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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT ADDENDUM

SULLIVAN'S LEDGE
NEW BEDFORD, BRISTOL COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based on the data and information reviewed for this public health assessment addendum, the Middle Marsh Study Area part of the Sullivan's Ledge site is judged a no apparent public health hazard because health effects are not likely from exposure to low concentrations of contaminants found in the environmental media. However, as stated in the 1988 health assessment, the Sullivan's Ledge site, as a whole, is considered a public health hazard because of the risk to human health resulting from probable exposure to hazardous substances at concentrations that may result in health effects.
  2. Workers at the golf course, golfers utilizing the course, and children playing on the golf course and in the water hazards are at a risk of exposure via ingestion, dermal absorption, and inhalation of fugitive dusts. Children are most at risk due to their greater hand to mouth activity and their tendency to play in the water hazards. However, based on the contaminant concentrations detected, it is not expected that adverse health effects will be experienced even in the high risk groups. The New Bedford Health Department has not received any health complaints from citizens in regards to the golf course and Middle Marsh Study Area.
  3. While the descriptive analysis of cancer incidence can neither support nor refute a causal association with environmental factors, the data are reviewed in an effort to better understand the health status of a potentially exposed population. The current cancer incidence study generally does not indicate an increase in the various cancers within the City of New Bedford or the Town of Dartmouth particularly in the census tracts around the site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Employees at the study area and in the site vicinity and residents in the surrounding neighborhoods should be educated with regards to the exposure pathways and adverse health effects potentially associated with any chosen remedial activity.
  2. Should additional information become available that alters the findings of this addendum or previous assessments, this site will be reevaluated, as appropriate.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP)
RECOMMENDATION

The Public Health Assessment Addendum for the Sullivan's Ledge, Middle Marsh Study Area, site, New Bedford, Massachusetts, has been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendations Panel for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. Although completed exposure pathways exist at the Middle Marsh Study Area, the panel determined that no follow-up health activities are indicated at this time because the levels of contaminants in the environmental media at the Middle Marsh Study Area are below those that would be expected to result in injury or illness. These conclusions apply only to the area of the Sullivan's Ledge site known as the Middle Marsh Study Area. The remainder of the site has been considered separately.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Sullivan's Ledge, Middle Marsh Study Area site contains a description of actions to be taken by the ATSDR and/or the MDPH at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this health assessment addendum. The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan is to ensure that this health assessment addendum not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of the ATSDR/MDPH to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented by the ATSDR/MDPH are as follows:

  1. Cancer incidence in New Bedford will continue to be monitored by the Community Assessment Unit of the MDPH, Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment (BEHA) through the Massachusetts Cancer Registry.
  2. The ATSDR will provide an annual follow-up to this PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this health assessment addendum and will be provided to persons who request it.

The ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan when needed. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determine the need for additional actions at this site.


CERTIFICATION

This public health assessment addendum was prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health under a cooperative agreement with the 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 addendum was begun.

Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment addendum, and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Anne Fox
Environmental Analyst
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Gail Garron Whyte
Environmental Analyst
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Theresa A. Barry
Environmental Analyst
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Elizabeth Case
Research Analyst
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Jeffrey Purvis
Chief of Community Assessment
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Suzanne K. Condon
Bureau Director
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

ATSDR Regional Representative:

Louise House
Regional Operations
Office of the Assistant Administrator, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. Agency for Toxicological Substances and Disease Registry, U.S.Public Health Service. Toxicological Profile for -
    Aroclor 1016, -1221, -1242, -1248, -1254, -1260, June 1989 ATSDR/TP-88/21.
    Lead, June 1990, ATSDR/TP-88/17
    Manganese, Draft, 1991.
    PAHs December 1990, ATSDR/TP-90/20
  2. American Cancer Society. 1991. Cancer Facts and Figures-1991. Atlanta, Georgia. American Cancer Society.

  3. American Cancer Society, Massachusetts Division. 1990. Cancer Manual. 8th Ed., Boston, Massachusetts. American Cancer Society.

  4. Environmental Protection Agency. 1991. Middle Marsh Investigation, Final Report, Sullivan's Ledge Site, New Bedford, Massachusetts. March 1991.

  5. Environmental Protection Agency. 1991. Superfund Program Fact Sheet entitled "EPA Proposes Clean-up Plan for the Middle Marsh Study Area (Middle Marsh Operable Unit at the Sullivan's Ledge Site), May 1991.

  6. Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Massachusetts Populations. 1980-1990 estimates and projections for MISER.

  7. Metcalf and Eddy, Inc. 1991. Final Remedial Investigation, Additional Studies of Middle Marsh, Sullivan's Ledge Site, New Bedford, Massachusetts. April 1991.

  8. Personal Communication with R. Belanger, New Bedford Health Department, December 1991.

  9. Personal Communication with R. Petre, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. December 1991.

  10. Personal Communication with J. Downing, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, November 1991.

  11. Schottenfeld, D., Fraumeni, J.F., Jr. 1982. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. W.B. Saunders Company 1982.

  12. U.S. Department of Commerce. 1982. 1980 Census of Population: General Population Characteristics, Massachusetts. Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office.


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