette and Boerngen. 1984. Element concentrations in soils and other surficial materials of the conterminous United States. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1270.


APPENDIX A

Health assessors use a variety of health-based screening values, called comparison values, to help decide whether compounds detected at a site might need further evaluation. Comparison values were described in the January 2001 public health consultation. A description of them is included as an appendix of this public health consultation. These comparison values include environmental media evaluation guides (EMEG), reference dose media evaluation guides (RMEG), cancer risk evaluation guides (CREG), and maximum contaminant levels for drinking water (MCL). These comparison values have been scientifically peer reviewed or were derived from scientifically peer-reviewed values and published by ATSDR and/or EPA. The MA DEP has established Massachusetts's maximum contaminant levels (MMCL) for public drinking water supplies. EMEG, RMEG, MCL, and MMCL values are used to evaluate the potential for noncancer health effects. CREG values provide information on the potential for carcinogenic effects. For chemicals 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 has developed a hazard standard for residential soil (EPA 2001).

If the concentration of a compound exceeds its comparison value, adverse health effects are not necessarily expected. Rather, these comparison values help in selecting compounds for further consideration. For example, if the concentration of a chemical in a medium (e.g., soil) is greater than the EMEG for that medium, the potential for exposure to the compound should be further evaluated for 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 in noncancer health effects. EMEG values are derived for different durations of exposure according to ATSDR's guidelines. Acute EMEGs correspond to exposures lasting 14 days or less. Intermediate EMEGs correspond to exposures lasting longer than 14 days to less than one year. Chronic EMEGs correspond to exposures lasting one year or longer. CREG values are derived assuming a lifetime duration 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 a residential setting.


APPENDIX B

EQUATIONS FOR NONCANCER EFFECTS:
Exposure Dose = (maximum concentration)(ingestion rate)(exposure factor x 10-6)
(adult resident)   (Body Weight)  
 
Exposure Factor = (7days/week)(39 weeks/year)(40 years)
  (70 years)(365 days/year)  
 
Ingestion Rate = 100 mg/day
 
Body Weight = 70 kg

Exposure Dose = (maximum concentration)(ingestion rate)(exposure factor x 10-6)
(child resident)   (Body Weight)  
 
Exposure Factor = (7days/week)(39 weeks/year)(18 years)
  (70 years)(365 days/year)  
 
Ingestion Rate = 200 mg/day
 
Body Weight = 35 kg
 

CALCULATIONS:

 
For Arsenic:      
Exposure Dose (adult) = (27.8 mg/kg)(100 mg/day)(0.43 x 10-6)
  (70 mg/kg)    
 
  = 1.7 x 10-5    
 
Exposure Dose (child) = (27.8 mg/kg)(200 mg/day)(0.19 x 10-6)
  (35 mg/kg)    
 
  = 3.0 x 10-5    
MRL = 0.005      
NOAEL = 0.0008      
LOAEL = 0.014      
 
For Cadmium:    
Exposure Dose (adult) = (3.24 mg/kg)(100 mg/day)(0.43 x 10-6)
  (70 mg/kg)    
 
  = 2.0 x 10-6    
 
Exposure Dose (child) = (3.24 mg/kg)(200 mg/day)(0.19 x 10-6)
  (35 mg/kg)    
 
  = 3.5 x 10-6    
 
MRL = 0.0002      
 
EQUATIONS FOR CANCER RISK:
 
Cancer Risk = Exposure Dose x Cancer Slope Factor
(adult resident)    

Cancer Risk = Exposure Dose x Cancer Slope Factor
(child resident)    
 
CALCULATIONS:
 
For Arsenic:      
Cancer Risk = (1.7 x 10-5)(1.5)    
(adult resident)    
  = 2.6 x 10-5    
 
Cancer Risk = (3.0 x 10-5)(1.5)    
(child resident)    
  = 4.5 x 10-5    
 
For Cadmium:      
Cancer Risk = (2.0 x 10-6)(2)    
(adult resident)    
  = 4.0 x 10-6    
 
Cancer Risk = (3.5 x 10-6)(2)    
(child resident)    
  = 7.0 x 10-6    
 
For PAHs:      
Cancer Risk = (2.1 x 10-6)(7.3)    
(adult resident)    
  = 1.5 x 10-5    
 
Cancer Risk = (8.6 x 10-6)(7.3)    
(child resident)    
  = 6.3 x 10-5    

APPENDIX C

SELECTED ABSTRACTS

  • Abbey D.E., Hwang B.L., Burchette, R.J., Vancuren, T., and P.K. Mills. 1995. Estimated long-term concentrations of PM10 and development of respiratory symptoms in a nonsmoking population. Archives of Environmental Health. 50: 139-151.

ABSTRACT: Site- and season-specific regressions of particulates less than 10µ in diameter (PM10) on total suspended particulates (TSPs) were formed throughout California during years when both were monitored. The regressions were then applied to monitored TSPs for the years 1973 to 1987, and indirect estimates of PM10 were formed. These estimates of PM10 were validated by interpolating them to other monitoring stations. The split-halves correlation between the estimated and monitored mean concentrations, obtained when both were first cumulated for a 2-y period, was .86. Indirect estimates of PM10 at monitoring stations were interpolated, by month, to zip code centroids of home and work location and were cumulated for a cohort of 3914 California Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) nonsmokers. Multivariate analyses, adjusted for several covariates, showed statistically significant (p< .05), but small, positive associations between PM10 and development of (a) definite symptoms of overall airway obstructive disease, (b) chronic productive cough, and (c) increased severity of airway obstructive disease and asthma. The relative risk (RR) associated with 1000 h/y (42d) exposure to concentrations of PM10 that exceeded 100 µg/m3 for development of airway obstructive disease was 1.17 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02, 1.33); for development of productive cough, the RR was 1.21 (CI 1.02, 1.44); and for development of asthma, the RR was 1.30 (CI 0.97, 1.73). Stronger associations were observed for those who were exposed occupationally to dusts and fumes. The RR of developing airway obstructive disease as an adult for those who had airway obstructive disease as a child was 1.66 (CI 1.15, 2.33).

  • Burnett, R.T., Cakmak S., Brook J.R., and D. Krewski. 1997. The role of particulate size and chemistry in the association between summertime ambient air pollution and hospitalization for cardiorespiratory diseases. Environmental Health Perspectives, 105(6): 614-620

ABSTRACT: In order to address the role that the ambient air pollution mix, comprised of gaseous pollutants and various physical and chemical measures of particulate matter, plays in exacerbating cardiorespiratory disease, daily measures of fine and course particulate mass, aerosol chemistry (sulfates and acidity), and gaseous pollution (ozone, nitrogen, dioxide, and carbon monoxide) were collected in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the summers of 1992, 1993, and 1994. These time series were then compared with concurrent data on the number of daily admission to hospitals for either cardiac diseases (ischemic heart disease, heart failure, and dysrthymias) or respiratory diseases (tracheobronchitis, chronic obstructive lung disease, asthma, and pneumonia). After adjusting the admission time series for long-term temporal trends, seasonal variations, the effects of short-term epidemics, day of the week effects, and ambient temperature and dew point temperature, positive associations were observed for all ambient air pollutants for both respiratory and cardiac diseases. Ozone was least sensitive to adjustment for gaseous and particulate pollution measures. However, the association between the health outcomes and carbon monoxide, fine and coarse mass, sulfate levels and aerosol acidity could be explained by adjustment for exposure to gaseous pollutants. Increases in ozone, nitrogen dioxide equivalent to their interquartile ranges corresponded to an 11% and 13% increase in daily hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiac diseases, respectively. The inclusion of any one of the particulate air pollutants in multiple regression models did not increase these percentages. Particle mass and chemistry could not be identified as an independent risk factor for the exacerbation of cardiorespiratory diseases in this study beyond that attributable to climate and gaseous air pollution. WE recommend that effects of particulate matter on health be assessed in conjunction with temporally covarying gaseous air pollutants. Key words: air pollution, heart disease, ozone, particulate matter, respiratory disease. Environ Health Perspect 105:614-620 (1997)

  • Choudhury A.H, Gordian M.E., and S.S. Morris. 1997. Associations between respiratory illness and PM10 air pollution. Archives of Environmental Health, 52: 113-117.

ABSTRACT: In this study, the association between daily morbidity and respirable particulate pollution (i.e., particles with a mass median aerodynamic diameter of £ 10 microns [PM10]) was evaluated in the general population of Anchorage, Alaska. Using insurance claims data for state employees and their dependents who lived in Anchorage, Alaska, the authors determined the number of medical visits for asthma, bronchitis, and upper respiratory infections. The number of visits were related to the level of particulate pollution in ambient air measured at air-monitoring sites. This study was conducted during a 3-y period, which included several weeks of higher-level particulate pollution that resulted from a volcanic eruption (1.e., August 1992). The particulate pollution was measured by the Anderson head sampler (24-h accumulation). The medical visits of the population at risk were also tallied daily. To help confirm whether PM10 exposure was a risk factor in the exacerbation of asthma, we used a regression analysis to regress daily asthma visits on PM10 pollution levels, controlling for seasonal variability. A significant positive association between morbidity and PM10 pollution was observed. The strongest association was with concurrent-day PM10 levels. The relative risk of morbidity was higher with respect to PM10 pollution during warmer days.

  • Pope, C.A. 1991. Respiratory hospital admissions associated with PM10 pollution in Utah, Salt Lake and Cache Valleys. Archives of Environmental Health, 46(2): 90-97.

ABSTRACT: This study assessed the association between respiratory hospital admissions and PM10 pollution in Utah, Salt Lake, and Cache valleys during April 1985 through March 1989. Utah and Salt Lake valleys had high levels of PM10 pollution that violated both the annual and 24-h standards issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Much lower PM10 levels occurred in the Cache Valley. Utah Valley experienced the intermittent operation of its primary source of PM10 pollution: an integrated steel mill. Bronchitis and asthma admissions for preschool-age children were approximately twice as frequent in Utah Valley when the steel mill was operating versus when it was not. Similar differences were not observed in Salt Lake of Cache valleys. Even though Cache Valley had higher smoking rates and lower temperatures in winter than did Utah Valley, per capita bronchitis and asthma admissions for all ages were approximately twice as high in Utah Valley. During the period when the steel mill was closed, differences in per capita admissions between Utah and Cache valleys narrowed considerably. Regression analysis also demonstrated a statistical association between respiratory hospital admissions and PM10 pollution. The results suggest that PM10 pollution plays a role in the incidence and severity of respiratory disease.

  • Schwartz, J. 1994. Air pollution and hospital admissions for the elderly in Detroit, Michigan. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 150: 648-655.

ABSTRACT: Several studies in recent years have suggested that exposure to airborne particles and to ozone are associated with increases in respiratory hospital admissions. Few of those studies have used inhalable particles as their measure of exposure, and the studies did not always examine both particle and ozone exposure. This study examined the association between both PM10 and ozone and respiratory hospital admissions for persons 65 yr of age and older in the Detroit, Michigan, metropolitan area during the years 1986 to 1989. After controlling for seasonal and other long-term temporal trends, temperature, and dew point temperature, both PM10 (RR = 1.012, 95% CI = 1.013-1.004) and 24-h ozone concentrations (RR = 1.026, 95% CI = 1.040-1.013) were associated with daily admissions for pneumonia. The relative risks are for a 10-ug/m3 increase in PM10 and a 5-ppb increase in 24-h ozone concentration and from models including both pollutants. Admissions for COPD other than asthma were associated with PM10 (RR = 1.020, 95% CI = 1.032-1.009) and ozone (RR = 1.028, 95% CI = 1.049-1.007) as well. Asthma admissions were not associated with either pollutant. Controlling for one pollutant did not effect the magnitude of the association with the other pollutant. The magnitude of these relative risks are very similar to those recently reported in Birmingham, Alabama, Ontario, and New York State. This suggests that the associations with both pollutants are likely to be causal.


1. Calculations are presented in Appendix B
2. Background concentrations from ATSDR Toxicological Profile of Cadmium (ATSDR 1999).
3. Comparison values for mercuric chloride.
4. Comparison values for mercuric chloride




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