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PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

DUBLIN WATER SUPPLY
DUBLIN, BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



CONCLUSIONS

PADOH and ATSDR have concluded, based on the data available, that the site posed a public health hazard in the past. Actions have been taken to reduce exposures to levels below public health concern. Currently, the site is an indeterminate health hazard because the groundwater contaminant plume is still under study and the potential for future exposures cannot be determined. As noted in the Pathways Analyses section, human exposure to VOC's has occurred in the past and can occur through the use of contaminated well water.

All people in Dublin known to be impacted by the site are currently having their water supplies treated to correct the problem. However, the contaminant plume continues to migrate. Current and future exposure to contaminants at levels of public health concern is possible through use of contaminated well water if the wells are not identified and the water treated.

The long-term effectiveness of the carbon filtration systems is questionable. Additionally, some carbon filtration systems have been known to support the growth of harmful bacteria. EPA issued a ROD in December 1991 that addresses a long-term solution for the impacted community. Once the ROD is implemented, a safe water supply should be available to the people affected by the site. Additional monitoring should help identify other threatened wells in the community.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Continue plans to construct the public waterline to ensure all people who are affected and possibly affected have a safe water supply.

  2. Implement the other provisions in the ROD for Operable Unit One as quickly as possible. Continue the investigation of Operable Unit Two to determine a permanent solution to the contamination problem.

  3. Continue quarterly monitoring of all carbon filters and air strippers being used by the residents to ensure that all systems are functioning properly. Include monitoring at the well head and at the tap where breakthrough at the midpoint of the filtering system is detected.

  4. Continue to further characterize the groundwater contamination plume to determine the nature and extent of the contamination.

  5. Continue to identify and monitor all water supply wells, public and private, that are threatened by the contaminant plume.

  6. Monitor the bacterial counts in the treated water, particularly at the point of use granular activated carbon treatment systems.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel

The data and information developed in the Dublin TCE Public Health Assessment have been evaluated for appropriate follow-up health actions. The ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) determined that past exposure to contaminants at levels of public health concern has occurred and that current and future exposure to contaminants at levels of public health concern is possible. HARP determined that people known to have been exposed to TCE should be considered for inclusion on the National Exposure Registry--TCE Subregistry. Community and health care provider education are indicated. 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 Dublin TCE site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or 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 ATSDR and PADOH to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented.

Actions Planned

In order to help the community better understand the implications of their exposure, PADOH, with the assistance of ATSDR, will provide community health education.

In order to help the health care providers in the Dublin community better understand the possible health implications of exposure to people in the area, PADOH, with the assistance of ATSDR, will provide information to area health care providers.

ATSDR's Division of Health Studies will review the information in this public health assessment and consider the request of the community for a health study. Considerations will include whether appropriate tests are available that will benefit the community and whether resources are available to conduct such tests.

PADOH will conduct a Site Review and Update, or other appropriate follow-up, in late 1994 or early 1995 when more data are available on the current status of drinking water quality in the area and on current conditions at the site. If data become available before that time that indicate exposures are occurring at levels of health concern, ATSDR will evaluate that information and determine what actions need to implemented to protect the public health.

Currently, the National Exposure Registre--TCE Subregistry is closed. ATSDR will consider including members of the exposed community on the TCE subregistry should a need for additional members arise.

EPA has approved the design of a waterline to distribute water to affected residences. The construction of the line is expected to begin by spring 1994. EPA also continues to extend the area of private well sampling to determine if other residences have been affected as a result of contaminant plume movement.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

James N. Logue, Dr.P.H.
Epidemiologist
Director
Division of Environmental Health
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Kandiah Sivarajah, Ph.D.
Director, Health Assessment Program
      and State Toxicologist
Toxicology and Health Assessment Section
Division of Environmental Health
Pennsylvania Department of Health

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Charles Walters
Senior Regional Representative
Regional Services, Region III

ATSDR TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Remedial Programs Branch
State Programs Section

CERTIFICATION

The Dublin TCE 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, P. E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

1. Roy F. Weston, Inc., Spill Prevention and Emergency Response Division (EPA Contract 68-01-6669). September 15, 1986 Memorandum from Greg Janice and Peter Harnett to Jay Rodstein (OSC, EPA Region III) entitled "Dublin TCE Site."

2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, Emergency Response Section. September 23, 1986, letter from Jay Rodstein, On Scene Coordinator, to Mr. Peter Noll, Bucks County Department of Health, regarding the Dublin TCE site.

3. U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Office of Health Assessment. October 23, 1986, written Health Consultation from Dr. Jeffrey A. Lybarger to Mr. Charles J. Walters (Public Health Advisor, EPA Region III) entitled "Dublin Water Supply Site, Dublin, Bucks County, Pennsylvania."

4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, Hazardous Waste Enforcement Branch. November 6, 1986, letter from Bruce P. Smith to Mr. John H. Thompson regarding Dublin Water Supply TCE Contamination.

5. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources, Norristown Office, Operations Section. November 12, 1986, letter form Walter E. Stanley, Jr., to Mr. John Thompson regarding Industrial Waste/Groundwater Pollution.

6a. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III. Consent Agreement and Order made and entered into between EPA and John H. Thompson regarding the property located at 120 Mill Street in Dublin Borough, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, referred to as the "Dublin TCE Site," June 1987 (Docket No. III-87-22-DC).

6b. Memorandum "Telephone Conversation: Dublin Water Supply Site, Dublin, Bucks County PA" from Chief Technical Support Section, Emergency Response and Consultation Branch (ERCB), Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC) ATSDR to Charles Walters, October 16, 1990.

7. Roy F. Weston, Inc., Assessment of Source Contamination in Whistlewood Apartment Complex Water Supply Well, Dublin, Pennsylvania. West Chester, Pennsylvania: Roy F. Weston, Inc., February 15, 1988.

8. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III. Summary data base for all well water samples collected in Dublin from 1986 to 1989. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: U.S. EPA, 1989.

9. BCM Engineers, Inc. Results of Soil Sampling Program: Thompson Property, 120 Mill Street, Dublin, Pennsylvania. Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania: BCM Engineers, Inc., March, 1988.

10. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride, ATSDR, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia, August 1989.

11. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation. August 17, 1990, written Health Consultation from Dr. Jerome Cater to Mr. Charles J. Walters (Public Health Advisor, EPA Region III) entitled "Dublin Water Supply Site, Bucks County, Dublin, Pennsylvania."

12. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroehtylene, ATSDR, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia, April 1993.

13. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene, ATSDR, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia, February 1992.

14. Toxicological Profile for Bromodichloromethane, ATSDR, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia, December 1989.

15. Toxicological Profile for 1,3-Dichloropropene, ATSDR, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia, September 1992.

16. Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride, ATSDR, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia, April 1993.

17. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloropropane, ATSDR, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia, December 1989.

18. Pennsylvania Vital Statistics File, State Health Data Center, Pennsylvania Department of Health, 1991.

19. Bailor, J.C., III, Ederer F. Significant Factors for the Ratio of a Poisson Variable to its Expectation. Biometrics; 20; 639-643, 1964.

20. U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. National Exposure Registry Trichloroethylene (TCE) Subregistry Baseline Technical Report. May 1993.


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