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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

SINCLAIR REFINERY
WELLSVILLE, ALLEGANY COUNTY, NEW YORK



Table 6a. On-Site Ambient Air Monitoring Data and Public Health
Assessment Comparison Values.
[All values in microgram per cubic meter (mcg/m3)]

Compound mcg/m3(1) Frequency(1) Typical
Background**
Comparison
Values***
Source****

*2-hexanone

1,220 1/12 - -  

*methylene chloride

ND-3,800 7/12 0.2-5.3 2.1 ATSDR CREG

*1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane

6,110 1/12 ND-0.035 0.02 ATSDR CREG

*xylene (total)

3,600 1/12 0.79-17.2 300 EPA RfC

Note: These are the only organic compounds detected in ambient air samples.

ND - not detected

*Contaminant selected for further evaluation

**Brodzinsky and Singh (1982); ATSDR (1989d, 1990d)

***Comparison value determined for a 70 kilogram adult who inhales 20 m3 air per day.

****ATSDR CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EPA RfC = EPA Reference Concentration

(1)Source: Ebasco, Final Remedial Investigation Report; March 1991.


Table 6b. Gases from Monitoring Wells in the Central Landfill.

Parameter Units GW-1 GW-1-DUP OW1-1 OW1-1-DUP OW2-1 OW3-1 OW3-1-DUP OW4-1 OW4-1-DUP

Methane % 0.557 0.508 0.242 0.268 0.071 5.455 6.197 4.065 NA

Bromomethane

ppb 0.145814 0.146356 0.144524 NA 0.115361 0.110911 0.077282 0.107664 NA

Chloroform

ppb - - - NA - - - 0.120167 NA
1,1,1-Trichloroethane ppb 0.135126 0.147205 0.17164 NA 0.141893 0.144492 0.111976 0.178016 NA

Carbon tetrachloride

ppb - - - NA - - - 0.041052 NA

Bromodichloromethane

ppb - - 0.113087 NA 0.060432 0.011587 - 0.175033 NA

cis-1,3-Dichloropropene

ppb - - - NA - - - 0.165928 NA

Tetrachloroethene

ppb 0.122518 0.122280 0.106152 NA 0.116819 0.077656 0.090514 0.190583 NA

Dibromochloromethane

ppb - - - NA - - - 0.203985 NA

Bromoform

ppb - - - NA - - - 0.249656 NA

1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane

ppb - - - NA - - - 0.251790 NA

Benzene

ppb - - - NA - 35.54752 52.84561 88.70144 87.04556

Toluene

ppb - - - NA - 10.11974 15.06491 7.52928 7.049472

Chlorobenzene

ppb - - - NA - 1.269397 1.754439 - -

Ethylbenzene

ppb - - - NA - 1.861745 2.875492 - -

1,4-Dichlorobenzene

ppb - - - NA - - - - -

1,3-Dichlorobenzene

ppb - - - NA - - - - -

1,2-Dichlorobenzene

ppb - - - NA - - - - -

Source: Ebasco, Final Remedial Investigation Report; March 1991.

GW1 - Gas Monitoring Well in Section 4 of Test Fill.
OW1 - Sample from Fluid Detection Wells in Sections 1 to 4.


Table 7a. Results of Biological Sampling On-Site or in the Genesee River.

Sample
Number
Aquatic
Species
# Individuals
Homogenized
Per Sample
Organic
Contaminants*
Arsenic
mg/kg
Lead
mg/kg
Nickel
mg/kg

1 Creek Chub 8 ND ND ND .470

2

White Sucker 11 ND ND ND .9

3

Rock Bass 8 ND ND ND ND

4

Cray Fish 16 ND ND ND ND

5

Bullfrog Tadpole 12 ND .885 .173 1.70

6

Bullfrog Tadpole 12 ND .930 .100 3.69

7

White Sucker 5 ND ND ND 6.17

8

Creek Chub 10 ND ND 0.196 3.69

9 Pumpkinseed 3        
 

Rock Bass

6 ND ND ND .461
 

Largemouth Bass

2        
 

Smallmouth Bass

2

       

10

Crayfish 14 ND ND ND 0.585

11

Bullfrog Tadpole 12 ND 1.08 .374 3.11

12

Minnow Family
(3 species)
39 ND ND .123 1.25

13

White Sucker 7 ND ND ND .128

14

Pumpkinseed 22 ND ND ND 1.05

15

Crayfish 17 ND ND ND ND

16

Bullfrog Tadpole 22 ND .394 .197 4.88

Sample
Number
Terresterial
Species

# Individuals
Homogenized
Per Sample

       
17 Shortail Shrew 10 ND ND .157 .452

18

Meadow Vole 2 ND ND .173 .787

19

Meadow Vole 5 ND ND .176 .470

20

Shorttail Shrew 2 ND ND .258 .212

 

 

Table 7B. Results of Biological Sampling Off-Site.

Sample
Number
Terresterial
Species
# Individuals
Homogenized
Per Sample
Organic
Contaminants*
Arsenic
mg/kg
Lead
mg/kg
Nickel
mg/kg

21 Meadow Vole -
Off-site
4 ND ND ND .466

Source: Ebasco, Final Remedial Investigation Report; March 1991.

Each sample consists of the number of individuals homogenized; samples 9 and 12 consist of a mixture of species.
*No organic analytes detected.
ND - Not Detected
mg/kg - milligram per kilogram


Table 8. Off-Site Contamination - Surface Water and Sediment.
(see Tables 3 and 10 for Public Health Assessment Comparison Values)

  Main Drainage Swale
Surface Water
(mcg/L)
Main Drainage
Swale Sediment
(mg/kg)
Genesee River
Water (mcg/L)
Genesee River
Sediment (mg/kg)
 

Conc.

Frequency Conc. Frequency Conc. Frequency Conc. Frequency

Volatile Organic Compounds              
                 

*benzene

ND-.0013 3/7 .0022-.12 8/17 ND-4 1/21 ND-.011 3/12

*1,2-dichloroethene

ND 0/7 ND 0/17 ND-28 5/21 ND 0/12

ethyl benzene

.0001-.0013 2/4 ND 0/17 ND 0/21 ND-.007 1/12

methylene chloride

ND 0/7 ND 0/17 ND 0/21 ND 0/21

1,1,2,2-tetra-
chloroethane

NA - NA - ND 0/21 ND 0/12

tetrachloroethene

ND 0/7 ND 0/17 ND 0/21 ND 0/12

toluene

ND-.0067 1/7 ND-.6068 3/17 ND 0/21 ND-.006 2/12

*trichloroethene

ND-.37 3/7 ND 0/17 ND-13 1/21 ND 0/12

xylene

ND   ND-.003 2/17 ND 0/21 ND-.071 2/12
                 

Semi-Volatile Compounds

               
                 

benzo(a)pyrene

ND 0/7 ND-.86 3/17 ND 0/21 ND 0/12

2-methylnaphthalene

ND 0/7 ND 0/17 ND 6/21 ND 0/12

naphthalene

ND 0/7 ND 0/17 ND 0/21 ND 0/12

nitrobenzene

.0013 1/7 ND 0/17 ND-20 5/21 ND 0/12
                 

Inorganics/Metals

               
                 

*arsenic

ND 0/7 ND-46.0 14/17 ND-89 2/25 .4-98.3 12/12

barium

0.091-.202 3/3 49-187 9/9 71-75 2/2 45-124 2/2

*lead

ND-1.55 4/7 ND-802 16/17 ND-51 3/25 ND-43 11/12

mercury

ND-.0002 1/7 ND 0/17 ND-2 2/25 ND-.1 02/12
                 

Alkanes

               
                 

docosane

NA - NA - ND 0/13 ND 0/8

eicosane

NA - NA - ND 0/13 ND 0/8

heptadecane

NA - NA - ND 0/13 ND 0/8

hexadecane

NA - NA - ND 0/13 ND 0/8

octadecane

NA - NA - ND 0/13 ND 0/8

Source: Ebasco, Final Remedial Investigation Report; March 1991.

*Contaminant selected for further evaluation.
NA - Not Available
ND - Not Detected
mcg/L - microgram per liter
mg/kg - milligram per kilogram
mg/L - milligram per liter


Table 9. Off-Site Contamination - Potable Water Supplies.
(see Table 3 for Public Health Assessment Comparison Values)

  4 Private
Wells (mcg/L)
Village of
Wellsville
Raw Water
(Before 1988)
(mcg/L)
Village of
Wellsville
Finished Water
(Before 1988)
(mcg/L)
Village of
Wellsville
After Relocation
Of the Intake
(mcg/L)

Volatile Organic Compounds                
                 
*benzene ND 0/4 ND 0/5 ND-6.4 1/8 ND 0/4

1,2-dichloroethene

ND 0/4 ND 0/5 ND-2.8 1/8 ND 0/4

ethyl benzene

ND

0/4 ND 0/5 ND 0/8 ND 0/4

methylene chloride

ND 0/4 ND 0/5 ND 0/8 ND 0/8

toluene

ND 0/4 ND 0/5 ND 0/8 ND 0/4

1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane

ND 0/4 ND 0/5 ND 0/8 ND 0/4

tetrachloroethene

ND 0/4 ND 0/5 ND-4.8 1/8 ND 0/4

trichloroethene

ND 0/4 ND 0/5 ND 0/8 ND 0/4

xylene

ND 0/4 ND 0/5 ND 0/8 ND 0/4
                 

Semi-Volatile Compounds

               
                 

benzo(a)pyrene

NA 0/4 ND 0/2 ND 0/8 ND 0/4

2-methylnaphthalene

NA 0/4 ND 0/2 ND 0/8 ND 0/4

naphthalene

NA 0/4 ND-13.0 1/5 ND 0/8 ND 0/4

*nitrobenzene

NA 0/4 ND 0/2 ND-5.1 3/8 ND 0/4
                 

Inorganics/Metals

               
                 

arsenic

NA 0/4 ND 0/2 ND 0/8 NA  

barium

NA 0/4 ND 0/2 NA 0/8 NA  

lead

NA 0/4 ND 0/2 ND 0/8 NA  

mercury

NA 0/4 ND 0/2 ND 0/8 NA  
                 

Alkanes

               
                 
docosane NA - NA - ND 0/5 NA -

eicosane

NA - NA - ND 0/5 NA -

heptadecane

NA - NA - ND 0/5 NA -

hexadecane

NA - NA - ND 0/5 NA -

octadecane

NA - NA - ND 0/5 NA -

Source: New York State Department of Health, Sinclair Refinery Project Files (902003); 1981-1991.

*Contaminant selected for further evaluation.

NA - Not Available
ND - Not Detected
mcg/L - microgram per liter


Table 10.
Public Health Assessment Comparison Values for
Soil Contaminants Found at or Near the Sinclair Refinery Site.
[All values in milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg)]

Compound Typical
Background*

Comparison Values

Incidental Soil
Ingestion**
Source***

Volatile Organic Compounds

     
       

benzene

ND 24 ATSDR CREG

1,2-dichloroethene

ND 500 EPA RfD

ethylbenzene

ND 5,000 EPA RfD

methylene chloride

ND 93 ATSDR CREG

toluene

ND 10,000 EPA RfD

1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane

ND 3.5 ATSDR CREG

tetrachloroethene

ND 14 EPA CPF

trichloroethene

ND 65 EPA CPF

xylene (total)

ND 100,00 EPA RfD
       

Semi-Volatile Compounds

     
       

benzo(a)pyrene

<1-1.3 0.12 ATSDR CREG

2-methylnaphthalene

ND NA  

naphthalene

ND 200 EPA RfD

nitrobenzene

ND 25 EPA RfD
       

Inorganics/Metals

     
       

arsenic

10-20 15 EPA RfD

barium

300-500 3,500 EPA RfD

lead

10-300 NA  

mercury

0.01-3.4 15 EPA RfD

nickel

<5-20 1,000 EPA RfD
       

Alkanes

     
       

docosane

ND NA  

eicosane

ND NA  

heptadecane

ND NA  

hexadecane

ND NA  

octadecane

ND NA  

NA - not available
ND - not determined
*References: Adriano, 1986; Clarke et al. (1985); Dragun (1988) ; Frank et al. (1976); McGovern (1988); Shacklette and Boerngen (1984)
**Comparison values for cancer risk determined for a 70 kg adult who ingests 100 mg soil per day; comparison value for noncancer risk determined for a 10 kg child who ingests 200 mg soil per day.
***ATSDR CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EPA CPF = EPA Cancer Potency Factor
EPA RfD = EPA Reference Dose


APPENDIX C

RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS

This responsiveness summary was prepared to address the public's comments on the draft Public Health Assessment for the Sinclair Refinery site. The public was invited to review the draft public health assessment for this site during the public comment period which ran from July 6, 1993 to August 10, 1993. Some comments were consolidated or grouped together to incorporate similar concerns raised by more than one person. If you have any questions about this responsiveness summary, contact the Health Liaison Program at the toll-free number 1-800-458-1158, extension 402.

Comment #1

Several comments were received regarding additional work that has been performed at the site since the report was written.

Response #1

The report has been "updated" to reflect current site conditions and to include new information based on these comments.

Comment #2

A comment was received regarding the possibility of buried PCB transformers northwest of the Sinclair Refinery site.

Response #2

As this inquiry seems to be related to a nearby and possibly new hazardous waste site, this information was passed on to personnel at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) for investigation.

Comment #3

Concern was expressed regarding exposure of occupants in the on-site building to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrocarbons and metals.

Response #3

Possible exposure of students, workers and building occupants to chemicals of concern on-site are addressed in the Toxicological Implications section of the Public Health Assessment; both cancer and non-cancer health effects has been evaluated. Exposure of building occupants to VOCs are being evaluated in the groundwater and subsurface soils Phase II study of the refinery area. Soil gas and basements will be surveyed.

Comment #4

Concern was expressed regarding x-ray, blood and urine tests on workers involved with remediating the landfill.

Response #4

The health and safety plan called for complete physical exams on all landfill workers. Upon final closure of the landfill, all workers are to be re-examined and their physical and vitals parameters will be compared to their initial physical health data.

Comment #5

Although the water intake was moved upstream, concern was expressed about the possibility for pesticides, agricultural chemicals and sewage leachate to enter the new water intake.

Response #5

These factors are always evaluated when determining the location of public water intake. For example, a water intake would not be placed downstream of a sewage discharge. The bacteriological and chemical quality of the distributed public water must meet Part 5 of the State Sanitary Code established by the New York State Department of Health. Moreover, these factors are regulated by state and federal programs. For example, before pesticides are registered , so they can be used, their potential to leach and their ability to impact surface waters are evaluated. Sewage must be treated before it can be discharged. Although no absolute guarantees can be given, several programs are in place to protect the quality of drinking water.

Comment #6

Concern was expressed about the future of contaminated subsurface soil remaining on-site.

Response #6

The potential for exposure to surface soil is different from that of subsurface soils. The main human exposure concern to contaminated surface soil at the site is dermal contact, while concerns about contaminated subsurface soil include its potential to act as a continuing source of contamination to groundwater and the potential for future exposure during excavation. Further investigation of the refinery area will determine the final disposition of contaminated subsurface soil.

Comment #7

Concern was expressed about the possibility of on-site lead migrating off-site or being carried home by current on-site employees.

Response #7

Lead is relatively insoluble and has low volatility. Therefore, the most likely way for lead to migrate is from adhering to soil. Migration off-site could occur by dust blowing and/or by soil particles being transported on clothing. However, the potential for increased exposure is not high. The area of elevated lead levels is relatively limited and the lead levels, although elevated, are not unusually high for an urban or industrial setting. However, if someone is concerned about contaminants coming home on workers clothing, the potential for carrying contaminants into the home can be minimized by workers changing clothes at work and by washing those clothes separately from the rest of the family's clothes.

Comment #8

Where is the iron coming from at the site and why does the fire hydrant emit an orange colored water?

Response #8

Iron occurs naturally in soil and most groundwater will contain small quantities of soluble iron. Iron has a tendency to settle out in hydrants, similar to water heaters, which gives the water an orange color when the fire hydrant is flushed out, particularly if the hydrant isn't used frequently.

Comment #9

Do you know if any current businesses on-site are discharging harmful chemicals into the air that we breathe and what they might be?

Response #9

Air releases by active industrial facilities are regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. For more information regarding permitted air releases at the site, contact the NYS DEC/Region 9, 270 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14203-2999.

Comment #10

The method of communication announcing public meetings is inadequate for the target population.

Response #10

The NYS DOH is working with the US EPA to improve the distribution of meeting notices to the public. We will consider any specific suggestions you may have to improve the communication.

Comment #11

It was determined that Butler Larkin allowed exhaust fumes from lead melting pods to discharge into the atmosphere. Do you know the period of time in which this was occurring and might it be a health concern while the discharge was taking place?

Response #11

In 1983, NYS DEC first determined that hazardous waste discharges were being emitted and entering the river from the Butler Larkin and Mapes Industries plants. In 1989, the NYS DEC established that lead air emissions at the site were attributed to Butler Larkin; both plants were closed in 1992.

Comment #12

If VOC action levels were exceeded the work would be halted but, at that point, VOCs would already be airborne. Since air travels, wouldn't this be a mode of transportation?

Response #12

Yes, air is a recognized mode of transport for VOCs. When establishing the health and safety plan for remediation action levels at the work areas, this mode of transport is considered for both volatile and particulate emissions. The NYS DOH approved action levels apply at the downwind border of the work area. The action levels are set so that the potential for health effects in the community is minimized. If the action levels are exceeded, two factors help protect the community. Secondly, the levels in the community will be lower than at the edge of the worksite. First, work will be shut down, so the exposure time will be limited.

Comment #13

The area across from the refinery is promoted as a recreational area. Is the area affected by airborne contaminants? There are no warning signs present here, is it because the site is an indeterminate public health hazard because more studies need to be done?

Response #13

At this time we feel the posting of warning signs in the recreational area is not warranted. Supporting this position is information developed during remediation of the landfill as well as where and when the highest levels of volatile and particulate emissions are expected to be encountered from this site. During remediation, action levels for air contaminants at the landfill perimeter required work stoppages, yet all off-site readings were below levels of health concern. People using the recreational area across the river from the refinery, would not likely be exposed to the contaminant levels encountered during remediation work at the landfill. The landfill is now closed, and the landfill gas vents continue to be monitored.

Comment #14

When will basement and soil gas testing be done on the buildings? Will they take into consideration the air intake system as well?

Response #14

ARCO has agreed to test for soil gas in those buildings with basements. This investigation is scheduled to take place during the refinery remedial investigation.

Comment #15

Has usage of the old downstream intake stopped? When was the last time it was used? How often was it used?

Response #15

The city water authority has indicated that operational procedures call for use of this backup source once a month for a period of two hours to insure that the emergency backup supply remains operationable.

Comment #16

I am concerned for the very high incidence of cancer, not in the Village or Town of Wellsville as a whole, but among the people who live or have lived in the area surrounding the off-site tank farm whose drinking water may have been affected. There seems to be an excessive level of cancer connected with people in this smaller area. I firmly believe further investigation is necessary.

Response #16

Groundwater at the off-site tank farm has not been extensively studied, but the results from monitoring wells in the area indicate little contamination. Thus, there is no evidence suggesting that private drinking wells in this area were contaminated. Unfortunately, cancer is a common disease, sometimes more common than many people believe. One of every three persons will develop cancer in their lifetime, and eventually cancer effects three out of every four families. Cancer is not one disease, but a variety of diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer, each with different risk factors. The number of people living with cancer is increasing in most communities because more people are living to ages with the greatest cancer incidence.

Currently, NYS DOH has no plans for additional health studies for the site. However, any new information that becomes available will be evaluated to determine whether the risk to human health is greater than previously indicated. If there are concerns about specific cancers, residents may call the Departments toll free number at 1-800-458-1158, extension 212.

Comment #17

The public health implications section concludes that exposure to 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane (6,110 mcg/m3) over long periods would pose a high increased cancer risk, yet acute exposures are not likely to cause cancer. Why is this?

Response #17

Scientists do not yet fully understand how cancer occurs or why some chemicals seem to cause cancer and other don't. As with all toxic effects, the amount and duration of exposure is critical. Just as exposure to a small enough amount of cyanide will not cause death, smoking one cigarette should not lead to lung cancer. Chemicals that cause direct damage to genetic material (e.g., vinyl chloride) are of greater concern from short-term exposures. 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane does not appear to interact directly with genetic material. Thus, the body's repair mechanisms may repair damage following acute exposures thus reducing any cancer risk. The primary concern for increased cancer risk is for more prolonged exposures when the body's defense mechanisms may be overcome. While there may be some increased risk of developing cancer following an acute exposure to 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane in air at 6,110 mcg/m3, it is estimated to be very low.

Comment #18

Has the cancer study for the Wellsville area been continued for the years between 1983 and present?

Response #18

No.

Comment #19

How are people who were exposed in the past to VOCs in drinking water, or benzene, going to be put on the NYS DOH registry being developed? How do people from Wellsville know if they need to be put on this registry?

Response #19

The human health risks associated with exposure to VOCs in drinking water are not well known. To better understand the human health risks involved with drinking water contaminated with VOCs, NYS DOH is currently developing a registry of individuals and/or communities in New York State which have been exposed to VOCs in their drinking water. The registry will enable NYS DOH to determine if there is an unusual pattern of disease in the population exposed to VOCs in drinking water compared to New York residents in general. The NYS DOH is currently developing the criteria for placing individuals on the VOC registry. If the residents from Wellsville are to be included in the VOC registry, they will be contacted by the NYS DOH either by phone or mail. We will also put the selection criteria in the document repository for this site.

Comment #20

What about other health studies? Will they include studies of any cases of anemia? Are the leukemia studies continuing?

Response #20

A review of the drinking water sampling results indicated that residents in Wellsville may have been exposed to low levels of benzene and nitrobenzene in their drinking water. Although the levels detected exceed New York State drinking water standards, the risk of carcinogenic health affects, such as leukemia, are expected to be low while the risk of developing non-carcinogenic health effects, such as anemia, would be minimal. This conclusion is based on the levels of contaminants found in the drinking water and our current knowledge of the toxicity of these chemicals. The previous studies of cancer were not able to link the leukemia cases in the area to exposure to contaminated drinking water. For these reasons, the NYS DOH currently has no plans for additional health studies for this site. However, any new information that becomes available will be evaluated to determine whether the risk to human health is greater than previously indicated. As previously mentioned, the population exposed to VOCs in drinking water will be considered for inclusion into the VOC registry being developed by NYS DOH. Information obtained through the registry will be evaluated periodically to determine unusual patterns of disease.

Comment #21

How does the NYS DOH warrant whether or not data bases are to be used? Many people that work on site live outside the area, how are their health records tracked, or will they ever be tracked?

Response #21

The NYS DOH maintains several health outcome data bases which include the cancer registry, congenital malformation registry and data on individuals who are hospitalized. The NYS DOH often relies on these data to determine if there is a higher than expected incidence of disease in areas where people may have been exposed to toxic chemicals which would pose a health risk. It is often difficult, however, to determine whether people who worked on site have an increased rate of disease using these data bases alone. Studies of workers sometimes involves tracking down individual workers, interviewing them and obtaining access to medical records.

As mentioned in this Public Health Assessment, inhalation of volatilized organic contaminants from the site is of concern. However, the remote location of the site, access restrictions and air sampling data indicate that few people, if any, would have been exposed to air contaminants at concentrations for long enough periods of time to lead to adverse health effects. For this reason, the NYS DOH does not feel it is warranted at this time to review medical records of employees and students who work at the site.

As previously discussed, the population exposed to VOCs in drinking water will be considered for inclusion into the VOC registry being developed by NYS DOH.

Comment #22

Under the discussion of Human Exposure Pathways for Air, the report states that the Northern Oil/Water Separator contains petroleum products. It states that workers and students at facilities operating on-site are being exposed to organic contaminants and that this is a completed pathway. Yet, under section D (Physical and Other Hazards) of the Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards section, it states that the vats were drained and removed. Are the vats separate from the Northern Oil/Water Separator, and is that why there is cause for concern?

Response #22

The vats comprise the Northern oil/water separator. As discussed in the Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards section, (subsection D, Physical and Other Hazards) of this Public Health Assessment, the Northern oil/water separator was remediated in 1993 and the vats were drained and removed from the site. During a previous site visit in March 1991, NYS DOH personnel reported that strong petroleum odors originated from the Northern oil/water separator. Based on the information reviewed, past exposures to contaminants in air originating from the Northern oil/water separator was characterized as a completed exposure pathway. However, since the Norther oil/water separator was remediated in 1993, it is no longer a source of contaminants and there are no exposures occurring. The text has been revised to clarify this information.

Comment #23

Has the water at any of the buildings on site been tested for the presence of heavy metals or VOCs prior to or since moving of the water intake system?

Response #23

The on-site buildings are served by the public water supply which is tested at the water plant for metals and volatiles as per the NYS DOH public water supply regulations. A representative of the Wellsville Water Company has previously collected water samples at the Sinclair site for bacteriological analysis.

Comment #24

How many of the male leukemia cases had exposure to the Sinclair site for any portion of their lives? How were these studies conducted? Was the patients complete health history taken into consideration for the study?

Response #24

The study consisted of telephone interviews of male and female residents of the Village of Wellsville who had been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma between 1973 and 1982. Interviews were conducted with either the case or the next of kin, if the case was deceased. The interview concentrated on the case's medical, occupational and residence histories.

The medical history part of the interview concentrated on the individual and family histories of cancer, medical radiation exposure and other conditions, such as organ transplants, tonsillectomies, lupus and infectious mononucleosis, that have been linked, in the literature, with the development of either leukemia or lymphoma.

Respondents were asked to list every residence where they lived for at least one year with their source of drinking water and all jobs they had held for six months or longer. They were asked about exposure to chemicals they may have come in contact with during their employment. Of the 8 cases of male leukemia with interviews, the mean length of time of drinking Wellsville water was 33 years before the time of diagnosis (range 1 year to 55 years). As discussed in the health assessment, the Wellsville public water supply may have been contaminated by the Sinclair site. Five of the cases had worked in occupations that have been linked to elevated incidence of leukemia.

All the data collected were reviewed and the study results presented in the report, Interview Study of Leukemia and Lymphoma Cases Diagnosed 1973-1982, Wellsville, Allegany County. The report is available from New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Cancer Epidemiology.


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