PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
ROBINTECH, INC./NATIONAL PIPE CO.
VESTAL, BROOME 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, both on and off-site; an evaluation of the physicalconditions of the site, and identification of any other known or suspected contaminant sources orphysical hazards near the site which may pose an additional health risk to the community or receptorpopulation(s).
Contaminants selected for further evaluation are identified based upon consideration of thefollowing factors:
|o||Concentrations of contaminant(s) in environmental media;|
|o||Concentrations of contaminant(s) both on and off-site;|
|o||Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design;|
|o||Comparison of on and off-site contaminant concentrations in environmental mediawith typical background levels;|
|o||Comparison of contaminant concentrations in environmental media both on and off-site with public health assessment comparison values. These comparison valuesinclude Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk EvaluationGuides (CREGs), drinking water standards, and other relevant guidelines; and|
|o||Community health concerns.|
The selected contaminants are evaluated in the Public Health Implications section (Toxicological Evaluation) of the Public Health Assessment (PHA) to determine whether exposure to these chemicals is of public health significance.
The On-Site Contamination subsection and the Off-Site Contamination subsection include discussions of sampling data for environmental media; summary tables of sampling data are presented in Appendix 2. A listed contaminant does not necessarily mean that it will cause adverse health effects from exposures. If a chemical is selected for further evaluation in one medium, that contaminant will be reported in all media, where it is detected.
On March 27, 1984, representatives of NYS DEC collected a sample of raw well water on-site tomonitor discharge permit compliance. Contaminants in the raw well water were: 1,1,1-trichloroethane (200 micrograms per liter [mcg/L]), trichloroethene (48 mcg/L), 1,1-dichloroethane(16 mcg/L) and 1,1-dichloroethene (3 mcg/L).
Tables 1 (organic compounds) and 2 (metals) summarize the chemicals detected in on-site groundwater. The primary contaminants detected in on-site groundwater during the RI were VOCs, which were found in both the overburden (shallow) and bedrock (deep) aquifers. The two areas of groundwater contamination in the bedrock aquifer are the northeastern site boundary near monitor well (MW) 15 and the area near pumping well (PW) 2. VOC contamination in shallow groundwater at the site was found in three main areas: (1) near PW 2 (MW-7 and MW-8); (2) near the paved pipe staging area (MW-11 and test Borings 7 and 9); and (3) along the northeastern site boundary (MW-14 and MW-15). Elevated concentrations of barium, lead, cadmium and mercury were detected in unfiltered groundwater samples from the shallow aquifer and metals in groundwater collected from bedrock monitoring wells on-site were below NYS DOH and federal drinking water standards. No semi-volatile organic compounds were detected in on-site groundwater.
In March 1986, four surface soil samples were collected on-site as part of a field investigation conducted by US EPA (refer to Figure 3). Samples were collected along the western site perimeter, near the drainage ditch and storm sewer, and along the northern site boundary in the PVC pipe staging area and from beneath the sod in the front lawn of the site property, along Old Vestal Road. The only contaminant concentration which exceeds public health assessment comparison values (Table 15) is vinyl chloride which was detected at 0.47 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) in a sample collected from accumulated materials on top of the cover of a storm sewer intake. Based on information about the sample location and the nature of the sample collected, it is possible that PVC pipe shavings from manufacturing activities on-site had also accumulated on top of the storm sewer intake and were incorporated into the soil sample collected for analysis. It is possible that PVC pipe shavings may have contributed to the detection of vinyl chloride in this sample, as vinyl chloride was only detected in one of 105 soil samples collected at and near the site.
During the RI, eighteen soil borings were drilled on-site to determine the lateral and vertical extent of possible subsurface soil contamination (Figure 4). Five borings were installed in the northeast portion of the site, four borings were installed near the on-site production well PW2 and the remainder of the borings were installed in the pipe staging area. Sample depths ranged from zero to ten (0-10) feet. In addition, subsurface soil samples were also collected from depths ranging between four and forty-one feet during monitoring well installation. A summary of the compounds detected in soil borings on-site is presented in Table 3 (organic compounds) and Table 4 (metals).
Of the 105 soil samples collected during the RI, cadmium was reported above typical background levels (<0.5 mg/kg to 1.0 mg/kg) in eight soil samples at levels ranging from 2 mg/kg to 205 mg/kg. The three highest reported levels (11.5 mg/kg, 18.5 mg/kg and 205 mg/kg) were detected in subsurface soil samples that were collected from areas of the site that are currently paved or at depths greater than two feet. The reported concentrations of cadmium that were detected in these eight soil samples were collected at various depths ranging from 0 to 10 feet. Reported lead concentrations in soils and sediments collected during the RI are considered suspect because of laboratory quality assurance and quality control concerns. A detailed discussion of these concerns is presented in subsection C (Quality Assurance/Quality Control) of this document. Findings of the supplemental sampling investigations for soils and sediment on-site and at the adjacent Skate Estate Facility are discussed under "Supplemental Sample Data for Lead in Soils and Sediment" of this subsection.
Surface Water and Sediment
During the RI, surface water and sediment samples were collected from the drainage ditches on the northeast portion of the site property and from the drainage ditches along the western site boundary, near the Skate Estate property (refer to Figure 5). Surface water samples were collected during a rainy period so that enough water had accumulated in the drainage ditches to permit sample collection. Analytical results for organic compounds and metals in on-site sediment and surface water are summarized in Table 5.
Ambient air sampling during the RI was conducted on two separate occasions to evaluate on-site ambient air quality under normal site conditions as well as during invasive activities which could potentially release site-related contaminants to air. Nine ambient air samples were collected in September 1988 from the area behind the main building and the drainage ditch near the western site boundary. Quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) concerns with the organic analyses of these samples prompted US EPA to declare the results invalid and an additional round of ambient air samples was collected on September 18, 1990. Ambient air samples were collected from four on-site locations on 9/18/90 (Figure 6) for volatile organic analyses only. Wind direction was from the northwest and samples were located at the north, south, east and west site boundaries. Vinyl chloride was a contaminant of concern and specifically targeted in the analyses; however, vinyl chloride was not detected in any samples. Air sample results for organic analysis are presented in Tables 6 and associated public health assessment comparison values are presented in Table 14. The representativeness of these data is questionable due to the limited air sampling data and proximity of sample locations to alternate contaminant sources.
PVC Dusts and Particulate Matter
PVC dust and shavings from on-site manufacturing operations have been observed on-site and alongthe western property boundary. The NYS DEC, Division of Air, previously investigated fugitiveemissions of PVC dusts from the site. In April 1987, a sample of white dust was collected from theground surface at the site near a PVC resin distribution pipeline. This dust sample was examinedto determine average particle size.
Industrial Waste Water
In February 1984, routine compliance monitoring sampling found several new contaminants in theeffluent at the facility's outfall to the drainage ditch along the western property boundary. On March27, 1984, the NYS DEC resampled this effluent to determine the source of these contaminants. Effluent samples obtained in March contained vinyl chloride (19 mcg/L), 1,2-dichloroethane (19mcg/L) and methylene chloride (3 mcg/L). Based on these results, the NYS DEC required that thesource of the contaminants be determined and that a plan be developed to remove or reducecontaminant concentrations in effluent prior to discharge.
Because of concerns with the quality of data reported in soils and sediment collected during the RI,US EPA initiated repeat sampling of soils and sediment in February 1992. This sampling effortfocused on the collection of 155 surface soil, subsurface soil and sediment samples associated withthe Skate Estate Property and the western perimeter of the Robintech Inc./National Pipe Co. site. All samples collected during this effort were analyzed in the field using x-ray fluorescence (XRF)methodology. In addition, twenty-one split samples were submitted for laboratory analysis of leadfor comparison purposes. A subset of samples were also submitted for laboratory analysis of VOCs,metals, organic lead, pesticides, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and toxicity characteristicleaching procedure (TCLP) for lead. The sample locations were selected to duplicate, as closely aspossible, those locations at the Skate Estate facility and along the western perimeter of theRobintech Inc./National Pipe Co. site which were sampled during the RI. Three backgroundsamples were collected for reference at nearby areas unassociated with the site; the leadconcentrations for the background samples were reported at 52 mg/kg, 93 mg/kg and 2,550 mg/kg. The background soil concentration of 2,550 mg/kg is considered anomalous as it was collected froma location characterized by "historical disposal of household debris and automotive waste materials,including oil cans and used oil filters".
Of the 155 subsurface soil, surface soil and sediment samples collected and analyzed for lead, resultsindicated that 120 samples had levels below 50 mg/kg, twenty-six samples had levels within 50mg/kg - 100 mg/kg, four samples within 100 mg/kg to 150 mg/kg and three samples within 200mg/kg - 250 mg/kg. Only one sample was reported to contain lead at 344 mg/kg, which is onlyslightly above the general background range (0-300 mg/kg) for lead in soils and is below the siteaction level of 500 mg/kg for lead in soils.
In September 1992, US EPA initiated a second sampling event to re-analyze soil samples from areaswhere elevated detections of lead had been indicated by the data from the RI, in an effort to confirmthe validity of that data. A total of 39 surface soil, subsurface soil, and sediment samples werecollected from sixteen locations which were sampled during the RI. Analysis was by portable XRFmethodology. All but two of the 39 samples collected were below 50 mg/kg and all samplesrecorded lead values below 100 mg/kg.
Groundwater samples were also collected from the three off-site monitor well clusters near the Robintech site during the RI/FS (refer to Figure 5). Acetone, at 2,200 mcg/L, was found in one sample from monitor well MW5A. However, the results are suspect because of possible laboratory contamination, and will be confirmed as part of the remedial design for groundwater treatment. Benzene was present in monitor wells MW5, MW5D and MW5A at 9 mcg/L, 8 mcg/L and 10 mcg/L, respectively. Monitor well cluster MW5 is situated on the north border of the Skate Estate property, south of the Mobil tank farm. No other volatile organic compounds were detected in groundwater at the off-site sample locations. A summary of the metals detected in groundwater at off-site monitor well locations is presented in Table 7.
|o||Public Water Supplies|
Three public water supply wells for the Town of Vestal are situated along Prentice Road, about 3/4mile northwest (downgradient) of the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site. These public watersupply wells for the Town of Vestal are identified as wells 4-2, 4-3 and 4-4. The Vestal publicwater supply well 4-2 is contaminated with VOCs and is also listed on the National Priorities List. VOC contamination in this well is not attributed to contaminants in groundwater at the Robintech,Inc./National Pipe Co. site; contaminants in this well are attributed to a nearby bulk chemicalhandling facility. The well was removed from service in 1983.
The only other public water supply well near the site is the Village of Endicott's municipal watersupply well, the Endwell well (#30). This well is situated about 1 mile east and upgradient of thefacility property on the north bank of the Susquehanna River. This well is one of four wells whichprovide potable water to the Village of Endicott and part of the Town of Union. Due to the distanceof this well from the site and its location with respect to migration of site contaminants ingroundwater, it is highly unlikely that this well would ever be affected by contamination at theRobintech Inc./National Pipe Co. site. No public water supply wells were sampled as part of theRI for the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site.
|o||Private Well Supplies|
On August 4, 1988, the NYS DOH collected samples from three private water supplies near theRobintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site. These residential wells are about 1/4-mile east (upgradient)of the site and are not known to be used for drinking water or household purposes. All sampleswere analyzed for volatile halogenated organics, aromatic purgeables and metals. No volatileorganic compounds (VOCs) were detected in any of the samples; however, five metals (barium,copper, iron, manganese and zinc) were detected. The maximum contaminant level (MCL) for iron(300 mcg/L) was exceeded in one sample (438 mcg/L) and the MCL for manganese (300 mcg/L)was exceeded in another sample (782 mcg/L). The presence of elevated levels of metals in thesesamples may reflect natural geologic conditions. These wells were resampled by the BCHD forVOCs on February 2, 1992 and no VOCs were detected.
On September 20, 1988, the NYS DOH sampled two additional private (residential) water suppliesnear the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site that are not used for domestic purposes. Bothsamples were analyzed for volatile halogenated organics, aromatic purgeable organics, metals,fluoride and nitrate. No volatile organic compounds were detected in either of these two samples. Six metals were detected: barium, copper, iron, manganese, strontium and zinc. Of these six metalsthe manganese concentration slightly exceeded the NYS DOH maximum contaminant level (MCL)for iron and manganese (total) of 500 mcg/L in one of these residences. Metals in thesegroundwater samples may reflect natural local geological conditions.
On June 8, 1992, the BCHD sampled two private water supplies about one half mile northeast ofthe site following a report of chemical odors in excavated soils on a nearby property of theRobintech, Inc./National Pipe facility. This property is situated along the east side of CommerceRoad, north of the existing facility. Soils from this property were excavated during the summer of1991 for use as fill material at a nearby construction site. The two private water supply sampleswere submitted to the NYS DOH for analysis of VOCs and ketones and no contaminants weredetected in either water supply.
Surface Water and Sediment
Storm water drainage and sediment samples were collected from three off-site locations during the RI. Storm drainage water and sediment samples were collected from two of the three downgradient storm water sewer manholes along Old Vestal Road, west of the site and also from an upgradient storm drain near the intersection of Old Vestal Road and Commerce Road, east of the site (refer to Figure 5). Samples from the upgradient storm drain had elevated levels of metals and some VOCs in both storm sewer sediment and storm water samples (refer to Tables 8, 9 and 10).
The two downgradient surface water drainage and sediment samples collected from the storm sewer drains contained several metals. 1,1,1-Trichloroethane was the only VOC detected in both sediment (0.012 mg/kg) and surface water (29 mcg/L) at sample location SW2 near the storm drain located just west of the Skate Estate property. Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was the only semi-volatile compound detected in sediment (4.6 mg/kg) at a downgradient off-site location (SD2). No semi-volatile compounds were detected in the downgradient surface water sample points. Analytical results for inorganic compounds in off-site surface water drainage and sediment are presented in Tables 9 and 10, respectively.
PVC Dusts and Particulate Matter
In April 1987, a representative of the NYS DEC collected a sample of white dust from thewindshield of a parked vehicle at the adjacent Skate Estate facility (Sample 1). A resident alsosubmitted a sample of white dust that was collected from his patio in November 1986 to NYS DEC(Sample 3). Both of these samples were evaluated to determine the average particle size of the dust.
Between June 22, 1993 and July 28, 1993 this public health assessment was distributed for publicreview. Written comments from citizens living near the site reported that blowing PVC dustaccumulates in their driveways, on their cars and into vented attic areas. Citizens also reported thatPVC dust is also released from uncovered loads on trucks leaving the site.
In March 1986, four surface soil samples were collected at the Skate Estate property as part of the field investigation conducted by the US EPA (Figure 4). Skate Estate is a water slide, miniature golf, and roller rink amusement facility west of the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site. The samples were collected from the northeast corner of the Skate Estate property behind the waterslide area. The highest concentrations reported for these three soil samples were acetone (0.06 mg/kg), carbon disulfide (0.1 mg/kg), 1,1,1-trichloroethane (0.008 mg/kg), methylene chloride (0.006 mg/kg) and bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (24 mg/kg).
Four soil borings were installed on the Skate Estate property during the RI (refer to Figure 4). Three of these borings were installed north of the main building and one soil boring was installed along the eastern boundary of the Skate Estate property, near the drainage ditch. All samples were collected from a depth of zero to two (0-2) feet. No volatile organic compounds were detected in any of the subsurface soil samples collected from these four borings. Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was the only semi-volatile organic compound detected and was present in all four samples at concentrations ranging from 1.3 mg/kg to 15 mg/kg. A subsurface soil sample was also collected from the monitor well boring MW5, centrally located along the northern boundary of the Skate Estate property. No volatile organic compounds were detected in this soil sample. Table 11 presents a summary of the metals detected in subsurface soil samples from the soil and monitor well boring locations on the Skate Estate property.
In addition to monitor wells MW5 and MW5A on the Skate Estate property, three additional monitor well clusters are located off-site from the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site (refer to Figure 5). Monitor wells MW4/MW4A and MW3/MW3A are on the north side of the railroad tracks to the northwest of the Mobile Tank Farm and monitor wells MW6 and MW6A are across from the main entrance to the Skate Estate amusement facility, on the south side of Old Vestal Road. Subsurface soil samples collected from monitor well borings MW3, MW4 and MW6 during the RI did not show evidence of any volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds. Analytical results of inorganic compounds detected in soil boring samples from these two locations are summarized in Table 12.
Supplemental Sample Data for Lead in Soils and Sediment
As discussed in the previous section (Section A, On-Site Contamination), supplemental sampling of soils and sediment were undertaken by US EPA in February 1992 to address concerns with reported lead concentrations in soil and sediment samples collected during the RI. Information about the sample locations, as well as sampling and analytical methods are presented under "Supplemental Sample Data for Lead in Soils and Sediment" of subsection A (On-Site Contamination) of this document.
In preparing this public health assessment, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry(ATSDR) and NYS DOH rely on the information in the referenced documents and assume thatadequate quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) measures were followed with regard tochain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting, unless otherwise noted. The validityof the analysis and conclusions drawn for this public health assessment is determined by thecompleteness and reliability of that information.
A detailed discussion of the QA/QC measures during field sampling and analytical procedures arepresented in Section 3.7 of the draft Remedial Investigation (RI) report. During the RI, samplecollection and chain-of-custody procedures were followed and field (rinsate) and trip blanks wereanalyzed for all matrices except air. In addition, one duplicate sample was collected for every tensamples in each sampling matrix and analyzed for the same parameters as the corresponding samplemedia. Field blanks for all matrices except air were aqueous rinsate samples. Field blanks for airanalysis were collected by exposing a clean filter to ambient air for 30-40 seconds then closing andpackaging the cassette. Trip blanks for all matrices except air consisted of a set of sample bottlesfilled at the laboratory with demonstrated analyte free water. All field sampling equipment wasdecontaminated prior to use with a tap water/non-phosphate detergent/solvent (methanol andhexane)/deionized water rinse. All drilling and other field tools in contact with site soils or waterwere steam-cleaned prior to and after each use.
Seven of the 16 trip blanks obtained during the RI contained acetone at detectable levels and fiveof these seven also contained methylene chloride at detectable levels. This trip blank contaminationoccurred only during the first two weeks (4/13/88-4/21/88) of field work, concurrent withgroundwater and soil sampling, and may have been attributable to laboratory contamination. Notrip blanks after 4/27/88 (i.e., during surface water and sediment sampling) showed any evidenceof contamination. The field (rinsate) blanks for soil sampling field equipment (i.e., bowl and spoon)contained methylene chloride, acetone, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate and di-n-butylphthalate atdetectable levels for rinsate blanks on 4/15/88 and 4/21/88. In addition, a bowl and trowel rinsateblank, which was collected 4/25/88 during soil sampling, contained aluminum and iron. No fieldblanks of sediment sampling equipment after 4/25/88 showed detectable levels of contamination.
Following a review of the revised draft Feasibility Study report dated December 3, 1991, US EPArequested a review of soil data to assess if there were any reporting errors, because the data for leadin soils seemed inconsistent relative to analytical data for other metals in soils. A preliminaryreview of the analytical data concluded that there had not been any reporting errors in transcribingthe raw data for report preparation. EPA subsequently requested a more detailed review of the soilsanalytical data for lead collected during the RI/FS, and it was determined that lead concentrationsreported by the laboratory for soils were actually lead concentrations in the digestate, reported inmicrograms per liter. These concentrations had not, for the most part, been corrected for digestatefinal sample volume, sample weight and percent moisture and the results were reported as an orderof magnitude greater than the anticipated converted results. Consequently, the US EPA conductedan additional sampling investigation to assess the extent of lead contamination in on-site and off-sitesoils.
The only other significant QA/QC concern with any of the data obtained during the RI was with thevolatile organic analyses of ambient air (September 1988). US EPA declared these data invalid andan additional round of ambient air samples was collected for volatile organic analyses in Septemberof 1990. Other than the two exceptions previously noted, the QA/QC (field and trip blanks)analytical data do not suggest any gross inadequacies and the environmental data collected duringthe RI are considered reliable for this evaluation.
Currently, the site is not fenced and the only known physical hazards at the site are associated withthe stack of PVC pipes stored on-site. In the event that one of these pipe stacks became unstableduring loading or unloading, injury could result to anybody working in or passing by the area.
To identify other facilities that could possibly contribute to site-related contaminants in soil, air,groundwater, and/or surface water at or near the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site, the NYSDOH searched the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI has been developed by theUS EPA from chemical release information provided by those industries that are required to reportcontaminant emissions and releases on an annual basis.
NYS DOH is using the most recent TRI data submitted by industrial facilities identified to be within a 2.5 mile radius of the boundaries of this site (Figure 8) for the year 1989, as a means to evaluate other sources of additional health risk in the potentially exposed population.
NYS DOH uses a simple mathematical model to estimate if potential contaminant concentrationsresulting from air emissions at a TRI reporting 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). NYS DOH then evaluates what portion, if any, ofthe population living within this distance from the manufacturing facility may also be exposed tocontaminants originating at the site.
Seven manufacturing facilities near the site filed TRI data for the calendar year 1989. Thesefacilities are Amphenol Interconnect, General Electric Air Force Plant 59, Film and PaperCorporation of America, Azon Corporation (Division of Defiance) and the Endicott Johnson SunrisePlant, Injection Mold and Walter Johnson Facilities. Additionally, the Anitec Image Corporation,which is located at 40 Charles Street in Binghamton, and the IBM Corporation (SystemsManufacturing Division), which is located at 1701 North Street in Endicott, are located 3.25 milesand 2.65 miles, respectively, from the Robintech Inc./National Pipe Company site. These twofacilities are among the top TRI air toxics emitters in New York State. All of these facilities arelocated to the northwest, north and northeast of the Robintech Inc./National Pipe Company site.
The Film and Paper Corporation of America is located at 25 Ozalid Road in Johnson City, about 2.0 miles east-northeast of the Robintech/National Pipe site. This facility did not report any releases to the environment in 1989. Table 13 summarizes annual air emissions and releases for the remaining TRI reporting facilities.
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 are 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 exposurepathway exists when the criteria for all five elements of an exposure pathway are documented; apotential exposure pathway exists when the criteria for any one of the five elements comprising anexposure pathway is not met. An exposure pathway is considered to be eliminated when any oneof the five elements comprising an exposure pathway has not existed in the past, does not exist inthe present and will never exist in the future.
PVC Dusts and Particulate Matter
During a site visit in September of 1991, PVC dust and shavings were observed on the groundsurface along roadways and drainage areas and PVC resin was observed on the ground near thetransfer station, distribution pipelines and storage silos. PVC dust and shavings were observed tobe blowing across the site and were also observed in areas off-site near the western site perimeter. Between June 22, 1993 and July 28, 1993, this public health assessment was distributed for publicreview. Written comments from citizens living near the site reported that blowing PVC dustaccumulates in their driveways, on their cars and into vented attic areas and has been observedfloating on water pools at the Skate Estate Recreational facility. Additionally, citizens reported thatPVC dust is also released from uncovered loads on trucks leaving the site. Based on these reports,workers on-site, nearby residents and users of the Skate Estate facility most likely have been andcan be exposed to PVC dust generated by transport, storage and manufacturing activities, as thereis a potential for PVC dust and particulate matter to be transported off-site by wind, to receptorpopulations.
On-Site Subsurface Soils
Exposure to cadmium in on-site subsurface soils is not likely to occur unless on-site soils areexcavated and contamination is displaced to the surface. Workers involved with groundwaterremediation activities at the site could possibly be exposed to elevated cadmium levels in subsurfacesoils during installation of groundwater pumping wells. However, use of appropriate work practicesand personal protective equipment should minimize this potential for exposure.
Residences surrounding the site are supplied with public water. There are several private watersupplies within a quarter mile upgradient of the site. Sampling of these wells did not detect thepresence of VOCs in groundwater. Three municipal water supply wells for the Town of Vestal areless than 3,000 feet to the northwest. One of these wells has documented organic contamination,primarily trichloroethene and 1,1,1-trichloroethane. This well (Vestal Well #2) is listed on the NYSDEC Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites and is under separate investigation. At this time,the contamination in this well is suspected to have originated from a bulk chemical handling facilityand not from the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe facility. However, if groundwater at the site is leftunremediated, site-related contaminants could migrate to the Vestal wellfield.
On-site groundwater is used for cooling of newly produced PVC pipe. Up to 250,000 gallons perday may be pumped from the on-site production wells. Daily use fluctuates with the need toreplenish water in the heating and cooling systems that may be lost due to leaks or spills during PVCpipe production. Occasionally, city water, which is supplied to the facility for non-commercial use,is also used for production purposes. Currently, there is no pretreatment of on-site groundwaterbefore use in production, and workers in the PVC production areas may be exposed to organiccontaminants volatilizing during the PVC pipe cooling process. There is also a potential for workersto be exposed to contaminants in on-site groundwater via dermal uptake, during clean up of coolingwater that has leaked or spilled.
Sampling of ambient air during the RI at downwind locations along the site perimeter found severalVOCs. Nearby residents and employees at the site may be exposed to VOCs in ambient air on-siteand at the site perimeter.
The only surface water on the site property is intermittent, collecting in drainage ditches and low lying areas after rainfall events. Surface water runoff at the site has been known to collect in the drainage ditches along the western site boundary and overflow on to the adjacent Skate Estate recreational facility. Water in this ditch drains into the storm sewer catch basin at the intersection of the three adjacent properties. Reportedly, during heavy rain, the grating of the catch basin becomes clogged with a dense mixture of powdered PVC resin and sediment, causing the storm water runoff to collect and overflow onto the adjacent Skate Estate property and Mobil Tank Farm. Children playing at the Skate Estate amusement facility would not be likely to come into contact with ponded water as the area that appears to be affected by flooding is fenced off from the public areas of the Skate Estate facility and used for storage purposes only. Storm water drainage in the off-site storm water sewer manholes are not considered to be accessible by the general public; therefore, the potential for exposure to contaminants in surface water will not be evaluated in the Public Health Implications (Toxicological Evaluation) section of this document.
The former on-site waste disposal area has since been filled in and blacktopped, eliminating thepotential for direct contact with surface soils. Currently, the majority of the site property is paved,including the former waste disposal area, and the potential for direct contact with surface soils byworkers and unauthorized personnel who may be trespassing the site is limited. Unpaved areas ofthe site are grassy or covered with crushed stone and the potential for inhalation and incidentalingestion of contaminated soil particulates at and downwind of the site is unlikely. The potentialfor exposure to surface soils at the Skate Estate facility is unlikely. Currently, the majority of theSkate Estate property is paved and grassy areas are fenced to prevent unauthorized access.
As discussed previously (On-Site Contamination section), only one soil sample out of all the soil samples collected at and near the site during past soil sampling activities and the RI was reported to contain vinyl chloride (0.47 mg/kg). This sample was collected from accumulated materials on the top of a storm sewer intake and may have also contained shavings of PVC pipe or PVC resin which are generated during the manufacturing process on-site and have been observed to collect in drainage areas. It is possible that the presence of PVC pipe shavings or PVC resin in this sample may have contributed to the detection of vinyl chloride in this soil sample. Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen (ATSDR, 1991j). However, based on information about this sample location and the nature of the sample collected, it is unlikely that exposure to vinyl chloride in on-site soils has occurred in the past, is occurring in the present or will occur in the future. Human exposure to surface soils at the site and the Skate Estate property is considered to be an eliminated pathway and will not be evaluated further in the Public Health Implications (Toxicological Evaluation) section of this document.
Exposure to sediment in on-site drainage ditches and storm sewer manholes is not a human exposure pathway of concern to site contaminants. Reported lead concentrations for sediment samples collected during the RI are considered suspect and as discussed previously (Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards section), supplemental sampling of soils and sediment did not indicate lead to be present in sediment at elevated levels. Sediments in off-site storm sewer manholes are not considered to be accessible by the general public and it is unlikely that people have, are or will come in contact with these sediments. Because the potential for exposure to contaminants in on-site and off-site sediments is not likely to occur, the significance of exposure will not be evaluated in the Public Health Implications (Toxicological Evaluation) section of this document.
An analysis of the toxicological implications of the potential human exposure pathways of concernis presented below:
Results of the screening evaluation of the TRI data identified one industrial facility (Anitec Image Corporation) whose
|1.||Inhalation and dermal contact exposure of individuals engaged in activities on-site, nearby residents and visitors to the Skate Estate facility to PVC dust and particulates. |
Based on reports from residents living near the Robintech Inc./National Pipe Co. site, PVC dust has accumulated in driveways, on vehicles and in vented attic areas. Exposure to PVC dust and particulates has most likely occurred in the past and could occur in the future via inhalation and dermal contact. Past sampling for PVC dust at and near the site was done by NYS DEC. The samples were examined to determine the average particle size of the PVC dust. A review of these data suggest that the PVC particles do not appear to be respirable. However, additional information about the range of particle sizes comprising these dusts is needed to determine the public health significance of past and possible exposures.
Animal data indicate that PVC dust is a potential health concern and that long-term inhalation exposure can cause blood changes and impair lung function (ATSDR, 1993c). Recent data from a review by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry show that PVC, raw material or products often contain 2-5 parts per million (ppm) unreacted vinyl chloride monomer. Residual vinyl chloride monomer can volatilize from the resin and evaporation is slow during resin storage but increases when the resin is open to ambient air or handled during transport. Ambient air sampling conducted on-site showed the vinyl chloride monomer was not detected.
PVC may also release toxic materials as it ages. At ordinary temperatures, PVC may slowly change and release hydrogen chloride gas. Hydrogen chloride is an irritant (NIOSH, 1978). PVC raw material is often modified by the addition of other substances called "plasticizers" which give PVC products desired physical characteristics. Plasticizers, often phthalate esters, may be present in varying amounts in the PVC. Some phthalate esters can damage the male reproductive system (ATSDR, 1993a).
|2.||Potential inhalation exposure of individuals engaged in activities on-site nearby residents and visitors at the Skate Estate facility to volatile organic contaminants found in on-site ambient air. |
The potential exists for inhalation exposure particularly to individuals engaged in on-site activities. Contaminants of concern detected from limited air sampling of on-site areas conducted during the remedial investigation are: methylene chloride, toluene and tetrachloroethene (see Tables 6 and 14). Tetrachloroethene was detected in only one of five sampling locations. Methylene chloride and tetrachloroethene cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes (ATSDR, 1991f,h). 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 results of animal studies, exposure to the levels of methylene chloride and tetrachloroethene found in on-site ambient air could pose a low increased cancer risk over a lifetime of exposure. Toxicological data are inadequate to evaluate the carcinogenic potential for toluene (ATSDR, 1989d).
Methylene chloride, toluene and tetrachloroethene also produce a variety of noncarcinogenic toxicities (primarily liver, kidney and nervous system effects). Toluene is known to adversely affect these organ systems at exposure levels about one to two orders of magnitude greater than those found in on-site ambient air while methylene chloride and tetrachloroethene are known to cause adverse effects at levels several orders of magnitude greater than those found in on-site air. Although the risks of noncarcinogenic effects from potential exposures to these contaminants in on-site ambient air are not completely understood, the existing data suggest that they could be high for toluene, low for methylene chloride and minimal for tetrachloroethene at the levels found in on-site ambient air.
Nearby residents may be exposed to VOCs in ambient air migrating from the site, but because no off-site ambient air sampling was conducted, no public health evaluation can be made.
|3.||Potential inhalation, dermal and ingestion exposure to contaminated subsurface soils by persons working on-site. |
Cadmium has been detected in subsurface soils on-site (see Tables 4 and 15); however, exposure to this contaminant is unlikely unless on-site soils are excavated and contamination is displaced to the surface. The most sensitive effect from chronic elevated exposure to cadmium is kidney damage (ATSDR, 1991b). The highest level of cadmium detected (205 mg/kg) exceeds public health assessment comparison values and exposure could pose a high risk of adverse health effects if the site were ever excavated and developed for residential use or during site remediation activities which may disturb subsurface soils (i.e., installation of groundwater pumping wells). Another potential concern would be transport of contaminated soil/dust from the site by workers on their clothing.
|4.||Potential ingestion, dermal and inhalation exposure to contaminants in drinking water as a result of contaminant plume migration. |
As indicated in Tables 1 and 2, on-site groundwater is contaminated with organic chemicals and metals at concentrations that exceed New York State groundwater and/or drinking water standards or guidelines. Residences surrounding the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site are supplied with public water and there are no known private water supplies near the site which are currently being used for drinking water purposes. There are some residents who have private wells for irrigation. Several municipal drinking water supply wells are close to the site and therefore, on-site groundwater, by plume migration, could contaminate these wells. The public health implications of this potential exposure pathway are discussed below.
Organic Compounds in On-Site Groundwater
Benzene (ATSDR, 1991a) and vinyl chloride (ATSDR, 1991j) are known human carcinogens. Chronic exposure to drinking water contaminated with vinyl chloride at the highest level (36 mcg/L) found in on-site groundwater could pose a high increased cancer risk over a lifetime of exposure, whereas exposure to benzene at the highest level (23 mcg/L) found in on-site groundwater could pose a low increased cancer risk 1,1-Dichloroethene, styrene, tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene (ATSDR, 1989b; 1990f; 1991h,i) cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetime. 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 results of animal studies, chronic exposure to drinking water contaminated with 1,1-dichloroethene and trichloroethene at the highest levels found in on-site groundwater could pose high increased cancer risks over a lifetime of exposure, whereas styrene and tetrachloroethene would pose a low increased cancer risk.
Toxicological data are inadequate to assess the carcinogenic potential of 2-butanone, chloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethene, ethylbenzene, toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and xylene (ATSDR, 1989a,c,d; 1990a,c,g,h).
These organic chemicals discussed above can also produce a variety of noncarcinogenic toxicities (primarily liver, kidney and nervous system effects) at exposures generally several orders of magnitude greater than potential exposure from on-site groundwater. Exposure to benzene has been associated with damage to blood cell-forming tissues and the immune system. 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 potential exposures to these organic contaminants in drinking water as a result of plume migration are not completely understood, the existing data suggest that they could be high for vinyl chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trichloroethene, and 1,2-dichloroethene, low for benzene, 1,1-dichloroethene, 2-butanone, 1,1-dichloroethane and toluene and minimal for ethylbenzene, chloroethane, styrene, tetrachloroethene, and xylene.
Metal Contaminants in On-site Groundwater
Metal contaminants of potential concern in on-site groundwater include lead, chromium, arsenic, nickel, manganese, iron, aluminum, and sodium. As discussed previously, the developing fetus and young children are particularly sensitive to the neurological effects of lead. Drinking water contaminated with lead at the levels found in on-site groundwater could pose a moderate increased risk of adverse health effects to the fetus and young children. The primary toxic effects associated with ingestion of large amounts of chromium are kidney damage, birth defects and adverse effects on the reproductive system (ATSDR, 1991c). Arsenic can cause nerve, liver, blood vessel damage and behavioral problems including learning and hearing deficiencies (ATSDR, 1991k). Chronic arsenic poisoning is characterized by a distinct pattern of skin abnormalities. Nickel is not very toxic after ingestion but exposure of laboratory animals to high levels of nickel compounds during pregnancy has been associated with miscarriages, pregnancy complications and low birthweights (ATSDR, 1991g). Exposure to high levels of manganese primarily cause nervous system effects (ATSDR, 1990d). Drinking water contaminated with chromium, arsenic, nickel, or manganese at the highest levels found in on-site groundwater would pose a low risk of adverse health effects. Little is known about the chronic toxicity of aluminum in humans. Some animal toxicity studies indicate that a relatively high dose of aluminum may cause nerve and skeletal damage and may adversely affect the reproductive system (NYS DOH, 1990). Although iron is an essential nutrient, ingestion of large amounts can lead to accumulation in the body and tissue damage (WHO, 1984). At the highest level (101,000 mcg/L) found in on-site groundwater, iron could cause adverse health effects in infants (Henretig and Temple, 1984). Water containing more than 20,000 mcg/L of sodium should not be used for drinking by people on severely restricted sodium diets.
Groundwater samples collected from off-site monitor wells (see Table 7) were found to be contaminated with benzene and metals (aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, iron, manganese, and sodium) at levels exceeding drinking water standards and/or public health assessment comparison value (see Tables 1 and 2). There is the potential for off-site groundwater to contaminate municipal water supply wells. The public health implications of potential contamination are summarized below.
Organic Compounds in Off-Site Groundwater
The toxicological characteristics of benzene have already been discussed. Chronic exposure to drinking water containing the levels of benzene 8 to 10 mcg/L found in off-site groundwater could pose a low increased cancer risk over a lifetime of exposure. Benzene produces its noncarcinogenic effects at exposures several orders of magnitude greater than potential exposures from off-site groundwater. Although the risks of noncarcinogenic effects are not completely understood, the existing data suggest that they would be low.
Metal Contaminants in Off-Site Groundwater
The toxicological properties of aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, iron, manganese and sodium have already been discussed. In addition, the levels of aluminum, iron and manganese in off-site groundwater are over 20, 25 and 10 times the levels, respectively, at which the aesthetic quality of drinking water begins to be affected (WHO, 1984). Chronic exposure to drinking water at concentrations of these metals found in off-site groundwater could pose a low increased risk of adverse health effects.
B. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI)
Results of the screening evaluation of the TRI data identified one industrial facility (Anitec Image Corporation) whose emissions of methylene chloride (2.1 mcg/m3) and methanol (1.3 mcg/m3) exceed the screening criterion of 1 mcg/m3 and could affect ambient air quality in the community around the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site. As discussed earlier, methylene chloride causes cancer in laboratory animals and may also increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Based on the results of animal studies and the TRI screening evaluation, we estimate that emissions of methylene chloride could pose a low increased risk of cancer over a lifetime of exposure. Toxicological data are inadequate to assess the carcinogenic potential of methanol.
Methylene chloride and methanol are also known to produce a variety of noncarcinogenic toxicities(primarily liver, kidney and nervous system effects) at exposure levels several orders of magnitudegreater than those estimated using the TRI screening method. The screening evaluation indicatesthat the risks of noncarcinogenic effects are minimal for emissions of these two chemicals from theAnitec Image Corporation.
In 1986, the BCHD released a report on cancer incidence in areas of the county where organicchemical contamination of a water supply had occurred or where there was a public perception thatcontamination had occurred. Cancer cases diagnosed during 1976-1980 as reported to the NYSCancer Registry were used in the study. Three census tracts in Vestal (143, 144, and 145) wereincluded in the study because they corresponded somewhat to the area served by two public watersupply wells that had shown contamination with volatile organics in 1980. Overall cancer incidencewas similar to expected for both males and females; no statistically significant excess of cancer ofany site was found for either sex.
In response to exposure concerns of nearby residents to PVC dust generated by transport, storageand manufacturing activities at the site, the BCHD requested that the NYS DOH assess theemissions from PVC resin in airborne particulates. The NYS DOH evaluated the PVC materialsused during the fabrication process as well as the volatilization and evaporation potential of the vinylchloride monomer. The NYS DEC, Division of Air, has also evaluated emissions and releases ofPVC dust from the site. NYS DEC sampled for PVC dust at and near the site and examined thesamples to determine the average particle size of the PVC dust. A review of these data suggest thatthe PVC dust particulates do not appear to be respirable. Additional information about the rangeof particle sizes comprising these dusts will help in determining the public health significance ofpast and possible exposures. Between 1989 and 1990, under the guidance of NYS DEC, theRobintech Inc./National Pipe Co. established a new preventative maintenance plan to minimizereleases and other leaks of PVC resins during storage and transfer operations, and monitor the PVCloading and transfer station of windblown resins. ATSDR completed a technical review of theenvironmental fate, toxicity and human exposure potential to PVC dust. The findings of thisevaluation indicated that PVC dusts or particulate matter can pose a significant health concern andrecommended that PVC dust or particulate matter be remediated.
In response to a citizen complaint about the possibility of site contaminants in groundwater to affectthe quality of her drinking water supply, the BCHD sampled this resident's well and another nearbyprivate well serving a business northeast of the site, at the request of NYS DOH. The water sampleswere submitted to the NYS DOH Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research for analysis ofVOCs and ketones and no contaminants were detected. Both of these wells and other homes northand east of the site with private water supplies are upgradient of groundwater contamination at thesite.
In response to a citizen complaint about contamination of on-site soils and the possibility of exposure of her children to site contaminants while playing on or near the site, NYS DOH staff explained that soils and sediments at and near the site were being resampled by US EPA to evaluate the presence of lead. As discussed previously (Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards), the results of additional soil sampling investigations found no elevated levels of lead in soils and sediment on-site and at the adjacent Skate Estate Amusement facility. While the site is not currently fenced, the resident was advised not to have her children to play on-site. The findings of this investigation were presented at a public meeting held by US EPA in January 1993.
In response to citizen concerns expressed at the January 12, 1993 public meeting, NYS DOH and US EPA representatives reviewed sampling data from the RI for groundwater and soils. Specifically, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was not detected in groundwater on- or off-site during the RI. Therefore, exposure to this contaminant in potable water is not a completed or potential human exposure pathway of concern. The toxicological implications of possible exposures to lead in on-site groundwater have been addressed in the public health implications section of this PHA. Table 2 (Appendix 2) of this PHA present the drinking water standards and guidelines for metals, including lead, in drinking water. Exposure to elevated levels of lead in drinking water from this site is not likely, as the only known nearby private wells are upgradient of the site and are reportedly not used for drinking and cooking. Furthermore, past sampling of private wells has not shown the presence of lead. Past sampling of surface and subsurface soils at the Skate Estate Property has not confirmed the presence of lead at elevated levels above background (refer to the Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards section, subsections A, On-Site Contamination and B, Off-Site Contamination for a detailed discussion of sampling data). Furthermore, as discussed in the Pathways Analysis section, the potential for exposure to surface soils at the Skate Estate facility is unlikely as the majority of this facility is paved and grassy areas are fenced to prevent unauthorized access. Exposure to surface soils at the Skate Estate facility has been eliminated as a human exposure pathway of concern.