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PETITIONED PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

DIARSENOL COMPANY
(a/k/a KINGSLEY PARK)
BUFFALO, ERIE COUNTY, NEW YORK


SUMMARY

The Kingsley Park-Diarsenol Company site is on the grounds of the former Diarsenol Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in the City of Buffalo, Erie County, New York. The pharmaceutical plant produced an arsenic-based medication from 1930 to 1948 and is alleged to have stored waste materials and unused product on open ground beside the facility. The area was purchased by the City of Buffalo in 1968 and was maintained as a public recreation area until 1988 when the park was closed because of environmental contamination.

The soil on site and off site was contaminated with arsenic, lead and polycyclic aromatic compounds. Arsenic and lead were detected on off-site leafy garden vegetables and in on-site groundwater. Remediation of soil on the Kingsley Park-Diarsenol Company site, including removal of contaminated soil from the site and bordering yards, was completed in December 1991. Methods for investigation of on-site and potential off-site groundwater contamination are currently being evaluated. Kingsley Park is expected to reopen for public recreational use at an unspecified date in the future.

Residents living around Kingsley Park expressed concern that their community may have elevated cancer rates. The New York Department of Health (NYSDOH) is currently conducting a cancer survey by census tract. ATSDR will evaluate that survey when it is complete to determine if further public health actions are indicated for the community living near the site. Residents are also concerned that other adverse health effects could have resulted from contaminants at the site.

Based on available information, ATSDR has concluded that the Kingsley Park-Diarsenol Company site posed a public health hazard before 1991 remediation of the site and bordering yards. Residents may have been exposed to contaminants when they ingested, inhaled, or absorbed chemicals from contaminated soil, air, or vegetables. However, there is insufficient information to document exposure duration or levels. Current or future exposure to site-related contaminants is unlikely now that contaminated soils have been removed from the site and bordering yards. However, exposure to lead-based paint on private off-site buildings remains a possibility.

Lead contamination of soil appears to be unrelated to the site; lead-contaminated dusts and soils are a problem in many urban areas. ATSDR recommends that residents in the Kingsley Park area be made aware of how to reduce potential exposure to lead in soil, dust, air, and garden produce pathways. Residents should also be educated about the importance and method of removing lead-based paint from buildings.

ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has reviewed the Kingsley Park/Diarsenol Company site to determine if any follow-up health activities are indicated. The panel has determined that community health education activities currently provided by the state of New York are appropriate for the Kingsley Park community. Available programs to assess biological indicators of exposure (blood lead levels) are also appropriate for the community. The ATSDR Division of Health Education will implement a public health education program to advise the public health professional and the local medical community of the nature and possible consequences of exposure to contaminants at the Kingsley Park\Diarsenol Company site. In addition, ATSDR will conduct a health statistics review of relevant health outcome data when it becomes available. ATSDR will also evaluate any additional information it receives about the site to determine if further public health actions are appropriate.


BACKGROUND

In response to a petition received from the public in June 1991, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has evaluated the public health significance of the Kingsley Park/Diarsenol Company site in this public health assessment. ATSDR is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is authorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) to conduct public health assessments at hazardous waste sites. More specifically, ATSDR determines whether health effects are possible at hazardous waste sites and recommends actions to reduce or prevent possible health effects.

A. Site Description and History

Kingsley Park is at 52 to 86 Kingsley Street in the City of Buffalo, Erie County, New York. The site is in an urban residential area that occupies approximately three acres in the central area of the block (1). Asphalt basketball courts, a concrete wading pool, and an unpaved baseball field are among the structures in the park. Figures 1 and 2 in Appendix A show important features on and near the site.

The Diarsenol Company operated a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant that produced an arsenic-based medication from 1930 to 1948 at 72 and 84 Kingsley street. According to area residents, waste materials and unused product from the Diarsenol Company were stored on the ground beside the plant on 72 Kingsley Street before being disposed of off site (2,3).

After 1948, the properties were occupied by a number of small businesses and industrial operations (rug cleaners, sign makers and holding companies) until the City of Buffalo purchased the land in 1968. The City of Buffalo renovated and maintained the property as a recreational area until 1988 when it was closed because of concerns about its potential threat to public health (2).

Samples of soil, groundwater, air, and vegetation have been taken on and near the site since 1983 by the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Arsenic was concentrated in one spot in the northeast area of the site where the Diarsenol Company is thought to have stored waste materials. Lead and organic compounds, including polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and dibenzofuran, were found scattered in on- and off-site soils. Lead and arsenic were detected in on-site groundwater and in samples of leafy vegetables grown in gardens adjacent to the site.

A characterization of on- and off-site contamination was completed in late 1990 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Contractors for NYSDEC completed a removal of contaminated soil from the site and bordering yards in December, 1991. Soil was excavated and removed to a depth of a minimum of 1 foot in areas where arsenic levels were below 20 ppm. In areas with higher levels of arsenic, soil was removed until levels of arsenic below 20 ppm were reached (depths ranged from 2 to 9 feet) (2,4).

The City of Buffalo offered temporary relocation to residents living on and adjacent to properties being remediated. Approximately 20 people participated in the temporary relocation program for periods of 3 days to 1 week. The City of Buffalo also provided free daily transportation to the community center for residents who did not want to be in their homes during remedial activities (5).

Soil that was removed was replaced by a 1- to 2-foot layer of clean soil (except in the northeast area of the site where up to 9 feet of clean soil was added). Those areas were then covered with 6 inches of topsoil and seeded with grass. NYSDEC also installed four additional on-site monitoring wells in the spring of 1992 (bringing the total number of wells to five) to provide long-term information concerning groundwater quality beneath the site. Kingsley Park is expected to be reopened for public use. No date for reopening has been set (4,6).

ATSDR received a petition from a City of Buffalo council member in June 1991 requesting that a public health assessment be performed of the Kingsley Park site. The petition requested that this public health assessment include an overview of environmental problems at the site, an evaluation of health outcome data for the area around the park, and an assessment of community concerns about the site.

B. Site Visit

From August 26 to August 29, 1991, ATSDR representative Thomas Umbreit visited the Kingsley Park area. Several structures were noted in the park, including asphalt basketball courts, a wading pool, and a bathhouse. The park also contained an unpaved baseball field. The remainder of the site was covered with tall, uncut vegetation. An 8-foot high chain link fence with a locked gate surrounded the park and no evidence of unauthorized access was noted (3).

Off site, ATSDR staff observed private houses bordering the park to the north, east, and west. A two-lane street runs along the southern area of the site. Numerous people, including children and senior citizens, were seen outside the houses. Children were playing both in yards and on the street. A hospital, firehouse, shopping area and a number of churches were noted within a few blocks of the site (3).

Information was obtained from several local and state agencies: the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and representatives of the city of Buffalo Common Council. The ATSDR representative held meetings with the city of Buffalo Human Services Commissioner, the city of Buffalo Director of Support Services, the Commissioner of Health for Erie County, representatives for elected officials of the state and federal government, and community representatives. Information obtained from those sources has been incorporated into appropriate sections of this Public Health Assessment.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Demographics

Demographic information is presented for the city of Buffalo as well as for specific areas immediately surrounding Kingsley Park. In 1990, the city of Buffalo had a population of 328,123. The population was approximately 65% white, 31% African-American, and 4% other races. There were approximately 2.4 persons per household in 1990. Approximately 43% of the homes were owner-occupied, and the median value of owner-occupied housing units was $46,700 (7).

Kingsley Park is in census tract 33.02 and borders census tract 32.02. The combined land area of the two census tracts is 0.89 square miles. Census figures from 1990 indicate a total population of 9,517 persons and 3,992 households in the two tracts. The majority of the population (97%) in census tracts 33.02 and 32.02 are African-American; 3% are white. In 1990, 16% of the total population in these tracts was under 10 years of age and just over 16% was 65 years of age or older. There were approximately 2.4 persons per household in 1990, and 36% of the homes are owner-occupied. The median value of owner-occupied housing was $22,438 (7).

Land Use

Kingsley Park is in an urban residential area that occupies the central area of a block. A two-lane street runs south of the site, and single-family homes, built between 1910 and 1930, border the site in the other three directions. Residents' lawns are covered with grass, and they have historically grown vegetable gardens in their yards. A hospital, firehouse, shopping area and a number of churches are within a few blocks of the site (3).

Natural Resource Use

Residents within a 3-mile radius of Kingsley Park have been drinking water from the municipal water supply system in Buffalo for more than 50 years. The municipal water comes from surface water (Lake Erie); the nearest surface water supply intakes are more than 3 miles from the site (6,8).

No wells produce water within 2 miles of the site. However, inactive commercial groundwater wells were reported within 2 miles of the site by EPA. Those wells drew water from a groundwater zone called the Onondaga limestone aquifer at depths between 80 and 100 feet below the ground surface. It is not known when these wells were last used. No future plans to use these wells have been noted (6,8).

Two groundwater zones underlie the general region which includes the Kingsley Park area. The shallowest zone, made of glacial till, has not been known to supply groundwater to wells. That water table is of low permeability and low water yield. It lies perched above the second water-bearing zone and varies in thickness depending on the height of the second water-bearing zone. The depth from the ground surface to the highest seasonal level of the water table is estimated at between 12 and 20 feet (8).

The second water-bearing zone is in a layer of limestone bedrock and is called the Onondaga Limestone aquifer. Regional hydrogeologic studies indicate that the limestone layer begins approximately 20 feet below the surface with the depth to the groundwater approximately 80 feet below the surface. This groundwater zone is approximately 110-feet thick; groundwater quantity depends on the number of joints and fractures in the limestone. Groundwater flow is estimated to be toward the south/southwest (6,8).

Local precipitation is approximately 36 inches per year with annual losses of water to evaporation averaging 27 inches per year. The net precipitation available to infiltrate the groundwater is therefore an estimated 9 inches per year. The wind direction is primarily toward the north/northeast (4,8).

No surface water is present in Kingsley Park. The site is flat with an average slope of less than 1% and no direct route for surface-water runoff. The northern area of the site is higher than the bordering yards, allowing for some runoff into yards. Runoff from the site enters the Buffalo sewer system. The nearest body of surface water is the Scajaquada Creek, 1 mile northwest of the site. The creek is not used for drinking, recreational or irrigation purposes. Lake Erie is about 3 miles west/southwest of the site (6,8).

D. Health Outcome Data

Health outcome data may help to determine whether certain adverse health effects are higher than expected in the Kingsley Park area. This section identifies available, relevant databases and information sources. The databases are evaluated in section B of the Public Health Implications section.

ATSDR reviewed results of blood lead and urinary arsenic samples taken from area residents in 1990 and 1991 by the Erie County Department of Health. Data were also evaluated from a birth defects registry maintained by New York State.

Two additional sources of information will be reviewed when they are available to ATSDR. NYSDOH is currently conducting a cancer survey by census tract in the Kingsley Park area. NYSDOH will provide this survey to ATSDR when it is completed. It was reported that the Kingsley Park Neighborhood Association, a local community group, conducted a community survey of health outcomes in the area. The survey has been requested from the Kingsley Park Neighborhood Association, but has not been made available to ATSDR. It therefore cannot be evaluated in this public health assessment.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Concerned residents and city of Buffalo Council members have presented ATSDR with a number of concerns that they would like addressed in the public health assessment. Community Health Concerns are summarized as follows:

1. What are the likely long term health affects from exposure to lead and arsenic at the site? Has the local population shown increased incidence of these problems?

2. Were there any health impacts from compounds other than lead and arsenic, including dibenzofuran and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)?

3. Does the community have a high rate of illness, particularly of cancer?

4. How accurate and relevant are blood lead and arsenic urine tests to long-term exposures?

5. Can ATSDR educate local physicians so that they will recognize long-term effects of lead and arsenic?

6. Could vegetables from local gardens be contaminated with site-related chemicals at levels that could impact public health?

7. Could the buildings and the concrete in the park be contaminated?

8. Were public safety and health protected during remedial activities?

Those concerns will be addressed in the Community Health Concerns Evaluation section.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

Tables in the Appendix list contaminants in each medium. Those contaminants are evaluated in the subsequent sections of the public health assessment to determine whether exposure to them has public health significance. ATSDR selects and discusses contaminants based on several factors. They include concentrations on and off site, the quality of field and laboratory data, sample design, comparison of on- and off-site concentrations with background concentrations (if available), comparison of on- and off-site concentrations to health assessment comparison values for noncarcinogenic endpoints and (2) carcinogenic endpoints, and community health concerns.

Listing a contaminant in the tables does not mean that it will cause adverse health effects if exposure occurs at the specified concentrations. Instead, the list indicates which contaminants will be further evaluated in the public health assessment. The potential for adverse health effects resulting from exposure to contaminants of health concern is discussed in the Public Health Implications section.

Comparison values for ATSDR public health assessments are contaminant concentrations in specific media that are used to select contaminants for further evaluation. ATSDR and other agencies developed those values to provide guidelines for estimating the media concentrations of a contaminant that are unlikely to cause adverse health effects, given a standard daily ingestion rate and standard body weight. See Appendix C for a description of the comparison values used in this public health assessment.

Analytical data for the Kingsley Park site show the presence of arsenic, lead, cadmium, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and dibenzofuran. PAHs found at the Kingsley Park site were grouped as carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic. Concentrations of contaminants in each medium are presented in the tables (see Appendix B).

A. On-site Contamination

Soil

More than 200 soil samples at depths up to 12 feet were taken from the Kingsley Park site between 1983 and 1991, when the site was remediated. The highest surface (0-6 inches deep) and subsurface (greater than 6 inches deep) concentrations of arsenic in on-site soil were found in the northeast of Kingsley Park (the area where the Diarsenol Company reportedly stored waste material). Arsenic levels were highest at depths up to 2 feet after which the levels decreased (1,2,9,10).

Levels of lead in the soil do not appear to be related to arsenic levels found in the soil. Before remediation, concentrations of lead higher than 500 ppm were found in scattered areas throughout Kingsley Park and were not concentrated in the northeast section of the site as were arsenic levels. Other contaminants in soil, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dibenzofuran, were also detected in on-site surface and subsurface soils near the ball field before remediation (9). Table 1 (all tables are in Appendix B) shows the maximum concentrations of specific chemicals of concern found in soils on site before remediation.

Groundwater

In 1990, NYSDEC installed one monitoring well (MW1) at a depth of 12.5 feet in a shallow perched water table underlying Kingsley Park. In November and December 1990, three filtered samples and one unfiltered sample were collected and analyzed. Lead was found in the unfiltered sample but not in the filtered samples. Arsenic and cadmium were detected in both the filtered and unfiltered samples. Cadmium, however, was also found in laboratory blanks, indicating possible laboratory contamination of the samples and inaccurate analytical results (2).

In June 1992, NYSDEC installed four additional on-site monitoring wells at a depth of 12 feet. The wells were placed in the northeast portion of the site where the highest soil arsenic levels were found. These wells, along with MW1, were sampled for total arsenic in July and August 1992. Ten unfiltered and five filtered samples were collected. Arsenic was detected in both filtered and unfiltered samples (4). Table 3 in Appendix B lists the maximum concentrations of the contaminants found in groundwater on site.

Air

On-site air monitoring surveys were taken in May 1989, using a portable HNu photoionization detector. The surveys did not indicate organic vapors above background levels in ambient air at the site (1).

Air monitoring for arsenic and lead was conducted during site remediation using high volume air pumps. One upwind and three downwind samples were collected daily during soil moving activities. These samples were collected over an 8 hour period from 8 sampling stations. Four of the sampling stations were located on the perimeter of Kingsley Park and four were located off-site. No arsenic or lead was detected in on-site air throughout remedial activities (4).

Real time air monitoring was also conducted at the site perimeter during all excavation and soil loading activities. Real time air monitoring was performed using photoionization detectors (PID) to monitor for volatile organic chemicals and aerosol monitors to measure particulate (dust) levels. The action levels established for the exclusion zone perimeter were 2.5 times above background and greater than 150 µg/m3. The action level of 150 µg/m3 is in accordance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for particulate matter (PM-10). No air contaminants above the action levels were indicated by the real time monitors throughout remediation of the site (4,11,12).

Vegetation

Two samples of on-site vegetation were analyzed for Total Analyte List (TAL) metals in 1989. Arsenic and lead were also analyzed in a sample of on-site vegetation in 1990 (1,10). Results of these sampling events are listed in Table 4 of Appendix B and are compared with the level of metals detected in off-site vegetation samples. Levels of arsenic, lead, and TAL metals detected in off-site vegetation are higher than the levels detected in on-site vegetation.

Buildings

Asphalt basketball courts and a concrete wading pool, bathhouse, and playground remain on Kingsley Park. Wipe tests conducted in the pool and playground areas before and after remediation did not indicate arsenic contamination (4).

B. Off-site Contamination

Soil

Off-site contamination of soil was found in backyards bordering Kingsley Park. The highest concentrations of arsenic were found in surface soils to the north and east of the site. Lead levels in off-site soil were generally higher than those found on site with the highest levels usually near buildings. That indicates that the lead contamination is not likely to be related to the arsenic compound produced by Diarsenol but rather the result of urban air pollution and/or the presence of lead-based paint on buildings. Dibenzofuran was assessed, but not detected in two off-site samples collected in 1986. Table 2 in Appendix B lists maximum concentrations of the contaminants found in soil in the area around Kingsley Park (1,2,9,10).

Groundwater

According to data reviewed, no off-site analysis of groundwater from the Onondaga aquifer has been conducted. It is not known if the shallow perched water table underlying Kingsley Park extends off site; no off-site analysis of this water table has been reported. Groundwater has leaked into a residential basement adjacent to the northeast portion of Kingsley Park; the basement wall bordering the site has since been sealed. It is unknown if the groundwater that leaked into the basement came from the shallow perched water table underlying the site. Arsenic levels in this groundwater were below the New York State drinking water standard of .05 milligrams per liter (13).

Air

Air monitoring for arsenic and lead was conducted during site remediation using high volume air pumps. One upwind and three downwind samples were collected daily during soil moving activities. These samples were collected over an 8 hour period from 8 sampling stations. Four of the sampling stations were located on the perimeter of Kingsley Park and four were located off-site. No arsenic or lead was detected in off-site air throughout remedial activities (4).

Vegetable

In 1990, vegetable samples were collected from three gardens in backyards to the east and south of Kingsley Park and analyzed for arsenic and lead (14). While both arsenic and lead are normally found in vegetables, the levels found in off-site samples of leafy green vegetables were higher than those typically found in vegetation (15,16). In separate vegetable samples taken in 1989, concentrations of Total Analyte List (TAL) metals were higher in off-site leafy green vegetation as compared to on-site leafy green vegetation (1). The results are listed in Table 4 of Appendix B.

Buildings

No direct sampling of paint on off-site buildings in the Kingsley Park area has been reported. However, as stated above, the highest levels of lead in off-site soil were found in samples taken near buildings. Paint chips containing lead have also been found near off-site buildings (14). It is therefore likely that lead-based paint has been used on some off-site buildings in the Kingsley Park area.

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

The conclusions in this public health assessment are based largely upon data developed by contractors for EPA, NYSDOH, and NYSDEC. When descriptions were provided, the QA/QC measures appeared consistent with measures normally taken with environmental sampling and analysis. The data are assumed to be accurate unless specifically qualified.

The analytical data developed by Engineering Science for NYSDEC and presented in the "Final Interim Remedial Report" appear to be of high quality for the contaminants of concern listed in the ATSDR tables (see Appendix B). The Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) protocols associated with the sampling and analysis program were maintained in accordance with the NYSDEC-approved Work Plan. Duplicate samples, as well as matrix spikes (MS), matrix spike duplicates (MSD), and field wash blanks were collected for each sample matrix. In addition, trip blanks accompanied the groundwater samples to the laboratory (2).

There were some analytical difficulties with laboratory control samples for groundwater data in the "Final Interim Remedial Report" (2). In unfiltered groundwater samples, the spiked sample recovery for arsenic was not within control limits, indicating that the arsenic level detected may not be accurate. There were no QA/QC issues with filtered samples. Although filtered samples reflect only dissolved metal concentrations instead of total metals, dissolved metals are most likely to migrate in groundwater. Results of both the filtered and unfiltered groundwater samples are recorded in Table 3 of Appendix B.

Analytical difficulties with some laboratory control blanks also occurred. Cadmium, detected in filtered and unfiltered groundwater samples in the "Final Interim Remedial Report", was also found in the wash blanks of those samples (2). In off-site soil data collected by the NUS Corporation for EPA, some semi-volatile organic compounds were detected in the laboratory blanks and the samples (9). Contaminants in laboratory blanks indicate possible laboratory contamination of samples and inaccurate analytical results. In the tables (Appendix B), potentially inaccurate laboratory results are identified with the letter B.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

No unusual physical hazards were noted by ATSDR personnel during the site visit. The site was enclosed with an eight-foot high chain link fence, making access to the park unlikely.

TOXIC CHEMICAL RELEASE INVENTORY

ATSDR conducted a search of the EPA Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) for site-related contaminants in the City of Buffalo and Erie County for 1990. For any of over 300 toxic chemicals, EPA requires that the manufacturing industry report annual estimated releases to the environment. TRI listed no facility releases of site-related contaminants in the Kingsley Park zip code in 1990. Within Erie County, TRI listed two facilities that released an estimated 255 pounds of lead into the air in 1990. In addition, one facility in Erie County was listed as releasing 270 pounds of dibenzofurans into the air in 1990. TRI did not list any releases of arsenic or cadmium in Erie County in 1990.


PATHWAYS ANALYSES

To determine whether nearby residents may be exposed to contaminants from the Kingsley Park-Diarsenol Company site, ATSDR evaluated the environmental and human components that lead to human exposure. This pathway analysis consists of five elements: (1) source of contamination, (2) environmental medium in which the contaminants may be present or may migrate, (3) points of human exposure, (4) routes of human exposure such as ingestion, inhalation, or dermal absorption, and (5) receptor population.

ATSDR identifies exposure pathways as completed, potential, or eliminated. A completed exposure pathway exists in the past, present, or future if all five elements of an exposure pathway link the contaminant source to a receptor population. Potential pathways, however, are defined as situations in which at least one of the five elements is missing, but could exist. Potential pathways indicate that exposure to a contaminant could have occurred in the past, could be occurring, or could occur in the future. Pathways are eliminated when at least one of the five elements is missing and will never be present. Completed and potential pathways may also be eliminated if they are unlikely to exist, or to be significant. All completed, potential, and eliminated exposure pathways at the Kingsley Park-Diarsenol Company site are presented in Table 5 of Appendix B.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

Surface Soil Pathways

Soil sampling data indicated contamination of on- and off-site soil with arsenic, lead, and semi-volatile chemicals. It is probable that arsenic in on-site soils was transported off-site by wind, surface runoff, excavation and construction. Contamination of soil with lead and semi-volatile chemicals does not appear to be a result of past activities on the Kingsley Park site. The levels of lead and PAHs found in the soil around Kingsley Park site are similar to those found in typical urban soils (16,17). The lead probably comes from a wide variety of urban activities, such as the use of lead-based paint and leaded gasoline. PAHs and dibenzofuran are also likely to be related to urban air quality and the combustion of fossil fuels (18).

Users of park facilities and nearby residences were probably exposed to contaminants in surface soils via skin contact, inhalation, and inadvertent ingestion of contaminants. Skin contact with contaminated soil can lead to the absorption of contaminants through the skin.It can also lead to the ingestion of contaminants through hand-to-mouth activities, such as eating and smoking. For residential yards and other play areas, soil ingestion is a particularly common route of exposure for children less than 6 years of age because of greater hand/mouth activity (15). Inhalation of contaminants may have occurred via airborne dust stirred up from contaminated soils.

Contaminated soils were removed from the site and nearby yards in 1991 and replaced by a minimum of one foot of clean soil. As a result, present and future exposure to site-related contaminants is unlikely via soil pathways.

Food chain

Food-chain exposure pathways include the consumption of plants, animals, or other food products raised on contaminated soils, in contaminated water, or irrigated with contaminated groundwater or surface water. No domestic animals were observed being raised in the area and small rodents and birds would be the only animals expected to live on site. Therefore, it is unlikely that residents consumed contaminated animals at this urban site.

Private vegetable gardens, on the other hand, have been noted in the Kingsley Park area. Arsenic, lead, and some PAHs can be absorbed from the soil by plants (15,16,17). Airborne contaminants can also be deposited directly on the plant surface. Leafy vegetable samples taken from gardens adjacent to Kingsley Park exhibited levels of lead and arsenic above those typically found in leafy vegetables. Therefore, exposure to lead and arsenic above typical background levels has probably occurred in the past through produce grown in gardens around the Kingsley Park site. Present and future exposure to site-related contaminants is not likely through produce grown in these gardens because contaminated soils were removed from the site and nearby yards in 1991.

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

Ambient Air Pathway

A past exposure pathway could have resulted from contamination of the ambient air on and around the Kingsley Park site. Potential points of human exposure include users of park facilities or nearby residents who had direct contact with wind blown dust or with contaminants that volatilized from the soil into the air. Inhalation would have been the main route of exposure to air contaminants.

Information is not available on arsenic or lead levels in the air on and around the Kingsley Park site before 1991. ATSDR is therefore unable to evaluate past exposure via the air pathway because concentrations of chemicals that reached people on or near the site are not fully known.

No arsenic or lead was detected in the air during remedial activities in 1991. A completed air pathway for arsenic and lead was therefore unlikely during remedial activities. At present or in the future, a completed air pathway for either arsenic or lead is unlikely because contaminated soils were removed from the Kingsley Park site and nearby areas.

Groundwater

Although arsenic and lead have been found in the shallow perched water table underlying the site, no wells are known to tap this water source. Exposure to contaminants in the shallow perched water table through drinking water is therefore unlikely. However, it is possible that contaminated water from the shallow perched aquifer could migrate upward to contaminate the surface soil or seep into nearby basements.

No information is available on water quality in the Onondaga aquifer, which also underlies the site. However, there are no potable wells within a 3-mile radius of the site and no receptor population for contaminants that might exist in this aquifer can be identified. The area has been served by municipal water for over 50 years. Municipal water is taken from Lake Erie, the intake pipe being off shore.

Buildings

Exposure to lead in the past, present, or future is possible for residents if lead-based paint is present on buildings in the Kingsley Park area. Paint can chip off of the buildings and be deposited on soil or garden produce with exposure occurring via inhalation or ingestion of these media. Children have also been known to directly consume paint chips (18).

No direct sampling of paint on buildings in the Kingsley Park area has been reported. It is likely, however, that lead-based paint was used on some off-site buildings because paint chips containing lead were found in off-site soil samples. In addition, the highest off-site lead levels were found in samples taken near buildings. Past use of lead-based paint on off-site buildings is not related to the Kingsley Park/Diarsenol Company site.

C. Eliminated Exposure Pathways

Remedial workers

Remedial workers could have been exposed to contaminants in a variety of environmental media while conducting on-site activities in the past. However, it is unlikely that such exposures were at levels of concern, provided that appropriate work practices, as defined by the state or federal regulatory or permitting authorities, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), were followed. Those provisions include worker education, certification, supervision and training, and use of personal protective equipment.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

A. Toxicological Evaluation

Health effects resulting from the interaction of an individual with a hazardous substance in the environment depend on several factors. One is the route of exposure: that is, whether the chemical is breathed, consumed with food or water, or whether it contacts the skin. Another factor is the dose to which a person is exposed, and the amount of exposure dose that is actually absorbed. Mechanisms by which chemicals are altered in the environment, or inside the body once absorbed, are also important. Much variation in those mechanisms exists among individuals.

ATSDR has prepared toxicological profiles for many substances found at hazardous waste sites. Those documents present data and interpret information on the substances. Preparers of this public health assessment have reviewed the profiles for the contaminants of concern at Kingsley Park.

Arsenic

Users of the park and nearby residents may have been exposed to arsenic via contact with contaminated soil and dusts, or by eating contaminated garden produce. The amount of arsenic in the most contaminated soils at the park was sufficient to threaten the health of park users who ingested the soil. That was especially true for children, who were most likely to play at the park and ingest the greatest quantity of soil. Adults and senior citizens might also have been at risk, depending on the amount of time they spent in the park and their accidental ingestion of soil.

Other possible exposure pathways to arsenic (ingestion of off-site soil and garden vegetables) are not expected to cause either acute health effects or cancer because the levels of contamination in soil and the level of intake of garden vegetables are low.

Arsenic is poisonous at high doses. It interferes with basic cellular metabolism generating energy. Arsenic also acts as an irritant, causing thickening of the skin, and abnormal heart function and blood vessel damage. Anemia and nerve damage can also occur. Arsenic is considered a carcinogen for both humans and animals; it can lead to skin and lung cancer (15). People who used the park might have been at increased risk of adverse health effects due to contact with the on-site soils. The risk of cancer cannot be estimated because there is no accepted cancer slope factor for arsenic (15).

Lead

Residents near the park, users of the park, and others in the city of Buffalo may have been exposed to lead through contaminated soils, or by eating garden vegetables. However, lead levels in park soils were less than some of the levels detected off site. That suggests that the lead contamination may involve other sources as well as on-site activities. It is possible that lead in paints used in houses in the area may have contributed to lead contamination. Other sources of lead include coal and oil (including gasoline) combustion, old lead pipes, and other environmental contamination sources (16).

There are currently no comparison values for lead. The levels of lead in the park are below those of arsenic. The maximum levels of lead found in soil outside the park are higher, and may present a health risk. Consumption of garden vegetables will result in very low levels of lead intake and probably do not represent a health concern.

Children are especially susceptible to lead poisoning, and further, are attracted to lead-based paints because of their sweet taste.

Lead poisoning can have effects on childhood development, learning, and mental state even at very low levels of exposure. Adults can suffer kidney and nerve damage, high blood pressure, mental problems, and reproductive failure, but are less susceptible to lead exposure than children (16,17).

Other Compounds

Several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been found on and off site. The possible dose of the total PAHs present is sufficient to present an elevated risk of cancer. However, because of interactions between different PAHs, it may not be valid to use the total amount of PAH present for calculating cancer risk. More basic research on these compounds is needed. PAHs are common products of combustion of fossil fuels, including gasoline and heating oils. Elevated levels of PAHs are common in cities and the risk of cancer is increased in cities as a result. In light of that, the site may not be the source of PAHs (18).

Cadmium has been found in on-site groundwater at levels exceeding health guidelines for drinking water. However, the presence of cadmium in the laboratory blanks indicates possible contamination of the samples and inaccurate analytical results. Even if cadmium is present in on-site groundwater, on-site groundwater is not used for drinking water or any other purpose, so it is unlikely that people are being exposed to cadmium contamination. Therefore cadmium is not a health concern at this site.

Low levels of dibenzofuran were found in very limited areas of the site. Extensive human exposure is unlikely. Although no comparison values exist, it is unlikely that the dibenzofuran contamination is of any health significance. Soils containing dibenzofuran were removed from the site during remediation.

No other compounds are known to be present in sufficient quantities to be of health concern.

Skin absorption of contaminants after dermal contact with soils in the park and off site (in soil or in groundwater that has leaked into basements) is possible. It is difficult to estimate skin exposure and absorption across the skin, but none of the major contaminants cross the skin easily. It is unlikely that much exposure occurs via the skin.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

Evaluation of health outcome data may give a general picture of the health of a community and may confirm the presence of adverse health outcomes. However, elevated rates of a particular disease may not be a result of hazardous substances in the environment. Similarly, if elevated rates are not found, a contaminant may still have caused adverse health effects. ATSDR must depend on previously gathered data to perform a public health assessment. Pre-existing health outcome data are usually reported for much larger population units, such as counties, than are likely to be affected by the contaminants associated with a particular site. Any evidence of adverse health effects on the smaller population may be hidden within the larger population. Also, when populations are small, the number of people who have a particular adverse health effect is also small. Small changes in the number of affected people from year to year can cause a large change in the rate, so the rate is considered "unstable". For those reasons, health outcome data must be evaluated with caution.

The New York State Department of Health is conducting a cancer study in the Kingsley Park area. If there is an increase in cancer rate over what is seen throughout New York State, the study should reveal this effect. It might, however, be difficult to prove a direct association with the Kingsley Park site. Nevertheless, the study will provide a basis for determining future public health actions that may be required to protect the people of Kingsley Park from increased risk of cancer.

The Erie County Health Department has conducted a blood lead screening program in the community. Participation by community members was limited. Out of 305 samples analyzed in the first round, two showed elevated lead levels in the blood (elevated lead was considered to be above 25 µg/dl, using previous CDC guidelines). A child born after Kingsley Park was closed had 25 µg/dl while an older person had 29 µg/dl. The child has received subsequent medical attention to reduce the blood lead level. A second round of testing, designed to accommodate community input, received a low response rate (40 participants), and no elevated blood leads were observed.

Community residents were also tested for urinary arsenic. Of the 304 individuals tested, none had arsenic at over 10 micrograms per liter in their urine. The level at which adverse health effects might begin to occur is 50 micrograms per liter (19). Therefore, the urinary arsenic levels detected in these residents did not indicate a current health concern.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

ATSDR will address each of the community concerns about health below:

1. What are the likely long term health affects from exposure to lead and arsenic at the site? Has the local population shown increased incidence of these problems?

Exposure to arsenic at the maximum levels found before remediation might result in an increase in the risk of cancer and birth defects. However, the highest levels were found in one limited area of the site, so exposure would likely have been considerably less for most users of the park. Therefore, the risk of cancer would be considerably less than we estimate from the maximum. Lead might cause delayed childhood development, maturation, and mental advancement; lead is also known to be an animal carcinogen. However, few of the people living near the site had elevated blood lead levels, suggesting that continuing exposures have not been sufficient to cause health effects. Even so, these effects are being examined by NYSDOH.

Remediation of the site and adjacent yards should have effectively removed arsenic from the soil in these areas. This eliminates any excess risk of cancer or other health effects from present or future contact with these soils.

While remediation of the site and adjacent yards should also have effectively removed lead from the soil in these areas, it is possible that soils could be re-contaminated if lead-based paint chips off of buildings. Exposure to lead in the area around Kingsley Park, and in other areas of the city of Buffalo, presents a health concern that needs to be addressed on a region-wide basis.

2. Were there any health impacts from compounds other than lead and arsenic, including dibenzofuran and PAHs?

The limited extent of dibenzofuran contamination means that most people were not exposed to significant levels of dibenzofuran. PAHs, however, were present in sufficient quantities to present an increased risk of cancer, but the levels are typical of an urban environment. More research is needed on these compounds to determine if the risks we calculate now are real or are the result of our current methods. Remediation of the site probably removed other compounds as well as arsenic. Other compounds were not sufficient to pose a health risk.

3. Does the community have a high rate of illness, particularly of cancer?

The NYSDOH cancer study, when complete, should answer the question about increased cancer rate. The only data available to determine the rate of illness is the community survey, which has not been provided to ATSDR for evaluation.

4. How accurate and relevant are blood lead and arsenic urine tests to long-term exposures?

These tests are of only limited value for assaying acute exposures after the exposure has stopped. Blood tests for lead reflect exposures that have occurred in the 35 days previous to the test. Earlier exposures will not be reliably determined by this test. Since arsenic in urine maintains a balance with body stores of the compound over a longer time, urine tests for arsenic might reflect exposure for up to six months afterwards. Both tests are better at reflecting continuing and chronic exposures, and they can support evidence of exposures while not providing accurate exposure levels. The tests can also demonstrate continuing body levels of these compounds that may be providing long term harm.

5. Can ATSDR educate local physicians so that they will recognize long term effects of lead and arsenic?

ATSDR can provide health education to health care providers. This action will be determined by the Health Activities Recommendations Panel, which will review this public health assessment.

6. Could vegetables from local gardens be contaminated with site-related chemicals at levels which could impact on health?

The levels of contaminants in garden vegetables grown near the site were not sufficient to pose a health risk, if normal patterns (used as a supplemental food supply) of consumption were followed. Unusually heavy consumption of these vegetables might be a greater risk. Exposure can be further reduced by washing vegetables before cooking or consuming them.

7. Could the buildings and the concrete in the park be contaminated?

Since the buildings and concrete areas were built considerably after the contamination occurred, it is less likely that they are contaminated in more than a superficial manner (i.e., dirt on the walls that can easily be washed away). Arsenic was not detected in wipe tests conducted on the concrete playground and wading pool before and after remediation. In addition, lead paint was not likely to have been used on on-site structures because they were built in the 1970s when use of lead-based paint had declined. There may be contaminated soil under the buildings. That soil does not represent a current danger because people are not being exposed to it. There might be a concern, however, if the buildings are demolished in the future.

8. Will the public safety and health be protected during remediation?

The remediation plans were examined by ATSDR and determined to be quite adequate to protect human health during remediation. The remediation was completed in December, 1991, and the plan compliance was successful.


CONCLUSIONS

1. Kingsley Park posed a public health hazard in the past because residents were exposed to arsenic, lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil at levels that could cause illness and disease in humans. Because contaminated soils were removed from the site and surrounding areas in 1991, current or future exposure to site-related contaminants is unlikely. However, exposure to lead-based paint on private off-site buildings remains a possibility.

2. No relationship has been found between activities conducted on Kingsley Park property and the lead levels found in on- and off-site soil and vegetation. Probable sources of lead contamination include use of paint and gasoline that contained lead. Lead has been detected in soil on and off the Kingsley Park site at levels that could cause illness and disease in humans. Although remediation of the site and bordering yards reduces the potential impact of lead on the health of residents, future exposure to lead could occur if lead-based paint was used on off-site buildings in the past.

3. During remedial activities, human exposures to arsenic and lead in the air were below levels of health concern. Although there may have been completed air exposure pathways for arsenic and lead in the past, no information is available to document exposure duration or levels before 1991.

4. Arsenic and lead, although detected at levels of concern in the shallow aquifer underlying the site, are not likely to pose a threat to public health through drinking water because no receptor population can be identified.

5. No relationship has been found between activities conducted on Kingsley Park property and the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dibenzofuran in soil. Levels of PAHs detected in on- and off-site soil are at levels that could cause illness or disease. The dibenzofuran and PAHs in the soil around Kingsley Park site are probably related to urban air quality and the combustion of fossil fuels.

6. ATSDR located no environmental monitoring data on conditions on or near the Kingsley Park site before 1983. The types and concentrations of contaminants at points of human exposure therefore are not known before 1983.

7. Residents living around Kingsley Park have expressed concerns about the Kingsley Park site to ATSDR and to local and state officials. These concerns have been addressed in the public health implications section of this document.


RECOMMENDATIONS

A. Recommendations and HARP Statement

Recommendations

1. On-site groundwater is contaminated with metals. Efforts should therefore be made to ensure that there is no human exposure to contaminated groundwater. In particular, ATSDR suggests that no well permits be issued in the vicinity of the site.

2. Because future exposure to lead is possible if lead-based paint is present on off-site buildings, residents in the Kingsley Park area should be advised how to reduce potential exposure to lead in lead-based paint.

3. The lead abatement program conducted by Erie County Department of Health should be maintained. Through that program, homes of children with elevated blood lead levels are analyzed for the presence of lead-based paint.

4. Re-evaluate the site if additional data become available that suggest that further human exposure is occurring at levels that might effect public health.

HARP Statement

The data and information developed in the Kingsley Park/Diarsenol Company public health assessment have been evaluated by the Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for appropriate public health actions. In the past, completed exposure pathways to site-related contaminants posed a public health threat. Potential exposure pathways continue to exist, particularly to leaded paint on private off-site buildings. The Health Activities Recommendation Panel has determined that the potentially exposed population needs assistance in understanding their potential for exposure and in assessing any possible adverse health effects in their community. ATSDR supports the ongoing efforts of the state of New York in providing community education at this site. An environmental health education program is needed to advise the public health professional and the local medical community of the nature and possible consequences of exposure to contaminants at the Kingsley Park site. This activity will be conducted by the ATSDR Division of Health Education in conjunction with the local medical community. ATSDR determined that available programs to assess biological indicators of exposure are appropriate to respond to the needs of this community. There is a general lack of knowledge in the scientific community regarding the appropriate way to address PAHs in soil. HARP has referred the question to the Division of Toxicology to consider conducting substance-specific applied research on PAHs. ATSDR will evaluate any new data or information it receives about this site to determine if additional public health actions are appropriate. In particular, a health statistics review will be conducted by ATSDR when information and relevant health outcome data are available for this site.

B. Public Health Actions

The actions described in this section are actions for the Kingsley Park site that will be or have been taken by ATSDR, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the Erie County Department of Health, and the city of Buffalo. The purpose of this plan is to ensure that the petitioned public 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 exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health actions to be implemented are as follows:

Actions Undertaken

1. NYSDOH, NYSDEC, the Erie County Department of Health, and the city of Buffalo participated in public meetings regarding the Kingsley Park/Diarsenol Company site in July 1990 and March 1991.

2. NYSDOH and NYSDEC have provided Kingsley Park area residents with written information regarding sampling results and remediation plans.

3. The Erie County Department of Health conducted blood lead and urinary arsenic health screening for Kingsley Park residents on July 25, 1990.

4. The city of Buffalo offered temporary relocation to residents on and next to properties being remediated.

5. The city of Buffalo provided Kingsley Park residents with free transportation to the community center during remediation.

Actions Planned

1. The Erie County Department of Health and NYSDOH will continue to offer environmental health education as necessary to the community via the lead abatement program to advise the community of the possible hazards and the likelihood of exposure to hazardous substances.

2. NYSDEC will conduct a public meeting to discuss site remediation.

3. An environmental health education program is recommended to advise the public health professional and the local medical community of the nature and possible consequences of exposure to contaminants at the Kingsley Park\Diarsenol Company site. The value of obtaining a complete and accurate exposure history will be stressed as a part of this program. In addition, information that is provided on the contaminants of concern may include, but not be limited to, the physical nature of the contaminant, potential exposure pathways (i.e., soil, water, air, food) and exposure routes (i.e., inhalation, ingestion, dermal), potential health effects, symptoms of exposure and testing and treatment, if known. This activity will be conducted by the ATSDR Division of Health Education in conjunction with the local medical community.

4. NYSDOH and the Erie County Department of Health will continue to provide information as appropriate to residents interested in assessment of biological indicators of exposure. The Erie County Department of Health will also continue to provide referral to residents interested in assessment of biological indicators of exposure.

5. ATSDR will conduct a health statistics review of the cancer survey currently being conducted in the Kingsley Park area by NYSDOH.

6. ATSDR will contact appropriate state officials to request that additional data or new data be sent to ATSDR as it is available. ATSDR will ensure that recommendations made in this petitioned public health assessment are forwarded to the appropriate agencies for action.

7. If any new data or information are found to be of significant public health concern, the Division of Health Assessment and Consultation will revise the Kingsley Park/Diarsenol Company Public Health Assessment as appropriate.

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 REPORT

Maureen S. Kolasa, M.P.H., R.N.
Environmental Health Scientist
Community Health Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Thomas H. Umbreit, Ph.D.
Toxicologist
Community Health Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


ATSDR Regional Representative:

Arthur Block
Public Health Advisor
EPA Region II

REFERENCES

1. Ecology and Environment Engineering. Phase II Investigations, Diarsenol Company-Kingsley Park, Buffalo, New York. February, 1990.

2. Engineering Science. Final Interim Remedial Report, Diarsenol-Kingsley Park Site, Buffalo, New York. February, 1991.

3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Trip Report for Diarsenol/Kingsley Park site. September 3, 1991.

4. Engineering Science. Construction Certification Report, Diarsenol-Kingsley Park Site, Buffalo, New York. October 1992.

5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR Record of Activity for telephone communication with City of Buffalo staff. April 21, 1992.

6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR Record of Activity for telephone communication with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation staff. April 28, 1992.

7. Census of Population and Housing, 1990. Summary Tape File 1 (New York). Prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington, D.C.: 1991.

8. Ecology and Environment Engineering. Documentation Records for Hazard Ranking System. Diarsenol Company-Kingsley Park, City of Buffalo, New York. January, 1990.

9. NUS Corporation. Diarsenol Company Sample Results. City of Buffalo, New York. December, 1986.

10. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Round 1 and Round 2 Sampling for Kingsley Park. June-July, 1990.

11. Quarles J and Lewis WH Jr. The new clean air act: a guide to the clean air program as amended in 1990. Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius. Washington, D.C., 1990.

12. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR Record of Activity for telephone communication with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. January 5, 1993.

13. New York State Department of Health. Letter to ATSDR concerning Diarsenol Company/Kingsley Park site, Buffalo, New York. May 3, 1993.

14. Fact Sheet. Kingsley Park Update: Results of Neighborhood Soil Sampling - 2nd Round. New York State Department of Health. August, 1990.

15. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. Atlanta: ATSDR, March 1989.

16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Lead. Atlanta: ATSDR, June 1990.

17. Centers for Disease Control. Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children. Atlanta, Georgia: October, 1991.

18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Atlanta: ATSDR, December 1990.

19. Erie County Department of Health. Kingsley Park - Lead and Arsenic Testing, Final Report. July 25,1990.

20. New York State Department of Health. Letter to Lead Action Task Force concerning Diarsenol Company/Kingsley Park site, Buffalo, New York. July 9, 1993.


APPENDIX A - FIGURES

Area Map
Figure 1. Area Map

Site Map
Figure 2. Site Map


APPENDIX B - TABLES

TABLE 1. CONTAMINANTS IN ON-SITE SOILS AT KINGSLEY PARK

CONTAMINANT
MAXIMUM CONCENTRATION (ppm)1 COMPARISON VALUE
SOILS CONCENTRATION (ppm) SOURCE1
SURFACE REFERENCE SUBSURFACE REFERENCE
Arsenic 3410 2 7090 2 15 RfD-C
Lead 1530 2 695 1 None  
Cadmium 4.7 9 ND 9 25 RfD-C
Dibenzofuran 1.0 9 1.3 9 None  
Carcinogenic PAHs 28 9 12 9 .12 CREG2
Noncarcinogenic PAHs 41 9 24 9 None  

1 See Appendix C for definitions.
2 Used comparison value for benzo(a)pyrene
NA = Not analyzed
ND = None detected
Samples from Reference 1 were collected in May 1989
Samples from Reference 2 were collected in October and November 1990
Samples from Reference 9 were collected in December, 1986


TABLE 2. CONTAMINANTS IN OFF-SITE SOILS AT KINGSLEY PARK

CONTAMINANT
MAXIMUM CONCENTRATION (ppm)1 COMPARISON VALUE
SOILS CONCENTRATION (ppm) SOURCE1
SURFACE REFERENCE SUBSURFACE REFERENCE
Arsenic 400 10 16.8 1 15 RfD-C
Lead 8400 10 183 1 None  
Cadmium 5.1 9 ND 9 25 RfD-C
Dibenzofuran ND 9 ND 9 None  
Carcinogenic PAHs 7.0 9 4.8 9 .12 CREG2
Noncarcinogenic PAHs 12B 9 9.5B 9 None  

1 See Appendix C for definitions.
2 Used comparison value for benzo(a)pyrene
ND = None detected
B = compound found in laboratory blank as well as the sample, indicating possible laboratory contamination of samples and inaccurate analytical results.
Samples from Reference 1 were collected in May 1989
Samples from Reference 9 were collected in December 1986
Samples from Reference 10 were collected in June and July 1990


TABLE 3. CONTAMINANTS IN ON-SITE WATER AT KINGSLEY PARK

CONTAMINANT
MAXIMUM CONCENTRATION (ppb)1 COMPARISON VALUE

AQUIFERS

CONCENTRATION (ppb) SOURCE1
SHALLOW REFERENCE ONONDAGA REFERENCE
Arsenic

26,500

4 NA 2

3

RfD-C
Lead

32

2 NA 2

0

MCLG
Cadmium

16B

2 NA 2

2

EMEG - child
Dibenzofuran

NA

2 NA 2

None

 
Carcinogenic PAHs

NA

2 NA 2

0

MCLG2
Noncarcinogenic PAHs

NA

2 NA 2

20

LTHA3

1 See Appendix C for definitions.
2 Used benzo(a)pyrene comparison value for the group
3 Used naphthalene comparison value for the group

NA = Not analyzed
B = compound found in laboratory blank as well as the sample, indicating possible laboratory contamination of samples and inaccurate analytical results.
Sample from reference 4 was collected in August 1992
Samples from reference 2 were collected in November and December 1990


TABLE 4. CONTAMINANTS IN VEGETATION AT KINGSLEY PARK

CONTAMINANT
MAXIMUM CONCENTRATION (ppm)1 COMPARISON VALUE

VEGETATION

CONCENTRATION (ppm) SOURCE1
ON SITE REFERENCE OFF SITE REFERENCE
Arsenic

.4

10

1.1

10

.01-.03

ATSDR2
Lead

5.5

10

42

10

.011-.649

ATSDR3
Cadmium

NA

10

NA

10

.012-.45

ATSDR4
Total Analyte Metals

21.9

1

150

1

None5

 
Dibenzofuran

NA

1,10

NA

1,10

None

 
Carcinogenic PAHs

NA

1,10

NA

1,10

None

 
Noncarcinogenic PAHs

NA

1,10

NA

1,10

None

 

1 See Appendix C for definitions.
2 Mean range of arsenic in vegetables
3 Typical range of lead in leafy vegetables
4 Typical range of cadmium in leafy vegetables
5 Since TAM is a composite, a comparison value is not applicable
NA = not analyzed
Samples from Reference 1 were collected in May 1989
Samples from Reference 10 were collected in June and July 1990
* All levels noted above were from samples of leafy green vegetation.


TABLE 5. EXPOSURE PATHWAYS AT KINGSLEY PARK

Pathway Name
Exposure Pathway Elements
Time
Source COCs1 Media Point of Exposure Route of Exposure Exposed Population
Completed Exposure Pathways
Surface soils Arsenic, lead, semi-volatile organic compounds Surface soils on and off site Direct contact with contaminated media Dermal Ingestion Inhalation Users of park facilities and nearby residents. Past
Food chain Arsenic, lead Garden produce Ingestion of garden produce Ingestion Nearby residents - unknown number Past
Potential Exposure Pathways
Ambient air Arsenic, lead, semi-volatile organic compounds Ambient air on and off site Direct contact with wind blown dust or volatized contaminants Dermal Inhalation Users of park facilities and nearby residents Past
Groundwater Arsenic, lead, semi-volatile organic compounds Groundwater on and off site Contact with groundwater seeping into basements Dermal Nearby residents with groundwater seepage into basements. Past PresentFuture
Buildings Lead Paint from building surfaces Direct contact with contaminated media Inhalation Ingestion Residents who live in or near buildings that are painted with lead-based paint. Past PresentFuture
Eliminated Exposure Pathways
Remedial workers Arsenic, lead, semi-volatile organic chemicals Soil, air, surface water, groundwater Sampling of all media and other remedial activities Dermal Inhalation Ingestion Remedial workers - unlikely because appropriate safety procedures and PPE2 are required for on-site activities. Past PresentFuture

1 COCs = contaminants of concern
2 PPE = personal protective equipment.


APPENDIX C - COMPARISON VALUES

Comparison values for ATSDR public health assessments are contaminant concentrations in specific media that are used to select contaminants for further evaluation. The values provide guidelines used to estimate a dose at which health effects might be observed. Comparison values used in the Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards section of this public health assessment are listed and described below.

* EMEG = Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
* LTHA = Lifetime Health Advisory
* MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level
* MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal
* RfD = Reference Dose (mg/kg/day)
* RfD-C = Reference Dose Concentration
* ppm = milligrams per liter (mg/L water)
              milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg soil)
* ppb = micrograms per liter (µg/L water)
              micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg soil)
* kg = kilogram
* mg = milligram
* µg = microgram
* L = liter

Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs) are based on ATSDR minimal risk levels (MRLs) and factor in body weight and ingestion rates.

Lifetime Health Advisories (LTHAs) represent contaminant concentrations that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deems protective of public health over a lifetime (70 years) at an ingestion rate of 2 liters of water per day.

Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) represent contaminant concentrations that EPA deems protective of public health (considering the availability and economics of water treatment technology) over a lifetime (70 years) at an exposure rate of 2 liters per day (for an adult).

Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) are drinking water health goals set at levels at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allow an adequate margin of safety. Such levels consider the possible impact of synergistic effects, long-term and multi-stage exposures, and the existence of more susceptible groups in the population. When there is no safe threshold for a contaminant, the MCLG should be set at zero.

EPA's Reference Dose (RfD) is an estimate of the daily exposure to a contaminant that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. However, RfDs do not consider carcinogenic effects.

Reference Dose Concentration (RfD-C) is a concentration derived from an EPA Reference Dose with assumed body and ingestion rates factored into the calculation.

Comparison Value References

1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health Assessment Guidance Manual. Atlanta: ATSDR, March, 1992.


APPENDIX D - PUBLIC COMMENTS

COMMENTS RECEIVED DURING THE ATSDR PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
MAY 19 - JULY 6, 1993

COMMENT 1: Given the conclusion that exposures to contaminants were probable, I am disappointed that the proposed Public Health Actions don't include the epidemiological study I originally requested. The proposed actions, unless amended, will not be sufficient to answer the vital question of whether or not contaminants at the park have impacted the health of the community. I take some hope in the proposal on page 26 that ATSDR will educate local health professionals on the possible impacts of the contaminants. This education needs to be coupled with the development of a registry regarding the health of those who were exposed to park contaminants. The registry should include a recording of causes of death for those who have passed away in recent years. In addition, a door-to-door survey needs to be taken to identify those who have been exposed to the park so their medical records can be updated and added to the registry.

Response: The data and information developed in the Kingsley Park/Diarsenol Company Public Health Assessment have been evaluated by the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for appropriate public health actions. While an epidemiologic study may be appropriate for some sites, other health actions may be more appropriate for mitigating the health risks posed by other sites. The Health Activities Recommendation Panel determined that a health statistics review is needed to address the health risks posed by the Kingsley Park/Diarsenol Company site. This health statistics review will be conducted by ATSDR when the cancer survey currently being conducted in the Kingsley Park area by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is complete. ATSDR will also evaluate any new data or information it receives about this site. Additional public health actions, such as an epidemiologic study, will be considered if indicated by the cancer survey or by new data or information made available to ATSDR.

ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel also determined that an environmental health education program is needed to advise the public health professional and the local medical community of the nature and possible consequences of exposure to contaminants at the Kingsley Park site. Health professionals informed about health effects that might be expected from the identified levels of exposure can therefore assist their patients individually to prevent further exposures and treat any effects that may already have occurred. The focus of health professions education is to train the care providers to recognize, treat, advise and counsel their patients about exposures and potential exposures.

The National Exposure Registry, composed of chemical specific subregistries, is a listing of persons environmentally exposed to those specific chemicals. The primary purpose of the registry program is to create a large database of health information for similarly exposed persons in order to facilitate epidemiology research to ascertain if there are adverse health effects associated with exposure -- usually low-level, long-term exposure - to these chemicals. The criteria for the selection of a chemical for a subregistry include whether there is existing knowledge about the health effects of that chemical; if information is already available that a subregistry would potentially provide, a subregistry will not be established for this chemical. Such is the case for lead and arsenic; a great deal of health effect information is available for these chemicals.

COMMENT 2: I am also concerned by the "business as usual" recommendation regarding lead at the bottom of page 25. The county and state lead programs are beneficial but they are nowhere near comprehensive enough. It is wrong to assume that lead exposures from the park will be found and treated and contaminated properties will be abated. A concentrated effort is needed to seek out, educate and test those who are at risk from lead exposure in this area. Finding money for abatement is problematic in a poor community and New York has yet to set up an effective licensing process for lead abatement contractors which would guarantee safe, effective abatements.

Response: We agree that the problem of lead contamination in urban environments is of public health concern. To address this issue, the Erie County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) are actively involved in lead poisoning prevention activities. The Erie County Department of Health and NYSDOH will continue to offer environmental health education to the Kingsley Park community via the lead abatement program to advise the community of the possible hazards and the likelihood of exposure to lead. In addition, NYSDOH reports that additional State Local Assistance funding has been awarded for enhancing the efforts of local health departments with populations at risk for lead exposure. As a result of such funding, the Erie County Health Department has been awarded an additional $200,000 for childhood lead poisoning prevention activities, such as outreach and follow-up, environmental education, and public health education (20).

With respect to Kingsley Park, no relationship has been found between activities conducted on Kingsley Park property and the lead levels found in on- and off-site soil and vegetation. Probable sources of lead contamination include use of paint and gasoline that contained lead. Remediation of Kingsley Park and bordering yards reduces the potential impact of lead on the health of residents living near the park. The Erie County Department of Health has conducted blood lead screening specifically for residents living near Kingsley Park. As discussed on page 20 of this public health assessment, 345 blood lead samples were collected from residents living near Kingsley Park. Two of those samples showed elevated lead levels (elevated lead was considered to be above 25 µg/dl, using previous CDC guidelines).

COMMENT 3: If the cancer survey being conducted by the NYSDOH is a zip code-wide survey as suggested on page 1, it will be far too broad to provide meaningful data related to the Kingsley site. ATSDR needs to insure that the cancer study will cover a meaningful geographic area.

Response: The cancer incidence study being conducted by the NYSDOH is based on census tracks, not zip codes. The census tracts more closely correspond to the area of concern.

COMMENT 4: The first recommendation (page 24) states that "efforts should be made to ensure that there is no human exposure to contaminated groundwater". These efforts need to be spelled out, particularly regarding groundwater in local basements.

Response: ATSDR has incorporated this information into the public health assessment.

COMMENT 5: Page 13 of the report notes TRI data that a local facility released 270 pounds of dibenzofurans into the air in 1990. It is my understanding that dibenzofurans potentially are very dangerous compounds, are often accompanied by dioxins, and that 270 pounds is quite a large release for this type of substance. While dibenzofuran concentrations at Kingsley may not have alarmed ATSDR, I would appreciate your comments regarding the TRI facility emissions as they may be impacting major portions of Buffalo's east side.

Response: The TRI registry is referring to the non-chlorinated dibenzofuran, which is considerably less toxic than the chlorinated dibenzofurans related to the dioxins. Sampling did not detect significant amounts of chlorinated furans or dioxins in the park or area soils or air. Cleanup of the arsenic laden soils would have removed any such compounds as well.

COMMENT 6: In conclusion, your Health Activities Recommendation Panel "has determined that the potentially exposed population needs assistance in understanding their potential for exposure and in assessing any possible adverse health effects in their community". I submit that the actions proposed in this report will not meet that goal and I challenge you to amend and supplement them so they will.

Response: The purpose of the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel is to identify public health needs without consideration of availability of funds to carry out those actions. ATSDR does not have adequate funds to conduct all the needed education activities. Therefore, state and local resources need to be used whenever possible. Fortunately the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Erie County Health Department have made childhood lead poisoning a priority. Funds have been awarded to the Erie County Health Department by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) for childhood lead poisoning prevention activities. ATSDR is willing to assist the New York State Department of Health and the Erie County Health Department to provide the potentially exposed population the information needed to understand their potential for exposure and assess any possible adverse health effects in their community.

COMMENT 7: One error occurs in the Summary on page one. The second paragraph states, "On-site groundwater and off-site leafy garden vegetables are also contaminated with arsenic and lead". This is inaccurate because the soil removal has mitigated the soil contamination which was the cause of plant contamination. Groundwater is contaminated with arsenic and remedial options are being assessed.

Response: ATSDR has incorporated this information into the public health assessment.



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