PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
ELMIRA, CHEMUNG COUNTY, NEW YORK
To evaluate if a site poses an existing or potential hazard to the exposed or potentially exposedpopulation(s), the site conditions are characterized. This site characterization involves a review ofsampling data for environmental media (e.g., soil, surface water, groundwater, air), both on- andoff-site; an evaluation of the physical conditions of the contaminant sources or physical hazards nearthe site which may pose an additional health risk to the community or receptor population(s).
Contaminants selected for further evaluation are identified based upon consideration of thefollowing factors:
- Concentrations of contaminant(s) in environmental media;
- Concentrations of contaminant(s) both on- and off-site;
- Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design;
- Comparison of on-site and off-site contaminant concentrations in environmental media with typical background levels;
- Comparison of contaminant concentrations in environmental media both on and off-site with health assessment comparison values. These comparison values include Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs), drinking water standards and other relevant guidelines; and
- Community health concerns.
The selected contaminant(s) are evaluated in the Public Health Implications section (ToxicologicalEvaluation) of the Public Health Assessment (PHA) to determine whether exposure to thesechemicals is of public health significance.
The On-site Contamination subsection and the Off-site Contamination subsection includediscussions of sampling data for environmental media; summary tables of sampling data arepresented in Appendix B. A listed contaminant does not necessarily mean that it will cause adversehealth effects from exposure. If a chemical is selected for further evaluation in one medium, thatcontaminant will be reported in all media, where it is detected.
The one exception to this rule are water and sludge results (Table 1) from dry wells on the site. Table 1 lists contaminants that are not listed in other tables because they were not found in othermedia. Using that criterion, 26 such contaminants were identified and reported in Tables 2 through8. Tables 2 through 8 provide the results from soil, sediment, surface water and groundwatertesting. The one exception to this is for the results from the dry wells on-site, from whichcontaminants not found in any of the other media are listed.
Purolator Products collected samples of environmental media on-site during the 1990 RI. Thefollowing discussions addresses data from all of the sampling conducted during the 1990 RI andsome of the sampling data from the 1986 RI.
The 1990 RI reports that metal plating wastes including chromic acid and metal hydroxide sludgeswere disposed on-site. Additionally, oils and coal/boiler ashes were also disposed on-site and wasteliquids were deposited in dry wells. Samples from the dry well contained several chlorinatedsolvents and metals (see Table 1, Appendix B). Benzene, toluene, and xylenes were found only inthe sludges and liquids from those dry wells and not in any other samples; therefore, they are notlisted in any other tables.
Table 2 summarizes the data for the soil samples collected from the 1986 RI and 1990 RI. Over 100soil samples were collected during these investigations. Several volatile organic compounds(VOCs), semi-volatile organic chemicals and inorganics were found on-site. Seventeencontaminants are identified for further evaluation for soil. Of these, methylene chloride has beenattributed to laboratory contamination. The data from these samples are adequate to describe thecontamination at the site and the associated public health implications.
Twelve on-site monitoring wells including one monitoring well upgradient of the sources ofcontamination were sampled during the 1990 RI (see Table 3, Appendix B). Several chlorinatedVOCs and metals were found in concentrations exceeding New York State Drinking WaterStandards and other comparison values. Of the VOCs, cis-1,2-dichloroethene and trichloroethenewere found most frequently and in the highest concentrations. None of the semi-volatiles found insoils that are listed in Table 2 (Appendix B) were found in groundwater. Of the inorganicchemicals, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and lead were found in concentrations exceedingregulatory standards used as comparison values.
Twenty-one sediment samples were collected from Heights Drainage Swale (see Table 4, AppendixB). One sample from the swale was found to contain 6.8 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) ofAroclor 1254, a PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl). Sediment from this swale also contained up to11 mg/kg of benzo(a)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene. Trichloroethene and 1,1,1-trichloroethanewere the only VOCs detected and were found in very low concentrations (less than 10.0 mg/kg) injust a few samples. Chromium and cadmium were both found in elevated concentrations in thedrainage swale sediments.
Three samples of the North Drainage Swale sediments contained Aroclor 1248, cadmium, andchromium. Additionally, several semi-volatile organics that are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs) were in those samples. Methylene chloride was the only VOC found in sediment samplesand is most likely from laboratory contamination.
Sediments from Area 6 contained trichloroethene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane. The highest reported concentration was 130 mg/kg of trichloroethene. Additionally, elevated levelsof chromium as well as Aroclor 1248 and several PAHs were detected. The sediment samples fromArea 10 also contained trichloroethene, Aroclor 1248, some PAHs, and elevated levels of cadmiumand chromium.
The sediment of the oil/water separator contained PAHs. No PCBs or volatile organic chemicalspresent were in the sediment samples collected from the oil/water separator.
Surface water samples were collected on-site from the oil/water separators, Heights Drainage Swale,and Area 10 (see Table 5, Appendix B). Inorganic chemicals were found in the surface watersamples from all three areas. However, only chromium in one sample from Area 10 appeared at anelevated concentration.
Cis-1,2-dichloroethene was in both samples collected from Area 10; the highest concentration was5.0 micrograms per liter (mcg/L). Trichloroethene was also found in one of those samples at 2.0mcg/L. Aroclor 1248 was also in both samples from Area 10 at concentrations of 0.5 and 5.0mcg/L. No other semi-volatile organic compounds were found in the samples from Area 10.
No VOCs were found in either of the samples from the oil/water separator or the Heights DrainageSwale. Four different PAHs were found in the samples from the oil/water separator, each at aconcentration less than 50 mcg/L.
Total VOCs were detected at concentrations up to 3.8 parts per million (ppm), in the breathing zoneof field personnel working near monitoring well drilling operations. These measurements weremade using a Foxboro Organic Vapor Analyzer (OVA) which measures "real-time" concentrations. No detection limits were provided, but in general, this instrumentation provides reliable data forconcentrations greater than 1.0 part per million (ppm). Total VOCs were not detected along theperimeter of the site. Eight-hour, time-weighted average (TWA) monitoring by carbon adsorptiondetected TCE up to 1.6 ppm.
Another component of the air monitoring program involved a determination of indoor air qualityin three on-site facility basements or the boiler room tunnel. Air testing was conducted in BuildingB, Plant 2, and the "Starter" Building. VOCs were not detected in two of the basements and theboiler room tunnel. Samples from the basement of the Starter Building contained a range of totalVOCs from not detected to 1.6 ppm.
No off-site soil samples from residential yards were collected. This is a concern in the area of theHeights Drainage Swale where previous flooding of yards potentially could have contaminatedresidential soils. However, the Heights Drainage Swale has been sampled and PCBs inconcentrations up to 6.9 mg/kg were found. Additionally, arsenic was found in one subsurface soilsample at an elevated concentration. The Heights Drainage swale is considered to be on-site, despiteit's proximity to an off-site residential area. Further discussion of contamination in this swale isdiscussed under Section A, On-Site Contamination.
Table 6 (Appendix B) gives the results from sampling of two groundwater monitoring wellsinstalled hydrogeologically downgradient of the site. The wells are located immediately across fromRoute 14 and within 500 feet of the Facet Enterprises site. The results for these wells show thatcontaminated groundwater has moved off-site. TCE was found at 160 mcg/L in one of themonitoring wells. None of the semi-volatile chemicals in Table 5 (Appendix B) were found in thesesamples. Some metals, especially chromium, were found at concentrations higher than New YorkState Drinking Water Standards.
One sample of sediment was collected from May's Creek at a location downgradient of the site. Several PAHs, arsenic and cadmium were found in this sample at elevated concentrations and arecontaminants for further evaluation (see Table 7, Appendix B).
Low levels of VOCs were found in the sample of surface water collected from Mays Creek. TCEwas found at a concentration of 10.5 mcg/L. Cyanide was the only other contaminant listed in Table8 (Appendix B) that was found in Mays Creek surface water.
An extensive well survey, conducted as part of the RI for the Kentucky Avenue Wellfield site, foundonly 3 private wells within a 2 mile radius of Kentucky Avenue. The survey encompasses the areathat is potentially impacted by contamination from Facet Enterprises. These private wells are morethan 1 mile north and hydrogeologically upgradient from Facet Enterprises.
Public Water Supplies
The Sullivan Street and the Kentucky Avenue public water supply wellfields in the Newtown CreekAquifer are contaminated with chlorinated organic chemicals, primarily TCE. Kentucky AvenueWellfield is about 1.0 mile to the north-northeast of Facet Enterprises. Sullivan Street Wellfield isabout 1.5 miles to the south-southeast of Facet Enterprises. Facet Enterprises was studied by theUS EPA, NYS DOH, NYS DEC and CC DOH as a potential source of the contamination of theKentucky Avenue Wellfield (Kentucky Avenue Wellfield RI Report, EPA, 1986). It was found notto be contributing to the Kentucky Avenue wellfield contamination. Facet Enterprises, along withother sources, is contaminating the Newtown Creek Aquifer at a location upgradient of the SullivanStreet Wellfield (see Table 9, Appendix B). These data indicate that the Sullivan Street public watersupply wells are contaminated with TCE in concentrations above New York State Drinking WaterStandards and that the Facet Enterprises is a potential source of some of the contamination. Contamination was first found in this wellfield in 1980. Since then, 5 to 10 mcg/L oftrichloroethene was found.
In preparing this public health assessment, the ATSDR and NYS DOH rely on the information inthe referenced documents and assume that adequate quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC)measures were followed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures and data reporting,unless otherwise noted. The validity of analysis and conclusions drawn for this health assessmentis determined by the completeness and reliability of that information.
The QA/QC information for the data presented in the tables of this document has been reviewed. The information indicates that the data are acceptable and were obtained using established protocols. Some common analytical problems were identified such as laboratory contamination of sampleswith methylene chloride. The presence of methylene chloride in samples is therefore likely to befrom the analysis itself and not because it is a site contaminant. The QA/QC data were reviewedby personnel of the NYS DEC, NYS DOH and US EPA.
No potential physical hazards to the public were identified at this site.
To identify other facilities that could possibly contribute to site-related contaminants in soil, air,groundwater, and/or surface water at or near the Facet Enterprises site, the NYS DOH searched theToxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI has been developed by the US EPA fromchemical release information provided by those industries that are required to report contaminantemissions and releases on an annual basis.
The NYS DOH is using the most recent TRI data submitted by industrial facilities identified to bewithin a 2.5 mile radius of the boundaries of the site as a means to evaluate other sources ofadditional health risk in the exposed population.
The NYS DOH uses a simple mathematical model to estimate if potential contaminantconcentrations resulting from air emissions at a facility may be contributing to community (receptorpopulation) exposures to contaminants at a site. This model uses information about the facilitylocation (distance from the exposed population) and annual air emission data to calculate the radialdistance from the facility at which contaminant concentrations in ambient air have been diluted to1 microgram per cubic meter of air (mcg/m3). The NYS DOH then evaluates what portion, if any,of the population living within this distance from the manufacturing facility may also be exposedto contaminants originating at the site.
Several manufacturing facilities including Purolator Products filed TRI data for 1990. Thesefacilities are Toshiba Display Devices Inc., Imaging & Sensing, LRC Electronics, Hardinge BrothersInc., Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Industrial Service Corporation. The locations of thesefacilities are shown in Figure 4 of Appendix A. Based on the TRI data and air emissions modeling,results of the screening evaluation indicate that the contribution of these industrial facilities to healthrisks in the community around the Facet site is minimal.
This section of the public health assessment (PHA) identifies potential and completed exposurepathways associated with past, present and future use of the site. An exposure pathway is theprocess by which an individual may be exposed to contaminants originating from a site. Anexposure pathway is comprised of five elements, including: (1) a contaminant source; (2)environmental media and transport mechanisms; (3) point of exposure; (4) a route of exposure; and(5) a receptor population.
The source of contamination is the source of contaminant release to the environment (any wastedisposal area or point of discharge); if the original source is unknown, it is the environmental media(soil, air, biota, water) which are contaminated at the point of exposure. Environmental media andtransport mechanisms "carry" contaminants from the source to points where human exposure mayoccur. The exposure point is a location where actual or potential human contact with acontaminated medium may occur. The route of exposure is the manner in which a contaminantactually enters or contacts the body (i.e., ingestion, inhalation, dermal adsorption). The receptorpopulation is the persons who are exposed or may be exposed to contaminants at a point ofexposure.
Two types of exposure pathways are evaluated in the PHA; a completed exposure pathway existswhen the criteria for all five elements of an exposure pathway are documented; a potential exposurepathway exists when the criteria for any one of the five elements comprising an exposure pathwayis not met. An exposure pathway is considered to be eliminated when any one of the five elementscomprising an exposure pathway has not existed in the past, does not exist in the present and willnever exist in the future.
Groundwater Exposure Pathway
One completed exposure pathway is identified. Trichloroethene was found in samples of finishedwater in the Sullivan Street wells at an average and maximum concentration of 7.0 mcg/L and 10.3mcg/L, respectively. The Sullivan Street wells are currently not used as a source of potable water. The US EPA is in the process of installing a treatment system at this wellfield so that it can be usedin the future. This work is expected to be completed early in 1994.
TCE at Facet Enterprises is known to have percolated through the soil into groundwater. Groundwater on-site is known to flow in a south-southeastern direction, towards the Sullivan StreetWellfield. However, determining the exact source or sources of the TCE at the Sullivan StreetWellfield may be impossible. Facet Enterprises is not the only potential source. What can bedetermined is that contaminants, including TCE, have migrated from the site in the direction of thewellfield.
From 1986 through 1989 the quality of water from this wellfield conformed to drinking waterstandards. In 1990, stricter standards were promulgated which the water from this wellfield failedto meet. The Elmira Water Board closed the Sullivan Street Wellfield in 1991.
As a result of the contamination of the Sullivan Street Wellfield, a maximum of 60,000 people couldhave been exposed to trichloroethene for a period of at least ten years and a maximum of thirtyyears. Contamination was first found in 1980 and the wellfield was used until 1991. Prior to 1980,it is not known how long trichloroethene may have been present in the water supply; however, thewellfield was first used in 1961 and the maximum exposure duration could be 30 years. Although60,000 people is the maximum number of people potentially served by the Sullivan Street Wellfield,other water sources were used in conjunction with the Sullivan Street Wellfield. It is not known ifthese other water sources served independent areas of the population served by the public watersupply or if all water sources were combined prior to distribution. Therefore, it is estimated thatabout 20,000 people were exposed to contaminated groundwater from this wellfield. Until thetreatment system is installed, there still is a potential for exposure to the general public since, in anemergency situation it is possible that the Elmira Water Board would need to bring the SullivanStreet Wellfield on-line as an alternate or supplemental water supply.
People served by public water contaminated with TCE are exposed to TCE through ingestion,inhalation and dermal adsorption. Ingestion of TCE occurs when the water is used for potablepurposes. Inhalation occurs after the TCE has volatilized from the water during activities such asshowering or bathing. Showering and bathing with contaminated water results in direct contact tothe contaminant allowing for dermal adsorption.
In addition to the one known completed human exposure pathway, three potential human exposurepathways have been identified at this site (see Table 11).
Surface Water/Sediment Exposure Pathway
Heights Drainage Swale is on a parcel of Purolator property where neighborhood teenagers havereportedly gathered for recreation. A fence was constructed in 1991 to restrict access to this area. Staff of Purolator Products reported that the neighborhood teenagers spent most of their time insecluded areas of the "Heights Drainage Swale area." Specifically, the teenagers spent their timeon a parcel of land which is about 25 feet higher in elevation and west of the swale. It is alsopossible that neighborhood children played in the swale itself. Any local resident that trespassedthrough the drainage swale potentially could have been exposed to contaminated soils/sediments. Additionally, there is a potential that the areal extent of the migration of contaminants from theswale during flooding included yards of homes immediately adjacent to the swale and, therefore,are potential exposure points. However, not enough information is available at this time to describethe potential for exposure associated with migration. Adults and children, especially those childrenyounger than 5 years, accidentally ingest small amounts of soil each day because of hand to mouthcontact. The concern is that a person that came into contact with the contaminated soils/sedimentsof the swale would then accidentally ingest contaminants in addition to adsorbing the contaminantsacross skin (dermal adsorption).
It is unlikely that May's Creek is used by local residents, including neighborhood children. Itborders Route 14 which is a very busy highway and inaccessible to pedestrians. However, anyperson wading through this stream would have direct skin contact to trichloroethene-contaminatedsurface water as well as cadmium, arsenic and PAH contamination in the sediments of May's Creek. The proposed remedial action plan calls for dredging sediments from the creek and eliminatingdischarges of chlorinated compounds such as trichloroethene to groundwaters and surface waters.
Groundwater/Soil Gas Exposure Pathways
Potential exposure pathways of concern that need further investigation at this site are infiltration ofcontaminated groundwater and soil gas into basements of private residences. Groundwater underthe homes along Route 14 is reported to be twenty feet below ground surface and deeper as onemoves away from the site. The depth of the groundwater should preclude water from seeping intothese basements. Homes along 18th Street, south of the site may also be affected by seepage ofcontaminated groundwater into basements. Groundwater in this area is less than 10 feet belowground surface and artesian conditions reported on-site suggest that infiltration of groundwater intobasements is likely. A survey of basements in homes near the Heights Drainage Swale indicatedthat flooding occurs in some homes after rainfall. However, because on-site groundwater near thesehomes was not contaminated and groundwater flow is lateral to these residences, it is not likely thatcontaminated groundwater from the site is infiltrating into the basements. The information availableis not sufficient to determine the potential for groundwater/soil gas to carry contaminants intobasements.
Soil Exposure Pathway
The other potential exposure pathway that needs further investigation is direct contact to potentiallycontaminated off-site soils. Currently no off-site soil sampling was done in the neighborhood southof the site. However, it is considered unlikely that the practices at Facet Enterprises has resulted insignificant off-site soil contamination.
Employees of Purolator Products Company and other workers (such as environmental consultants)on-site could have direct contact to contaminants in any of the 11 contaminated areas on-site. However, the exposure to the contaminants in those areas should be minimal due to the use ofengineering controls, personal protective equipment (respirators, gloves) as well as standard workpractices, guidelines and standards set by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration(OSHA). Additionally, employees of Purolator Products work in areas on-site that are removedfrom most of the eleven contaminated areas. The restriction of site access through fencing of theentire property and a 24-hour security force eliminates the potential for the community to beexposed to most of the contamination on-site. Although it is thought that those are the only currentpotential exposures, further work is needed to categorically conclude that contaminated groundwateris not impacting residential basements and off-site surface soils in the neighborhood near HeightsDrainage Swale are not contaminated.
- Past ingestion, dermal and inhalation exposure to trichloroethene in municipal drinking water.
Historical monitoring of the downgradient Sullivan Street Wellfield that supplies drinking water to Elmira indicates that for an undetermined period of time (at least 10 years with a maximum time period of 30 years) residents were exposed to low levels of trichloroethene (5-10 mcg/L). Those concentrations exceed the current New York State standards and federal drinking water Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL). This wellfield was removed from service in 1991. Chronic exposure to chemicals in drinking water is possible by ingestion and through dermal contact and inhalation from water uses such as showering, bathing and cooking. Although exposures vary depending on individual life-styles, each of those exposure routes contributes to the overall intake and, thus, increases the potential for chronic health effects.
Trichloroethene causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes (ATSDR, 1991a). Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may also increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods. Whether or not trichloroethene causes cancer in humans is not known. Based on the results of animal studies and the sampling results for municipal well water, it is estimated that persons previously exposed to contaminated public drinking water may have a low increased risk of developing cancer over a lifetime of exposure.
Trichloroethene also produces a variety of noncarcinogenic toxicities (primarily nervous system, liver and kidney effects) at exposures many orders of magnitude greater than past exposure from municipal drinking water. Chemicals that cause effects in humans and/or animals after high levels of exposure may also pose a risk to humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Although the risks of noncarcinogenic health effects from past exposures aren't completely understood, the low levels of trichloroethene found in drinking water suggest they are minimal.
- Potential ingestion, dermal and inhalation exposure to contaminants in municipal drinking water as a result of possible contaminant plume migration.
As indicated in Tables 3 and 6, on-site and off-site groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds and metals at concentrations that exceed New York State and/or Federal drinking water standards or guidelines. This on-site and off-site groundwater could contaminate the public drinking water supply if the plume migrates and the remedial measures are not implemented.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen (ATSDR, 1991b). Methylene chloride and trichloroethene cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes (ATSDR, 1991a,c). Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may also increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods. Chronic exposure to these contaminants in drinking water at the levels found in on-site and off-site groundwater could pose a moderate to high increased cancer risk.
Vinyl chloride, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, methylene chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethene cause a variety of noncarcinogenic toxicities (primarily liver, kidney and nervous system effects) at exposures several orders of magnitude greater than potential exposures from on-site and off-site groundwater (ATSDR, 1990b,c, 1991a,b,c). Exposure to trichlorofluoromethane can damage the heart and nervous system at high concentrations (US EPA, 1990). Although the risk of noncarcinogenic effects from these exposures aren't completely understood, the existing data suggest that the noncarcinogenic risk from exposure to vinyl chloride in drinking water at the highest levels found in on-site or off-site groundwater could be high, and for the remaining chemicals would be minimal.
Chronic exposure to elevated lead levels is predominantly associated with neurological and hematological effects (ATSDR, 1991d). The developing fetus and young children are particularly sensitive to lead-induced neurological effects. Lead causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may also increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not lead causes cancer in humans is not known. The most sensitive effect from chronic elevated exposure to cadmium is kidney damage (ATSDR, 1991e). The primary toxicities associated with chronic ingestion of chromium are kidney damage, birth defects and adverse effects on the reproductive system (ATSDR, 1991f). Exposure to high levels of nickel can cause reproductive effects and allergic reactions (ATSDR, 1991g). Exposure to drinking water contaminated with chromium and lead, at the highest concentrations found in on-site groundwater, could pose a high increased risk of adverse health effects, whereas exposure to cadmium and nickel could pose a low and minimal risk, respectively.
- Potential past direct contact and incidental ingestion exposure to contaminated on-site sediment and surface water in the Heights drainage swale area.
Prior to the fencing of the Heights Drainage Swale area in 1991, local residents could have been exposed to contaminated sediments and surface water at levels of concern for potential human exposure pathways (Tables 4 and 5).
Polychlorinated biphenyls (Aroclor 1254) and benzo(a)pyrene cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes (ATSDR, 1988; 1991h). Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may also increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods. Assuming children played in the Heights drainage swale area for 1 hour a day, 2 days a week for 3 months out of a year, exposure to those chemicals at concentrations present in on-site sediments could present a low increased cancer risk. Because this area is now secured by fencing, the exposure potential is greatly reduced.
Noncarcinogenic toxicities associated with exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and benzo(a)pyrene include skin lesions, liver damage, immune system effects and reproductive effects. The toxicological properties of cadmium, chromium, and nickel have already been discussed. Although the risk of noncarcinogenic effects from those exposures are not completely understood, the existing data suggest they could be minimal.
- Potential ingestion, dermal and inhalation exposure of persons engaged in recreational activities in adjacent streams.
Potential runoff of contaminants in on-site soil and surface water could impact surface water and sediments in May's Creek. As indicated in Tables 7 and 8, surface water and sediments in May's Creek contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and trichloroethene at levels of concern for potential human exposure pathways. Persons engaged in recreational activities (wading, playing) may be exposed to contaminants by direct contact and incidental ingestion.
The health effects of trichloroethene, benzo(a)pyrene, and cadmium have been previously discussed. Certain PAHs have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes and cause noncarcinogenic toxicities similar to those of benzo(a)pyrene (ATSDR, 1990a). Naphthalene can cause anemia and liver and kidney damage at high concentrations (ATSDR, 1990d). Intermittent exposure to those chemicals at concentrations found in off-site sediments and surface water could pose a minimal to low health risk, especially to children if they play in the creek on a frequent basis.
- Potential inhalation, dermal, and ingestion exposure of persons engaged in on-site clean-up activities and nearby residents to on-site and potentially off-site contaminated soils.
Persons engaged in on-site clean-up (remediation) activities have a potential for exposure by multiple routes to organic chemicals and metal contaminants (Table 2) and could be at increased risk of adverse health effects. However, use of proper procedures, appropriate dust suppression methods and monitoring of ambient air for organic vapors during clean-up would minimize any low increased risk to workers and nearby residents.
The NYS DOH is in the process of developing a statewide registry of residents exposed to VOCsin drinking water. The area served by the Sullivan Street Wellfield will be considered for inclusionin the registry. Periodically, this registry will be matched against the NYS cancer registry and thecongenital malformations registry to evaluate possible adverse health outcomes.
The community is primarily concerned about impacts on their drinking water supply. Each of the community concerns about health has been addressed as follows:
- Will the trichloroethene (TCE) found in the potable water supply result in cancer?
The Elmira Water Board Sullivan Street Wellfield was used as a source of potable water by residents near the site. This water was contaminated with low levels of TCE from 1980 to 1991; contaminant levels before 1980 are unknown. Occupational studies of workers exposed to TCE have not detected TCE-induced cancer. However, TCE has caused cancer in experimental animals exposed over their lifetime. Based on animal studies and the available monitoring data, it is estimated that persons exposed for 10 to 30 years could have a low increased risk of developing cancer. While the theoretical number of extra cancers above background increased slightly, TCE-induced cancer in residents is unlikely to occur. The NYS DOH will use data from the registry of "Residents of VOC-Contaminated Drinking Water" to assess cancer risk associated with exposure to these contaminants. The Sullivan Street Wellfield will be considered for inclusion into the registry.
- The community also expressed concern about health effects associated with the drum removal action that took place in May of 1992.
These concerns were addressed by the US EPA, NYS DEC and NYS DOH staff by discussing the Health and Safety Plan which was developed to address worker and community health and safety during the removal action.
- Several citizens expressed on-going concern about the emissions of black particles from the Facet site.
These black particles appear to be soot emissions from the boiler or diesel engine operation at the Facet site and other area manufacturing facilities. NYS DOH is recommending that the NYS DEC investigate this complaint and initiate the appropriate corrective actions, if necessary.