PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
LI TUNGSTEN CORPORATION
GLEN COVE, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK
Based on the information reviewed, the Li Tungsten site poses a public health hazard. Trespassers have likely come in contact with contaminants in surface soils, on-site waste water and radioactive slag. There is a chance that this site will be used for residential property and unless the site is remediated, persons living here would be exposed to contaminants.
The US EPA completed an interim emergency removal action plan at the site; however, the extent of residual contamination is unknown. Limited sampling has been conducted, but the small number of samples taken are not adequate to characterize contamination on all 26 acres at the Li Tungsten site.
Trespassers continue to enter the site by breaking fences and cutting locks. Fences remain broken which currently allows easy access to the site. Trespassers may be exposed to on-site contaminants. The dilapidated buildings, numerous equipment, and drums on-site all present potential physical hazards to trespassers.
Piles of radioactive slag ore remain on-site. The radionuclides in these waste piles are not likely to migrate. Exposures from piles are not likely to be significant.
The groundwater plumes beneath the site are not expected to affect any drinking water supply because they are moving away from supply wells towards Glen Cove Creek. If groundwater is not remediated, the continued discharge of contaminants to Glen Cove Creek over time may contaminate the environment.
Data indicates that drums and tanks are likely to be buried on-site.
Sampling data from Glen Cove Creek are inconclusive about the extent to which the site has contributed to the contamination in the creek.
Clams and fish from Glen Cove Creek have not been analyzed for chemical contaminants.
Surface soil samples contain some PCB and metal contamination. Subsurface soils were not analyzed.
The screening evaluation of the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory identified emissions which could have a significant effect on the ambient air quality in the community around the Li Tungsten site.
Asbestos containing materials are located throughout the site and appear friable.
Spilled elemental mercury remains beneath equipment in an on-site
- Site security needs to be maintained, including the integrity of the fencing and posting.
- Institutional controls should be provided to develop deed restrictions to keep the site from becoming residential until the site can be remediated.
- Additional investigations should be conducted at the site to determine the degree and extent of contamination. All exposure pathways for the following media should be investigated, including surface and sub-surface soils, on-site surface water and sediment, soil gases, ambient air and Glen Cove Creek surface water and sediment. All potential exposure pathways should be analyzed for chemical contaminants and radionuclides.
- Fish and clam samples from Glen Cove Creek should be analyzed for chemical contaminants.
- The radioactive ore and slag on-site should be removed to prevent any unnecessary exposure in the near term, and to prevent long term exposures to future users of the site. A detailed radiation survey is needed to evaluate the site and to recommend appropriate actions for stabilization, storage, and ultimate removal of these materials. A proper radiation safety plan would also be needed for workers on the site involved in any activities with radioactive materials or any activities near these materials.
- The groundwater plumes should be further defined during remedial investigations to develop appropriate remedial actions. Future groundwater analysis should test for the presence of petroleum contaminants, in addition to testing for site related contaminants.
- The possibility that buried drums and tanks are at the site should be evaluated during remedial investigations.
- Any remedial activities should be closely monitored to assure that neighboring residents and employees are not exposed to elevated volatile organic compounds, inorganic particulates, or radionuclides in the air.
- Soil gas should be surveyed at the site perimeter and in off-site areas that may be affected by contaminated soil gas.
- Based on the results of the TRI screening evaluation, further studies should be done to assess the potential effects of volatile organic chemical releases from TRI reporting facilities on local ambient air quality.
- A comprehensive asbestos program should be conducted so that an asbestos removal/mitigation can be addressed as part of the site clean-up.
- The spilled elemental mercury found in an on-site building should be completely remediated.
The data and information developed in the preliminary public health
assessment for the Li Tungsten site, Glen Cove, New York, have been
evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP)
for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. The
Panel determined that community health education is needed to
inform the public of the possible hazards (physical and chemical)
of trespassing on-site. Although completed exposure pathways exist
for former on-site workers and for trespassers, the site is not
being considered for other follow-up health actions (studies) at
this time. The reason for no follow-up at this time is because the
former worker exposure has been studied, and because the population
and dose of exposure for those who trespassed on-site cannot be
determined at this time. If additional data or information become
available suggesting that human exposure to hazardous substances,
at levels likely to cause illness and disease, is currently
occurring or has occurred in the past, the ATSDR will reevaluate
this site for any indicated follow-up.
The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Li Tungsten site contains a description of actions to be taken by the NYS DOH at and near the site subsequent to the completion of this preliminary public health assessment. For those actions already taken at the site, please see the Background section of this document. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this preliminary 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 NYS DOH and ATSDR will follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented by the NYS DOH are as follows:
- The US EPA is developing a work contract to hire a new security company which will replace the current security company. The new security company will provide 24 hour security at the site starting early in 1994.
- The US EPA is proposing to carry out interim remedial measures (IRM) to reduce on-site hazards to remedial investigation workers. The proposed IRMs are as follows: 1) identifying hazardous and unsafe areas, 2) clearing access pathways, 3) identifying and marking unsafe buildings, 4) assessing all tanks, hopper, vessels, pipelines, drums, and crates, 5) demolishing unstable buildings, if necessary, 6) reducing slip, trip, and fall hazards, 7) removing remaining asbestos, and, 8) assessing and possible removing radioactive slag.
- The NYS DOH and the NC DOH are performing and will continue to perform bi-weekly inspections of the site perimeter until the new security company is hired. These inspections are done to ensure that site restriction is maintained, and that hazard warning signs remain on the site fences to adequately inform the public of the possible hazards of trespassing on-site.
- The NYS DOH in conjunction with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will further evaluate the effect of chemical emissions from the TRI reporting facilities on local ambient air. Sampling of ambient air will be conducted if refined modeling indicates.
- The NYS DOH will evaluate the options for maintaining site security and make recommendations to appropriate agencies.
- The NYS DOH will notify the public about the possible hazards (physical, chemical, and radiological) of trespassing on-site. This written notification will be sent to residents near the site and will include information on how residents can obtain a copy of this preliminary public health assessment.
The 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.
The Preliminary Public Health Assessment for the Li Tungsten site was prepared by the New York State Department of Public Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the preliminary public health assessment was initiated.
Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC
The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR, has reviewed this Preliminary Public Health Assessment and concurs with its findings.
Robert C. Williams
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR
Program Research Specialist II
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
New York State Department of Health
Thomas B. Johnson and Joel H. Kaplan
Research Scientist I
Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment
New York State Department of Health
ATSDR Regional Representative
Office of the Assistant Administrator
ATSDR Technical Project Officer
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Remedial Programs Branch