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

PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

SPOKANE JUNKYARD
SPOKANE, SPOKANE COUNTY, WASHINGTON


SUMMARY

Spokane Junkyard (SJ), N. 3322 Cook St., Spokane, Washington and several adjacentproperties are a proposed "Superfund" National Priorities List (NPL) site. The otherproperties of the site are Spokane Metals Company (SMC), an inactive metalscrapping/recycling facility, and two vacant fields (the Wall and Carbon properties). SJ is anabandoned junkyard which operated from 1936 to 1987. SMC, north of the SJ recycled scrap-metal from 1948 to 1982. SMC also drained polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) electric transformers and car batteries onto the ground.

On Wednesday, July 15, 1987, an explosive fire erupted in the junkyard. Because the site isin a residential area, and hazardous materials were involved, the U. S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) made an emergency response to the situation. Their investigationconcluded that the site was grossly contaminated with lead and PCBs. During the next threeyears (1987-89), EPA spent almost three million dollars on emergency removal actions at thesite.

In 1987, drums of hazardous waste and asbestos were removed and metal debris was piled intomounds. In 1988 and 1989 EPA continued to excavate contaminated soil and contain the area. Some hazardous waste products and contaminated soil were removed and SJ and SMC wereenclosed with a six-foot high chainlink fence and posted. When the Washington StateDepartment of Health (WDOH) visited the site in 1993 piles of refuse, dilapidated buildings,and metal drums still remained on site and the chainlink fence was breached. One warning signwas seen on the entire fenced area.

This site is a public health hazard because there are physical hazards which people have accessto. Also, soils contaminated with more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of PCBs and 1,000ppm of lead remain on site. However, there are no readily available community-specific healthoutcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health. People maybe exposed to heavy metals and PCBs during contact with soils on-site by inhalation and/oringestion. Also, on-site contaminants which adhere to soil may be blown off-site.

An elementary school is across Cook Street on the west side of the site. Children have been,and are being, exposed to physical hazards. The site needs to be secured and adequatelyposted. Contaminants on site may be moved off-site on dust. If contaminants are not removedfrom the site, measures should be taken to prevent their off-site migration.

Depth to groundwater at the site is about 120 feet. The aquifer flows beneath this site at a rateof 30 to 45 feet per day. Groundwater recharge in the Spokane area is two to five inches peryear. No private wells are reported within three miles of the site. A Spokane municipal wellis one mile north and downgradient of the site. Routine analysis of this municipal well havenot found any organic or inorganic contaminants. A groundwater pathway at this site cannotbe ruled out without more data, but seems unlikely based on present knowledge.

The ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel recommends 1) a community educationeffort at Bemiss Elementary School, 2) alert local health officials to presence of elevated soillead levels near the school, and 3) an inventory of drinking water wells within one mile of thesite.

As resources permit, an environmental health education program will be undertaken in thecommunity living near this site. ATSDR in cooperation with WDOH will alert local healthofficials to the need for evaluation of children at Bemiss Elementary School who may beexposed to elevated levels of lead. WDOH will follow-up on the school building study beingdone in the Spokane school district and will survey all organic and inorganic tests on water from Spokane's municipal well one mile north and downgradient from the site.


BACKGROUND

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), located in Atlanta, Georgia,is a federal agency within the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and isauthorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act(CERCLA) of 1980 to conduct health assessments at hazardous waste sites. The WashingtonState Department of Health (WDOH) in cooperation with ATSDR will evaluate the publichealth significance of this site. WDOH and ATSDR will determine whether health effects arepossible and will recommend actions to reduce or prevent these possible adverse health effects.

A. Site Description and History

Spokane Junkyard (SJ) and the adjacent properties which constitute the proposed "Superfund"National Priority List (NPL) site are in the Hillyard area of northeast Spokane (Figure 1). Hillyard is an area of light commerce and private residences. SJ is a seven-acre property. Today, it's surface is strewn with dilapidated buildings, metal parts, 50-gallon drums, andmounds of contaminated dirt. On October 14, 1992, EPA proposed the inclusion of the"Spokane Junk Yard and Adjacent Properties" on the CERCLA NPL. At this time the sitelisting status has not been finalized.

SJ accumulated junk from 1936 to 1987. The junk included: military surplus (e.g., shipsmokestacks, ammunition, gas masks, etc.), automobiles, heavy equipment, and kitchenappliances. SJ was not fenced. On Wednesday, July 15, 1987, an explosive fire erupted in thejunkyard. Because the site is in a residential area and hazardous materials were involved, theEPA made an emergency response to the situation. EPA's site response continued in briefincrements of time through 1989 (1).

Properties adjacent to SJ, which constitute the proposed NPL site cover 12.5 acres of land(figure 2). Spokane Metals Company (SMC), was a scrap-metal recycling facility locatednorth of the SJ property. SMC operated from 1948 to 1982, when the owner died. Duringits operation SMC purchased and prepared scrap metals for shipment to mills. Also, SMCreceived scrap electric transformers, some of which may have contained polychlorinatedbiphenyls (PCBs) which were drained onto the ground in order to remove the internal coppercoils. Car batteries were also dismantled and the acid was dumped onto the ground (1).

That portion of the proposed NPL site located north of the SJ and northwest of SMC isidentified as the Carbon property. This land is an open, undeveloped field. For several yearsSMC encroached on the Carbon property and carried out operations which included thedismantling of transformers. The open field north of the Carbon property is identified as theWall property. That land has allegedly never been used for industrial or business operations. However, SMC may have intruded on the Wall property with their operations (1).

Bemiss Elementary School, private residences, and an auto towing business border the site tothe west. A pharmaceutical manufacture, Hollister-Stier Pharmaceutical Laboratories, is at thenortheast boundary of the proposed NPL site. The site's southern and eastern boundary isformed by two abandoned railroad spurs owned by the Burlington Northern Railroad (1). Therails have been removed and the spurs are used as dirt roads. A seven-acre grass field liesbeyond this road to the east.

The site topography is gently undulating to flat. Due to the deep permeable gravelly loams andcoarse sands which underlie the site and the arid climate, runoff from the site is minimal. Anyrunoff from the site would flow toward the southwest (3). Annual area precipitation averages16.7 inches. The site is about one-half mile north of the Spokane River.

Prior to the EPA's emergency action, the SJ property was strewn with metal debris, buildingsgutted by the fire, munitions, asbestos, and bulging drums. During the course of EPA's workin 1987 drums and asbestos were removed from site and metal debris was mounded. In 1988and 1989, hazardous product and contaminated soils were removed from, and in part storedon site. The perimeter of the SJ and SMC were enclosed with a six-foot high chainlink fenceand warning signs were posted (1).

During 1987, EPA prepared for movement at SJ more than a thousand containers. The varietyof products in the containers included: oil, ice preventative, gasket sealants, slushingcompounds, neoprene cement, cement flux, adhesives, sodium metaborate, sodium hydroxide,insect repellent, ink bottles, calcium hypochlorite, and potassium iodide. In that year, theresults of analysis done on soil from the adjacent properties caused the scope of EPA's removalaction to expand (1).

In 1988, the EPA continued to excavate soils contaminated with lead, PCBs, and copper. Theirstandard for soil removal was over 10 parts per million (ppm) PCBs, 1,000 ppm of lead, and5,300 ppm copper. These standards were raised as the investigation proceeded and fundsbecame restricted. EPA discovered widespread contamination on the Wall property. Toreduce public exposure to PCB and lead contaminated soils EPA moved soils from the Wallproperty onto the fenced areas of SJ and SMC (1).

During 1989, EPA continued work to contain contaminated soils and stabilize the site. The sitewas leveled, and a hydroseed cap was applied to reduce contaminated dust migration from thesite. Through three years of emergency action, EPA had removed 154 containers of wastes,270 cubic yards of asbestos, and almost 8,000 tons of contaminated soil (1).

B. Site Visit

Milo Straus and Bob Poss of the WDOH, with personnel of the Washington State Departmentof Ecology, made a site visit on April 12 and 13, 1993. The weather was mild, with overcastskies, and light rain.

SJ and the adjacent properties, which constitute the site are in a Spokane residential area(figure 2). Cook Street runs north and south along the west side of the site. BemissElementary School is across Cook Street from the site. Single family residences are alongCook Street and Liberty Avenue south of the site. A pharmaceutical plant, a lumberyard, andopen fields buffer private residents from the site on the northern and eastern perimeters. Thedwellings which surround the site are well-kept, middle-class homes on small lots.

The site visits occurred on the evening of April 12th after school hours and during the day ofApril 13th while the school was in session. Very few children were seen on either day, but onthe 12th a boy about nine-years-of-age was encountered on the railroad bed which runs alongthe east side of the site. The child said the site was used by "druggies", which may reflect theattached newspaper article of September 2, 1992.

The site has little relief with no visual runoff routes or signs of erosion of surface material. Nostanding water was seen on site. The entire site is visible from the surrounding roads. A six-foot cyclone fence encloses SJ and SMC. A two-foot opening was cut in the base of thecyclone fence on the east side of SJ. Piles of refuse, dilapidated buildings, and metal drumswere seen throughout the fenced area. The abandoned railroad bed along the east side of thesite has had the rails removed, leaving a road which is accessible to motor vehicles. Thevacant lot to the east of this road is strewn with household garbage. The only warning signfound on the site was on the north end. The sign stated:

"WARNING-NO ENTRY PERMITTED HAZARDOUS WASTE AREA UNITEDSTATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY REGION 10 SUPERFUNDINVESTIGATION IN PROGRESS **"

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resources Use

Demographics

The population within one-half mile of the site is about 8,400. There are about 16,779residents within a one-mile radius of the site. The site is within the city limits of Spokane,which has a population of 179,853 (1).

Land Use

There are six schools, two parks, two fire stations, a library, and a major river within a mileof the site. Within two miles of the site, there are an additional thirteen schools, ten parks,three fire stations, a city swimming pool, a shopping center, and a reservoir. Land use withina three-mile radius of the site is primarily represented by urban development andresidential/business districts (1).

Natural Resources Use

The Spokane River, about 1/2 mile south of the site, is used as a recreational source forfishermen outside of the city limits (1).

Ground Water

The sands and gravel underlying the site are part of the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairieaquifer, an EPA designated sole-source aquifer. Ground water in the site vicinity is exclusivelyobtained from that aquifer, which extends from Pend Oreille Lake, Idaho, to Long Lake,Washington and covers about 350 square miles. In the site vicinity, depth to the water tableis about 120 feet. Groundwater flows beneath the site in a north-northwest direction at 30 to45 feet per day (3). The effective groundwater recharge rate in the Spokane area is two to fiveinches per year (8).

Local domestic water is supplied by the city of Spokane. No private domestic wells arereported to exist within a three-mile radius of the site (1). About 377 private wells exist in therural areas surrounding Spokane. These wells obtain water from the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie aquifer. These wells supply water to an estimated 1,433 people. The closestof these private wells is 3.2 miles east of the site and is 76 feet deep (3).

The closest municipal city well is less than one mile north and downgradient of the site. Thiswell is designated the Spokane Nevada Street municipal water supply well with a depth towater of 78 feet. There are two other Spokane Municipal wells within three miles of the site. These city wells are part of an interconnected water system which supplies Spokane (1).

Surface Water

About 17 inches of rain a year fall on this site. Due to the arid nature of the climate, there islittle runoff from the site. Any runoff from the site would flow toward the southwest (1). During the site visit it was raining. No standing water was seen on site. No water erosionpatterns were observed on site.

D. Health Outcome Data

WDOH maintains a Vital Statistics Department and an Office of Registries. The CancerSurveillance System (CSS) for the state is maintained by the Division of Public HealthSciences of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The CSS works under contract tothe Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program of the National CancerInstitute.

The Vital Statistics Department gathers information on numbers of deaths, births, fetal deaths,marriages, and divorces for Washington State. Variables included in this data base aregeographic location (city, county, town); age; sex; race; address; cause of death; birth weight;gestational age; and birth defects.

The CSS database is the central repository for all newly diagnosed malignancies (exceptnonmelanotic skin cancers) occurring in residents of thirteen counties of northwest-WashingtonState. The population covered is almost one million and includes five Standard MetropolitanStatistical Areas (SMSA), the Seattle-Everett area (King and Snohomish Counties), Tacoma(Pierce County), Kitsap, Thurston, and Whatcom counties. The population-based cancersurveillance system monitors the incidence and mortality of specific cancers over time. Thevariables collected in this database are designed to permit the detection of differential risks ofcancer by geographic region, age, race, sex, marital status, social security number, occupation,type of cancer, extent of disease, treatment, hospital identification, and other demographicdata.

The Washington Birth Defects Registry is a registry of children with serious birth defectsdiagnosed before their first birthdays. The database contains information by major birth defectclassifications and by demographic factors: county of residence, sex, race, address, andmother's occupation, smoking history, and age. As of August 1991, information was availablefor the entire state for 1986-1989. Health outcome data will be evaluated in the Public Health Implications section.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Concerns were expressed during 1987 by staff of Bemiss Elementary School, neighboringresidents, and people at Hollister-Stier Pharmaceutical Laboratory regarding hazardous wastemigrating off-site or children entering the site. EPA addressed the community concerns byrestricting public access, reducing fugitive dust migrations, and scheduling their removal workafter the school year ended (1).

In November 1992, WDOH received a copy of a letter to ATSDR via EPA from an employeeof Bemiss Elementary School. This person has taught at the school for nine years. Shereported symptoms associated with an allergic condition, including headaches and sinusproblems, since she began work at the school. In addition, this teacher had recentlyexperienced numbness in her fingers and toes. She reported that her symptoms only occurredduring the school year. Her physician could not explain her symptoms based on any exposureoutside the workplace. As of January 1994, her finger and toe numbness does not occur asfrequently, but the headaches and sinus problems were still present. She is also takingantihistamines for allergies. Other teachers at Bemiss Elementary School have reportedheadaches, eye irritation, sore throats and asthma-like symptoms to the school officials.

These concerns will be addressed in the Public Health Implications section of this PublicHealth Assessment.

The public was officially invited to review and comment on the Draft Preliminary Public HealthAssessment during the period of November 30 to December 30, 1993. An official notice wasplaced in the Spokesman Review on December 10, 1993 (copy attached). A press release wassent to all Spokane newspapers on November 30. An article based on the press release andinterviews with WDOH appeared in the Spokesman Review on December 16, 1993 (copyattached). A fact sheet was issued by WDOH on November 30, 1993 (copy attached). DuringDecember of 1993, the fact sheet was mailed to more than 300 parties associated with thissite. Most of the parties were taken from an EPA mailing list for the site.

All published releases for this site identified the three repositories where the public couldreview the Public Health Assessment. Copies of the Public Health Assessment were availableat the Hillyard Branch Library, the Spokane Public Library, and the Spokane County HealthDistrict.

As of January 3, 1994, WDOH has received telephone comments from two parties. One caller was the attorney for a potentially responsible party at this site. The attorney noted that Figure 2, a site map, was not precise in the location of his client's property. Because the location of that property is not important to the Public Health Assessment it will be removed from the figure. A second caller was from a community center near the site. This caller had no specific comment about the Public Health Assessment, but did request to be kept informed. He was told he would be informed of any new developments.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

The tables in this section list the contaminants of concern. We evaluate these contaminants inthe subsequent sections of the Health Assessment and determine whether exposure to them haspublic health significance. ATSDR selects and discusses these contaminants based upon the following factors:

  1. Concentrations of contaminants on and off the site.

  2. Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design.

  3. Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with health assessmentcomparison values for (1) noncarcinogenic endpoints and (2) carcinogenicendpoints.

  4. Community health concerns.

In the data tables that follow under the On-site Contamination subsection and the Off-siteContamination subsection, the listed contaminant does not mean that it will cause adversehealth effects from exposures. Instead, the list indicates which contaminants will be evaluatedfurther in the Health Assessment. When selected as a contaminant of concern in one medium,that contaminant will be reported in all media.

Contaminant concentrations detected on- and off-site are compared to values that are believedto be without adverse health effects upon exposure. Those values are developed by health andregulatory agencies to provide estimates of levels below which health effects would not beobserved. Those values, in many cases, have been derived from animal studies. Health effectsare related not only to the exposure dose, but to the route of entry into the body and the amountof chemical absorbed by the body. For those reasons, comparison values used in public healthassessments are contaminant concentrations in specific media and for specific exposure routes. Several comparison values may be available for a specific contaminant. ATSDR generallyselects conservative exposure assumptions in order to protect the most sensitive segment ofthe population. Because an elementary school is adjacent to this site children of that age willbe considered the most sensitive population present. The potential for adverse health effectsfrom exposure to contaminants will be discussed in the Contaminants of Concern Section ofthis document. The following abbreviations are used in Tables 1, 2, and 3:

EMEG Environmental Media Evaluation Guide (promulgating agency ATSDR). EMEGs are screening values used to select chemical contaminants of potential health concern. EMEG values are calculated by ATSDR using conservative exposure assumptions that would protect the most sensitive segment of the population.
RMEG Reference Dose-based Media Evaluation Guide calculated using Reference Dose (RfD) (definition below).
RfD Reference Dose (EPA). EPA's Reference Dose (RfD) and Reference Concentration (RfC) are estimates of the daily exposure to a contaminant that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects.
CREG Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide (promulgating agency ATSDR). CREGs are estimated contaminant concentrations based on a one excess cancer in a million persons exposed over a lifetime (70 years). CREGs are calculated from EPA's cancer slope factors.
mg/kg milligrams per kilogram, equivalent to ppm (see below).
ppm parts per million

A. On-Site Contamination

Soil

In 1987, EPA found large areas of soil contaminated with PCBs and metals. EPA sampled soilby grid coordination over the entire site during July and September of 1987. The samples werecombined in each grid. Each sample was field screened for PCBs in a mobile laboratory. During this time, 902 soil samples were analyzed for PCBs. Two hundred and fifty of thesesamples contained detectable concentrations (>1 ppm), 100 of which were above EPA's actionlimit of 10 ppm. Ten percent of these samples were also analyzed for heavy metals (1).

Surface soil samples in 1987 showed high levels of barium, arsenic, cadmium, chromium,copper, lead, nickel, selenium, zinc, and PCBs (Table 1).

A second set of soil samples were taken from the sides of trenches dug to a depth of five feet. These samples were analyzed for PCBs and heavy metals. Results showed two locations where PCBs were detected at three to five ppm below one foot in depth. No significantly high levels of metals were found at the four-to five-foot interval (3).

Table 1.

ON-SITE SURFACE SOIL SAMPLED DURING THE 1987 REMOVAL
Contaminant Maximum Concentration (mg/kg) Comparison Value
mg/kg Source
Arsenic 1870.4CREG
Barium 2,600 100RMEG
Cadmium 1260.4EMEG
Chromium 40,60010RMEG
Copper 26,600NONENONE
Lead 20,200 NONENONE
Nickel 215NONENONE
Selenium 3916EMEG
Zinc 95,300600RMEG
PCBs 25,000 0.09CREG

(Adapted from reference 3)

After three years of removal actions by EPA parts of SMC and the Carbon property have soilscontaminated with lead above 1,000 ppm. Soils on SJ and the Wall property are below the1,000 ppm of lead. PCBs on parts of SMC and the Carbon property are above the 10 ppmlevel, but at SJ and the Wall property they are below that limit. Soils analyzed for PCB in 1989 ranged in values from not detected to 1300 ppm (1).

Table 2.

ON-SITE SURFACE SOIL SAMPLED DURING 1988 REMOVAL
Contaminant Range of Concentration (mg/kg) Comparison Value
mg/kg Source
Arsenic 5.7-67.50.4CREG
Copper 36.2-32,200NONENONE
Lead 161-22,200NONENONE
Zinc 143-30,900600RMEG

(Adapted from ref. 1)

From July 5 to August 3, 1988, EPA excavated soils on the Wall property to reduce the publichealth risk in an area not fenced. EPA moved contaminated soil that was equal to or exceededtheir action levels, 10 ppm PCBs and 1,000 ppm lead. Much of this contaminated soil wasmoved onto the fenced SJ and SMC property where it remains today (1).

During 1988, the 154 drums of hazardous materials prepared for shipment during 1987 weretaken off-site to disposal facilities. Also, during 1988, 5,140.4 tons of contaminated soil weretransported to disposal facilities. In 1989, 2,805.4 tons of contaminated soil were taken off-siteto hazardous waste disposal facilities (1).

Air Monitoring

On July 16, 1987, immediately after the fire, EPA conducted air monitoring at SJ. The PI 101photoionizing instrument (HNU) was used and did not detect any organic vapors abovebackground in the breathing zone. On July 20, 1987, EPA did air monitoring at SJ using aPhotovac Tip 1 instrument, but no readings were detected above background (3).

During excavation of nine test pits at SMC on August 1, 1987, EPA monitored the subsurfaceair using the HNU. The highest reading was at 14 ppm. On August 4, 1987, EPA monitoredexcavation pits at SMC with a HNU. The highest reading was 11 ppm in a five-foot pit (3).

B. Off-Site Contamination

Ground Water

Two Spokane municipal wells and one residential well were sampled during the week of February 13, 1988, to chemically characterize ground water at the site downgradient, sidegradient, and background locations. The private well is 3.2 miles east of the site (3). Analytical results indicated that these drinking water wells were not contaminated at that time. The City of Spokane's water well SO5 is the closest downgradient municipal well to the site. SO5 is also called the Nevada Street well and is less than one mile north of the site. Volatile organic chemical analysis of that well, the most recent on July 28, 1992, have been negative. All analyses for inorganic chemicals (metals) did not reveal any concentration that exceeded state or federal drinking water standards.

Soil

Table 3.

1988 RESIDENTIAL SOIL SAMPLES
Contaminant Range of Concentration (mg/kg) Comparison Value
mg/kg Source
Arsenic 5.9-16.30.4CREG
Barium 112-240100RMEG
Cadmium ND-1.30.4EMEG
Chromium 17.0-32.210RMEG
Copper 13.5-93.7NONENONE
Lead 38.0-578.0NONENONE
Nickel 10.8-18.8NONENONE
Selenium ND-2.26EMEG
Zinc 132.0-762.0600RMEG
PCBs 1.02-2.86* 0.09CREG

(Adapted from Reference 3) *PCBs were analyzed for, but not detected. The valueis an estimate of the detection limit.

Analytical data from 1987 soil samples collected at the Hollister-Stier pharmaceuticalmanufacturing company and residential properties indicated elevated levels (i.e., concentrationsgreater than five times background or three times the respective analytical detection limit) ofcadmium, lead, thallium, and zinc. PCB contamination was also detected at Hollister-Stier andresidential property located south of the site. Contaminant levels detected on these propertieswere below the EPA action level of 10 ppm of PCBs, but were higher than the EMEG. Tenoff-site residential samples were collected during 1988 (3) (Table 3).

EPA collected two soil samples from the Bemiss Elementary School yard (4) (Table 4). Thesamples were analyzed for 150 EPA target compounds. The results were compared with soildata EPA had collected for background from areas not effected by the site.

Table 4.

BEMISS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SOIL SAMPLES 2/11/88
Contaminant Range of Concentration (mg/kg) Comparison Value
mg/kg Source
Arsenic 9.0-12.5 0.4 CREG
Barium 51.5-89.9 100 RMEG
Chromium 11.4-19.1 0.4 RMEG
Copper 11.2-11.9 NONE NONE
Lead 8.4-18.4 NONE NONE
Nickel 8.3-10.0 NONE NONE
Zinc 53.1-62.2 600 RMEG
PCBs none 0.09 CREG

(Adapted from Reference 4)

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

In preparing this Preliminary Health Assessment, the Washington State Department of Healthrelies on the information provided in the referenced documents and assumes that adequatequality assurance and quality control measures were followed with regard to appropriatenessof testing procedures, chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. Thevalidity of the analyses and the conclusions drawn for this Preliminary Health Assessment isdetermined by the availability and reliability of the referenced information.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

The site is strewn with junk metal (cars, drums, rebar, etc.), dilapidated buildings, andhousehold garbage. About one-half of the site's area has been fenced (SJ and SMC), but theintegrity of the fence has failed. There was only one warning sign on the entire site. This siteis an attractive dangerous nuisance for neighborhood children and students from the nearbyelementary school. A 1992 newspaper article reports that a child brought home a hypodermic needle that he found on site and inadvertently poked in his skin.


PATHWAY ANALYSES

This section will focus on the migration of contaminants and how human exposure may occur. To determine if human populations are exposed to contaminants migrating from the site,ATSDR and WDOH evaluate the environmental and human activities that lead to humanexposure. This pathway analysis consists of five elements: A source of contamination,transport through an environmental medium, a point of exposure, a route of human exposure,and an exposed population.

ATSDR categorizes an exposure pathway as a completed or potential exposure pathway if theexposure pathway cannot be eliminated. Completed pathways have all five elements andindicate that exposure to a contaminant has occurred in the past, could be occurring now, orcould occur in the future. Potential pathways, however, have at least one of the five elementsmissing. Potential pathways indicate the exposure to a contaminant could have occurred in thepast, could be occurring now, or could occur in the future. An exposure pathway can beeliminated if at least one of the five elements is missing and will never be present. Table 4 identifies the completed and potential exposure pathways.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

The three years of removal activity has reduced the public exposure to PCBs and heavy metalcontaminants. Although parts of SMC and the Carbon property still contain leadconcentrations above EPA's action limit of 1,000 ppm, the soils on SJ and the Wall propertyare below that action limit. The PCB levels on portions of SMC and the Carbon property arealso above EPA's action limit of 10 ppm, but at SJ and the Wall property they are below this limit (1).

Table 5.

Completed and Potential Exposure Pathways
Pathway Name Exposure Pathway Elements Time
Source Media Point of Exposure Route of Exposure Exposed Population
Completed
Site soils Spokane Junkyard and adjacent property soil Direct contact onsiteIngestion andInhalation trespassers past,presentand future
Potential
Off-Site dustSpokaneJunkyardand adjacentproperty airborne dust residences

surface soil

Ingestion, Inhalation, and Dermal contactPeople off-site past,presentand future
Groundwater SpokaneJunkyardand adjacentpropertygroundwater unknownIngestion residential
industrial
pastfuture

Public exposure to these areas is in part restricted by a six-foot-high chainlink fence that surrounds SJ and SMC. That fence has been cutopen on the east side, which allows access to the area. Trespassers may be exposed to on-site contaminated soil by ingestion or inhalationof dust particles.

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

Inspection of the site did not reveal surface runoff routes. No nearby streams or rivers (asidefrom the Spokane River) exist within one mile of the site. EPA hydroseeded the site in 1989. During the site visit it was hard to judge how this vegetative cap was working. During drysummer months, wind blown dust from the site may present an off-site inhalation hazard to thenearby population and contaminate residential soils.

Contaminant movement from this site through groundwater may have been significant at thetime of the fire or when product was dumped on the surface, but that pathway is probable nolonger significant. PCBs and heavy metals tend to bind up in soil. Soil samples taken on-sitefrom the sides of trenches dug to a depth of five feet were analyzed for PCBs and heavymetals. Results showed two locations where PCBs were detected at three to five ppm belowone foot in depth. No significantly high levels of metals were found at the four to five footinterval (3). In the site vicinity, depth to the water table is about 120 feet. The rate ofgroundwater flow beneath the site is 30 to 45 feet per day. Groundwater recharge in theSpokane area is very low, two to five inches per year. No public or private water supply in thearea has shown organic or inorganic contamination. No private wells are reported within threemiles of the site. A Spokane municipal well is one mile north of the site, which is the directionground water flows in the area. Routine analysis of this municipal well have not found anyorganic or inorganic contaminants. A groundwater pathway at this site can not be ruled out without more data, but seems unlikely based on present knowledge.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

A. Toxicological Evaluation

The Public Health Implications section discusses the potential health effects resulting fromexposure to contaminants of concern associated with the completed exposure pathway. Healthimplications from past, present, and future exposures to contaminants of concern in on-sitesurface soils are evaluated.

To assess health effects that could result from exposure to site contaminants, daily exposuredoses which an individual may receive are estimated. The estimated daily exposure dose iscompared to a health-based guideline which defines a level of exposure at which adversehealth effects are unlikely to occur. ATSDR has developed Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs),health-based guidelines used to evaluate noncarcinogenic adverse health effects for routes ofexposure such as ingestion and inhalation, and for exposure durations including acute (less than14 days), intermediate (15 days to 364 days), and chronic (greater than 365 days). WhenMRLs are not available, EPA health-based guidelines are used. EPA has developed referencedoses (RfDs) and reference concentrations (RfCs) for ingestion and inhalation exposure,respectively.

The assumptions used in calculating the estimated daily exposure dose from exposure tosurface soil contaminants include an adult body weight of 70 kilograms (kg) and soil ingestionrate of 50 milligram (mg) per day, and a child body weight of 16 kg and soil ingestion rate of100 mg per day. The exposure frequency of an adult or child trespassing onto the site isassumed to be three days a week.

EPA has reviewed available data from human and animal studies to determine the carcinogenicpotential of specific chemicals. For many carcinogens, EPA has derived cancer slope factorsor unit risks for oral and inhalation exposure routes. In evaluating carcinogenic health effects,cancer slope factors or unit risks are used with the estimated daily exposure dose to predictthe increased risk of developing cancer over a lifetime of exposure (70 years). Normally, ashigh as 300,000 people out of 1,000,000 develop cancer over their lifetime (20); in this sectioncancer risk is related as anticipated increase above this rate. Cancer risk is qualitativelyexpressed as "no increased risk" which corresponds to one to nine excess cancers per1,000,000 persons exposed; "no apparent increased risk," one to nine excess cancers per100,000 persons exposed; "low increased risk," one to nine excess cancers per 10,000 personsexposed; "moderate increased risk," one to nine excess cancers per 1,000 persons exposed;"high increased risk," one to nine excess cancers per 100 persons exposed; and "very highincreased risk," one to nine excess cancers per 10 persons exposed.

The contaminants of concern associated with the on-site surface soil exposure pathway at theSpokane Junkyard site and selected for toxicological evaluation include PCBs and heavymetals.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Trespassers may possibly have been exposed in the past, may currently be exposed, and maybe exposed in the future to PCBs in on-site surface soils. Exposure to PCBs can occur throughingestion of and dermal contact with soils, and inhalation of dust. The soil investigation foundPCBs in surface soils at a maximum concentration of 25,000 mg/kg. The estimated dailyexposure doses based on the maximum PCB concentration are compared to health-basedguidelines to identify potential noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic health effects.

ATSDR derived an oral MRL for PCBs of 0.000005 milligram per kilogram of body weightper day (mg/kg/day) for chronic exposure (11). The estimated daily exposure doses of PCBsfor adults and children greatly exceed the chronic MRL. MRLs are developed to includesafety and uncertainty factors. To further evaluate possible health effects, estimated dailyexposure doses exceeding the MRL are compared to exposure levels at which no observedadverse effects (NOAEL) and lowest observed adverse effects (LOAEL) have been seen inhuman and animal studies. Preferably, data from human studies are used, but animal studiescan be used to indicate possible human health effects when human data is unavailable.

A chronic oral LOAEL of 0.005 mg/kg/day for less serious effects has been derived fromanimals studies. The estimated daily exposure dose of PCBs for children and adult exceedsthe chronic LOAEL. In addition, the child exposure dose is at the intermediate oral LOAELof 0.1 mg/kg/day in animals. At these PCB levels, effects on the dermal/ocular system, suchas facial acne and swollen eyes; the gastrointestinal system, including gastritis progressing tocysts, ulcers, and hemorrhages; as well as on the developmental, reproductive, andimmunological systems in monkeys were observed. Both human and animal studies indicatethat PCBs can be stored in body fat over long periods of time and that at low levels ofexposure long-term bioaccumulation can result in adverse health effects, particularly in unbornbabies and young infants who may be exposed through breast feeding (16).

Short- and long-term exposure of trespassers, particularly children, to PCBs through ingestionof on-site contaminated surface soils may result in noncarcinogenic adverse health effectssimilar to those observed in animals. PCBs can be absorbed through inhalation and dermalroutes of exposure, however there is insufficient toxicological data available to evaluate thesignificance of these routes in relations to on-site surface soils. However, dermal contact bytrespassers with contaminated surface soils, as well as inhalation of dust, is likely to increasethe chance of noncarcinogenic adverse health effects.

In evaluating carcinogenic health effects, EPA classifies PCBs as a probable human carcinogenand developed an oral cancer slope factor of (7.7 mg/kg/day)-1 (13). Animal data andsuggestive evidence from human studies indicate that PCBs can cause liver cancer. Long-termexposure of trespassers to PCB concentrations found in contaminated surface soils at theSpokane Junkyard site, may result in a high increased risk of developing cancer over a lifetime.

Heavy Metals

Arsenic

Exposure to arsenic may have occurred in the past, may be currently occurring, and may occurin the future by trespassers accessing the SJ site. Routes of exposure for arsenic can bethrough ingestion of and dermal contact with soils and inhalation of dust. Arsenic was detectedin soils at a maximum concentration of 187 mg/kg.

ATSDR has not derived oral MRLs for arsenic. An oral RfD for inorganic arsenic of 0.0003mg/kg/day was developed for chronic exposure. Dermal contact with soils and inhalation ofcontaminated dust may increase exposure to arsenic. The estimated daily exposure dose foradults does not exceed the chronic RfD, however the dose for children does exceed it slightly. To evaluate further possible health effects, estimated daily exposure doses for children werecompared to the NOAEL of 0.008 mg/kg/day and LOAEL of 0.014 mg/kg/day in humansfrom which the chronic RfD is derived (2, 13). The child's estimated daily exposure dose toarsenic is about two times below the NOAEL and 28 times below the LOAEL. Exposure oftrespassers to arsenic from on-site surface soils is unlikely to cause noncarcinogenic adversehealth effects. Though, should more sensitive individuals be exposed, they may experienceadverse effects of the skin.

EPA classifies inorganic arsenic as a known human carcinogen and derived an oral cancer slopefactor of 1.75 mg/kg/day-1 (2). Epidemiological studies and case reports conclude that chronicarsenic ingestion is associated with increased risk of skin cancer. Long-term exposure oftrespassers to arsenic from on-site surface soils may result in no apparent increased risk ofdeveloping skin cancer over a lifetime. In addition to skin cancer, there are studies suggestingarsenic ingestion increases the risk of liver, bladder, kidney, and lung cancers (6).

Barium

A maximum barium concentration of 2,390 mg/kg was detected in surface soils at the SpokaneJunkyard site. Exposure to barium may have occurred in the past, may currently be occurring,and may occur in the future when trespassers visit the site. The exposure route of barium isprimarily through inhalation of dust. Ingestion is also an exposure route, but barium does notabsorb as readily as through inhalation, and even at a lesser extent through dermal contact.

An oral RfD for barium of 0.07 mg/kg/day exist for chronic exposure (3, 13). The estimateddaily exposure doses for adults and children to barium do not exceed the chronic RfD.

Health effects from inhalation exposure cannot be predicted without additional environmentaldata on barium in soil dust. However, long-term exposure to barium contaminated surface soilsby trespassers is unlikely to cause noncarcinogenic health effects.

Barium has not been evaluated by EPA for human carcinogenicity. Currently, there are nostudies regarding human cancer from oral exposure to barium, and available animal studies areinadequate to assess the carcinogenic potential (7, 18). Without additional toxicological data,the cancer risk of trespassers who may be exposed to barium contaminated soils cannot bepredicted.

Cadmium

Trespassers may possibly have been exposed in the past, may currently be exposed, and maybe exposed in the future to cadmium from on-site surface soils. Cadmium exposure can occurthrough ingestion of soil and inhalation of dust. Dermal contact is not considered a significantroute of exposure. In on-site surface soils, cadmium was detected at a maximum concentrationof 126 mg/kg.

ATSDR derived an oral MRL for cadmium of 0.0002 mg/kg/day for chronic exposure basedon kidney effects in humans (4). The estimated daily exposure dose for adults does not exceedthis MRL. The child's estimated daily exposure dose exceeds the MRL, and is about six timeslower than the NOAEL of 0.0021 mg/kg/day. Data from human and animal studies indicatedthat the kidney is the main target organ of cadmium toxicity. Though inhalation is a significantexposure route for cadmium, noncarcinogenic effects cannot be evaluated for this route dueto the lack of environmental data on cadmium in dust and the lack of health-based guidelines(12). However, depending on accessibility of the site, long-term ingestion exposure of childrento cadmium may result in adverse health effects on the kidneys.

EPA classifies cadmium as a probable human carcinogen and developed an inhalation unit riskof 1.8E-3 per µg/m3 (13). Currently, no oral cancer slope factors are available. Again, withoutenvironmental data on cadmium levels in dust, the cancer risk for trespassers from inhalationcannot be estimated. In addition, without additional carcinogenicity data on cadmium ingestion,the cancer risk of site trespassers through this route cannot be predicted.

Chromium

Exposure of trespassers to chromium may have occurred in the past, may currently beoccurring, and may occur in the future at the Spokane Junkyard site. Chromium exposure canoccur through ingestion of soils and inhalation of dust. Dermal contact is not considered asignificant exposure route for chromium. A maximum concentration of 347 mg/kg wasdetected in on-site surface soils.

The two most common forms of chromium which people may be exposed to are chromium(III) and chromium (VI). Specific forms of chromium, however were not defined in theenvironmental data. Toxicological data indicate that chromium (VI) is more toxic in humansthan chromium (III). Therefore, in assessing noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic health effects,the protective assumption is made that chromium detected in on-site surface soils is in the formof chromium (VI).

ATSDR has not developed oral MRLs for chromium. There is an oral RfD for chromium VIof 0.005 mg/kg/day for chronic exposure (18). The estimated daily exposures for adults andchildren do not exceed the RfD. Therefore, site trespassers exposed to chromium throughingestion of surface soils, are unlikely to experience noncarcinogenic adverse health effects. The inhalation route of exposure cannot be assessed because the inhalation RfC for chromiumis under review by EPA and there is no environmental data available on soil dust.

Chromium (VI) is classified as human carcinogen based on human and animal studies for lungcancer. An inhalation unit risk of 1.2E-12 per µg/m3 was derived (18). However withoutadditional environmental data, the cancer risk of trespassers to chromium in soil dust cannotbe predicted. Oral cancer slope factors have not been developed, therefore the cancer risk oftrespassers to chromium through ingestion of surface soils cannot be evaluated.

Copper

Copper was detected at a maximum concentration of 26,000 mg/kg in surface soils at theSpokane Junkyard site. Site trespassers may have been exposed to contaminated surface soilsin the past, may currently be exposed, and may be exposed in the future . Copper exposurecan result primarily through ingestion of soil and inhalation of soil dust.

No MRLs, RfD, or RfC exist for copper. There is a chronic oral LOAEL of 0.056 mg/kg/dayand an acute oral LOAEL of 0.07 mg/kg/day at which abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrheawere observed in humans (6, 13). The estimated daily exposure dose for adults does notexceed the LOAELs, but the exposure dose for children is at the acute LOAEL and exceedsthe chronic LOAEL. Short- and long-term exposure by children trespassing on the site, mayresult in the adverse health effects, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Human carcinogenicity of copper has not been classified by EPA. Until additional databecomes available, the cancer risk for trespassers from copper cannot be evaluated.

Lead

Exposure of trespassers to lead may have occurred in the past, may currently be occurring, andmay occur in the future at the Spokane Junkyard site. Lead exposure can occur throughingestion of soils and inhalation of dust. Lead does not enter the body through dermal contactwith soils as readily as through ingestion and inhalation. The soil investigation found lead ata maximum concentration of 20,200 mg/kg in on-site surface soils.

Noncarcinogenic health guidelines, such as MRLs or RfD, have not been developed forinorganic lead because of the difficultly in identifying clear threshold for lead below whichthere are no risks of adverse health effects. The majority of human data regarding healtheffects of lead are expressed in terms of blood lead levels, micrograms per deciliter of blood(µg/dl), rather than estimated daily exposure doses. Human studies have established acorrelation between exposure to lead contaminated soils and blood lead levels. The results ofthe studies vary widely, however in general, blood lead levels rise 3 to 7 µg/dl for every 1000mg/kg increase in soil or dust lead concentration (5, 17). Several studies indicated that the rateof increase in blood lead levels decrease upon exposure to high concentrations of lead in soils(5). Other factors may influence this relationship including access to soils, behavior patterns,presence of ground cover, seasonal variation of exposure conditions.

The maximum lead concentration found in on-site surface soils is greatly elevated over theaverage lead concentration of 46 mg/kg in background soils. Based on the increase in surfacesoil lead concentrations, exposed individuals can anticipate a rise in blood lead levels. Becauseof the usually high lead concentrations in surface soils, the increase of blood lead levels ofexposed individuals cannot be accurately estimated. However, this increase in blood leadlevels is likely to represent a health concern; the extent of concern depends on the pre-existingblood lead level of the exposed individual.

Children are at more risk of lead exposure and more sensitive to lead toxicity than adults. Lead exposure may decrease the intelligence quotient (IQ) scores and reduce the growth ofyoung children. Deficits in IQ and other measures of cognitive function, such as attention span,have been associated with blood lead levels of 15 µg/dl and possibly lower in sociallydisadvantaged children (14). Slowed peripheral nerve conduction has been detected in childrenwith blood lead levels of 20 to 30 µg/dl. Early childhood growth reductions have beenassociated with blood lead levels from 5 to 35 µg/dl in one study and with blood lead levelsgreater than 40 µg/dl in another study. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionrecommends that community prevention activities should be triggered if a large proportion ofthe children in the community have blood lead levels 10 µg/dl, and environmentalinvestigation for individual children at blood lead level of 15 µg/dl (17). Long-term exposureto soils at the Spokane Junkyard site could result in the elevation of children's blood lead levelsto a level of health concern.

For adults, increases in blood pressure have been related with blood lead levels down to 7µg/dl (12). In addition, lead exposure affects the central nervous system and can causeimpairment of hearing, vision, and muscle coordination. Blood, kidney, heart, immune, andreproductive systems are also adversely effected by lead toxicity (12). Noncarcinogenic healtheffects from lead exposure at the Spokane Junkyard site are difficult to predict, but are apotential health concern.

Lead is classified as probable human carcinogen by EPA, because there is sufficient animalcarcinogenicity data. Because of uncertainties in the animal data, an oral cancer slope factoror oral unit risk for lead has not been developed. Although, currently cancer risk from leadcannot be quantified, exposure of trespassers could potentially result in an increased risk ofdeveloping cancer over a lifetime.

Nickel

Exposure of trespassers to nickel may have occurred in the past, may be currently occurring,and may occur in the future from on-site surface soils. A maximum nickel concentration of 215mg/kg was detected in soils. Trespassers can be exposed to nickel through ingestion of soilsand inhalation of dust. Nickel can also be absorbed through dermal contact, but not as readilyas through ingestion or inhalation.

No oral MRLs are available for nickel, however an oral RfD of 0.02 mg/kg/day in animalsexists (13, 18). The estimated daily exposure doses for adults and children do not exceed theoral RfD. Exposure of trespassers to nickel contaminated surface soils is unlikely to causenoncarcinogenic adverse health effects.

ATSDR has developed an inhalation MRL of 9E-6 per mg/m3 for intermediate exposure basedon respiratory effects in rats (8). However, until additional environmental data becomesavailable, the actual exposure of trespassers to nickel through inhalation of dust, and associatedhealth effects cannot be predicted.

EPA has evaluated nickel refinery dust and specific nickel compounds, such as nickelsubsulfide and nickel carbonyl for human carcinogenicity. Based on occupational data, nickelrefinery dust and nickel subsulfide are classified as human carcinogens with inhalation slopefactors of (0.84 mg/kg/day)-1 and (1.7 mg/kg/day)-1, respectively. However, the soluble saltsof nickel, as a class of compounds, have not be evaluated by EPA for potential humancarcinogenicity. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified nickel andnickel compounds as human carcinogens and metallic nickels as possible human carcinogens(13). Without additional environmental data on specific nickel compounds in soil and dust, thecancer risk for trespassers to contaminated surface soils at the Spokane Junkyard site cannotbe estimated.

Selenium

Trespassers may have been exposed to selenium in the past, may currently be exposed, andmay be exposed in the future in on-site surface soils. Exposure to selenium can occur throughingestion of soil and inhalation of soil dust. The soil investigation found selenium in surfacesoils at a maximum concentration of 391 mg/kg.

ATSDR derived an oral MRL for selenium of 0.003 mg/kg/day for chronic exposure and anoral MRL of 0.002 mg/kg/day for intermediate exposure (9). The estimated daily exposuredoses for adults and children do not exceed these MRLs. Inhalation exposure to seleniumcannot be evaluated without additional toxicological and environmental data. However,trespassers exposed to selenium in surface soils are unlikely to experience noncarcinogenicadverse health effects. EPA considers selenium and selenium compounds not classifiable forhuman carcinogenicity because evidence in both human and animals is inadequate. Untiladditional toxicological data becomes available, the cancer risk for trespassers to selenium atthe Spokane Junkyard site cannot be predicted.

Zinc

Exposure of trespassers to zinc from on-site surface soils may have occurred in the past, maycurrently be occurring, and may occur in the future. Zinc was detected at a maximumconcentration of 95,300 mg/kg in soils. Routes of exposure are ingestion of soils andinhalation of soil dust. Dermal contact is not considered a significant exposure route of zinc.

EPA calculated an oral RfD for zinc of 0.3 mg/kg/day (18). The estimated daily exposuredose for adults does not exceed the RfD, however the exposure dose for children is at thisguideline. The RfD was derived from the LOAEL of 1 mg/kg/day based on a decrease inblood enzyme in females after ten weeks of zinc exposure. Though exposure throughinhalation cannot be assessed without additional environmental and toxicological data,inhalation of contaminated dust may increase exposure to zinc. Long-term exposure ofchildren to surface soils at the Spokane Junkyard site may result in noncarcinogenic effects inblood enzyme levels.

Zinc is regarded as not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity by EPA. The cancer risk fortrespassers from zinc exposure at the site cannot be estimated without additional data.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

Health data for the area around the site were not reviewed because no specific communityhealth concerns were identified for which health outcome data bases are available. Also, thestate's cancer data does not cover the area of the site.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluations

In November 1992, WDOH received a copy of a letter to ATSDR via EPA from an employeeof Bemiss Elementary School. This person has taught at the school for nine years. Shereported symptoms associated with an allergic condition, including headaches and sinusproblems, since she began work at the school. In addition, this teacher had recentlyexperienced numbness in her fingers and toes. She reported that her symptoms only occurredduring the school year. Her physician could not explain her symptoms based on any exposureoutside the workplace. As of January 1994, her finger and toe numbness does not occur asfrequently, but the headaches and sinus problems were still present. She is also takingantihistamines for allergies. Other teachers at Bemiss Elementary School have reportedheadaches, eye irritation, sore throats and asthma-like symptoms to the school officials.

All of the school buildings are of similar construction and were built at nearly the same timeusing energy saving techniques. The effects of changing air filtration systems in the schoolswas under study during the summer of 1993. In late 1993, an indoor air quality assessment atBemiss and several other schools in the school district found problems with low air flow andlack of ventilation. This lead a school district official to conclude that the reported symptomsof the teachers were likely due to the indoor air quality in the schools. This would seem to bea more likely cause of the symptoms than the site. While this is difficult to prove, a reductionor elimination of the symptoms after improving air flow and ventilation in the school wouldsupport such a conclusion.

The site is next to an elementary school in a residential area. People have constantly expresseda concern that children have access to the site and it's hazards. Actions by the regulatoryagencies to restrict physical access to the site have been extensive fencing and warning signs. Only one warning sign was seen on the site during the site visit. A hole in the fence which would allow easy access to the site by a child was observed during the site visit.


CONCLUSIONS

  1. This site is a public health hazard because people have access to the site which containsphysical hazards. Also, soils contaminated with more than 10 ppm PCBs and 1,000ppm of lead remain on site. However, there are no readily available community specifichealth outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on humanhealth.

  2. Human exposure to heavy metals, especially lead, and PCBs may occur by inhalationand/or ingestion during direct contact with soils on-site.

  3. On-site contaminants which adhere to soil may be blown off site to the neighboringresidential communities, especially during the dry summer months. Soil samplescollected during 1988 at Bemiss Elementary School were found to be contaminated atlevels no greater than area background. PCBs were found at low levels in residentialproperty south of the site. The level of PCBs did not exceed EPA's removal criteria,but are higher than the EMEG. Because heavy metals and PCBs remain on-site, thechance exits that contaminants may leave the site, most probable on dust.

  4. A low potential exists for exposure to contaminants on site through ground water. PCBs and metals have a low solubility in water and are therefore not very mobile inground water. The site is located on the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, anaquifer designated as sole source by the EPA. Private and municipal wells in the areathus far sampled have not been contaminated. An investigation to characterize theground water at this site has not been done.

  5. Physical hazards remain on-site. Old buildings and junk metal litter much of the site. The site is poorly posted and the surrounding cyclone fence has been breached. Anelementary school is next to the site across Cook Street. Children have and are beingexposed to a physically dangerous situation.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Because of the site's close proximity to a residential area and an elementary school,physical and toxic agents on this site must be removed or contained. The fence barrieraround the site has been penetrated. Only one warning sign was seen on the entirefenced area. The site needs to be secured and adequately posted.

  2. Contaminants on site may be moved off-site on dust. If contaminants are not removedfrom the site, measures should be taken to prevent their off-site migration. Anyremedial action on site should control the movement of dust off-site.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Although analytical data of samples from a nearby municipal water well show nogroundwater contamination at this time, that pathway cannot be eliminated untilgroundwater at the site has been fully characterized. A groundwater investigation atthis site should include a physical inventory for private wells in the area which possibly have not been recorded.

  2. Sample surface soil (0-3") from residential yards down-wind from the site to determine the extent of off-site migration of contamination via dust.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

The data and information developed in the Spokane Junkyard and Associated PropertiesPreliminary Public Health Assessment have been evaluated by the ATSDR Health ActivitiesRecommendation Panel (HARP) for follow-up activities. The panel offers the followingrecommendations:

  1. A community education effort should be made at Bemiss Elementary School to informstudents and teachers about the health implications of this site.

  2. The presence of a secondary school near an unsecured site with extremely elevated soillead levels indicates a potential lead exposure problem for some children. The localhealth officials should be alerted to the hazard for their evaluation.

  3. EPA should make an effort to remove the physical hazards from this site.

  4. An inventory should be made of drinking water wells within one mile, downgradient of this site.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

Based upon conclusions and recommendations from the Public Health Assessment for SpokaneJunk Yard and Adjacent Properties and HARP, ATSDR has developed the following publichealth actions which ATSDR, in cooperation with WDOH, will conduct:

  1. As additional environmental data becomes available, ATSDR will re-evaluate the public health assessment for additional follow-up health actions.

  2. As resources permit, an environmental health education program will be undertaken inthe community living near this site. The purpose of the program is to advise the localpublic health professionals, health care providers and local residents of the nature andpossible consequences of exposure to contaminants associated with the site. Information provided on the contaminants of concern may include, but not be limited to,the physical nature of the contaminants, potential pathways and exposure routes,potential health effects, symptoms of exposure, testing and treatment if known. Inaddition, information will be provided to residents about ways to protect their ownhealth, and prevent adverse health effects from exposure to toxic substances. WDOH'shealth education staff will assist in that effort.

  3. ATSDR in cooperation with WDOH will alert local health officials to the need forevaluation of children at Bemiss Elementary School who may be exposed to elevatedlevels of lead in soil on the site.

  4. WDOH will follow up on the school building study being done in the Spokane schooldistrict. The results of that study will help assess what community health effects maybe from the site.

  5. WDOH will survey all organic and inorganic tests on water from Spokane's municipalwell a mile north and downgradient of the site.

  6. During remediation, WDOH staff will be available for consultation to the public, EPA, and Ecology.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Preparer of Report:

ROBERT A. POSS
Public Health Advisor
Washington State Department of Health

ANNE DUFFY
Public Health Advisor
Washington State Department of Health

JOHN S. MORRIS, R.S.
Public Health Advisor
Washington State Department of Health

JOHN GRENDON, D.V.M.
Epidemiologist
Washington State Department of Health


ATSDR Regional Representative:

Gregory D. Thomas
Senior Regional Representative
Office of Assistant Administrator


ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

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


CERTIFICATION

This Spokane Junkyard and Associated Properties Public Health Assessment was prepared bythe Washington Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency forToxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approvedmethodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was begun.

Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Technical Project Officer
Remedial Programs 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. EPA's Final On-Scene Coordinator Report For: Spokane Junkyard Removal, Spokane,Washington Date: September 1991

  2. State of Washington Site hazard Assessment Data Collection Summary Sheets forWashington Ranking Method Spokane Junkyard Site November 27, 1990

  3. Site Inspection Report for Spokane Junkyard and Associated Sites by Ecology andEnvironment, Inc. for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency dated August 1988

  4. Letter to Dale McDonald, Principal Bemiss Elementary School from EPA, dated July29,1988

  5. ATSDR. 1992. Analysis Paper: Impact of Lead-Contaminated Soil on Public Health.Charles Xintaras, Sc.D. Office of the Assistant Administrator, US Department ofHealth and Human Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  6. ATSDR. 1991 (Draft). Update Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. US Department ofHealth and Human Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  7. ATSDR. 1992. Toxicological Profile for Barium. US Department of Health andHuman Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and DiseaseRegistry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  8. USGS Water Resources Investigations Report 88-4108 "Estimates of Ground-WaterRecharge to the Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System, Washington, Oregon, andIdaho, for Predevelopment and Current Conditions." H.H. Bauer and J.J. Vaccaro.

  9. ATSDR. 1991 (Draft). Update Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  10. ATSDR. 1991 (Draft). Update Toxicological Profile for Chromium. US Departmentof Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substancesand Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  11. ATSDR. 1990. Toxicological Profile for Copper. US Department of Health andHuman Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and DiseaseRegistry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  12. ATSDR. 1991 (Draft). Update Toxicological Profile for Lead. US Department ofHealth and Human Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  13. ATSDR. 1991 (Draft). Update Toxicological Profile for Nickel. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  14. ATSDR. 1989. Toxicological Profile for Selenium. US Department of Health andHuman Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and DiseaseRegistry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  15. ATSDR. 1989. Toxicological Profile for Zinc. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

  16. ATSDR. 1991 (Draft). Update Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Aroclor-1260,-1254, -1248, -1242, 1232, -1221, and -1016). US Department of Health and HumanServices, Public Health Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry,Atlanta, Georgia.

  17. CDC. 1991. Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children. Centers for DiseaseControl, Public Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services.

  18. TOMES-PLUS electronic data system. Volume 18 Expires 10/31/93. Integrated RiskInformation System (IRIS).

  19. USEPA. 1991. Federal Register Part II, Maximum Contaminant Level Goals andNational Primary Drinking Water Regulation for Lead and Copper; Final Rule. USEPA, Office of Drinking Water, Washington, D.C.

  20. American Cancer Society Textbook of Clinical Oncology, 1991, Arthur I. Holleb, Diane J. Fink, Gerald P. Murphy

APPENDICES

A. Area Maps

Location Map
Figure 1. Location Map

Site Map
Figure 2. Site Map


B. Newspaper Articles

Hillyard junkyard still haunts neighbors
Article 1. "Hillyard junkyard still haunts neighbors"

State says junkyard still a health threat
Article 2. "State says junkyard still a health threat"



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. #