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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

U.S. DEFENSE GENERAL SUPPLY CENTER
RICHMOND, CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VIRGINIA


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Recent sampling information has been incorporated into this document and has resulted in subsequent changes in the conclusions and resulting recommendations.
  2. There are no known current exposure pathways at DGSC. DGSC is classified in the category of no apparent public health hazard. Although DGSC was determined to be an indeterminate public health hazard in the initial release and public comment release, additional environmental data have become available. That data currently indicate that private wells are free of contamination.
  3. No additional community health concerns were identified during the public comment period for this public health assessment.
  4. Rayon Park residents were exposed to VOC-contaminated water via ingestion and inhalation of and dermal contact with water from their private wells. The duration of exposure is unknown, and the exposures stopped when wells were replaced with municipal water in 1987. Because of the infrequent exposure to the low concentrations of the VOCs, adverse health effects are not expected. This evaluation is based on exposure to individual contaminants. More information is needed on adverse health effects that might be associated with exposure to multiple contaminants.
  5. Available health outcome data indicate cancer mortality rates were elevated during the years from 1950 through 1979 for white and nonwhite men in Chesterfield County compared with state rates. The elevated cancers are associated with the oral cavity and respiratory tract. No elevated rates were found in women in Chesterfield County. ATSDR cannot determine if the elevated cancer mortality rates in men are related to exposure to DGSC contaminants because site-specific health outcome data are not available for communities near DGSC and because data are not available on smoking and occupational status for exposed individuals. The medical and scientific literature have not linked exposure to VOCs with development of cancers associated with the oral cavity and respiratory tract.
  6. Additional exposures could occur if contaminant plumes migrate to private wells being used for potable purposes at residences in the Rayon Park and Kingsland Creek areas or other nearby wells. Sampling data have recently been collected and analyzed for those areas. Currently, those data indicate those wells appear to be free of contamination. However, periodic identification and monitoring of private wells in those areas are not routinely performed.
  7. Remedial workers and other personnel may be exposed to metals and VOCs in soils while working at the Fire Training Area. Remedial workers and other personnel may be exposed to contaminants in soils while working at the Fuel Oil Storage Area and Buildings 202, 112, and 68. As long as appropriate procedures and personal protective equipment are used, minimal exposures are expected.
  8. Workers may be exposed to airborne contaminants from the National Guard Area and Fire Training Area. As long as appropriate procedures and personal protective equipment are used, minimal exposures are expected.
  9. Recent surface water and sediment sampling were conducted in Kingsland Creek and No-Name Creek in October of 1992 (Law Environmental, Inc. 1992b and Law Environmental, Inc. 1993). Although some chemicals were detected in those surface waters and sediment, the concentrations detected are not likely to cause adverse health effects.
  10. Some drums and containers in the Open Storage Area, which contain products that may have low flash points, are improperly stored. Workers and visitors in the Open Storage Area could be exposed to contaminants or be injured if weather-exposed drums were to explode or spills resulted in fires. Proper storage of these drums and containers is needed.
  11. Findings from the surface water and sediment sampling suggest that DDT was not introduced into the fish from Parker Pond (DGSC 1991b). Because the fish used to stock the pond are brought from an off-post facility (DGSC 1992b), the fish may have been contaminated before they were put into the pond.
  12. Although some studies have suggested that chronic exposure to multiple contaminants via ingestion and inhalation may be associated with an increased risk of developing cancer (Byers et al 1988; Lagakos et al 1986; Mallin 1990; Vinels 1990; Hong et al 1991; Hernberg et al 1988), the levels at which this may occur is unknown. Possible health effects associated with past use of contaminated water with multiple VOCs are unknown, largely because of the lack of published data on health effects stemming from chronic exposure to multiple contaminants.
  13. Health guidelines needed to address all exposure routes (ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact) are not available for all contaminants that people were exposed to via contaminated private well water use.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Identify and periodically monitor the wells of residences in the Rayon Park, Kingsland Creek, and other areas that are not connected to a public water supply if contaminant plumes are determined to migrate in those directions. Use appropriate quality assurance and quality control procedures to validate sampling data, and set detection limits below MCLs.
  2. Restrict site access to non-essential personnel at the National Guard Area and Fire Training Area, as well as the Fuel Oil Storage Area and Buildings 202, 112, and 68. For personnel who must be at those areas, provide personal protective equipment in accordance with OSHA and NIOSH standards.
  3. Periodically monitor Kingsland Creek and the No-Name Creek adjoining the installation if future groundwater monitoring results indicate that concentrations could be higher than previously detected. Use appropriate quality assurance and quality control procedures to validate the sampling data.
  4. Appropriately store and shelter drums and containers of chemicals in the Open Storage Area.
  5. Stock Parker Pond with fish from non-contaminated supplies.
  6. If a multiple-contaminant exposure registry is initiated, DGSC, because of past exposure, should be re-evaluated to determine if persons who were exposed to VOCs in their private drinking water wells should be included in that registry.
  7. Health Guidelines, such as Minimal Risk Levels, should be developed for contaminants for all exposure routes (ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact). Guidelines lacking for specific contaminants in this public health assessment are discussed in the Toxicologic Evaluation section. Validated studies should also be either conducted or funded by EPA, ATSDR, or other appropriate agencies and organizations to determine possible health effects that may be associated with simultaneous exposure to multiple VOCs.
  8. The data and information in the Public Health Assessment for the Defense General Supply Center have been evaluated for follow-up health activities by the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP). The citizens living in communities near DGSC need information about their potential for exposure, the extent of contamination at DGSC, and additional environmental sampling and remediation that is planned at DGSC. DGSC has held public meetings with the communities and disseminated environmental fact sheets to discuss those issues. DGSC has communicated sampling results to private well owners. Currently, there are no indications that adverse health conditions are occurring or have occurred from past exposures to DGSC contaminants. However, if contaminants are measured in groundwater from off-site private wells, community health education concerning exposure is indicated. Moreover, if other environmental or health outcome data become available that indicate human exposure to hazardous substances is occurring at levels that may cause illness or injury, ATSDR will re-evaluate the need for additional follow-up health actions.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The public health action plan for the Defense General Supply Center NPL site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or other governmental agencies at and in the vicinity of the sites subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the public health action plan 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. ATSDR is committed to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented are as follows:

A. Actions Undertaken

  1. A public water supply is available in the Rayon Park area for any citizen who wishes to connect to the public supply.
  2. Defense General Supply Center, as part of the Defense Logistics Agency, has sampled seven private wells in the Kingsland Creek area. The residents were notified of the results, and one resident was referred to a health professional at the Virginia Department of Health (DGSC 1993a, DGSC 1993b, DGSC 1992c). A well survey was conducted to identify and locate potable private wells within a quarter mile of DGSC boundaries. Out of 108 survey responses, 16 residences use groundwater for drinking water and other purposes.
  3. Newsletters have been distributed to citizens as well as others interested in the environmental remediation and sampling ongoing at Defense General Supply Center. Distribution of those environmental fact sheets began in April 1992 (DGSC 1993a, DGSC 1993b).

B. Actions Planned

  1. Defense General Supply Center, EPA, Virginia Department of Health (including Chesterfield District Health Department), and ATSDR will continue to provide current health information to the community to assess any possible adverse health outcomes associated with exposure to hazardous substances.
  2. If contaminants are detected at concentrations of public health concern in groundwater from off-base private wells, community health education concerning exposure is indicated and will be performed by either DGSC or ATSDR staff.
  3. DGSC will continue to provide information to the communities, adjacent to the installation, about the extent of contamination and remediation and environmental sampling being planned for DGSC.
  4. ATSDR will re-evaluate and expand this plan when needed. New environmental, toxicologic, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determine the need for additional actions at the Defense General Supply Center NPL site.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Linda K. West, M.S.P.H.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Gail D. Godfrey
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR Regional Representative:
Charles J. Walters
Public Health Advisor
EPA Region III


REVIEWERS OF THE REPORT:

C. Virginia Lee, M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Officer
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Gary H. Campbell, Ph.D.
Chief, Army Unit, Defense Facilities Assessment Section
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

John E. Abraham, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Chief, Defense Facilities Assessment Section
Federal Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


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