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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ROSEN SITE
(a/k/a ROSEN BROTHERS SITE)
CORTLAND COUNTY, CORTLAND, NEW YORK


CONCLUSIONS

  • Based on ATSDR's current guidance for assigning a health hazard category to a site (refer to Appendix D), the Rosen Brothers site posed a public health hazard in the past. Prior to on-site remedial activities, numerous physical and chemical hazards existed at the site. Site access was not restricted and children reportedly walked across the site going to and from school. It is likely that site workers and others with access to the site were exposed to PAHs and PCBs in on-site surface soils. The NYS DOH estimated that past exposures to PAHs in on-site surface soils could pose a moderate increased cancer risk for on-site workers and a low increased cancer risk for trespassers. The NYS DOH estimated that past exposures of site workers and trespassers to PCBs in on-site soils could pose a low increased cancer risk.
  • Currently, the site poses no apparent public health hazard. Installation of the fence around the site has restricted unauthorized persons from entering the site. This action has minimized the potential for direct contact with lead, PCBs and PAHs in surface soils as well as exposure to on-site physical hazards. However, additional remedial measures are needed to eliminate possible future exposures to contaminants in on-site soils, dust and groundwater. VOCs have been detected in groundwater at and near the site. The area is served by public water and exposure to site contaminants in drinking water is not likely to occur. However, private wells that are installed at or near the site for non-potable purposes could be affected by site contaminants at levels of public health concern.
  • VOCs have ben detected in groundwater at and near the site. Information from the Cortland County Health Department indicates there are no private drinking water wells in the immediate area of the site. All area residences and businesses use public water supplies. The CCHD does not issue permits to private individuals for installation of private wells in areas that are served by the City's public water supply.
  • Although the area is served by public water, well points likely exist in residential areas near the site. Some people may choose to use water from these wells for household purposes such as drinkuing and showering. There is a potential for downgradient private wells to be affected in the future by continued off-site migration of contaminated grooundwater. Since the remedial investigation was completed, supplemental off-site groundwater sampling has shown contamination in downgradient monitoring wells north of the site along Huntington Street. The extent of off-site migration of groundwater contamination has not been fully defined. There is a potential for downgradient private wells that are used for non-potable purposes to be affected in the future by continued off-site migration of contaminated groundwater.
  • The nearest public water supply wells are upgradient of the site. Based on the information reviewed, contamination from the site is not likely to affect the City of Cortland or other public water supply wells in the area.
  • The NYS DOH evaluated leukemia incidence and mortality in the City of Cortland for the years 1970 through 1979 and no statistically significant excesses were found. Additionally, the NYS DOH evaluated cancer incidence in the City of Cortland for the period 1978 through 1987 and no statistically significant excess was found for the total number of cancer cases observed.
  • There is insufficient information to fully characterize possible exposures to contaminants in soil vapor. A screening level analysis was completed to address community concerns about the potential for site-related contaminants to affect indoor air quality. Findings of the screening evaluation showed that adverse health effects associated with estimated indoor air concentrations would not occur.
  • There is insufficient information to fully characterize potential exposures to contaminants in surface soil particulates that may be blown off-site and be inhaled or be deposited on homegrown vegetables and fruits. It is unlikely, however, that these are significant routes of exposure. The site is well vegetated, minimizing the potential for particulate migration in air and there are no residential properties bordering the site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Site access restrictions should be maintained to reduce the possibility of trespassing and possible exposures to physical and chemical hazards (i.e., lead, PCBs and PAHs in surface soil) at the site by unauthorized persons.
  • The CCHD should continue oversight of local well installation permits to ensure that private wells are not installed in areas affected by or downgradient of groundwater contamination at the site.
  • Remediation of contaminants in soil and groundwater should occur as appropriate to ensure that future exposures to site contaminants do not occur at levels of public health concern.
  • Groundwater sampling should occur, as appropriate, to evaluate the extent of contaminant migration to off-site areas, including possible impacts on existing private wells that are used for non-potable purposes in areas downgradient of the site.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP) RECOMMENDATIONS

The data and information developed in this public health assessment for the Rosen Brothers site, Cortland, New York, have been reviewed by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel to determine appropriate follow-up actions. The panel determined that community health education is indicated; however, the state has performed site-specific environmental health education in relation to the site and will continue to perform these activities during remediation, as needed. No other follow-up health actions are indicated at this time.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Rosen Brothers site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH at and near the site, following completion of this public health assessment. For those actions already taken at the site, please refer to the Background section of this public health assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this 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 past, present and/or future exposures to hazardous substances at or near the site. Included is a commitment on the part of ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented by ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH are as follows:

  1. ATSDR and the NYS DOH will coordinate with the appropriate environmental agencies to develop plans to implement the recommendations contained in this Public Health Assessment.
  2. ATSDR will provide follow up to this PHAP as needed, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This follow-up report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this public health assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.
  3. The NYS DOH will continue to perform community health education, as needed.

ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan when needed. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determine the need for additional actions at this site.


PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

Claudine Jones Rafferty
Public Health Specialist II
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
New York State Department of Health

and

Joel H. Kaplan
Research Scientist
Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment
New York State Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative

Arthur Block
Regional Operations
Office of the Assistant Administrator
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

ATSDR Technical Project Officer

David Hutchins
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


CERTIFICATION

This Public Health Assessment was prepared by the 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 health assessment was begun.

David Hutchins
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
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.

Richard Gillig
Chief, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

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Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990a. Toxicological Profile for Chloromethane. ATSDR/TP-90/07. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990b. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-90/12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990c. Toxicological Profile for Ethylbenzene. ATSDR/TP-90/15. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991. Toxicological Profile for Manganese. ATSDR TP-91/19. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992a. Toxicological Profile for Antimony. ATSDR/TP-91/02. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992b. Toxicological Profile for Vanadium. ATSDR/TP-91/29. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993a. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. ATSDR/TP-92/02. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993b. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. ATSDR/TP-92/06. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993c. Toxicological Profile for Lead. ATSDR/TP-92/12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993d. Toxicological Profile for Chromium. ATSDR/TP-92/08. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1994a. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethene. ATSDR/TP-93/07. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1994b. Toxicological Profile for cis- and trans-1,2-Dichloroethene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1994c. Toxicological Profile for Toluene. ATSDR/TP-93/14. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995a. Toxicological Profile for Nickel. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995b. Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995c. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Update. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995d. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995e. Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995f. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995g. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

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Davis, D.J.A. and B.G. Bennett. 1983. Exposure Commitment Assessments of Environmental Pollutants, Vol. 30. Summary exposure assessments for copper, vanadium, antimony. London: Monitoring and Assessment Research Centre, Chelsea College, University of London.

Dragun, J. 1988. The Soil Chemistry of Hazardous Material. Hazardous Materials Control Research Institute. Silver Springs, Maryland.

Edwards, N.T. 1983. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the terrestial environment - a review. J. Environ. Qual. 12: 427-441.

Frank, R., K. Ishida and P. Suda. 1976. Metals in agricultural soils of Ontario. Can. J. Soil Sci. 56: 181-196.

Henretig, F. and A. Temple. 1984. Acute iron poisoning in children. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. Vol. 4: 575-586.

ICF Kaiser, Environment & Energy Group. Report of Off-Site Soil Gas Modeling for the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Oversight at the Rosen Brothers Scrap Yard Site - Cortland, New York; (EPA Contract #68-W8-0124/EPA work assignment #037-2PY4); August 1995.

McGovern, E.C. 1988. Background concentrations of 20 elements in soils with special regard for New York State. Albany, NY: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Rogan, W.J. and B.C. Gladen. 1991. PCBs, DDE and child development at 18 and 24 months. Ann. Epidemiol. 1: 407-413.

Rogan, W.J. and B.C. Gladen. 1992. Neurotoxicity of PCBs and related compounds. Neurotoxicology. 13: 27-36.

Shacklette, H.T. and J.G. Boerngen. 1984. Element concentrations in soils and other surficial materials of the conterminous United States. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1270. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

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Wehran Engineering, P.C. Phase II Investigation: Rosen Site (712004) - City of Cortland, Cortland County, New York; April 1987.

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