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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

AMERICAN BEMBERG PLANT
ELIZABETHTON, CARTER COUNTY, TENNESSEE


CONCLUSIONS

  1. American Bemberg site presents no apparent public health hazard to on- or off-site populations. Evaluations of available relevant environmental and toxicologic data indicate that, under site-specific conditions of exposure, exposure to site contaminants in the past, present, or future is not likely to result in any adverse impact on human health.

    *

    ATSDR found that contaminants in the basement of the BIC building did not likely have an adverse health effect on former workers. However, if the basement area is reused, without cleanup, there conceivably could be types of future use that might impose unwarranted worker exposure or might contaminate products. Thus, the basement, if reused, might have to be remediated to be compatible with the specific selected use.

    Future development of the now closed landfill and lagoon areas should incur no adverse exposure or health impact, providing the City implements its plan of restricting development to the surface only.

    *

    There is no evidence that site contamination has migrated off site into the adjacent residential area. The health problems reportedly being experienced by some residents are not likely related to site-related contaminants.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Site Characterization Recommendations

No site characterization recommendations are warranted. ATSDR will consider amending this section if pertinent information arises during the document review process.


Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendation

  1. Consider removing the contaminated materials from the BIC building basement and decontaminating it prior to human occupancy.
  2. Only surface-type uses should be allowed at the closed landfill and lagoon area, as the city now plans. Excavation should not be permitted because of concern about highly contaminated buried waste material.
  3. If the intended proposed industrial-type land use changes at the site, and residential or other nonindustrial uses are implemented, further project-specific contamination investigations should be designed and initiated, and remediation should be conducted, if and as warranted.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

A Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) documents actions designed to mitigate or prevent adverse human health effects that might result from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

The Division of Health Education and Prevention is considering whether to initiate health education activities for the Bemberg site. ATSDR will consider other measures if environmental or health outcome data become available in the future and establish a health-related basis for action.


SITE TEAM

Don Gibeaut
Environmental Health Engineer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Moses Kapu, Ph.D
Toxicologist
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Janeen Rosenberg
Community Involvement Specialist
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Ben Moore
Regional Representative
Office of Regional Operations

Stephen Blackwell
Health Education Specialist
Division of Health Education and Promotion

Deborah Millette
Epidemiologist
Division of Health Studies


REFERENCES

  1. Potential Hazardous Waste Site, Site Inspection Prioritization, American Bemberg Plant. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. February, 1992. [code A]
  2. Expanded Site Inspection, American Bemberg, Elizabethton, Tennessee. B&V Waste Science and Technology Corp. December 10, 1993. [code B]
  3. ATSDR staff discussions with Elizabethton Director of Planning and Development. 1998. [code J]
  4. HRS Documentation Record, American Bemberg Plant. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. October 25, 1996. [code D]
  5. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory, On-line Database. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. [code H]
  6. Monitoring Well Installation and Environmental Sampling report for the City of Elizabethton's Cherokee Industrial Park. S&ME Inc. February 4, 1997. [code F]
  7. Preliminary Engineering for Closure of Bemberg Disposal Site, Elizabethton, Tennessee. Associated Water and Air Resources Engineers, Inc. November 1980. [code C]
  8. Report of December 29.30, 1996 Groundwater Sampling Event at the City of Elizabethton's Cherokee Industrial Park. S&ME, Inc. February 24, 1997. [code E]
  9. ATSDR staff discussions with Tennessee Division of Superfund. 1998. [code K]
  10. Boone Reservoir Water Quality Assessment. Tennessee Valley Authority, Office of Natural Resources and Economic Development. September 1985. [code G]
  11. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. April 1993.
  12. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Barium. July 1992.
  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. August 1997.
  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Copper. December, 1995.
  15. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Lead. July 1997.
  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Manganese.
  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Mercury. August 1997.
  18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). February 1996.
  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). August 1995.


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