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HEALTH CONSULTATION

STATE MARINE OF PORT ARTHUR
PORT ARTHUR, JEFFERSON COUNTY, TEXAS


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The State Marine of Port Arthur National Priorities List site, is a 17-acre former barge cleaningfacility on a small peninsula adjacent to Sabine Lake in the northeastern part of Port Arthur,Jefferson County, Texas. It shares a common fence line with the Palmer Barge NationalPriorities List site. Barge cleaning operations at State Marine, from 1974 until 1988, resulted incontamination of surface soil and Sabine Lake sediment with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs) and metals [1].

Sabine Lake is heavily fished, both commercially and recreationally (for sport as well as forconsumption). Among the types of fish caught are black drum, flounder, red drum, andsheepshead [2]. Crustaceans such as blue crabs and brown, pink, and white shrimp are alsotaken from the lake[3].

When the State Marine site was proposed to the National Priorities List in 1998, the TexasDepartment of Health Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division (TDH), through acooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR),completed a public health assessment for the site. Because only limited fish sampling data wereavailable for review at the time, the site was characterized as an indeterminate public healthhazard [1]. Fish and crab sampling data have since become available and are evaluated in thishealth consultation [2].


DISCUSSION

In 1994, the TDH Seafood Safety Division collected seafood, including fish and crabs normallycaught and eaten by area fishermen, from Sabine Lake, which is less than one mile from theState Marine site. Samples of edible portions were analyzed for volatile organic compounds(VOCs), semi-VOCs (including PAHs), metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs),and dioxins [2, 3]. Pesticides and PCBs were below detection levels. VOCs and SVOCs wereeither below detection levels, or if detected, were concluded to be due to laboratorycontamination. Concentrations of dioxins were below concentrations which would warrant aconsumption advisory. Metals concentrations, including mercury, were below levels of healthconcern.

Public Health Implications

Fishing along the shoreline of the site has been documented by the TNRCC (May 1996) andobserved by TDH (August 1998). The sample results indicated that ingestion of finfish andcrabs from Sabine Lake is not a public health concern. Therefore, TDH concluded thatconsumption of seafood from Sabine Lake poses no public health hazard due to contaminantsfrom the State Marine site.

ATSDR's Child Health Initiative

We recognize that the unique vulnerabilities of children demand special attention. Windows ofvulnerability (critical periods) exist during development, particularly during early gestation, butalso throughout pregnancy, infancy, childhood and adolescence ---- periods when toxicants maypermanently impair or alter structure and function [4]. Unique childhood vulnerabilities may bepresent because, at birth, many organs and body systems (including the lungs and the immune,endocrine, reproductive, and nervous systems) have not achieved structural or functionalmaturity. These organ systems continue to develop throughout childhood and adolescence. Children may exhibit differences in absorption, metabolism, storage, and excretion of toxicants,resulting in higher biologically-effective doses to target tissues. Depending on the affectedmedia, they also may be more exposed than adults because of behavior patterns specific tochildren. In an effort to account for children's unique vulnerabilities, and in accordance withATSDR's Child Health Initiative [5] and EPA's National Agenda to Protect Children's Healthfrom Environmental Threats [6], we used the potential exposure of children as a guide inassessing the potential public health implications of the contaminants.


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Results of sampling data indicate that contaminants from the State Marine site have notaccumulated in the fish and shellfish; therefore, ingestion of seafood caught from SabineLake, in the area of the State Marine site, does not pose a public health hazard.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

Action Recommended

  1. None at this time.

REFERENCES

  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment StateMarine of Port Arthur. July 30, 1999.

  2. Texas Department of Health (TDH) Seafood Safety Division. Fish Tissue Sampling Data1970-1997.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment PalmerBarge Line Co. Draft for Public Comment. November 1-30, 2001.

  4. US Environmental Protection Agency. 2000. Strategy for research on environmentalrisks to children. Washington, DC: US Environmental Protection Agency, Office ofResearch and Development. EPA/600/R-00/068, Section 1.2.

  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Child health initiative. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1995.

  6. US Environmental Protection Agency. The children's environmental health yearbook;1998.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Susan L. Prosperie, M.S., R.S.
Health Assessor
Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division

John F. Villanacci, Ph.D.
Co-Director
Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division


ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

George Pettigrew, P.E.
Senior Regional representative
ATSDR - Region 6


ATSDR TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER

Alan W. Yarbrough
Environmental Health Scientist
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
State Programs Section


CERTIFICATION

This health consultation was prepared by the Texas Department of Health under a cooperativeagreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is inaccordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the healthconsultation was initiated.

Alan W. Yarbrough
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


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

Richard Gillig
Chief, Superfund Site Assessment Branch, DHAC, ATSDR


TABLES
Fin Fish Collected from Sabine Lake by TDH Seafood Safety Division January 1994
Constituent Analyzed SAB
1-1
Southern Flounder
SAB
1-2
Black Drum
SA
1-3
Black Drum
SAB
1-4
Red Drum
SAB
1-5
Red Drum
SAB
1-6
Southern Flounder
SAB
1-7
Red Drum
SAB
1-8
Red Drum
SAB
1-9
Black Drum
SAB
1-10
Black Drum
Pesticide nd nd nd nd nd nd nd nd nd nd
PCBs nd nd nd nd nd nd nd nd nd nd
SVOCs (mg/kg)

Bis 2(eh)p

nd nd nd nd nd nd

1.2

nd nd nd nd
VOCs
(g/kg)
  acetone
  CS2
  MC
  MEK
all nd
except
2440
nd
nd
nd
all nd
except
330
72
nd
135
all nd
except
99100
47
nd
nd
all nd
except
34900
23
nd
nd
nd all nd
except
122
nd
nd
nd
all nd
except
933
nd
38
nd
all nd
except
780
nd
24
nd
all nd
except
98
nd
38
nd
all nd
except
nd
nd
78
nd
Metals
(mg/kg)
  Arsenic
  Cadmium
  Copper
  Lead
  Mercury
  Zinc

<0.04
----
<0.4
<0.4
0.114
2.90

<0.04
----
<0.4
<0.4
0.244
3.87

<0.5
----
<0.4
<0.4
0.107
3.42

<0.04
----
<0.39
<0.39
0.163
3.60

0.08
----
<0.4
<0.4
0.137
3.60

0.023
0.513
<0.40
0.047
<0.070
3.1

0.038
<0.034
<0.40
<0.034
0.0742
3.5

<0.014
0.177
<0.50
0.063
0.188
3.9

0.031
<0.039
<0.40
<0.039
0.186
2.9

0.038
0.162
<0.40
0.049
0.156
3.6

CS2-carbon disulfide; MC-methylene chloride; MEK-methylene choride


Blue Crabs and Fin Fish Collected from Sabine Lake, Jefferson County by TDH Seafood Safety Division June 1994
Constituent Analyzed SAB 1-1
Blue Crab
SAB 1-2
Blue Crab
SAB 1-3
Sheepshead
SAB 1-4
Blue Crab
Dioxin (ng/kg)
2378 TCDF
12378 PeCDF
23478 PeCDF
123478 HxCDF
123678 HxCDF
234678 HxCDF
123789 HxCDF
1234678 HpCDF
1234789 HpCDF
12346789 OCDF
2378 TCDD
12378 PeCDD
123478HxCDD
123678 HxCDD
123789 HxCDD
1234678 HpCDD
12346789 OCDD


1
nd
0.19
nd
nd
nd
nd
nd
nd
nd

0.25
0.53
0.37
nd
0.61
1.2
9.7

     
Pesticide   nd nd nd
PCBs nd nd nd
SVOCs (mg/kg)
benzoic acid
nd
--
all nd except
0.4
nd
--
VOCs (g/kg)
acetone
methylene chloride
all nd except
225
--
all nd except
134
43
all nd except
251
--
Metals (mg/kg)
  Arsenic
  Cadmium
  Copper
  Lead
  Mercury
  Zinc

0.088
0.497
8.6
0.163
<0.049
35.3

0.017
0.430
<0.40
0.055
<0.074
2.9

0.048
0.355
8.8
<0.075
<0.072
31.6

Table of Contents

  
 
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