PETITIONED HEALTH CONSULTATION
ROCK AVENUE 21-E DUMP
WINCHESTER, MIDDLESEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS
Table 1. Subsurface Soil Summary Data1
|Location||Soil Comparison Value
|Arsenic||1/4||ND - 7||P-1||0.5
|Cadmium||1/4||ND - 1.0||P-1||1/40/500||EMEG (Chronic)|
|Chromium (total)||4/4||16 - 27.7||P-1||10/300/4,000||RMEG|
|Copper||1/4||ND - 60||P-1||NA|
|Lead (total)||4/4||1.81 - 675||B-5 and B-62||NA|
ppm = parts per million
NA = Not Available
CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EMEG = Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RMEG = Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
1 Samples taken from five locations at depths ranging from 13.5 to 33 feet bgs; table includes data from compounds that were detected above comparison values.
2 B-5 and B-6 were analyzed together as a composite sample.
3 A sample from P-4 exhibiting a strong petroleum odor was found in the initial foot of the boring. The sample was analyzed for TPH and found to contain 4,900 mg/kg of hydrocarbons. It was not analyzed for other compounds.
[Source: Hidell-Eyster, 1989]
Table 2. On-site Near Surface Soil Summary Data
for the Rock Avenue Landfill 1
|Compound (PAH)||Number Detected||Range
4.42 - 9.01
3.92 - 8.66
3.01 - 6.51
1.96 - 4.81
4.53 - 8.7
1.37 - 3.81
2.33 - 5.93
ppm = part per million
1 Samples taken from two locations at 6 inches bgs; table includes chemicals detected above comparison values.
Table 3. Potential Exposure Pathways Associated with
the Rock Avenue Landfill
|Pathway Name||Source||Environmental Medium||Point of Exposure (Exposed
|Route of Exposure||Time of Exposure||Comments|
|On-site surface soil 1||Soil||Trespassers/Nearby Residents||Dermal
|Near surface soil indicate contaminant levels not associated
with health effects.
Limited data are available: No surface soil data has been collected and only two near surface soil samples were analyzed.
|Soil Gas||Methane-producing landfill materials disposed on site.||Air||Residents of houses in the nearby vicinity of site.||Inhalation||Past Present Future||Soil gas sampling at the perimeter of the site above LEL.
No methane detected at elevated level in nearby basement.
Indoor methane data are limited to two samples from two nearby basements.
LEL = Lower Explosive Limit
CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EMEG = Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RMEG = Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
1 Data based on MIT soil samples at 6 inches below the surface; no surface soil data (i.e., 0 to 3 inches) are available.
APPENDIX A. Previous Key Actions at the
Rock Avenue Landfill Site
|Sand and gravel pit. No documentation exists.
|Vacant lot. According to the Environmental Assessment
(Hidell-Eyster, 1985a), the site had been used for a short period of time
for sludge/sewage disposal but the Winchester Board of Health halted the
disposal due to abutters' complaints (date unknown). Center Trucking Company
reportedly disposed of oils, engine cleaners, and asphalt in the sand pit,
prior to 1978. It is also alleged that neighborhood residents used the sand
pit for disposal of motor oils and car maintenance debris.
|Landfilling operations. The current landowner acquired
ownership of the property in 1978 but did not begin landfill operations
until 1980. The site was used for disposal of construction and building
demolition debris. The demolition debris came from the Winchester Theater
Building and the Stuart Street Garage in Boston; asphalt came from the Winchester
|Environmental Assessment. Hidell-Eyster (1985a) performed
an environmental assessment of the site to determine the presence of hazardous
materials. Soil borings were drilled to characterize the site subsurface.
The report concluded that limited contamination (oily soils) existed at
two borings, and recommended that additional borings be taken during the
rainy season and that the site be fully loamed and seeded.
|Environmental Assessment. Hidell-Eyster (1985b) performed
an additional environmental assessment of subsurface soils to determine
the extent of the oily soils and make final recommendations regarding the
future of the site. No groundwater samples were taken at this time because
the wells were never sufficiently recharged. The report recommended capping
of the site and monitoring of observation wells, for an unspecified time,
to determine any changes in the groundwater status. The report also recommended
removing the oily soil if construction on site was to occur.
|Field Investigation. Hidell-Eyster (1989) performed
a field investigation at the request of the Winchester Board of Health to
further address the public's questions and concerns. Groundwater, soil,
and soil gas were tested. The report concluded that no environmental media
(underlying soil, groundwater, or ambient air) appear to be affected by
the oily soil. It also concluded that the isolated area of 'oil-like contaminated
soil' exists at a depth greater than 10 feet bgs, limiting human contact
with contaminated soil. The report recommended closure of the site.
| EA soil gas survey. EA was hired by the Winchester
Board of Health to sample soil gas on and off site, including one nearby
basement. Elevated levels of methane were detected on site and at the perimeter
of the site. Methane concentrations off site (nearby property and basement)
were not elevated.
| MADEP approves waiver application. Waiver of Approval
allows a site owner, with the assistance of a licensed site professional,
to assess and remediate contamination without direct oversight by the MADEP.
|MADEP rescinds waiver approval. The responsible parties
are now required to conduct site assessment and remedial activities pursuant
to MADEP's new regulations.
| MIT air sampling. Air data collected by MIT from
the petitioner's basement. No naphthalene or any other PAH was detected;
methane was detected at 1 ppm.
| MIT soil sampling. MIT collected near-surface (greater
than 6 inches bgs) soil samples from the Rock Avenue Landfill. Some PAHs
were detected at levels slightly above ATSDR comparison values.
|Phase One Investigation. A report prepared by Hidell-Eyster (1997) compiles all previously collected environmental sampling data to provide the background information necessary to support a Response Action Outcome for the site (not including lots five and six shown on Figure 2) under MADEP regulations. The report indicates that petroleum hydrocarbons were identified in only one area of the site; this contamination is thought to originate from asphalt debris that was used as fill for that area. The petroleum hydrocarbons detected are not representative of the general soil quality at the site as no other soil or groundwater contamination has been identified. The Phase One report concludes that conditions at the site do not pose a "significant risk" to public health or welfare, or a risk of harm to public safety. The RAO concludes that no further action is required for the site under the MCP. The identified oil contaminated area was not considered.|
APPENDIX B. Abbreviations and Definitions
List of Abbreviations
|ATSDR||Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry|
|bgs||below ground surface|
|DPW||Department of Public Works|
|EPA||Environmental Protection Agency|
|FID||flame ionization detector|
|LEL||Lower explosive limit|
|MADEP||Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection|
|MADEQ||Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality|
|MDPH||Massachusetts Department of Public Health|
|MIT||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|OEMP||occupational and environmental medicine physician|
|OVA||Organic Vapor Analyzer|
|PAH||polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon|
|ppb||parts per billion|
|ppm||parts per million|
|RAO||Response Action Outcome|
|SVOC||semi-volatile organic compound|
|VOC||volatile organic compound|
List of Definitions
- Occurring over a short time, usually a few minutes or hours. An acute exposure can result in short-term or long-term health effects. An acute effect happens a short time (up to 1 year) after exposure.
- Occurring over a long period of time (more than 1 year).
- Estimated contaminant concentrations in specific media that are not likely to cause adverse health effects, give a standard daily ingestion rate and standard body weight. The comparison values are calculated from the scientific literature available on exposure and health effects.
- The amount of one substance dissolved or contained in a given amount of another. For example, sea water contains a higher concentration of salt than fresh water.
- Any substance or material that enters a system (the environment, human body, food, etc.) Where it is not normally found.
- Referring to the skin. Dermal absorption means absorption through the skin.
- The presence of hazardous substances in the environment. From the public health perspective, environmental contamination is addressed when it potentially affects the health and quality of life of people living and working near the contamination.
- Contact with a chemical by swallowing, by breathing, or by direct contact (such as through the skin or eyes). Exposure may be short term (acute) or long term (chronic).
- A source of risk that does not necessarily imply potential for occurrence. A hazard produces risk only if an exposure pathway exists, and if exposures create the possibility of adverse consequences.
- A response to a specific question or request for information pertaining to a hazardous substance or facility (which includes waste sites ). It often contains a time-critical element that necessitates a rapid response; therefore, it is a more limited response than an assessment.
Health Outcome Data
- A major source of data for public health assessments. The identification, review, and evaluation of health outcome parameters are interactive processes involving the health assessors, data source generators, and the local community. Health outcome data are community specific and may be derived from databases at the local, state, and national levels, as well as from data collected by private health care organizations an professional institutions and associations. Databases to be considered include morbidity and mortality data, birth statistics, medical records, tumor and disease registries, surveillance data, and previously conducted health studies.
- Swallowing (such as eating or drinking). Chemicals can get in or on food, drink, utensils, cigarettes, or hands where they can be ingested. After ingestion, chemicals can be absorbed into the blood and distributed throughout the body.
- Breathing. Exposure may occur from inhaling contaminants because they can be deposited in the lungs, taken into the blood, or both.
- Soil, water, air, plants, animals, or any other part of the environment that can contain contaminants.
No Public Health Hazard
- Sites for which data indicate no current or past exposure or no potential for exposure and therefore no health hazard.
Potential/Indeterminate Public Health Hazard
- Sites for which no conclusions about public health hazards can be made because data are lacking.
Route of Exposure
- The way in which a person may contact a chemical substance. For example, drinking (ingestion) and bathing (skin contact) are two different routes of exposure to contaminants that may be found in water.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Substances containing carbon and different proportions of other elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, sulfur, or nitrogen; these substances easily become vapors or gases. A significant number of the VOCs are commonly used as solvents (paint thinners, lacquer thinner, degreasers, and dry cleaning fluids).
APPENDIX C: ATSDR Methods of Evaluation Potential Public Health Implications
Based on available scientific data, much of which ATSDR has collected in its toxicological profiles, ATSDR has determined concentrations of chemicals that can reasonably (and conservatively) be regarded as harmless. The resulting comparison values generally include ample safety factors to ensure protection of sensitive populations. They are used to screen contaminant concentrations at a site, and to select "chemicals of concern" that warrant closer scrutiny by agency health assessors and toxicologists. A "chemical of concern" is defined as any chemical that is detected in air, water, or soil at concentrations that exceed one or more of ATSDR's comparison values.
The derivation of a comparison value uses conservative exposure assumptions, resulting in values
that are much lower than exposure concentrations observed to cause adverse health effects; thus,
insuring the comparison values are protective of public health in essentially all exposure situations.
That is, if the concentrations in the exposure medium are less than the CV, the exposures are not
of health concern and no further analysis of the pathway is required. However, while
concentrations below the comparison value are not expected to lead to any observable health
effect, it should not be inferred that a concentration greater than the comparison value will
necessarily lead to adverse effects. Depending on site-specific environmental exposure factors
(for example, duration of exposure) and activities of people that result in exposure (time spent in
area of contamination), exposure to levels above the comparison value may or may not lead to a
health effect. Therefore, ATSDR's comparison values are not used to predict the occurrence of
adverse health effects. ATSDR's comparison values and health guidelines are not thresholds of
toxicity. While concentrations at or below the relevant comparison value is considered safe, it
does not necessarily follow that any concentration exceeding a comparison value is expected to
produce adverse health effects. Highly conservative, health-based standards and guidelines are
used to assist health professionals in recognizing and resolving potential public health problems
before that potential is realized.
1. All measurements were taken using an Organic Vapor Analyzer (OVA) with a GC option. The 1,000 ppm hit is likely due to methane; soon after the peak was noted, the OVA was switched to the GC option, which indicated methane. The lab notes, however, indicate that this is not a definitive analysis.
2. The highest methane concentration was detected on Lot 6 which is not included in the RAO for this site.