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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ROBINTECH, INC./NATIONAL PIPE CO.
VESTAL, BROOME COUNTY, NEW YORK


CONCLUSIONS

Based on the information reviewed, the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site is an indeterminate public health hazard. Residents living near the site have reported PVC dusts from the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. facility on their property and it is likely that human exposure to PVC dust has occurred in the past and is continuing to occur. Sampling of PVC dust was conducted by NYS DEC. However, additional information about these data are needed to determine the public health significance of past and possible exposures to PVC dusts. Potential human exposure could include inhalation and dermal contact exposures to VOC contaminants in on-site groundwater; inhalation of VOCs and PVC dust particulates in ambient air; dermal contact with PVC dust and particulates by on-site workers and nearby residents and direct contact and incidental ingestion exposures to cadmium in subsurface soils by workers involved with groundwater remediation activities at the site. There are no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health.

  1. Surface water drainage is known to run off-site onto adjacent properties and into storm sewers near the site.
  2. The dispersion of PVC dust from the fabrication of PVC products and storage of raw materials in silos on-site is continuing to occur. ATSDR completed a technical review of the environmental fate, toxicity and human exposure potential to PVC dust. ATSDR determined that PVC dust can pose a significant health concern and should be remediated.
  3. The concentrations of VOCs detected during ambient air sampling at the site may be partially due to on-site production and manufacturing activities, as well as contributions from off-site sources.
  4. VOC contamination has been found in three main areas in the overburden aquifer at the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site property.
  5. If groundwater is left unremediated, the contaminant plume could migrate towards the Town of Vestal water supply wells northwest of the site.
  6. Two areas of groundwater contamination in the bedrock aquifer have been identified on-site and one area of groundwater contamination in the bedrock aquifer has been identified at the Skate Estate property, west of the site.
  7. As part of the ROD for groundwater remediation at the site, control measures to mitigate migration of contaminated groundwater to the Susquehanna River and other downgradient locations (i.e., Town of Vestal wellfield) will be implemented and treatment of the existing areas of contaminated groundwater is planned to minimize the potential for exposure to groundwater contaminants associated with current use and anticipated future use of groundwater during on-site manufacturing and production activities.
  8. Additional sampling of surface and subsurface soils and sediments on-site and at the adjacent Skate Estate facility did not show elevated levels of lead.
  9. Exposure to sediment in drainage ditches at the site and storm sewer manholes is not a human exposure pathway of concern to site contaminants.
  10. Vinyl chloride was detected in only one soil sample out of a total of 105 surface and subsurface soil samples collected during the RI and a US EPA soil investigation in March 1986. The soil sample which contained vinyl chloride at 0.47 mg/kg was collected from accumulated materials on the cover of a storm sewer intake and could have contained shavings of PVC pipe. Exposure to vinyl chloride in soil is not a human exposure pathway of concern at this site.
  11. Except for calcium, organic contamination and metals in off-site storm water were detected at higher concentrations at the sample location upgradient of the site.
  12. Once the selected remedy for groundwater remediation is in place, the potential for exposure to VOCs in groundwater during manufacturing activities on-site will be eliminated. Additionally, the potential for migration of contaminated groundwater towards the Town of Vestal public water supply wells will be minimized by pumping of groundwater extraction wells.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Measures to control surface water runoff and site drainage should be considered to minimize ponding of surface water and suspended materials (i.e., PVC dust, sediments), both on-site and on adjacent properties.
  2. Additional measures to control PVC dust migration in surface water runoff and ambient air from storage and manufacturing areas on-site should be considered.
  3. Additional VOC sampling of ambient air both on- and off-site should be considered. Particulate monitoring, to evaluate off-site migration of PVC dust generated by transport, storage and manufacturing activities on-site, should also be considered.
  4. Site access should be restricted to minimize the potential for injury to trespassers and others who may traverse the site (e.g., children walking to the Skate Estate facility) during loading and unloading of stacked PVC pipe.
  5. Further evaluation of the impact of emissions from TRI reporting facilities on ambient air quality near the site should be considered.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP)
RECOMMENDATIONS

The data and information developed in this Public Health Assessment for the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site have been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendations Panel (HARP) for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. The panel determined that substance-specific research is needed to determine the environmental fate of PVC dust. Follow-up investigations of lead in soils and sediment at the site and the adjacent Skate Estate facility were completed in 1992 and findings of these additional investigations did not confirm the presence of elevated lead concentrations in soils and sediment at and near the site. Therefore, blood lead testing will not be considered as a follow-up health activity at this time. Because the community has been kept informed of investigatory activities at the site through public meetings, no further health follow-up activities are recommended at this time.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Robintech, Inc./National Pipe Co. site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH at and near the site, following completion of this public health assessment. For those actions already taken at the site, please refer to the Background section 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 past, present and/or future exposures to hazardous substances at or near the site. Including is a commitment on the part of ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented by ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH are as follows:

  1. ATSDR and NYS DOH will coordinate with the appropriate environmental agencies to develop plans to implement the recommendations contained in this public health assessment.
  2. ATSDR will provide an annual follow up to this PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this public health assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.
  3. The NYS DOH, in conjunction with the NYS DEC, will further access the impact of chemical emissions from the TRI reporting facilities to ambient air and, if necessary, recommend additional follow-up.
  4. NYS DOH, in conjunction with the NYS DEC, will evaluate the public health significance and off-site migration of PVC dust generated by transport, storage and manufacturing activities on-site.
  5. ATSDR's Division of Toxicology will maintain an awareness of any new and relevant information about the toxicity and environmental fate of PVC dust.

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.


CERTIFICATION

The Public Health Assessment for the Robintech Inc./National Pipe site was prepared by the New York State Department of 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 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 Public Health Assessment and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR


PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

Claudine Jones Rafferty
Public Health Specialist II
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
New York State Department of Health

Wanda Lizak Welles, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
and
Joel H. Kaplan
Research Scientist
Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment
New York State Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative
Arthur Block
Regional Operations
Office of the Assistant Administrator
ATSDR

ATSDR Technical Project Officer
Greg Ulirsch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Remedial Programs Branch
ATSDR


REFERENCES

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