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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

PFOHL BROTHERS LANDFILL
CHEEKTOWAGA, ERIE COUNTY, NEW YORK




CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based upon data and information reviewed in this public health assessment, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) concludes that the proposed Pfohl Brothers Landfill National Priorities List Site represents no apparent public health hazard at the present time because available data do not indicate exposure to contaminants in the environmental media to be high enough to cause adverse health effects. In addition, removal actions and remedial activities have greatly reduced the likelihood of exposure to site-related contamination. ATSDR characterizes this site as an indeterminate public health hazard for past exposures because ATSDR was not able to conduct any groundwater contaminant trend analysis. The groundwater contaminant trend analysis could be conducted after the monitoring wells at this site are sampled and analyzed for all of the compounds on the EPA Target Compound List over a one year period (i.e., sample and analysis from each well every quarter).
  2. Based upon information presented in the blood lead screening report ATSDR agrees with NYSDOH that no further testing of the population living near the landfill is necessary at this time.
  3. ATSDR believes that the general protocol used in the health survey conducted in June 1990 was adequate. The discussion and conclusions sections of the New York State Department of Health document did indicate the fact that a survey of that type cannot link reported illnesses to site contaminants.
  4. ATSDR has reviewed NYSDOH's studies of cancer incidence in the Pfohl Brothers Landfill area and concludes that it was conducted appropriately. However, all evaluations of the type done by NYSDOH have limitations. The cancer incidence data used do not include information on personal risk factors (smoking, diet, alcohol, etc.) or on occupational and environmental exposures to chemicals. Analyses of these data can only be descriptive and can't be used to determine associations with possible agents.
  5. The community has expressed a great deal of concern regarding cancer and other adverse health effects in current and past residents of the area. The New York State Department of Health investigated the reported cancer clusters and found none of the usual patterns of clustering.
  6. Residents were also concerned about whether the State of New York was withholding information regarding testing of groundwater in 1979. ATSDR examined the existing file information and concluded that no groundwater testing was conducted in 1979. The only environmental testing conducted, in 1979, were leachate and surface water sampling. According to the material reviewed by ATSDR the groundwater sampling took place in 1980. Review of the 1980 data showed that some private well water samples may have had concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, cadmium, barium, and manganese which exceeded health comparison values. However, later sampling of the water showed that the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls was below health comparison values and detection limit of the test used. ATSDR does not believe that the May 1980 PCB analytical results are valid.
  7. Data needs include the following:
    1. Information regarding work practices and duration of employment for former landfill workers. Should appropriate information become available ATSDR will evaluate these exposures.
    2. Conclusions regarding adverse health effects from exposure to dibenzofuran could not be reached because of insufficient toxicological information (i.e., laboratory animal studies). ATSDR will reevaluate this exposure, if necessary, when more toxicological information becomes available.

RECOMMENDATIONS

ATSDR has only one recommendation. In accordance with the two New York State Records of Decisions, the groundwater monitoring wells for the Pfohl Brothers Landfill should be sampled and analyzed for all of the compounds on the EPA Target Compound List over a one year period (i.e., sample and analysis from each well every quarter). The two State of New York RODs require the routine monitoring of the wells as a part of the long-term remediation of the Pfohl Brothers Landfill.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, the data and information developed in the Public Health Assessment for the Pfohl Brothers Landfill proposed NPL site Cheektowaga, Erie County, New York, have been evaluated for appropriate follow-up with respect to health actions.

    The data and information developed in the public health assessment for the Pfohl Brothers Landfill site have been evaluated by the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for appropriate public health actions. HARP has determined that additional health studies are not warranted at this time based on the previous health studies conducted by the New York State Department of Health and ATSDR's conclusion that the levels at which contaminants were present on the site were not likely to cause adverse health effects. However, environmental health education is needed. ATSDR will reevaluate the site for appropriate follow-up public health actions if additional information becomes available indicating that human exposures to site-related contaminants has occurred or is occurring at levels of public health concern.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Pfohl Brothers Landfill site contains a description of action to be taken by ATSDR and/or other government agencies at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this 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.

A.    Public Health Actions Taken

  1. ATSDR held public availability sessions on December 14, 1993, at the Cheektowaga City Hall. ATSDR staff discussed community health concerns associated with the Pfohl Brothers Landfill site.
  2. NYSDOH conducted a blood screening on children living in the vicinity of the site.
  3. NYSDOH conducted a community health survey for residents in the vicinity of the site in June 1990.
  4. ATSDR's Superfund Site Assessment Branch has conducted a review of the blood lead study and community health survey conducted by the NYSDOH. The results of this review are included in the Health Outcome Data Evaluation section of this document.
  5. ATSDR's Division of Health Studies has evaluated the previous health studies conducted by NYSDOH and has determined that additional follow-up health actions are not warranted at this time. This conclusion was reached because there appears to be a lack of landfill contaminant contact by persons included in the interview by the New York State Department of Health. In addition, ATSDR's Division of Health Assessment and Consultation concluded that the levels of contaminants in and around the landfill were not likely to have caused adverse health effects.
  6. NYSDEC has installed fencing around major portions of the site.
  7. The Principal Responsible Parties have completed all the Interim Remedial Measures except for the Real Estate Plan. The Real Estate Plan provides for financing the permanent relocation of Pfohl Road residents who voluntarily accept a private offer from the companies. Some of the Pfohl Road residents have not decided whether to accept the voluntary relocation offer.

B.    Public Health Actions Planned

  1. ATSDR's Division of Health Education will assist the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in their ongoing environmental health education program in the community living near this site. The purpose of the program will be to advise the local public health professionals, health care providers and local residents of the nature and possible consequences of potential exposures to contaminants associated with the site. For health professionals providing clinical care, the value of obtaining a complete and accurate exposure history will be stressed. Information provided on the contaminants of concern may include, but not be limited to, the physical nature of the contaminants, potential pathways and exposure routes, potential health effects, symptoms of exposure, testing and treatment if known. In addition, information will be provided to residents about ways to protect their own health, and prevent adverse health effects from exposure to toxic substances.
  2. ATSDR will continue to review any new environmental and health outcome data associated with this site and, if necessary, revise the conclusions and recommendations contained in this public health assessment.
  3. ATSDR will collaborate with the appropriate federal, state, and local agencies to pursue the implementation of the recommendations outlined in this public health assessment.
  4. NYSDEC will assure that a groundwater containment system, a landfill cap, and a leachate collection system are appropriately designed and constructed. NYSDEC will assure appropriate treatment of the leachate collected.
  5. ATSDR will evaluate this PHAP for the final release of the public health assessment. The final PHAP will be evaluated annually unless additional information warrants more frequent evaluation. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data may determine the need for additional actions at the Pfohl Brothers Landfill site.

REFERENCES
  1. Camp Dresser & McKee. Draft remedial investigation report: Pfohl Brothers Landfill. New York: Camp Dresser & McKee; January 1991.

  2. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Issues and concerns: Pfohl Brothers Landfill. Albany, New York: NYSDEC and NYSDOH; March 1994.

  3. Fred C. Hart Associates, Inc. Documentation records for hazard ranking system: Pfohl Brothers Landfill. New York: Fred C. Hart Associates, Inc.; 1982.

  4. Ecology and Environment, Inc. Report on the investigation of Pfohl Brothers Landfill, Cheektowaga, New York. Buffalo, New York: Ecology and Environment, Inc.; February 1984.

  5. NYSDEC. Record of decision: Pfohl Brothers Landfill, Cheektowaga, Erie County, New York, Site No. 09-15-043. Albany, New York: NYSDEC; December 1993.

  6. NYSDEC. Proposed remedial action plan: Pfohl Brothers Landfill, Cheektowaga, Erie County, New York, Site No. 09-15-043. Albany, New York: NYSDEC; November 1991.

  7. NYSDEC and NYSDOH. Radiochemical analysis: Pfohl Brothers Landfill, Cheektowaga, N.Y. Erie County, Site No. 09-15-043. Albany, New York: NYSDEC and NYSDOH; March 1990 (reissued with addendums).

  8. NYSDEC. Off site remedial investigation: Pfohl Brothers Landfill Site, Erie County, Cheektowaga, New York, Site No. 09-15-043. Albany, New York: NYSDEC; October 1993.

  9. NYSDOH. Pfohl Brothers Landfill: Residential Sump Sampling. Albany, New York: NYSDOH; October 1990.

  10. NYSDEC. Contaminant concentrations in fish from waters associated with Pfohl Brothers Landfill. Albany, New York: NYSDEC; June 1991.

  11. NYSDOH. Health Studies: Pfohl Brothers Landfill. Albany, New York: NYSDOH; 1991.

  12. NYSDOH. Data sheets concerning private drinking water well sampling northeast of the Pfohl Brothers Landfill. Albany, New York: NYSDOH; August 1991.

  13. NYSDOH. Data sheets concerning private drinking water well sampling northeast of the Pfohl Brothers Landfill. Albany, New York: NYSDOH; July 1993.

  14. Petitioner for Pfohl Brothers Landfill. Petition letter to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). August 28, 1991.

  15. NYSDEC. Record of Decision: Pfohl Brothers Landfill, Cheektowaga, Erie County, Site No. 09-15-043. Albany, New York: NYSDEC; February 11, 1992.

  16. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Proposed listing to the National Priorities List. Federal Register. May 10, 1993.

  17. NYSDEC. Press release concerning an agreement between NYSDEC and eight companies concerning the Pfohl Brothers Landfill. October 4, 1993.

  18. NYSDOH. Summary of cancer inquire for Rein Road, Cheektowaga. Albany, New York: NYSDOH; June 1994.

  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). AROA - Fax from Mike Rivara of NYSDOH containing the results of NYSDOH's analysis of cancer incidence data provided by Pfohl Brothers Landfill area residents. August 1995.

  20. Conestoga-Rovers & Associates. Groundwater Sampling Event, December 1994. April 1995.

  21. NYSDOH. Data sheets concerning private drinking water well sampling south of the Pfohl Brothers Landfill. Albany, New York: NYSDOH; June 1994.

  22. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Atlanta Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 1993.

  23. U.S. Department of Commerce. 1990 census standard tape file 3A (CD-ROM). Census of population and housing. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce; 1992.

  24. U.S. Department of Commerce. 1990 census standard tape file 1B. Census of population and housing. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce; 1992.

  25. El Maximis, Inc. Preliminary landfill gas monitoring results: Pfohl Brothers Landfill Site, Cheektowaga, New York. Livonia, Minnesota; El Maximis, Inc.; June 23, 1994.

  26. NYSDOH. Data sheets and calculations concerning on-site air monitoring at the Pfohl Brothers Landfill. Albany, New York: NYSDOH; 1993.

  27. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Selected PCBs (Aroclor -1260, 1254, -1248, -1242, -1232, -1221, and -1016). (update) Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-92/16.

  28. EPA. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory. Washington, D.C.: National Library of Medicine, 1987-91.

  29. EPA. Chemical Releases and Chemical Risks. A Citizen's Guide to Risk Screening. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1989.

  30. ATSDR. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, March 1992.

  31. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Aluminum. Atlanta: ATSDR, July 1992; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-91/01.

  32. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Arsenic. (update) Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-92/02.

  33. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Di (2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate. (update) Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-92/05.

  34. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Cadmium. (update) Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-92/06.

  35. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Chromium. (update) Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-92/08.

  36. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Cobalt. Atlanta: ATSDR, July 1992; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-91/10.

  37. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Copper. Atlanta: ATSDR, December 1990; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-90/08.

  38. Micromedex, Inc. Tomes Integrated Index. CD-Rom, Vol 21. New York: Micromedex, 1994.

  39. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Lead. (update) Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-92/12.

  40. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for Nickel. (update) Atlanta: ATSDR, April 1993; DHHS publication no. (PHS) TP-92/14.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Déborah A. Boling
Toxicologist/Environmental Health Scientist
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Sven E. Rodenbeck, P.E.
Environment Engineer Consultant
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Arthur (Artie) Block
Senior Regional Representative
ATSDR, Region II

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