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PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
CRATER RESOURCES/KEYSTONE COKE/ALAN WOOD
KING OF PRUSSIA, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA


CONCLUSIONS

The Pennsylvania Department of Health conclude that this site represents a public health hazard because of the physical hazards present at the site and because people are assumed to come in contact with contaminants. People, including children, are known to trespass on the site. Although contact with contaminants at the site is not expected to cause adverse health effects for most people, some people could develop skin irritation upon repeated exposure to beryllium and nickel. Possible adverse health effects from repeated exposure to PAHs cannot be determined because of a lack of information reported in the literature.

Workers who care for the contaminated well and pond and fountain supplied by that well are exposed to benzene and PCE at levels that are not expected to cause adverse health effects. However, because benzene is a known human carcinogen, exposure to benzene should be avoided when possible.

There is no evidence people have been exposed to site-related contaminants in private wells used for drinking. However, future exposure to contaminants in groundwater could occur that may result in adverse health effects if contaminated groundwater were to be used as a private water supply by residents in that area.

The public water supply sources that have been sampled appear to be safe and free of contaminants from Crater Resources at this time.

The community concern regarding soil contamination along the pipeline trail cannot be answered with available information.

The Upper Merion Reservoir contains very low levels of contaminants. Crater Resources, although unlikely, cannot be ruled out as a possible source of that contamination with the available information.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Restrict public access to the site to eliminate on-going human exposure to contaminants.
  2. Prohibit installation of water supply wells downgradient (east) of the site until a satisfactory monitoring well network has been installed to delineate the groundwater plume.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Continue to monitor the well that supplies water to the pond and fountain, serviced by workers, to determine if benzene and PCE levels increase or decrease with time.
  2. Sample soil along the pipeline trail to characterize any contamination that may be present.
  3. Design and install a three dimensional monitoring well network (groups of nested wells) with particular emphasis on groundwater flow toward discharge points north and east of the site to determine the extent of groundwater contamination. Determine if Crater Resources could be contributing to the low-level contamination found in the Upper Merion Reservoir. Sample all wells at least quarterly for the first year after installation.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel Recommendations

The data and information developed in the Crater Resources Public Health Assessment have been evaluated for appropriate follow-up health actions. The ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) determined that officials responsible for public safety should be notified that trespassing occurs on the site and that physical hazards are present. HARP also determined that people may be exposed to contaminants at the site; however, not enough information is available to evaluate those exposures for possible health implications. Therefore, other than notification of public officials, no follow-up health actions are needed at this time. ATSDR will reevaluate this site for additional follow-up public health actions if new data become available that indicate a need to do so.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The public health action plan (PHAP) for the Crater Resources site contains a description of actions to be taken by PADOH and other governmental agencies at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of PADOH and ATSDR to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented.

Public Health Action Taken

PADOH has notified the officials responsible for public safety that trespassing occurs on the site and that physical hazards are present.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Joseph E. Godfrey, M.S., M.Ed.
Hydrogeologist
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Kandiah Sivarajah, Ph.D.
State Toxicologist and Project Director
Pennsylvania Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative:

Charles Walters
Senior Regional Representative
Region III
Office of Regional Operations

ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Gail Godfrey
Technical Project Officer
Division Health Assessment and Consultation

REFERENCES
  1. EPA. 1990. Field Trip Report of Crater Resources. TDD No. F3-9005-35.
  2. EPA. 1990. National Priorities List Sites, Pennsylvania.
  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1988. Toxicological profile for Nickel, Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; DHHS Publication No. (PHS) TP 88-19.
  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1988. Toxicological Profile for Cyanide, Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; DHHS Publication No. (PHS) TP 88-12.
  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1993. Toxicological Profile for Beryllium (Update), Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; DHHS Publication NO. ATSDR/TP-92-04.
  6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1990. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; DHHS Publication No. (PHS) TP 90-20.
  7. Pennsylvania Vital Statistics Record File, State Health Data Center, Pennsylvania Department of Health, 1992.
  8. National Toxicology Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994. Seventh Annual Report on Carcinogens.
  9. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1993. Toxicological Profile for Benzene, Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; DHHS Publication (PHS) TP-92/03.
  10. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1993. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene, Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; DHHS Publication TP-92/18.
  11. Golder Associates. PRP Group--Crater Resources Site Preliminary Hydrogeologic Report. April 1993.

CERTIFICATION

The Crater Resources Site Public Health Assessment has been prepared by the Pennsylvania 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.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams
Director, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


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