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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

GENZALE PLATING COMPANY
FRANKLIN SQUARE, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

The most recent environmental data for the Genzale Plating Company site were collected as part of the RI/FS by EBASCO Services under contract to the US EPA. A summary of the environmental contamination data collected for the site is presented in appendix B, Tables 1-4. The listing of a contaminant does not necessarily mean that its presence is a public health concern. Contaminants selected for further evaluation are identified and evaluated in subsequent sections of the public health assessment to determine whether exposure to them has public health significance. When selected for further evaluation in one medium, that contaminant will be reported in all media where it is detected. These contaminants are selected and discussed based upon the following factors:

  1. Concentrations of contaminants on and off the site.
  2. Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design.
  3. Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with background concentrations, if available.
  4. Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with public health assessment comparison values for (1) noncarcinogenic endpoints and (2) carcinogenic endpoints. These values include Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs), drinking water standards and other relevant guidelines.
  5. Community health concerns.

A. On-Site Contamination

The most recent data from the Remedial Investigation (RI) indicate that contamination is present in the groundwater and soil on-site. A summary of on-site contamination is presented in Tables 1 and 2.

Soil

VOCs and metals were detected in the 0 to 2 feet (near surface) soil and in the subsurface soil (4 to 41 feet) at various locations throughout the site. Many metals, including cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, and lead were detected at concentrations significantly in excess of comparison values for soil contaminants (see Table 1) with the highest concentrations occurring at depths ranging from 5 to 20 feet below grade. Lead and chromium were found at levels ranging from 0.29 to 47,500 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg) and ND to 27,300 mg/kg, respectively. Eleven of the 15 soil samples obtained from the 0-2 feet depth range have total base neutral/acid extractable compounds (BNA's) concentrations in excess of 1 mg/kg at various locations throughout the site. Four of the eleven soil samples had total BNA concentrations that were greater than 5 mg/kg. Low levels of pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) compounds (generally under 1 mg/kg) were found in the 0-2 feet depth range at 11 of 15 locations. VOCs were found at low levels in the near surface soils and at much higher levels in the subsurface soils with 2-butanone up to 400 mg/kg, trichloroethene to 53 mg/kg, toluene to 700 mg/kg and xylenes (total) to 39 mg/kg. Contaminated soil or "hot spots" occurred at various locations throughout the site and at various depths. The highest concentrations of both VOCs and metals were detected at soil boring SB-06. This boring was drilled through a known leaching pit, number 0 (Figure 2).

Groundwater

Two rounds of groundwater samples were collected. The on-site wells were placed in both deep and shallow portions of the Upper Glacial aquifer. Elevated levels of metals and VOCs were consistently detected in shallow wells located on-site. Contaminants detected included 1,1-dichloroethene up to 94 micrograms/liter (mcg/L), tetrachloroethene up to 96 mcg/L, 1,1,1-trichloroethane up to 1,100 mcg/L, trichloroethene up to 500 mcg/L, chromium up to 14,400 mcg/L and lead up to 234 mcg/L. Groundwater contamination from the site is generally restricted to the shallow portion of the Upper Glacial aquifer.

Air

On-site ambient air has not been sampled.

Soil Gas

On-site soil gas of subsurface soils has not been sampled for chemical analysis.

B. Off-Site Contamination

Groundwater

Widespread contamination by VOCs of the Upper Glacial and Magothy aquifers in the New Hyde Park area of Nassau County has been documented by the NC DOH. Studies completed in 1986 and 1988 attributed the contamination to poor disposal practices at multiple industrial and commercial sites in the area. Dispersion and co-mingling of contaminated plumes has produced the low level contamination of the aquifers. As a result of the on-going NC DOH studies, all public water supplies in the county are required to monitor quarterly for VOCs in the supply wells. Distribution systems are required to be tested annually with the number of samples determined by the system population.

Off-site contamination of groundwater is shown by data obtained during the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) (Table 3). Elevated levels (greater than comparison values) of metals (lead at 256 mcg/L, barium at 1610 mcg/L, manganese at 18,900 mcg/L) were noted in an off-site monitoring well. Elevated levels of VOCs and metals were found in a downgradient, private irrigation well, located about 0.5 miles southwest of the site.

The Jamaica Water Supply Well JWSC-5155 contained 6.3 mcg/L of trichloroethene found during routine monitoring by the NC DOH in January 1991. Because the level of trichloroethene exceeded the NYS DOH drinking water standard of 5.0 mcg/L for trichloroethene in public drinking water supplies, the well was voluntarily removed from service in January 1991 by the Jamaica Water Supply Company.

The Franklin Square Water District Well FSWD-7177 contained 5 mcg/L of trichloroethene during the RI sampling. Routine monitoring by the NC DOH of the FSWD-7177 well found 4.5 mcg/L of trichloroethene in March 1991. Although the levels of trichloroethene were below the NYS drinking water standard of 5.0 mcg/L, the well was voluntarily removed from service in September 1991. The well was placed back in service during 1992 with a granular activated carbon treatment system to remove VOCs from the water.

The Franklin Square Water District Wells FSWD-3604 and FSWD-5155 had similar levels of 1,2-dichloroethane in water samples taken during the RI; however, similar levels of 1,2-dichloroethane were also found in the field and trip blanks (see Table 4). Therefore, the presence of 1,2-dichloroethane may be due to laboratory contamination. This assumption is also supported by the recent NC DOH's sampling that has not found 1,2-dichloroethane in either well's water.

The Jamaica Water Supply Well JWSC-4298 contained low levels of VOCs. This well was included in the RI to investigate the upgradient groundwater. The source of contamination in the JWSC-4298 well is probably from a source other than the Genzale Plating Company site, based on the prevailing groundwater flow direction in the area.

Soil

Soil was not sampled off-site.

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

In preparing this Public Health Assessment, the NYS DOH relied on the information provided in the referenced documents and assumed that adequate quality control measures were followed with regard to chain of custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. The analyses and conclusions in this Public Health Assessment are valid only if the referenced information is complete.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

There are no known physical or other hazards as determined from site visits made at the Genzale Plating site.

E. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI)

To identify facilities that could contribute to groundwater, soil, or air contamination in the area around the Genzale Plating Company site and/or create health risks unrelated to the site, the NYS DOH searched the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) data for 1989. TRI is developed by the US EPA from the chemical release (air, water, soil) information provided by certain industries.

The search identified three industrial facilities located within a 2.5 mile radius of the Genzale Plating Company site. The facilities are, Zoe Chemical, Cellu-Craft, Inc., and Nostro Manufacturing Corporation. A summary of reported TRI air emissions for the three facilities is presented in Table 6. None of the facilities reported any discharges to water or soil. Based on TRI data and air emissions modeling, emission from none of the TRI facilities were found to exceed a screening criterion of 1 microgram per cubic meter (mcg/m3). An evaluation of several factors, including the distance between the TRI facilities and the site, the toxicity of the emitted chemicals and the quantities emitted, indicated that these TRI facilities' emissions would not be expected to add significant health risks to the population at the site. Therefore, TRI information will not be discussed further in this Public Health Assessment.

PATHWAYS ANALYSES

As discussed in the Site Description and History Subsection, many of the past industrial operations at the site have resulted in soil and water contamination via wastewater dumping into subsurface leaching pits.

To determine whether nearby residents and persons on-site are exposed to contaminants migrating from the site an evaluation was made of the environmental and human components that lead to human exposure. The pathways analysis consists of five elements: a source of contamination, transport through an environmental medium, a point of exposure, a route of human exposure, and an exposed population.

An exposure pathway is categorized as a completed or potential exposure pathway if the exposure pathway cannot be eliminated. A completed pathway occurs when the five elements of an exposure pathway link the contaminant source to a receptor population. Should a completed pathway exist in the past, present, or future, the population is considered exposed. A potential exposure pathway exists when one or more of the five elements are missing, or if modeling is performed to replace real sampling data. Potential pathways indicate that exposure to a contaminant could have occurred in the past, could be occurring now, or could occur in the future. An exposure pathway can be eliminated if at least one of the five elements is missing and will never be present. The discussion that follows incorporates only those pathways that are important or relevant to the site. We also discuss some of the exposure pathways that have been eliminated.

A. Eliminated Exposure Pathway

Air

Ambient air has not been sampled at this site; however, exposures to ambient air are not expected to be significant based on the levels of contaminants found in on-site, near surface soils. Therefore, this exposure pathway is eliminated.

Soil Gas

Soil gas has not been sampled at the site; however, exposures to soil gas are not expected to be significant based on the levels of VOCs in subsurface soils at the site. Also, the proposed remediation of the site soils will likely remove the contaminant source, thereby reducing the potential for contaminated soil gas to migrate off-site, in the future. Therefore, this exposure pathway is eliminated.

B. Completed Exposure Pathways

Groundwater

Exposures to low levels of VOCs in downgradient, public water supply wells may have occurred in the past, which identifies this medium as a past completed exposure pathway. Exposure to contaminants probably occurred through ingestion or dermal contact.

Exposures to VOCs in public drinking water supplies may have occurred in the past and may be presently occurring in a few cases. Frequent monitoring of public water supplies in Nassau County occurs. This continued monitoring reduces the chance that contaminants in water above the NYS DOH drinking water standard will be distributed to persons in the future.

On-Site Soil

Workers may have been exposed in the past to VOCs, BNAs, pesticides, PCBs and metals found in on-site, near surface soils (0 to 2 feet). Exposures may be occurring presently in a few cases. Exposures to contaminants probably occurred through dermal contact or inhalation. Although exposure to contaminants in soil may have occurred in the past and may be presently occurring, the proposed remediation of contaminated soils should prevent exposures in the future.

C. Potential (Incomplete) Exposure Pathway

Off-Site Soil

Off-site soil has not been analyzed for contaminants. Residents of the adjoining yards may have come in contact with metals that may have migrated from the site via runoff or dust transport. Since adjoining off-site surface soil has not been analyzed for site-related contaminants, this presents a data gap that prevents the evaluation of the present and future exposure pathways to contaminants through direct contact.

PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

A. Toxicological Evaluation

Past ingestion, dermal and inhalation exposure to the volatile organic contaminant, trichloroethene, in municipal drinking water.

For an undetermined period of time, some residents in Franklin Square, Nassau County were exposed to trichloroethene in drinking water. In the Jamaica Water Supply Company well (JWSC-5155), the level of trichloroethene, measured in 1990, was 6.3 mcg/L. Since the New York State drinking water standard for this volatile organic contaminant is 5 mcg/L, this well was soon removed from service (July 1990). Chronic exposure to VOCs in drinking water occurs through ingestion, dermal contact and inhalation from activities such as showering, bathing and cooking. Although these exposures depend on individual life-styles and situations, each exposure route contributes to the overall intake of the contaminants and increases the risks of chronic health effects.

Trichloroethene (ATSDR, 1991f) causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetime. This chemical has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the US EPA. 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. Based on the US EPA cancer potency estimate for trichloroethene, the frequent monitoring of the municipal well water, and distribution practices (mixing of water supply wells), we estimate that persons exposed to contaminated public drinking water may have a low increased risk of developing cancer over their lifetime.

Trichloroethene produces a variety of noncarcinogenic toxicities (primarily liver, kidney and nervous system effects). From the limited available data, these effects occur at exposures several orders of magnitude greater than past exposures 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 effects from these exposures aren't completely understood, the existing data suggest that they are minimal.

Potential ingestion, dermal and inhalation exposure to contaminants in public water supplies and private wells.

No exposures to contaminants off-site have been identified. As indicated in Table 2, on-site groundwater is contaminated with VOCs and metals at concentrations that exceed the New York State groundwater and/or drinking water standards or guidelines. There is a potential for oral (ingestion), dermal and inhalation exposure to contaminants in residential well water from contaminant groundwater.

1,1-Dichloroethene (ATSDR, 1989b), tetrachloroethene (ATSDR, 1991e) and trichloroethene (ATSDR, 1991f) cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetime. These chemicals have been classified as either probable or possible human carcinogens by the US EPA. 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. Based on the US EPA cancer potency estimates, exposure to these chemicals in drinking water at levels found in on-site groundwater would pose a high increased cancer risk over a lifetime of exposure. Human and animal toxicological data are inadequate to assess the carcinogenic potential of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (ATSDR, 1990c).

These chemicals also produce 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 groundwater. Chemicals that cause adverse 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 effects from these potential exposures aren't completely understood, the existing data suggest that they would be minimal.

Metal Contaminants

Chronic exposure to elevated lead levels is predominantly associated with neurological and hematological effects (ATSDR, 1991c). At high exposure levels, lead can cause kidney damage, gastrointestinal distress, and reproductive effects including abortion and damage to the male reproductive system (ATSDR, 1991c). The developing fetus and young children are particularly sensitive to lead-induced neurological effects, with symptoms ranging from delayed mental development and behavioral effects at low blood lead levels to frank ataxia, stupor, coma and convulsions at high blood levels (ATSDR, 1991c). Lead causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes (ATSDR, 1991c). 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 primary toxicities associated with ingestion of large amounts of chromium have been kidney damage, birth defects and adverse effects on the reproductive system (ATSDR, 1991b). There is no evidence that chromium is carcinogenic by ingestion exposure. The toxicological effects of antimony are inflammation of the lungs, stomach distress and alterations in heart function (ATSDR, 1990a). Toxicological data are inadequate to assess the carcinogenic potential of antimony. Exposure of laboratory animals to high levels of nickel compounds during pregnancy has caused miscarriages, pregnancy complications and low birth weights in newborns (ATSDR, 1991d). There is no evidence that nickel is carcinogenic by ingestion exposure. Chronic exposure to drinking water contaminated with lead, chromium, antimony and nickel at the concentrations found in on-site groundwater could pose a high increased risk of adverse health effects.

The most sensitive effect from chronic elevated exposure to cadmium is kidney damage (ATSDR, 1991a). At high exposure levels, cadmium can cause adverse effects on bone, the gastrointestinal tract, liver, the hematopoietic system, cardiovascular system and reproduction. There is no evidence that cadmium is carcinogenic by ingestion exposure. Exposure to high manganese concentrations primarily causes nervous system effects (ATSDR, 1990b). In addition, the level of manganese in on-site groundwater is over 50 times the level at which the aesthetic quality of drinking water begins to be affected (WHO, 1984). Gastrointestinal effects, liver and kidney damage have been associated with the consumption of large amounts of copper (ATSDR, 1989a). Toxicological data are inadequate to assess the carcinogenic potential of manganese and copper. Chronic exposure to drinking water contaminated with cadmium, manganese and copper at the concentrations found in on-site groundwater could pose a low increased risk of adverse health effects.

Dermal, incidental ingestion and inhalation (fugitive dust) exposure of workers engaged in on-site activities to contaminants in surface soil.

Persons engaged in on-site activities have a potential for exposure by multiple routes to organic chemicals and metal contaminants. Aroclor 1260 (a polychlorinated biphenyl or PCB), dieldrin, 4,4'-DDE as well as the metals, lead, nickel, cadmium and chromium were found in on-site surface soil samples. Workers who come in contact with on-site soil would be at moderate risk of adverse health effects from exposure to lead and at low risk from exposure to chromium, cadmium, nickel, Aroclor 1260, dieldrin, and 4,4'-DDE. Individuals engaged in cleanup activities could also be exposed, but use of proper procedures, appropriate dust suppression methods and air monitoring procedures during clean-up would minimize any low level increased risk to nearby residents.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

The NYS DOH has not evaluated health outcome data for the site or the Hamlet of Franklin Square. In 1990, the NYS DOH reported on breast cancer incidence rates for small geographic areas of Nassau and Suffolk counties for the years 1978-1987. The relationship between breast cancer incidence and contaminated drinking water wells and hazardous waste sites was also examined. Variations were seen in breast cancer incidence rates among small geographic areas in these counties. A relationship was observed between high breast cancer incidence and high levels of household income. No association was found between breast cancer incidence patterns and contaminated drinking water wells or hazardous waste sites.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

The community has not expressed many health concerns relating to the Genzale site. One concern that was mentioned during a public meeting was for the need to remediate off-site contaminated groundwater. During this meeting, the US EPA brought up this issue and explained to the community that, based on the remedial investigation's sampling results, a second operable unit was planned for the site to investigate the potential for an off-site groundwater plume of contamination to exist near the Genzale site.



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