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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

NORTH BRONSON INDUSTRIAL AREA
BRONSON, BRANCH COUNTY, MICHIGAN


CONCLUSIONS

  1. On the basis of the data and information considered for this public health assessment, the North Bronson Industrial Area site poses a public health hazard. The former Scott Fetzer "Cyanide Destruction" facility in the site study area poses a severe physical hazard because of its dilapidated condition and unrestricted access from adjacent residential properties. Soils at the facility also contain elevated concentrations of heavy metals which contribute to the hazard from access to the facility property.
  2. Residents of the site study area have used private wells whose water contained volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and metals at concentrations of human health concern. These residents have been provided with alternative water supplies, and the contaminated wells were abandoned soon after the contamination was discovered; however, it is possible that someone might drill a new well into the contaminated groundwater. The available information is not sufficient to determine whether all private wells in the potentially affected area have been identified.
  3. Concentrations of VOCs (particularly vinyl chloride) in the soil and groundwater are high enough that the air in contact with them might contain the chemicals at levels potentially of human health concern. The chemicals would disperse in the open air, but might collect in enclosed structures such as basements. No data are available on concentrations of site-related contaminants in the air in the site area.
  4. Contaminants in the water and sediment of County Drain #30 might pose a public health hazard to children who have regular or frequent contact with them.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Restrict access to the former Scott Fetzer "Cyanide Destruction" facility as soon as possible, to reduce the likelihood of access to the physical hazards present there. Clean up the facility and tear down dilapidated structures to eliminate the chemical and physical hazards. The property was fenced and the collapsing building was removed in May 1996.
  2. Conduct a full well-use survey of the site area as soon as possible. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the Michigan Department of Public Health (MDPH), and the local health department started such a survey in July 1995. The survey is scheduled to be completed in mid-1996.
  3. Sample air from residential basements in the site study area for analysis for volatile organic chemicals to better evaluate the potential for human exposure to the chemicals.
  4. Post warning signs at the access points to County Drain #30, warning against contact with the water and sediments.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL STATEMENT

A Health Activities Recommendation Panel convened by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has evaluated the data and information developed for the Public Health Assessment for the North Bronson Industrial Area to determine appropriate follow-up health actions. The panel determined that human exposure to site-related environmental contamination has occurred through household use of contaminated groundwater. Trespassers in contaminated areas of the site have also been exposed to contaminants and have encountered physical hazards. The affected private wells have been replaced with permanent alternative water supplies. The panel proposes a program of health education for the public in the site area and physicians serving the area. The education program should include advice on proper abandonment of threatened private wells, advice against contact with contaminated areas, and answering specific questions about the contaminants on the site. ATSDR, MDCH, and the local health department should coordinate to develop the program.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

Public health action plans (PHAP) are developed to describe actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or MDCH at and in the vicinity of sites after public health assessments are completed. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that public health assessments not only identify public health hazards, but also provide a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health actions to be implemented by ATSDR and/or MDCH are as follows:

A program of health education for the site community and physicians serving the area.

Assistance in completing a well use survey of the site study area.

Health Actions Undertaken

MDNR, MDPH, and the local health department began a well-use survey in the site vicinity in July 1995. The survey is scheduled to be completed in mid-1996.

Health Actions Planned

MDCH will post signs at the access points to County Drain #30, warning against contact with the contaminated sediments.

ATSDR, MDCH, and the local health department will coordinate to develop a program of community and physician health education relating to the North Bronson Industrial Area site. The program will include advice on proper abandonment of threatened private wells, advice against contact with contaminated areas, and answering specific questions about the contaminants on the site.

ATSDR and MDCH will coordinate with federal, state, and local environmental agencies to carry out the recommendations made in this public health assessment.

ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the PHAP when needed. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions and recommendations may determine the need for additional actions at this site.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Michigan Department of Public Health

    John Filpus, Environmental Engineer

    James Bedford, Environmental Toxicologist

    Robin Freer, Geographic Information Specialist

    Brendan Boyle, Program Manager

    John Hesse, 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 (DHAC)
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)


CERTIFICATION

The Public Health Assessment for the North Bronson Industrial Area 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 public health assessment was initiated.

William Greim
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC

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

Richard Gillig
for Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. Warzyn, Inc., for MDNR. Remedial investigation, North Bronson Industrial Area, Bronson, Michigan. 1993 Jul.

  2. Montgomery Watson, for MDNR. Feasibility study, North Bronson Industrial Area, Bronson, Michigan. 1995 May.

  3. Michigan Department of Public Health, for ATSDR. Preliminary health assessment for North Bronson Industrial Area. 1989 Apr 24.

  4. US Bureau of the Census. Preliminary 1990 census data.

  5. Bloemker, J., MDPH Division of Water Supply. Personal communication. 1995 Jun 16.

  6. Warzyn, Inc. Work plan for the remedial investigation of the North Bronson Industrial Area site. 1987 Oct.

  7. Michigan Department of Public Health, Groundwater Contamination Section. Laboratory data. 1995 Oct 18.

  8. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Response Division. Residential well sample results. 1995 Oct 18.

  9. Waste Management Division (MDNR). Michigan background soil survey. Revised 1991 Apr.

  10. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public health assessment guidance manual. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Mar.

  11. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Update), draft for public comment. Atlanta, US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Oct.

  12. Warzyn, Inc., for MDNR. Baseline risk assessment, North Bronson Industrial Area, Bronson, Michigan. 1993 Jul.

  13. Little JC. Applying the two-resistance theory to contaminant volatilization in showers. Environ Sci Technol 1992;26(7):1341-1349.

  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for acetone. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1994 May. ATSDR/TP-93/01.

  15. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 2-butanone. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Jul. ATSDR/TP-91/08.

  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for trichloroethylene (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/19.

  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for vinyl chloride (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/20.

  18. Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System database. Accessed 1995 Jul 7.

  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 1,1-dichloroethene (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1994 May. ATSDR/TP-93/07.

  20. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for arsenic (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/02.

  21. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for beryllium (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/04.

  22. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for lead (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/12.

  23. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for manganese. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Jul. ATSDR/TP-91/19.

  24. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for chromium (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/08.

  25. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for cadmium (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/06.

  26. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for nickel (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/14.

  27. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for cobalt. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Jul. ATSDR/TP-91/10.

  28. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for mercury (update), draft for public comment. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Oct.

  29. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for antimony. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Sep. ATSDR/TP-91/02.

  30. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for barium. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Jul. ATSDR/TP-91/03.

  31. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for copper. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1990 Dec. ATSDR/TP-90/08.

  32. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for thallium. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Jun. ATSDR/TP-91/26.

  33. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for vanadium. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992 Jul. ATSDR/TP-91/29.

  34. Roy F. Weston, Inc. Remedial Investigation Report for J & L Landfill, Rochester Hills, Michigan. 1991 Dec.

  35. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 1,2-dichloroethene (update), draft for public comment. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1994 Aug.

  36. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for methylene chloride (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/13.

  37. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for benzene (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/03.

  38. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 1,1-dichloroethane. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1990 Dec. ATSDR/TP-90/12.

  39. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 1,1,1-trichloroethane (update), draft for public comment. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Oct.

  40. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for chloroform (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/07.

  41. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for chlorobenzene. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1990 Dec. ATSDR/TP-90/06.

  42. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for ethylbenzene. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1990 Dec. ATSDR/TP-90/15.

  43. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for total xylenes. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1990 Dec. ATSDR/TP-90/30.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SOURCES NOT CITED IN TEXT
  1. Headlee T, Branch County Health Department. Personal communication. 1995 Jun 12.
  2. Blaskie G. Interview with B. Boyle, MDPH. 1995 Aug 17.
  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for cyanide (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1993 Apr. ATSDR/TP-92/09.
  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for zinc (update). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1994 May. ATSDR/TP-93/15.

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