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HEALTH CONSULTATION

BENDIX CORPORATION/ALLIED AUTOMOTIVE
ST. JOSEPH, BERRIEN COUNTY, MICHIGAN


CONCLUSIONS

From the available information and data, the Bendix Corporation/Allied Automotive NPL site does not pose any apparent public health hazard at this time. However, exposure to contaminants associated with the site might have occurred in the past. The groundwater in a plume under a residential area near the site contains various volatile organic chemicals, including 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride, at concentrations that might pose health hazards if the water is used for household purposes, based on the maximum concentrations found in monitoring wells. Several private household wells in the area have been sampled, and water from the wells had much lower or no detectable quantities of the same chemicals. The wells where the chemicals were found are no longer known to be used for household purposes. Other residential wells located in the plume area are currently no longer in use but have not been sampled. The wells were taken out of use after the contamination plume might have reached their locations. Most residences in the area are currently connected to the municipal water system. The contaminants in the groundwater include several probable or known carcinogens, such as 1,2-dichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride, and long-term exposure might result in adverse health effects after long latency periods. The level of contamination in the residential wells when they were in use and how long the wells might have been contaminated while they were in use can only be estimated at this time.

The contamination plume reaches Lake Michigan, but the plume is far below ground level under the beach, beneath a thick layer of cleaner water. The plume contaminants have not been detected in the lake water. There is no indication that people using the beach and lake in the discharge area are exposed to the contaminants.

We have considered the possibility that residents of the area might be exposed to volatile contaminants that have evaporated out of the groundwater and migrated to their basements. Direct leakage into the basements is unlikely, since the contaminant plume is beneath a layer of cleaner water and far below the typical basement.


RECOMMENDATIONS

Sample available private wells in the area that have not been sampled before, whether they are in use or not, to further establish the location of the contaminant plume and to possibly provide some information on the residents' possible past exposure. MDEQ and MDCH are making arrangements with private well owners in the area, including the owner of RW-6, to attempt to sample the available private wells.

All private wells in the area, active or inactive, should be properly abandoned and all residences connected to the municipal water system, to reduce the likelihood of future exposure. Bosch Braking Systems is planning to fully abandon the three wells in the area that are known to be in use, and connect to the municipal water system the one residence where the well is used for all household purposes.

Offer residents of the area, especially long-term residents, and their physicians information on the potential health impact from their possible past exposure to groundwater contaminants.

Depending on the results from the MDEQ investigation of indoor air quality northeast of the Bendix site, MDCH may sample the air in basements in the neighborhood for the VOC contaminants.

If any citizen has additional information or health concerns regarding the groundwater near the Bendix Corporation/Allied Automotive site, please contact the Michigan Department of Community Health, Environmental Epidemiology Division, at 1-800-648-6942.


REFERENCES

  1. Woodard & Curran, Inc., for Bosch Braking Systems. Bosch Braking Systems, St. Joseph, Michigan, Final Remedial Investigation Report. July 1997.

  2. Michigan Department of Public Health, for ATSDR. Interim Preliminary Health Assessment for Bendix Corporation/Allied Automotive. February 14, 1992.

  3. Keck Consulting Services, Hydrogeological Study, Final Investigation, Bendix Chassis and Brake Components Division, Allied Automotive, Section 10, Lincoln Township, Berrien County, Michigan, June 13, 1986

  4. Keck Consulting Services, Hydrogeological Investigation, Summary Report, Bendix Hydraulics Division, Section 10, Lincoln Township, Berrien County, Michigan, June 21, 1982

  5. Draft Technical Memorandum, Results of Phase I Remedial Investigation, 1990.

  6. Ecology and Environment, Inc., for U.S. EPA, Preliminary Assessment, St. Joseph/Bendix Corporation, Hydraulics Division, March 2, 1983

  7. Keck Consulting Services, Report of Ground-Water Sampling, Bendix Chassis and Brake Components Division, Allied Automotive, Section 10, Lincoln Township, Berrien County, Michigan, January 7, 1988

  8. Keck Consulting Services, September, 1988 Report of Ground-Water Sampling, Allied-Signal, Inc., Bendix Automotive Brake Systems - North America, Section 10, Lincoln Township, Berrien County, Michigan, November 30, 1988.

  9. Kerr, G., Bosch Braking Systems. Letter to K. Glatz, U.S. EPA, subject: Transmittal of Residential Groundwater Results. September 19, 1997.

  10. Bosch Braking Systems. Draft results of private well-use survey. August 26, 1997.

  11. Kerr, G., Bosch Braking Systems. Letter to B. Boyle, MDCH, re: Comments on Health Consultation for Bendix Site in St. Joseph Michigan. March 31, 1998.

  12. Burrant, C., St. Joseph Department of Public Works. Personal communication. December 3, 1997.

  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethane, Update. ATSDR/TP-93/06. May 1994.

  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene, Update. September 1997.

  15. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride, Update. September 1997.

  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-90/12. December 1990.

  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethene, Update. ATSDR/TP-93/07. May 1994.

  18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethene, Update. August 1996.

  19. Howard, A.J., MDEQ ERD. Draft Memorandum to ERD staff, Subject: Interim Generic Utility Worker Contact Criteria: Addendum to Interim Operational Memoranda #8, Revision 4 (June 5, 1995) and #14, Revision 2 (June 6, 1995). April 12, 1996.

  20. Harmon, W., MDEQ. Personal communication. December 12, 1997.

  21. Little, J.C. Applying the Two-Resistance Theory to Contaminant Volatilization in Showers. Environ. Sci. Technol., 26(7), 1341-1349. 1992.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Michigan Department of Community Health

John Filpus, Environmental Engineer

Robin Freer, Resource Specialist

James Bedford, Environmental Toxicologist

Brendan Boyle, Principal Investigator

ATSDR Regional Representative

Louise Fabinski
Regional Services, Region V
Office of the Assistant Administrator

ATSDR Technical Project Officer

William Greim
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch


CERTIFICATION

The Bendix Corporation/Allied Automotive Health Consultation was prepared by the Michigan Department of Community 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 health consultation was initiated.

William Greim
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC

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

Richard Gillig
Chief, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


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