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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

U.S. AIR FORCE PLANT NO. 4 (GENERAL DYNAMICS)
FORT WORTH, TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Although site-related contaminants have been detected in various environmental media, currently there are no situations where exposure is occurring at a level associated with adverse public health effects. This is either because contaminant concentrations are not great enough to be a public health hazard, or because contaminated media are not accessible for contact. Based on available information, we have concluded that Air Force Plant 4 currently poses no apparent public health hazard. Because of a lack of information, we could not assess the public health implications of exposure to site contaminants through the foodchain (fish). We have concluded that this situation was an indeterminate public health hazard.
  2. Available environmental data suggest that contaminants are entering Farmers Branch Creek. There is a potential for contaminants entering the creek to migrate towards the West Fork of the Trinity River.
  3. At present, site contaminants have not been found in any of the White Settlement water supply wells. In the absence of remedial activities, it is theoretically possible for contaminants to migrate toward the water supply wells. Based on contaminant transport groundwater modeling, in the future and in the absence of remediation, residents using water from White Settlement Well #12 could be exposed to site contaminants at concentrations that could pose a public health threat. Remedial actions discussed in this report have been selected to reduce or eliminate the likelihood that this will occur.
  4. In the past, citizens from White Settlement raised concerns about the occurrence of eighttypes of cancer in the White Settlement area. To address these concerns, the TDH CancerRegistry Division examined cancer mortality data for the period 1981 to 1989. They foundno significant excesses for any of the eight cancer sites reviewed for women. For men, lungand brain cancer were significantly elevated. The TDH reviewed the medical records of six ofthe seven individuals who died of brain cancer and was not able to find any specific commonrisk factor among these individuals. Because the elevations were observed only in whitemales, other factors besides environmental factors may be responsible since environmentalfactors would be expected to affect all groups. We were not able to identify any completedexposures that would have had an influence on cancer rates in the area. Without a completedexposure pathway, it is not possible to associate adverse health conditions with contaminantsfrom the site.

    As a follow-up to the previous cancer findings, we asked the Texas Cancer Registry toupdate the cancer statistics for this area. They examined the cancer mortality data for thesame eight types of cancer for the period 1986 to 1995. There were no significant elevationsobserved among males or females in this area during this period for any of the eight types ofcancer studied.

  5. For Tarrant County, the observed number of deaths due to asthma was not different fromwhat would be expected based on what has been observed in the State of Texas. Incidencedata for this disease are not routinely collected in Texas. Based on available environmentaldata, air quality at AFP4 does not exceed any of the TNRCC's Effects Screening Levels.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. We recommend that within the next year the Air Force, with technical assistance from theTDH Seafood Safety Division, collect fish tissue samples (largemouth bass, drum[gaspergou], catfish, carp, and buffalo fish) from Lake Worth, near the confluence ofMeandering Road Creek and Lake Worth, to determine if site contaminants are accumulatingin fish species that people eat. If it is determined that site contaminants are accumulating inthe fish, the Air Force should request assistance from TDH and ATSDR to determine the public health implications associated with eating the fish.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The public health action plan (PHAP) for the AFP4 NPL site contains a description of actions tobe taken by ATSDR and/or other agencies at and in the vicinity of the site. The purpose of thePHAP is to ensure that appropriate public health actions are being taken to mitigate potentialpublic health hazards identified in this PHA. Included is a commitment on the part of ATSDR tofollow up on this plan. The public health actions implemented or planned to be implemented areas follows:

Actions Ongoing

  1. The Air Force will continue to maintain institutional controls to restrict the possibility of access to contaminated areas on the site.
  2. The Air Force will continue to monitor the movement of contaminants in the Paluxy Aquifer, the Upper Sand, and Terrace Alluvial groundwater.
  3. The Air Force will continue to monitor contaminants in surface water and sediment fromMeandering Road Creek, Lake Worth, and Farmers Branch Creek. The Record of Decisionaddresses potential actions in case of contaminant movement towards the West Fork of the Trinity River.

PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

John F. Villanacci, Ph.D.
Director
Health Risk Assessment and Toxicology Program
Texas Department of Health

Susan L. Prosperie, M.S., R.S.
Environmental Specialist
Health Risk Assessment & Toxicology Program
Texas Department of Health

Elena G. Capsuto, M.S.
Epidemiologist
Health Risk Assessment and Toxicology Program
Texas Department of Health

Nancy B. Ingram
Public Health Technician
Health Risk Assessment and Toxicology Program
Texas Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative

George Pettigrew, P.E.
Senior Regional Representative
ATSDR - Region 6, Dallas, Texas


CERTIFICATION

This Health Assessment was prepared by the Texas Department of Health under a cooperativeagreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is inaccordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the Public HealthAssessment was initiated.

Technical Project Officer, DSB, FFAB, DHAC

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

Acting Chief, DSB, FFAB, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. Remedial Investigation and Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection Report. Volume I.Prepared for the U.S. Department of the Air Force. Submitted by Rust Geotech for the U.S.Department of Energy. September 1995.

  2. Record of Decision. Air Force Plant 4, Tarrant County, Texas. Prepared by Rust Geotechfor the U.S. Department of Energy. July 1996.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health Consultation Air Force Plant 4,October 25, 1991.

  4. U.S. Bureau of the Census, "Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3A (City of White Settlement)." 1991.

  5. U.S. Bureau of the Census, "Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File1A (Texas)." 1991.

  6. ATSDR Health Assessment Guidance Manual. U.S. Department of Health and HumanServices, Public Health Service. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Atlanta,Georgia 1992.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls. ATSDR: Atlanta, August 1995.

  8. Texas Department of Health. Record of Communication Files for Air Force Plant 4. SiteVisit Report/Notes for February 14, 1997.

  9. Kuniansky, E.L., S.A. Jones, R.D. Brock and M.D. Williams. Hydrogeology at Air ForcePlant 4 and Vicinity and Water Quality of the Paluxy Aquifer, Fort Worth, Texas. U.S.Geological Survey. Water-Resources Investigation Report 96-4091. 1996.

  10. Texas Department of Health Record of Communication File for Air Force Plant 4. From Ms.Judith Henry of the Environmental Epidemiology Program to a citizen. February 24, 1992.

  11. American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society Textbook of Clinical Oncology, Second Edition. Atlanta, GA.1995.

  12. Texas Department of Health, Health Studies Files. Letter from Tim Rainbolt of the TDH Division of Cancer Registry to Dr. Oscar Cerda. January 6, 1992

  13. Texas Department of Health Record of Communication Files. Letter from the TexasDepartment of Health Risk Assessment and Toxicology Program to a citizen. August 1996.

OTHER DOCUMENTS REVIEWED AND NOT CITED

California Birth Defects Monitoring Program. A glossary of birth defects terminology. 1983.Goodman RM, Gorlin RJ. The Malformed Infant and Child: An Illustrated Guide (Glossary). NewYork; Oxford University Press, 1983.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene. ATSDR: Atlanta, August 1995.

National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network, Toxic Chemical Release Inventory. 1987-1994. Bethesda, Maryland: NLM, May 1997.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Book. Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment, Rehabilitation, Care. Edited by Arthur Holleb, MD. 1986.


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