Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content

PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

PACIFIC SOUND RESOURCES
SEATTLE, KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

Tables in this section list contaminants of concern. Contaminants listed in subsequent sections ofthis preliminary public health assessment are evaluated in order to determine whether exposurecould have an effect on the public's health. Contaminants of concern are selected according to thefollowing factors:

  1. Concentrations of contaminants on and off the site.
  2. Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design.
  3. Comparison of on- and off-site concentrations with public health assessment comparison values for (a) noncarcinogenic endpoints and (b) carcinogenic endpoints.
  4. Community health concerns.

In order to determine contaminants of concern, maximum contaminant concentrations in soil arecompared to available comparison values. Contaminant concentrations in soil which exceednoncarcinogenic or carcinogenic comparison values were selected for further evaluation.

Contaminants listed in the following tables are determined to be of concern using the above method. Comparison values are screening values, and the listing of a contaminant in the following tablesdoes not mean an adverse health effect will result from exposure. Potential health effects fromexposure to contaminants listed in the following tables are evaluated in the Public Health Implications section of this preliminary public health assessment.

Contaminants requiring further evaluation are selected using medium-specific comparison values. Comparison values used to determine noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic contaminants of concerninclude Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Reference Dose Media EvaluationGuides (RMEGs), and Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs). EMEGs are calculated fromATSDR chronic Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) using exposure variables such as ingestion rate andbody weight. Currently, EMEGs only exist for soil, water, and air. The MRL is an estimate of dailyhuman exposure to a contaminant below which noncancer adverse health effects are unlikely tooccur. MRL-based comparison values were calculated and used to screen contaminants for furtherevaluation based on noncarcinogenic health effects. Comparison values were calculated usingchronic RfDs for chemicals which did not have chronic MRLs. These values are called RMEGs. RfDs represent an estimate of daily human exposure to a contaminant below which noncancer,adverse health effects are unlikely. CREGs are estimated contaminant concentrations based on theprobability that one additional cancer case may occur in excess of the number that will be expectedto occur among one million people (assuming they have been exposed to the contaminant for a lifetime).

Toxic Chemical Release Inventory

To identify possible facilities that could contribute to contamination near the PSR site, the WDOHsearched the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) Database by zip code for all available years(1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991). TRI was developed by the Environmental Protection Agencyfrom information regarding chemical releases into air, water and soil, as provided according to lawby certain industries. TRI contained information documenting over 40 chemical releases whichoccurred at PSR site located at 2801 S.W. Florida Street, Seattle, WA 98516.

A. On-Site Contamination

Environmental investigations of the PSR site have identified wood preserving chemicals in surfacesoils, subsurface soils, groundwater, and marine sediments. Potential contamination sources includecurrent and historical treatment and storage areas such as retorts, transfer table areas, drip areas,chemical storage tanks, retort and transfer table discharge pits, treated stock storage areas, spillareas, storm water discharge areas, and loading areas (1).

Soils

Although a number of environmental investigations have been conducted at the PSR site, soil dataevaluated for this preliminary public health assessment was limited. Soil data for the PSR site wascollected during a transfer table investigation (1984); during phase 1 and phase 2 RCRAinvestigation (1988); EPA environmental sampling investigation (1988); ETI Risk Assessment(1990); and during a hydrogeologic data collection report investigation (1990), and during twoadditional supplemental borings investigations (1991).

Using existing data, it was not possible to determine the depth of all contaminants of concerndetected in soil borings. Soil data were presented as composites for various boring depths. Although surface soils are believed to be contaminated with wood preserving contaminants, no datawas available for on-site surface soils at a depth of three inches or less.

Contaminants were detected in soil samples collected from soil borings located throughout the PSRsite. The process area, located north of S.W. Florida street, appears to have the most highlycontaminated soils on-site (Figure 5) primarily in areas around the transfer table and in treated woodstorage areas. Concentrations of PCP (4,100 ppm) were detected 1.5 feet below ground surface,PAHs (12,190 ppm) were detected three feet below ground surface, and arsenic (11,679 ppm) weredetected 1.5 feet below ground surface in the transfer table pit process area (soil from the transfertable has been excavated). The highest soil contaminant concentrations from areas south of S.W.Florida street were PAH's (1,018 ppm), and PCP (2.0 ppm) 1.5 feet below ground surface. Thehighest concentrations of arsenic from the area south of S.W. Florida street were (26.3 ppm) at adepth of 16.5 feet below ground surface.

A total of 28 soil borings were conducted during the transfer table investigation. Twelve of theboring were drilled in the transfer table pit and sixteen borings were drilled around the perimeterof the transfer table pit (15). Soil samples were analyzed for PAHs, tetra and penta polychlorinatedphenol, arsenic, chromium, copper and zinc, dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans. In 1990,contaminated soil was excavated from under the transfer table and stockpiled on the PSR site (15).

The phase 1 RCRA investigation consisted of six soil borings, two of which were located in tankarea 2, and the other four located southeast of the tie mill area. Phase 2 of the RCRA investigationconsisted of 16 soil borings, nine of which were located west of the west shed and three were locatedin tank area 1, and four were located in tank area 2 and 3. Soil samples from the phase 1 and 2investigation were analyzed for arsenic, chromium, copper, zinc, PCP, and PAHs. Soil sampleswere analyzed for arsenic, chromium, copper, and zinc, PCP, and PAHs. Laboratory QA/QC datadocumentation was not available for the phase 1 investigation (15).

A total of 84 soil borings have been made on-site during the supplemental boring investigationsfrom 4.5 feet to 105 feet below ground surface (15). Detailed logs have been maintained for 67 ofthe borings. Soil samples were analyzed for metals (arsenic, chromium, copper, and zinc), totalpetroleum hydrocarbons, semi-volatile organic compounds, PAHs, pentachlorophenol, cyanide, anddioxins (15). Analytical soil data from the borings investigations is being compiled and was notavailable for review.

According to the Current Conditions Report for PSR, the distribution of contaminants indicate leaksand spills in the process area have had the greatest impact on shallow soils. Creosote, and elevatedlevels of PAHs were identified in under the main shed, the dock area, and in tank area 2 and 3. Elevated concentrations of arsenic were identified beneath the transfer table (prior to removal) andtank area 2 and 3, and PCP was also documented in tank area 2 and 3 (15).

Table 1 contains maximum contaminant concentrations of on-site soils at PSR. Although the soildata for the PSR site does not characterize the extent of surface soil contamination, it represents theonly data available from the PSR study area, and has been evaluated despite this limitation.

-

Table 1.

Range of Contaminant Concentrations in On-site Soils (1).
ContaminantMinimum
Concentration
(mg/kg)
Maximum
Concentration
(mg/kg)
Depth
Inches
Comparison
Value (ppm)
Source
Arsenic0.10011679.018.00.4CREG
*PAH's0.001300.072.00.1CREG
Lead12.0340.0 NoneNone
Mercury13.047.0 NoneNone
Pentachlorophenol0.0054100.018.06.0CREG
* - Benzo(a)pyrene comparison value used.

Groundwater

Groundwater monitoring wells were installed on-site during four investigations which wereconducted between 1983 and 1990. A total of 36 monitoring wells have been identified on-site which have well construction information, and 25 monitoring wells were identified on-site but havelimited information available (1). At the north end of the PSR site the general groundwater flowdirection is north/northwest and toward the west at the south end of the PSR property (1). Thedeepest monitoring wells on-site are approximately 61 feet below ground surface (1). Dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) as well as light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs)have been detected in on-site monitoring wells located near the process area north of Florida street.

The highest contaminant concentrations in groundwater monitoring wells occur in the process areanorth of Florida street, while contaminant concentrations in monitoring wells located south ofFlorida street are substantially lower than those north of Florida street (1).

B. Off-Site Contamination

Contamination of property surrounding the PSR site is presently being evaluated as part of theSouthwest Harbor Redevelopment Project. Large portions of property surrounding the PSR site arepresently used for industrial activities, and other portions of property also consist of currentlyabandoned industrial property. A number of sites exist in this area and are being investigated understate and federal cleanup laws.

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

This preliminary public health assessment relies upon information provided in the referenceddocuments and assumes that adequate quality assurance and quality control measures were followedregarding chain of custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. The validity of the analysisand conclusions drawn in this preliminary public health assessment are dependent upon thecompleteness, relevance, and reliability of the referenced information.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

Existing ground cover at the PSR facility consists of soil, wood, cement, and asphalt. Leaks, spills,and drippings from treated wood make wood surfaces on the west and main slip areas slippery,particularly following incidents of precipitation. These areas do not have railings and are thereforeconsidered a potential safety hazard for site workers. Uncovered retorts and wood debris are piledin treated wood drip areas. These piles of debris also represent a potential physical hazard to siteworkers. Although the PSR site is fenced on two sides, on-site debris and slippery wood surfacesin the main and west slip areas represent physical hazards primarily to on-site workers andtrespassers accessing the site by boat or from the areas of the site which are not restricted by a fence.


PATHWAY ANALYSIS

In order to determine if exposure to contaminants from the PSR site has occurred in the past, iscurrently occurring, or may occur in the future, exposure pathways are evaluated in this section. An exposure pathway contains the following five elements:

  • A source of contamination
  • Transport of contamination through an environmental medium (soil, water, air)
  • A point at which humans may be exposed
  • A route of human exposure (ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact)
  • An exposed population (on-site workers or residents)

Completed exposure pathways contain all five elements and indicate that exposure to a contaminanthas occurred in the past, is currently occurring, or may occur in the future. Potential exposurepathways must have at least one element missing, but the potential to exist. Potential exposurepathways indicate that contaminant exposure may have occurred in the past, could presently beoccurring, or could possibly occur in the future. An exposure pathway is removed fromconsideration if one of the five elements is missing and will never be present.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

Presently, no completed human exposure pathways have been identified for the PSR site. Thecompleteness of environmental data from previous PSR environmental investigations variessignificantly and there is limited laboratory quality assurance/quality control information availablefor soil data (1).

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

A number of potential human exposure pathways exist at the PSR site involving wood preservingcontaminants present in surface soil, subsurface soil, groundwater, seafood, and sediments. Potential human exposure pathways which may have occurred in the past, may be currentlyoccurring, or may occur in the future at the PSR site are listed in Table 2.

Surface Soil Pathway

Potential routes of exposure are ingestion and dermal contact with contaminated surface soil, andinhalation of contaminated wind-born dust by on-site workers or remedial workers in present orhistoric product storage or process areas. The extent of surface soil contamination within the PSRupland area is presently unknown. This represents a data gap. Characterization of upland surfacesoils (0 - 3 inches in depth) at PSR site is necessary to assess the public health implications of thesurface soil pathway.

Subsurface Soil Pathway

Contaminated subsurface soil may be exposed if contaminated areas are excavated. Exposure routesof potential concern for subsurface soil include ingestion and dermal contact with excavatedcontaminated subsurface soil, and inhalation of wind-born contaminated dust by on-site workers orremedial workers in present or historic product storage or process areas. Subsurface soilinvestigations have been conducted to determine the extent of contamination in the PSR study area. However, the quality of the analytical data reported is inconsistent (15). Although the data is usedto qualitatively identify areas of contamination, this data is not sufficient to evaluate humanexposure. This represents a data gap. Further characterization of subsurface soils at PSR isnecessary to adequately assess the public health implications of the subsurface soil pathway.

Groundwater Pathway

Exposure to potentially contaminated groundwater depends upon use of contaminated wells. Potential routes of exposure to contaminated groundwater include inhalation and dermal contact. Groundwater at the PSR site is not considered potable drinking water due to high salinity. Thenumber of wells located on or within a one mile radius of the PSR site which could be used foroccupational purposes is presently unknown. Groundwater usage on-site or within a one mile radiusof the site is presently unknown, and is necessary to determine the public health implications of thegroundwater pathway. The extent of groundwater contamination and flow direction in the PSRstudy area is presently being evaluated under a RI/FS supervised by EPA.

Sediments Pathway

Surface water runoff is a primary transport mechanism for contaminated soils into surface water andsediments. Storm drains are also a major source of sediment contamination. Potential routes offuture human exposure from contaminated sediments may include dermal contact by remedialworkers during site cleanup activities. If future use of the PSR includes creation of public beachesfor recreational use, recreational beach users may be exposed to contaminated sediments via dermalcontact.

Bottomfish/Shellfish

Past, current, and future exposure from ingestion of contaminated bottomfish and shellfish harvestedfrom PSR off-shore area is possible. Consumption of seafood may represent an important exposureif seafood is harvested from the PSR study area. During the site visit no signs were observedrecommending against consumption of seafood from PSR shoreline areas.

Table 2.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE PATHWAYS
Pathway NameEnvironmental Pathway ElementsTime
SourceEnvironmental
Media
Point of ExposureRoute of ExposureExposed
Population
Surface SoilsRetorts, chemicalspills and leaks instorage & treatedwood transfer areas. Surface SoilsPresent &Historic Processand Storage AreasIngestion Inhalation DermalContactOn-site &RemedialWorkersPast PresentFuture
Subsurface SoilsRetorts, chemicalspills and leaks instorage & treatedwood transfer areasSubsurface SoilsPresent &Historic Processand Storage AreasIngestion & Dermal ContactOn-site & RemedialWorkersPast PresentFuture
IntertidalSedimentsRetorts, chemicalstorage and treatedwood transfer areasSedimentIndustrial andPublic BeachesDermal ContactRecreationalUsers &RemedialWorkersPast Future
On-site wellsRetorts, chemicalstorage and treatedwood transfer areasGroundwaterOn-site WellsInhalation &Dermal ContactOn-site &RemedialWorkersPast PresentFuture
BottomfishRetorts, chemicalstorage and treatedwood transfer areasBottomfish TissueSouthern shore ofElliott Bay IngestionRecreational &SubsistenceConsumersPast PresentFuture
ShellfishRetorts, chemicalstorage and treatedwood transfer areasShellfish TissueSouthern shore ofElliott BayIngestionRecreational &SubsistenceConsumersPast PresentFuture


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

A. Toxicological Evaluation

There are currently no indications of completed exposure pathways for the PSR site. The depth ofsoil samples could not be determined for all of the contaminants of concern. Therefore,contaminants of concern were assumed to be at least equivalent to contaminant levels present in PSRon-site surface soils, which are considered to be less than three inches in depth.

Populations having potential for exposure to PSR contaminants include on-site workers, trespassers,remedial workers, recreational beach users, recreational and subsistence fisherman and familymembers consuming bottomfish or shellfish. On-site workers may have become exposed tocontaminants present in surface soil and subsurface soil from ingestion or dermal contact. Remedialworkers involved in upland and sediment cleanup may also become exposed to contaminants presentin surface soils and subsurface soils through ingestion or dermal contact. On-site workers andremedial workers may be exposed to contaminants present in groundwater from inhalation or dermalcontact. Specific health effects likely to occur from past exposure to contaminants cannot bedetermined because the extent of past exposure is uncertain. Seafood consumption information isnecessary to determine the duration and level of exposure expected from subsistence consumptionof bottomfish or shellfish harvested from the PSR study area.

This section examines health effects which may occur in individuals potentially exposed tocontaminants present at the PSR site. In order to evaluate potential health effects, health guidelines(MRLs or RfDs) are compared to exposure dose estimates to determine if adverse health effects arelikely to occur from exposure to contaminant concentrations present in surface soil. MRLs areestimates of daily human exposure to a chemical that is likely to be without an appreciable risk ofdeleterious effects (noncancerous) over a specified duration of exposure. MRLs are derived byATSDR, and are based on systemic, noncarcinogenic effects. RfDs are derived by EPA, and areestimates of the daily exposure to a contaminant that is not likely to result in adversenoncarcinogenic health effects. Comparing estimated exposure doses to MRLs, RfDs, and otherinformation, allows for an evaluation of health effects which may result from exposure tocontaminants present at the PSR site.

If an MRL or RfD is not available to evaluate a contaminant, the estimated contaminant exposureis still reviewed in this section. To evaluate possible health effects, estimated daily exposure dosesare compared to exposure levels (NOAELs) below which no adverse health effects have beenobserved or to lowest exposure levels (LOAELs) at which adverse health effects have been observedin experimental studies. Data from human studies is used preferably, but animal studies can be usedto indicate possible human health effects.

The following are descriptions and definitions of concepts and terminology used to describepotential adverse human health effects of individual compounds. Health effects discussed in thissection may result from acute, intermediate, and chronic exposures to individual contaminants. Acute exposure refers to an exposure duration of minutes to less than 14 days, intermediate exposurerefers to a longer duration of 15 days to 364 days, and chronic exposure refers to an exposureduration of more than 364 days. A person may be exposed to a chemical through many differentroutes; inhalation (breathing), ingestion (eating or drinking), or dermal exposure (contact withand/or absorption by the skin). Health effects resulting from exposure to a compound depend uponthe route of exposure. Exposure may occur by an individual route or by several routes concurrently.

This section examines compounds thought to cause cancer (carcinogens) as well as compoundswhich may cause noncancer adverse health effects if exposure occurs from ingestion or dermalcontact with contaminants present in surface and subsurface soils at the PSR site. Many carcinogenscan also have noncarcinogenic effects. Noncarcinogens are assumed to have a dose below whichno adverse effect occurs. Above the threshold the severity of effects are determined by the dose.

Environmental contaminants may have many different toxic effects on the human body. The typeand severity of effect produced by a compound varies depending upon the dose. Noncarcinogenicexposure for adult ingestion of soil is calculated using the maximum contaminant concentration insoil, an ingestion rate of 100 mg and a body weight of 70 kilograms. Carcinogenic excess lifetimecancer risk is calculated using the estimated exposure, the cancer slope factor, and exposure factorsincluding a 25 year exposure duration and a 70 year lifetime. On-site workers are assumed to beon-site five days per week, 50 weeks per year, for 25 years.

EPA has reviewed available data from human and animal studies to determine the carcinogenicpotential of specific chemicals in order to determine slope factors for oral and inhalation exposureroutes. Cancer slope factors are used to evaluate the potency of a chemical in order to determinethe excess risk of developing cancer as a result of contaminant exposure. A cancer slope factorconverts the estimated daily exposure dose averaged over a lifetime, to an incremental risk of anindividual developing cancer over a lifetime of 70 years. In a normal population of 1,000,000people about 250,000 are expected to develop cancer. Excess lifetime cancer risk is derived bymultiplying the cancer slope factor of a chemical by the estimated daily exposure dose.

The excess lifetime cancer risk discussed in this section represents the anticipated increase abovewhat would normally be anticipated to occur in a normal population. Excess lifetime cancer isqualitatively expressed as "no increased risk"; "no apparent increased risk"; "low increased risk";"moderate increased risk"; "high increased risk"; and "very high increased risk".

Arsenic
CAS #: 7440-38-2

Arsenic is used in the production of wood preservatives, and agricultural chemicals includinginsecticides and herbicides. Additional uses for arsenic include the production of glass, alloys, anduse in the electronics industry (10). Arsenic can exist in both an organic and inorganic form. Theinorganic form is usually more toxic than the organic form.

At the PSR site, the estimated potential daily exposure calculated for ingestion of soil by siteworkers exceed chronic health guidelines (MRL) for inorganic arsenic. Past exposure to arsenicmay have occurred to on-site workers through ingestion of soils and inhalation of soil dust.

Exposure to arsenic may potentially result in health effects such as abdominal pain, nausea,vomiting, diarrhea, skin lesions, hyperpigmentation, keratosis, and vascular complications. ATSDRhas an oral MRL for inorganic arsenic of 0.0003 mg/kg/day for chronic exposure.

In order to evaluate possible health effects, estimated potential daily exposure doses were comparedto the NOAEL of 0.0008 mg/kg/day and LOAEL of 0.014 mg/kg/day in humans from which thechronic MRL is derived. The adult estimated exposure dose to arsenic is slightly above theNOAEL, and well below the LOAEL. If on-site workers were exposed to the maximumconcentrations of arsenic in on-site soils, they would not likely experience noncarcinogenic healtheffects.

Arsenic is a human carcinogen which can result in skin cancer from ingestion. Increases in skincancer have been observed in persons chronically ingesting arsenic contaminated water. It isestimated that if on-site workers consume 100 mg of soil per day from the PSR site for 25 years,they may have a "moderate increased risk" of developing cancer over a lifetime of 70 years. Inaddition to skin cancer, studies suggest arsenic ingestion increased the risk of liver, bladder, kidney,and lung cancer.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
CAS #: 50-32-8

Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons, abbreviated PAHs, make up a group of chemically relatedcompounds. PAHs are formed during the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and often occurtogether in the environment. PAHs are commonly found in grilled meat, cigarette smoke, and coaltar. Several PAHs, including benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), benzo(a)anthracene (BaA),benzo(b)fluoranthene (BbF), benzo(k)fluoranthene (BkF), chrysene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene anddibenzo(a,h)anthracene have been shown to be carcinogens in animal studies. Exposure to coal tarpitch volatiles is associated with an excess of kidney, bladder, and lung cancer in humans. Benzo(a)pyrene is likely to be the most potent carcinogen of the PAHs present in soil at the PSRsite. Benzo(a)pyrene was also evaluated for noncarcinogenic effects.

Exposure of on-site workers may have occurred in the past to benzo(a)pyrene contaminated soil. Workers can be exposed to benzo(a)pyrene through ingestion of soils and inhalation of soil dust. The maximum concentration of benzo(a)pyrene in soil borings was 300 mg/kg at the PSR site. Currently, no chronic oral MRL or RfD are available for benzo(a)pyrene. Until adequatetoxicological data are available, potential noncarcinogenic effects cannot be predicted for on-siteworkers who may have been chronically exposed to the maximum concentrations of benzo(a)pyrenein soil. The estimated potential daily exposure calculated for ingestion of soil by on-site workersdoes not exceed acute health guidelines (MRL) for benzo(a)pyrene.

EPA classifies benzo(a)pyrene as a probable human carcinogen. It is estimated that if on-siteworkers consume 100 mg of maximum contaminant concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene contaminatedsoil per day from the PSR site for 25 years, they may have a have "low increased risk" of developingcancer over a lifetime.

Lead
CAS #: 7439-92-1

Lead is a naturally occurring metal used in the manufacture of storage batteries. Lead is acomponent of gasoline, pipe, and paints. Lead exists in both organic and inorganic form, butprimarily in the inorganic form (12).

There are currently no health-based guidelines (MRL or RfD) available for lead, because of thedifficulty in identifying a clean threshold for lead below which there are no risks of adverse healtheffects. The majority of human data on lead health effects are expressed in terms of microgramsper deciliter of blood lead levels, rather than daily exposure doses expressed in mg/kg/day.

Lead is a probable human carcinogen, based on inadequate human data but sufficient data fromanimal studies. Results of animal studies indicate that chronic exposure to lead causes kidney cancerin rodents (12). It was not possible to calculate an estimated excess lifetime cancer risk fromingestion of soil because an oral slope factor has not yet been established for lead.

Mercury
CAS #: 7439-97-6

Mercury is used in thermometers, barometers, and pressure sensing devices (13). In addition,mercury lamps are used for outdoor lighting (including floodlights and streetlights), for healthtreatment, and photography. Mercury is also used in soaps, paint pigments, refining, lubricationoils, and dental amalgams (13).

Site workers may have been exposed to mercury through ingestion of soils and inhalation of soildust. There are no health guidelines (MRL or RfD) available for mercury. Until adequatetoxicological data are available, potential noncarcinogenic effects cannot be predicted for on-siteworkers who may have been chronically exposed to the maximum concentrations of mercury in soilat the PSR site. There is no evidence from epidemiological studies that indicate inhalation ofmetallic mercury produces cancer in humans (13).

Pentachlorophenol (PCP)
CAS #: 87-86-5

PCP has been used extensively as a pesticide and wood preservative (14). Exposure of on-siteworkers may have occurred in the past to pentachlorophenol contaminated soil. Workers can beexposed to pentachlorophenol through ingestion of soil and inhalation of soil dust. The maximumconcentration of pentachlorophenol in soil borings from the PSR site was 4100 mg/kg. Theestimated exposure calculated for adult ingestion of soil exceeds intermediate health guidelines(MRL). Intermediate or chronic exposure of an adult to the maximum levels of PCP in soils mayresult in adverse noncarcinogenic health effects such as increased liver weight and changes in liverglycogen levels (14). The estimated acute exposure doses are below the level at which adversehealth effects are determined to occur in animal exposure studies (14). Acute exposure of siteworkers to levels of PCP in on-site soil would not likely result in any adverse noncarcinogenichealth effects.

Pentachlorophenol is considered a probable human carcinogen based on evidence of carcinogenicityobserved in animal studies. Data from human studies is insufficient to determine if PCP is acarcinogen from oral exposure. Epidemiological human studies are complicated by the fact thatPCP often contains polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans as impurities. Ingestionof PCP in animal studies has been associated with cancer of the liver and spleen in mice (14). Basedon these animal studies, it is estimated that individuals consuming maximum contaminantconcentrations of PCP in 100 mg of soil per day from the PSR site for 25 years, may have a "lowincreased risk" of developing cancer over a lifetime of seventy years.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

No health outcome data were evaluated for the PSR site as there are no completed human exposurepathways or community health concerns documented alleging health effects from exposure tocontaminants present at this site.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

The following community health concerns are individually addressed below.

  1. A resident living near PSR with children is concerned about airborne particles. Theresident is currently exposed to odors from PSR and is concerned about healthimpacts. The resident also expressed concern about possible health impacts once removals begin.

    Inhalation represents a potential pathway of human exposure for on-site workers andresidents living in close proximity of the PSR site. However, existing air qualityinformation within the area surrounding the PSR site is limited. Existing air information isnot sufficient to determine the extent of air contamination. Additional ambient airmonitoring data from maximum predicted exposure locations is necessary to adequatelyassess possible human exposure from inhalation of ambient air.

  2. A resident living up the hill from PSR suffers from asthma and is concerned about thehealth risk of dust disturbance which will occur during site removal and cleanupactions.

    Precautions such as dust control measures during removal and remedial actions reduce thepotential for exposure from inhalation of contaminated airborne dust. Air monitoring datacollected from areas on and surrounding the PSR site where individuals may be exposedprior to, during, and following completion of removal actions may determine if contaminantlevels are present in ambient air at levels which could cause adverse human health effects.



Next Section      Table of Contents

  
 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #