PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
LOWER DUWAMISH WATERWAY
SEATTLE, KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON
EPA FACILITY ID: WA0002329803
September 30, 2003
Washington State Department of Health
Under a Cooperative Agreement with the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- A. Introduction
B. Contaminants of Concern
C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control
D. Physical Hazards
- A. Introduction
B. Completed Exposure Pathways
C. Multiple Exposure Pathways
D. Potential Exposure Pathways
E. Chemical Specific Toxicity
F. Comparison with Background
G. Benefits of Fish Consumption
H. Existing Advisories
I. Fish Meal Limits
J. Child Health Considerations
|ATSDR||Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry|
|CERCLA||Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act|
|CREG||Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide|
|COC||Contaminant of Concern|
|CSO||Combined Sewer Overflow|
|DOH||Washington State Department of Health|
|DRCC||Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition|
|Ecology||Washington State Department of Ecology|
|ECOSS||Environmental Coalition of South Seattle|
|EMEG||Environmental Media Evaluation Guide|
|U.S. Environmental Protection Agency|
|ICD||International Classification of Disease|
|LDW||Lower Duwamish Waterway|
|LDWG||Lower Duwamish Waterway Group|
|LOAEL||Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level|
|MRL||Minimum Risk Level|
|MTCA||Model Toxics Control Act|
|NOAEL||No Observed Adverse Effect Level|
|NMFS||National Marine Fisheries Service|
|NPDES||National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System|
|NPL||National Priorities List|
|PAEP||Pacific Asian Empowerment Program|
|RMEG||Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide|
|PH-SKC||Public Health - Seattle & King County|
|WDFW||Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife|
|g/day||grams per day|
|mg/l||milligrams per liter = parts per million|
|mg/kg||milligrams per kilogram = parts per million|
|mg/kg/day||milligrams per kilogram per day|
|ppb||parts per billion|
|ppm||parts per million|
|µg/l||micrograms per liter = parts per billion|
|µg/kg||micrograms per kilogram = parts per billion|
- Occurring over a short period of time. An acute exposure isone which lasts for less than 2 weeks.
- Agency for ToxicSubstances andDisease Registry(ATSDR):
- The principal federal public health agency involved withhazardous waste issues, responsible for preventing or reducingthe harmful effects of exposure to hazardous substances onhuman health and quality of life. ATSDR is part of the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services.
- Anadromous Fish:
- Fish that ascend rivers from the sea at certain seasons forbreeding, such as salmon.
- Benthic Fish:
- Fish that live and eat near the bottom of a water body.
- Cancer RiskEvaluation Guide(CREG):
- The concentration of a chemical in air, soil or water that isexpected to cause no more than one excess cancer in a millionpersons exposed over a lifetime. The CREG is a comparisonvalue used to select contaminants of potential health concernand is based on the cancer slope factor (CSF).
- Cancer Slope Factor:
- A number assigned to a cancer causing chemical that is used toestimate its ability to cause cancer in humans.
- Any substance that can cause or contribute to the production ofcancer.
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, andLiability Act, commonly known as Superfund. This lawcreated a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries andprovided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releasesor threatened releases of hazardous substances that mayendanger public health or the environment.
- A long period of time. A chronic exposure is one which lastsfor a year or longer.
- Comparison value:
- A concentration of a chemical in soil, air or water that, ifexceeded, requires further evaluation as a contaminant ofpotential health concern. The terms comparison value andscreening level are often used synonymously.
- A single, unique, well-defined chemical compound in thePCB, dioxin or furan category. The name of the congenerspecifies the total number and position of chlorine atoms.
- Any chemical that exists in the environment or livingorganisms that is not normally found there.
- A dose is the amount of a substance that gets into the bodythrough ingestion, skin absorption or inhalation. It iscalculated per kilogram of body weight per day.
- Environmental MediaEvaluation Guide(EMEG):
- A concentration in air, soil, or water below which adverse non-cancer health effects are not expected to occur. The EMEG is acomparison value used to select contaminants of potentialhealth concern and is based on ATSDR's minimal risk level(MRL).
- The study of the occurrence and causes of health effects inhuman populations. An epidemiological study often comparestwo groups of people who are alike except for one factor, suchas exposure to a chemical or the presence of a health effect.The investigators try to determine if any factor (i.e., age, sex,occupation, economic status) is associated with the healtheffect.
- Contact with a chemical by swallowing, by breathing, or bydirect contact (such as through the skin or eyes). Exposuremay be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic).
- Water found underground that fills pores between materialssuch as sand, soil, or gravel. In aquifers, groundwater oftenoccurs in quantities where it can be used for drinking water,irrigation, and other purposes.
- Hazardous substance:
- Any material that poses a threat to public health and/or theenvironment. Typical hazardous substances are materials thatare toxic, corrosive, ignitable, explosive, or chemicallyreactive.
- Indeterminate publichealth hazard:
- Sites for which no conclusions about public health hazard canbe made because data are lacking.
- Ingestion rate:
- The amount of an environmental medium which could beingested typically on a daily basis. Units for IR are usuallyliter/day for water, and mg/day for soil.
- Compounds composed of mineral materials, includingelemental salts and metals such as iron, aluminum, mercury,and zinc.
- Lowest ObservedAdverse Effect Level(LOAEL):
- LOAELs have been classified into "less serious" or "serious"effects. In dose-response experiments, the lowest exposurelevel at which there are statistically or biologically significantincreases in the frequency or severity of adverse effectsbetween the exposed population and its appropriate control.
- MaximumContaminant Level(MCL):
- A drinking water regulation established by the federal SafeDrinking Water Act. It is the maximum permissibleconcentration of a contaminant in water that is delivered to thefree flowing outlet of the ultimate user of a public watersystem. MCLs are enforceable standards.
- Soil, water, air, plants, animals, or any other part of theenvironment that can contain contaminants.
- Minimal Risk Level(MRL):
- An amount of chemical that gets into the body (i.e., dose)below which health effects are not expected. MRLs are derivedby ATSDR for acute, intermediate, and chronic durationexposures by the inhalation and oral routes.
- Model Toxics ControlAct (MTCA):
- The hazardous waste cleanup law for Washington State.
- No apparent publichealth hazard:
- Sites where human exposure to contaminated media isoccurring or has occurred in the past, but the exposure isbelow a level of health hazard.
- No Observed AdverseEffect Level(NOAEL):
- The dose of a chemical at which there were no statistically orbiologically significant increases in frequency or severity ofadverse effects seen between the exposed population and itsappropriate control. Effects may be observed at this dose butwere judged not to be "adverse."
- No public healthhazard:
- Sites for which data indicate no current or past exposure or nopotential for exposure and therefore no health hazard.
- Oral Reference Dose(RfD):
- An amount of chemical ingested into the body (i.e., dose)below which health effects are not expected. RfDs arepublished by EPA.
- Compounds composed of carbon, including materials such assolvents, oils, and pesticides which are not easily dissolved inwater.
- Parts per billion(ppb)/Parts permillion (ppm):
- Units commonly used to express low concentrations ofcontaminants. For example, 1 ounce of trichloroethylene(TCE) in 1 million ounces of water is 1 ppm. one ounce ofTCE in 1 billion ounces of water is 1 ppb. If one drop of TCEis mixed in a competition size swimming pool, the water willcontain about 1 ppb of TCE.
- Pelagic Fish:
- Fish that live and eat near the surface of a water body.
- An area of contaminants in a specific media such asgroundwater.
- Reference Dose MediaEvaluation Guide(RMEG):
- A concentration in air, soil, or water below which adverse non-cancer health effects are not expected to occur. The EMEG is acomparison value used to select contaminants of potentialhealth concern and is based on EPA's oral reference dose(RfD).
- A study designed to collect the data necessary to determine thenature and extent of contamination at a site.
- Route of exposure:
- The way in which a person may contact a chemical substancethat includes ingestion, skin contact and breathing.
- U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency(EPA):
- Established in 1970 to bring together parts of variousgovernment agencies involved with the control of pollution.
- Volatile organiccompound (VOC):
- An organic (carbon-containing) compound that evaporates(volatilizes) easily at room temperature. A significant numberof the VOCs are commonly used as solvents.