PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
FARMINGDALE, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK
Based on information reviewed and presumed past exposure, this site poses a public health hazard. As noted in the Pathways Analysis section, human exposure to contaminated groundwater and soil may occur and may have occurred in the past via ingestion, direct contact, and inhalation of contaminants.
At the present time, ingestion of contaminated drinking water is not occurring. However, in 1977, a downgradient municipal drinking water supply well, in the general path of groundwater flow, was closed due to contamination with 1,1,1-trichloroethane. This well may have been impacted by contamination originating from the Circuitron Corporation and other sources.
The analytical data for the downgradient private well (non-potable cooling water diffusion well) show volatile chemical contamination in the groundwater at a depth between 216.3 to 226.3 feet below grade. This well, and the municipal supply well that was sampled during the RI, are both located about 1,500 feet downgradient of the site. However, according to the sampling data, these same contaminants have not migrated to the deeper portion of the Magothy aquifer where the municipal supply well is screened.
Anticipated remedial activities, which will remove contaminated soil, sediment and
underground structures, will increase the risk to the on-site remedial workers and the
surrounding community. Exposure through inhalation of soil vapors or particulates, ingestion,
and dermal contact could be expected from excavation measures. These exposures may be
minimized by using proper work techniques and personal protective equipment.
- Groundwater quality needs to be monitored upgradient and downgradient from the site and in the general path of groundwater flow. A monitoring well(s) should be positioned at a suitable location between Schmitt Boulevard and Gazza Boulevard to identify any encroaching contamination that may affect downgradient municipal drinking water supply wells.
- Public drinking water supply wells located downgradient from the Circuitron Corporation site should continue to be monitored at frequent intervals to ensure that they are not being affected by site related contaminants. This monitoring is currently mandated by the State of New York. Should these wells become contaminated above drinking water standards, other municipal water supplies and/or treatment should be provided immediately. The SCDHS was contacted and advised of the sampling data concerning the Gazza Blvd. municipal drinking water supply well. NYSDOH has requested SCDHS to sample this well for volatile and semi-volatile compounds.
- Additional groundwater investigation is needed to determine the full extent and degree of aquifer contamination in the area. This step is essential to design remedial measures to treat the groundwater contamination effectively.
- Present and future access to the site should be restricted to prevent possible exposures. Damaged and/or ill-fitting sections of fencing and gates should be repaired or replaced. Openings into the facility should also be closed or covered. Drums stored inside the facility should be inventoried and removed in an approved manner. Contaminated building dust should be removed from inside the abandoned Circuitron building to allow for possible future use of the building.
- The safety of on-site remedial workers and the surrounding community should be addressed during activities which will disturb the existing contaminated soils, sediment, and underground structures. Optimal dust control measures should be used and perimeter monitoring for vapors and particulates should be implemented during the remedial activities to ensure the safety of all nearby residents. Appropriate protective clothing and respiratory protection should be worn by workers during excavations at the site. On-site remedial workers should follow appropriate National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines and recommendations.
- The potential for impacts to indoor air quality at nearby businesses should be evaluated by taking soil gas measurements near the site. These data will determine the need for further air sampling at nearby businesses.
- US EPA should review groundwater sampling records and methods to determine plausible reason(s) for the discrepancy in sampling results obtained for monitoring well MW-4S during the RI.
The Public Health Assessment for the Circuitron Corporation site, East Farmingdale, New
York, has been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel for
appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. Because of past exposure to
contaminated drinking water, the panel recommended this site for follow-up health activities.
Those persons exposed in the past will be added to NYS DOH's registry being developed for
volatile organic compound exposures from drinking contaminated water. This registry will
be matched with the cancer registry to evaluate possible adverse health outcomes. Community
health education activities have been on-going at the county level. The Panel also
recommended including residents residing near the site in the ATSDR trichloroethene
subregistry. At this time, there are no plans for including new registrants. If anlysis on
current registrants should indicate a need for additional members, this site will be considered
Public Health Actions Taken
- Active downgradient public drinking water supply wells have been and continue to be tested by SC DHS at the specified intervals as mandated by NYS DOH. Tests for the active Gazza Boulevard supply well (S-20042) indicate no contamination above NYS DOH drinking water standards. This action should significantly reduce the potential for exposure to site-related groundwater contaminants from the public drinking water supplies.
- The community's interest and concern in the Site has grown significantly as evidenced by their attendance at, and level of involvement in, the US EPA public meeting held to discuss the remedial plan. Community health education activities have been on-going at the county level to provide information and update citizens on the progress of remediation at the site.
Public Health Actions Planned
Based on the recommendation of the HARP, ATSDR and/or NYS DOH will undertake the following public health actions:
- ATSDR will consider adding persons exposed to trichloroethene through use of their domestic water supplies to the trichloroethene subregistry if the analysis of the data on the current registrants should indicate a need for additional members.
- Persons exposed in the past to VOCs through use of their domestic water supplies will be added to NYS DOH's registry being developed for VOC exposures from contaminated drinking water.
- The SC DHS has been contacted and advised of the sampling results for the sample collected by Ebasco Services, Inc. (in October 1989) from municipal well S-20042. NYS DOH has requested that a verification sample be taken to determine the presence of di-n-butyl phthalate. SC DHS will test this well in the near future and will include analysis for this compound. This action will verify if downgradient groundwater quality has deteriorated due to migration of site-related contaminants.
Furthermore, the US EPA has indicated that they plan to take the following actions related to the recommendations in the Public Health Assessment:
- Remedial work will include measures to reduce soil levels of VOCs, focusing on the southwest corner of the site. This action will reduce the levels of 1,1,1-trichloroethane and tetrachloroethene, which are the most prevalent soil contaminants in this area of the site, to acceptable clean-up levels. In addition, plans have been made to excavate and remove contaminated sediments and soils within and around all of the underground structures inside and outside of the Circuitron building. This measure is intended to remove elevated levels of VOCs and metals which serve as a continuing source of contamination to the groundwater.
- Security measures being planned include posting and fencing the premises. In addition, drums of RI generated wastes stored inside the Circuitron building will be removed and properly disposed. The abandoned Circuitron building will be decontaminated to allow for possible future use by removing metals-contaminated dust and replacing sections of contaminated floor in the building. These measures should prevent contact with physical hazards and contaminants of concern.
- All site activity will be conducted under a prepared Health and Safety plan. These
plans will include provisions for air monitoring to assure that nearby residents are not
exposed to significant concentrations of site-related contaminants.
Remedial work will be conducted in a separate operable unit to address groundwater contamination which appears to be a regional rather than a site specific problem.
ATSDR and NYS DOH will coordinate with the appropriate agencies about those recommendations for which no plan of action has yet been developed.
This Public Health Assessment was prepared by the New York State Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was initiated.
Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC
The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR, has reviewed this Public Health Assessment and concurs with its findings.
Robert C. Williams
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR
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