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PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

PACIFIC SOUND RESOURCES
SEATTLE, KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON


CONCLUSIONS

The Pacific Sound Resources site represents an indeterminate public health hazard because existing data is not sufficient to document human exposure. There is potential for human exposure to have occurred in the past, or for human exposure to be currently occurring at the PSR site, to contaminant levels which may be expected to result in adverse health effects. However, existing environmental data is limited and has not fully characterized contaminants in all environmental media within the PSR site. Therefore, all populations potentially impacted by the PSR site have not been identified.

Potentially exposed populations include on-site workers, site trespassers, recreational fishermen and family members consuming bottomfish or shellfish harvested from PSR Elliott Bay industrial area. On-site workers may have been exposed to contaminants from incidental ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact with surface and subsurface soil, and groundwater. On-site remedial workers involved in upland area and sediment cleanup could become exposed to contaminants through dermal contact.

Information regarding contaminants present in on-site surface soil, subsurface soil, and on-site groundwater usage, is necessary to assess the site's public health implications of the potentially exposed occupational population. Seafood consumption from the PSR site is not well documented. Seafood consumption information for the PSR study area is necessary to determine the amount of seafood consumed, types of seafood consumed, and the duration of seafood consumption. Potential adverse health effects likely to occur from exposure to contaminants present in seafood from ingestion, cannot be determined because the extent of exposure is uncertain.

The PSR site is presently zoned for port industrial use, if future land use provides for public access to intertidal beach areas or residential use, these two future exposure scenarios will need to be evaluated to determine the public health implications of these types of land use.

Community concerns were expressed about potential health hazards associated with inhalation of airborne dust during removal and cleanup actions at the PSR site. Ambient air monitoring data from maximum predicted exposure locations is necessary to adequately assess possible human exposure from inhalation of contaminated airborne dust during removal or cleanup actions.

Existing data gaps including the extent of surface soil, subsurface soil, and groundwater contamination within the PSR study area are currently being addressed by EPA though RI/FS scoping and workplan activities.


RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations to Cease/Reduce Exposure

  1. To reduce the potential for ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact with contaminated airborne dust by on-site or remedial workers, dust control measures should be exercised to control dust if activities on-site involve excavation which disturbs soil.
  2. Provide protective equipment and training to workers involved in remediation activities in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.120, and adhere to appropriate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations as well as National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines.
  3. Access to intertidal areas should be restricted to prevent harvesting of potentially contaminated seafood as well as exposure to potentially contaminated intertidal sediments. Signs should be posted along public beaches to inform individuals that consumption of bottomfish or shellfish from the industrial shoreline of Elliott Bay may be harmful to health. The signs should be multilingual and regularly maintained.
  4. Ambient air monitoring should be conducted at the PSR site during removal actions to ensure contaminant levels present in airborne dust do not exceed levels which could cause adverse human health effects.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Further characterize the extent of surface soil, subsurface soil, and groundwater contamination within the PSR site boundary. EPA is presently planning a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study for the PSR site which should address these data gaps.
  2. Identify groundwater usage within the PSR upland area and further characterize groundwater flow at the PSR site.
  3. If recreational or subsistence seafood consumption has occurred in the past, is presently occurring, or may occur in the future, seafood contaminant levels should be determined in areas where seafood harvest is known or likely to have occurred.

Health Activities Recommendations Panel Recommendations

The data and information developed in the Pacific Sound Resources preliminary public health assessment have been evaluated by the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for follow-up health actions. No actions are recommended at this time. HARP concurs with the need to evaluate the potential for exposure to sediments when that data becomes available. When additional data become available, ATSDR and WDOH will reevaluate this site for any indicated follow-up health actions.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Pacific Sound Resources (PSR) site identifies actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or WDOH subsequent to the completion of this preliminary public health assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment 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. ATSDR, in cooperation with WDOH, has developed the following public health actions based upon recommendations from the PSR preliminary public health assessment and HARP.

  1. As additional environmental data becomes available, ATSDR and WDOH will re-evaluate the PSR site for necessary follow-up health activities using current environmental data. EPA has oversight for the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) which will further characterize the nature and extent of contamination at the PSR site.
  2. ATSDR and WDOH will reevaluate and may expand the PHAP when additional community health concerns information becomes available. This PHAP will be evaluated annually unless information warrants more frequent evaluation.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Preparer of Report:

TRACE WARNER
Public Health Advisor
Hazardous Waste Section
Office of Toxic Substances
Washington State Department of Health

JOHN GRENDON, D.V.M., M.P.H.
Epidemiologist
Hazardous Waste Section
Office of Toxic Substances
Washington State Department of Health

FRANK WESTRUM, R.S., M.S., M.P.H.
Section Head
Hazardous Waste Section
Office of Toxic Substances
Washington State Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative:

Greg Thomas
Office of Regional Services
Office of the Assistant Administrator

ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Environmental Health Scientist
Remedial Programs Branch, State Programs Section
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


CERTIFICATION

This Pacific Sound Resources Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Washington Department of 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 was begun.

Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)
ATSDR

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

Robert C. Williams, P.E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. Remediation Technologies Incorporated. Draft Scoping Memorandum for Pacific Sound Resources, Seattle, WA. February 11, 1994.

  2. Southwest Harbor Cleanup and Redevelopment Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Technical Appendix A-1 Remedial Investigation Volume 1 of 3, January 1994. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology, and Port of Seattle.

  3. Southwest Harbor Cleanup and Redevelopment Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Technical Appendix C-4 Adjacent Upland Site Characterizations, January 1994. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington Department of Ecology, and Port of Seattle.

  4. Washington State 1991 Data Book. Office of Financial Management.

  5. National Library of Medicine, Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET), Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), March 1994.

  6. National Library of Medicine, Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET), Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), March 1994.

  7. National Library of Medicine, Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET), Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS), March 1994.

  8. National Library of Medicine, Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET), Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI), March 1994.

  9. EPA Superfund Fact for Pacific Sound Resources. March 1994.

  10. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Update Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. Atlanta, Georgia: April 1993. ATSDR/TP-92/02.

  11. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft for Public Comment Update Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Atlanta, Georgia: October 1993. ATSDR/TP.

  12. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Update Toxicological Profile for Lead. Atlanta, Georgia: April 1993. ATSDR/TP-92/12.

  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft for Public Comment Update Toxicological Profile for Mercury. Atlanta, Georgia: February 1993. ATSDR/TP.

  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft for Public Comment Update Toxicological Profile for Pentachlorophenol. Atlanta, Georgia: October 1992. ATSDR/TP-89/25.

  15. Remediation Technologies Incorporated. Draft Current Conditions Report for Pacific Sound Resources Superfund Site, Remediation Area 4 Southwest Harbor Cleanup and Redevelopment Project. Seattle, WA. May 1994.


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