PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
A & F MATERIALS RECLAIMING, INC.
GREENUP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, ILLINOIS
The tables in this section list the contaminants of concern. We evaluate these contaminants in the subsequent sections of the Public Health Assessment and determine whether exposure tothem has public health significance. IDPH selects and discusses these contaminants based uponthe following factors:
- Concentrations of contaminants on and off the site.
- Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design.
- Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with background concentrations, if available.
- Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with health assessment comparison values for (1) noncarcinogenic endpoints and (2) carcinogenic endpoints.
- Community health concerns.
In the data tables that follow under the On-site Contamination subsection and the Off-siteContamination subsection, the listed contaminant does not mean that it will cause adverse healtheffects from exposures. Instead, the list indicates which contaminants will be evaluated further inthe Public Health Assessment. When selected as a contaminant of concern in one medium, thatcontaminant (if present) will be reported in all media.
The data tables include the following acronyms:
CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EMEG = Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level
ppm = parts per million
RfD = Reference Dose
ND = Not Detected
BDL = Below Detection Limit
Comparison values for health assessment are contaminant concentrations in specific media that are used to select contaminants for further evaluation. These values include EnvironmentalMedia Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs), and otherrelevant guidelines. CREGs are estimated contaminant concentrations based on one excesscancer in a million persons exposed over a lifetime. CREGs are calculated from EPA's cancerslope factors. Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) represent contaminant concentrations thatEPA deems protective of public health (considering the availability and economics of watertreatment technology) over a lifetime (70 years) at an exposure rate of 2 liters of water per day. MCLs are regulatory concentrations. EPA's Reference Dose (RfD) is an estimate of the dailyexposure to a contaminant that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects.
We conducted a search of the EPA Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) for the site andlocal area but TRI did not list any facilities having chemical releases in the Greenup area.
The data presented in this subsection was collected during 1982 and 1984 site assessments. Nonew data are available at this time for the on-site areas. On-site contamination refers to samplescollected in the fenced in area as shown in Figure 3.
Waste Lagoons (Sludge)
A grab sample of sludge was collected from two waste lagoons (Figure 3) in 1982 and 1984. Levels of benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, andpolynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs) including benzo(a) anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(a) pyrene, and chrysenes were found (Table 2). Grab samples are usuallytaken from the surface of a medium without required depth or quantity. The sludge alsocontained other metals such as cadmium and chromium, but their concentrations did not exceedcomparison values for Public Health Assessments. Volatile organic compounds such as benzeneand toluene were also found at concentrations below the comparison values; however, benzene islisted in Table 2 since it is a human carcinogen and is detected in other environmental media. This sludge was removed during the 1985 remediation and the lagoons were filled withuncontaminated soil.
|Benzene||2.7 - 7.1||1984||7||24.0||CREG|
|Benzo(a)Anthracene||ND - 7.0||1984||7||None||None|
|Benzo(b)Fluoranthene||ND - 57.0||1984||7||None||None|
|Benzo(a)Pyrene||ND - 30.0||1984||7||None||None|
|Chrysene||8.0 - 10.0||1984||7||None||None|
|Naphthalene||0.004 - 20.0||1982||7||None||None|
|PCB||5.0 - 57.2||1982,84||7||0.25||EMEG|
|TCE||0.3 - 42.2||1984||7||None||None|
|Lead||7.0 - 42.4||1982||7||None||None|
So** = Source
Soil samples were collected throughout the site and adjacent areas. Figure 4 shows sample pointsand corresponding sample numbers of both on- and off-site locations. The sample points in thefenced area are considered on-site. These surface soil samples were taken from the first oneinch. (Surface soil by ATSDR's definition is soil located at a depth of 0-3 inches.) Table 3Areports the contaminants and concentration range.
The sampling was conducted on a uniform basis, using a l00 by l00 foot grid. Samples weretaken from the center of the grid square and combined to form one composite sample for thatsquare. These samples were collected by utilizing a tube-type sampler.
So** = Source
The highest level of PNAs, PCBs, and lead were generally found at sample point locations 69-71. Figure 4 shows the locations of these soil samples, while Table 3B reports the contaminantsand concentration ranges. No volatile organic contaminants were detected. These soil sampleswere generally collected from the same locations as the surface soil locations, but at depthsranging from 1 to 5 feet.
So** = Source
USEPA obtained off-site data for soil, monitoring wells, public and private wells, surface water,sediment, and air during its site assessments in 1984-86, and 1991.
These off-site soil samples were collected outside the fenced area extending westward across thedrainage ditch and north to the Embarras River, as shown in Figure 4. Samples 1 through 33,located in the cornfield north of the site indicated no volatile organic contamination. The leadconcentration was highest at Sample Point 31. Most of the PNA concentrations were located atSample Point 34. Table 4A reports the contaminants and their concentration ranges.
So** = Source
There was no soil sampling conducted off-site in nearby residential yards. The sampling area was separated from residential yards via a street (Cumberland Street).
As in the surface soils, no volatile organic contaminants were found at sample points 1 through33. The lead concentration was highest at Sample Point 34 as was the PNA's concentration. Sample points are shown in Figure 4, and contaminant concentrations are reported in Table 4B.
So** = Source
Figure 5 shows the number of off-site monitoring wells and their locations while Table 5 reportsthe contaminants and concentration ranges. Monitoring well M-1, the upgradient well, is locatedto the southeast of the site and northwest of Cumberland Street. While analyses of these off-sitewell samples did not detect any PNAs or PCBs, the wells (deep and shallow) located betweenthe site and the drainage ditch contained most of the benzene, TCE, and lead contaminationfound.
Groundwater monitoring wells sampled and analyzed in 1991 indicated that benzene was theonly contaminant detected (0.0018 ppm) slightly above the comparison value. This sample wascollected from monitoring well M-6 which was sampled during 1984-1986 and found to have amaximum benzene concentration of 3 ppm. No reference was found to indicate whethergroundwater samples were field filtered prior to analysis.
More recent groundwater monitoring occurred in 1993. The sample results indicated thatbenzene was the only contaminant detected (0.001 ppm) (14). In 1992, a lead level was detectedat 0.0018 - 0.0045 ppm (15). However, this concentration is well below the comparison value of0.015 ppm.
So** = Source
^ = USEPA Drinking Water Action Level
Groundwater - Public and Private Wells
There are no water supply wells (public or private) known within three miles hydraulicallydown-gradient of the site (i.e., between the site and the Embarras River). The nearest privatewell is located upgradient from the site (approximately 200-300 feet south of the site and is no longer used as a water supply). Analyses of this water in 1984 found no violations of anyprimary health standards or ATSDR comparison values. This well draws from the sand andgravel aquifer.
The closest public wells to the site are those maintained by the village as the source of Greenup'swater supply. These three wells are drilled into the sand and gravel aquifer to a depth of about40 feet. These wells are located across the river and nearly a mile upstream of the site. They arehydraulically protected from the groundwater contamination by being upgradient and beingseparated from the site by the river. Examination of 1985 records maintained by the IEPA'sDivision of Public Water Supply showed no excursions above primary health standards orATSDR comparison values. All other private wells located in the vicinity of the village are alsoupgradient from the site and thus free from the threat of groundwater contamination from thissite.
Sediment (Drainage Ditch)
Most of the contaminants were located at Sample Points SG-O and SG-8. These locations areshown in Figure 4, while the contaminant concentrations and their comparison values arereported in Table 6A. Volatile organics were not detected.
The only contaminants detected were chrysene at Sample Point SW-4 and lead at all samplepoints with the highest level detected at SW-2. This sample point is upstream from confluencewith the site's drainage ditch. These sample locations are shown in Figure 4 and contaminantconcentrations are reported in Table 6B. Illinois rivers average less than 28 ppm of lead in river sediment.
Surface Water (Drainage Ditch)
Figure 5 shows the sample locations. SG-8 was the sample location with the highest level oflead detected. The concentration range of lead is reported in Table 7A. The lead levels detected exceeded the comparison value.
^ = USEPA Drinking Water Action Level
Ref* = Reference
Surface Water (River)
Figure 4 shows the locations of the surface water samples, and Table 7B reports the contaminantand concentration range. Surface water Sample Point SW-3 (upstream) was reported as havingthe highest concentration of lead. More recent data (April of 1991) also detected lead in thesurface water but its concentration was below the detection limit of 0.0022 ppm. In 1992, thedetected lead concentrations ranged from 0.004 - 0.0048 ppm (15) which is below thecomparison value and the 1984 surface water monitoring results.
Ref* = Reference
Air monitoring was conducted in October of 1984 during the cleanup phase at the site. Figure 6shows the air sampling locations, while Table 8 reports the contaminants and concentrationrange. Naphthalene and TCE air monitoring concentrations were higher east of the site (StationA) and benzene was detected at the same concentration at both locations.
**µg/m3 = micrograms per cubic meter.
Because the sampling occurred during a one month period, the results may not represent thepossible range of contaminants present during the facility's operation. However, the excavationand related work would be likely to cause the greatest release of airborne contaminants. IDPHcould find no information on air concentrations during the facility's operation.
Fish from the Embarras River were sampled from the vicinity of the site in 1984 and 1986. Allsamples were analyzed for organic compounds which might accumulate in fish flesh. Acomposite sample of channel catfish (taken July 16, 1984) had levels of chlordane in excess ofFDA limits on the compound (0.33 parts per million vs. 0.3 parts per million). Mercury andcadmium were generally above background, but did not exceed any established guidelines orstandards (18,19). No health advisory for fish was issued at this segment of the Embarras River.
Some samples taken in July of 1984 had low levels of volatiles including benzene. Testingconducted during July of 1986 detected low levels of various organochlorine compounds in fishsampled. These compounds followed the expected pattern of occurrence, being higher in olderfish than younger, and higher in bottom feeders than in those species higher up the food chain. However, even in the most likely candidates for accumulating contaminants, the older bottomfeeders, none of the detected compounds exceeded FDA standards.
No major impact by materials originating at the site on farm or garden crops, and game wasanticipated. As a result, these biota were not specifically sampled for sources of foodcontamination. As such, biota will not be assessed any further in this health assessment.
In preparing this health assessment, IDPH relies on the information provided in the referenceddocuments and assumes that adequate quality assurance and quality control measures werefollowed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. Thevalidity of the analysis and conclusions drawn for this health assessment is determined by theavailability and reliability of the referenced information.
After remedial activities, no physical hazards exist at the site. The site is an empty field of grasswith several monitored wells scattered throughout the area. This reclaimed property isaccessible to the public.
To determine whether nearby residents are exposed to contamination migrating from the site,ATSDR evaluates the environmental and human components that lead to human exposure. Thispathways analysis consists of five elements: A source of contamination, transport through anenvironmental medium, a point of exposure, a route of human exposure, and an exposedpopulation.
ATSDR categorizes an exposure pathway as a completed or potential exposure pathway if theexposure pathway cannot be eliminated. Completed pathways require that the five elementsexist and indicate that exposure to a contaminant has occurred in the past, is currently occurring,or will occur in the future. Potential pathways, however, require that at least one of the fiveelements is missing but could exist. Potential pathways indicate that exposure to a contaminantcould have occurred in the past, could be occurring now or could occur in the future. Anexposure pathway can be eliminated if at least one of the five elements is missing and will neverbe present. Table 9 identifies the potential exposure pathways. The discussion that followsincorporates only those pathways that are important and relevant to the site. There is also somediscussion of those exposure pathways that have been eliminated.
The site area does not have any completed exposure pathways. However, potential exposurepathways are discussed in the following subsection.
Worker-Waste Material Pathway
Site workers and former employees, who typically worked closely with contaminated media,could have been exposed to site contaminants through inhalation of contaminated air, ingestionof contaminated sludge, and skin contact with contaminated sludge. Site workers should haveworn appropriate personal protective equipment and complied with applicable health and safetyguidelines during the cleanup. It is doubtful that former employees wore such safety equipment. However there is insufficient data available to determine the extent of their exposure to the site'scontaminants (PNAs, Benzene, TCE, and Lead) during its operation.
Surface Soil Pathway
While ingestion of contaminated soil was possible by former employees of the site's operation,no data for soil dust in ambient air was conducted during the facility's operation. Since thisinformation is not available, IDPH cannot assess the importance of this potential exposurepathway. Hence, this potential exposure pathway will not be assessed further in the PublicHealth Assessment.
While PNAs and lead were detected in sediment samples, these samples were only reflective ofone sampling period in 1984. Since that time, no sampling of sediments has been conducted. Former employees may have been exposed to drainage sediments, but the level of contaminantsis unknown. Remedial workers would have been required to wear appropriate safety equipment.
Although the Embarras River is classified as a general use stream in the site area, nodocumentation of swimming in the river was found nor were swimmers observed during any sitevisit. Therefore, this past potential pathway will not be considered further in this Public Health Assessment.
As mentioned in the Environmental Contamination Section, air monitoring was limited to a onemonth sampling period during the cleanup phase. The air monitoring stations were locatedimmediately adjacent to the site's fenced area. No air monitoring stations were placed on nearby residential property nor were there any indoor air monitoring at residences.
Although no ambient air data existed during site operations, we suspect that air concentrations ofbenzene, PNAs, and TCE during operations may have been similar to the levels detected in1984. Furthermore, past odor complaints by residents indicate that some site air contaminants migrated off-site. In the IDPH health study, air levels of contaminatesthroughout the facility's existence were estimated using computer models and chemicalestimation methods. Residents neighboring the site were the exposure population. As such, aircontaminants of concern will be discussed further in the following Public Health ImplicationsSection.
Public Water Supply
To date, these wells are uncontaminated. Since these wells are located across the river andnearly a mile upstream (upgradient) from the site, future contamination of these
|Point of Exposure||Route of|
|A & F||Waste Material||Lagoons||Ingestion,|
|Surface Soil||A & F||Surface Soil||Site Area||Ingestion|
|Sediment||A & F||Sediment||Drainage Ditch|
|Ambient Air||A & F||Air||Adjacent to Site on|
|Public Supply||A & F||Municipal Water||Residences &|
|Customers of Water|
|Private Well||A & F||Groundwater|
|Users of Water||Future|
|Surface Water||A & F||Surface Water|
wells is unlikely. In addition, the 1991 groundwater monitoring results mentioned in theEnvironmental Contamination Section indicated that contaminant levels of benzene, TCE, andlead are decreasing over time.
Private Water Supply
In 1984, the nearest private well was located approximately 200-300 feet south of the site and nolonger was being used as a drinking water supply. This upgradient well did not exhibit anycontaminants of concern. No downgradient private wells were identified within 3 miles of thesite during a 1982 USEPA site visit.
As mentioned previously, the groundwater monitoring results indicate that groundwatercontamination is reducing around the site. Institutional controls will prohibit the installation ofgroundwater wells at the site until contaminant levels reach cleanup objectives and hence thegroundwater become safe to drink. However, the installation of a groundwater drinking well inthis area is unlikely since it is located within the 100 year flood plain of the Embarras River.
Limited surface water data mentioned in the Environmental Contamination Section indicates thatsurface water contamination from past site contamination is not an exposure pathway of concern. Past contamination of the surface water with low levels of contaminants and limited use byswimmers at this area of the river makes exposure low. Additionally, intermittent contaminationwith low levels of contaminants and rare water use by Newton residents makes exposurenegligible. As such, the potential exposure pathway will not be discussed further in this PublicHealth Assessment.
In this section we will discuss the health effects in persons exposed to specific contaminants,evaluate state and local health databases, and address specific community health concerns. Toevaluate health effects, ATSDR has developed a Minimal Risk Level (MRL) for contaminantscommonly found at hazardous waste sites. The MRL is an estimate of daily human exposure to acontaminant below which non-cancer, adverse health effects are unlikely to occur. Mils aredeveloped for each route of exposure, such as ingestion and inhalation, and for the length ofexposure, such as acute (less than 14 days), intermediate (15 to 364 days), and chronic (greaterthan 365 days). ATSDR presents these Mils in Toxicological Profiles. These chemical-specificprofiles provide information on health effects, environmental transport, human exposure, andregulatory status. In the following discussion, we used ATSDR Toxicological Profiles forbenzene, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and trichloroethylene.
Benzene exposure may have occurred to some residents through the potential exposure pathwayof inhalation. Inhalation exposure to a benzene concentration in air of 3.4 µg/m3 (1.06 ppbv),the highest fence line concentration detected is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Thispotential exposure air concentration is only slightly higher than the 14 days inhalation MRL (1.0ppb). Because insufficient human and animal studies exist, ATSDR has not developedintermediate or chronic MRLs for inhalation to benzene. Exposure to this concentration wouldnot be expected to cause drowsiness, headache, or dizziness. Nor would it be expected to affectthe immune system, offspring, or blood forming organs.
The 1984 air data collected during the remedial excavation is insufficient and cannot be used todetermine the cancer risk for past inhalation exposure to benzene in ambient air. There is nohistorical ambient air data available for either site conditions during its operation and/or off-siteresidential exposure points. As a result, it is not possible to determine cancer risk frominhalation exposure to residents living near the site. Furthermore, estimate levels of inhalationexposure to benzene did not indicate an observable increase in cancer risk among residents livingnearby. Nor were these estimates at levels of concern expected to cause chronic health effects.
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons
ATSDR has not developed MRLs for PNAs. The health effects resulting from long-termexposure of humans to air containing specific levels of PNAs are not known. However, animaldata have shown a dose-related decrease in survival in part to toxic and carcinogenic effectsinduced by some PNAs (e.g. tumors in pharynx and larynx that could have inhibited foodintake).
As mentioned in the previous contaminant of concern, the 1984 air data may not berepresentative of past operational ambient air conditions. As such, cancer risk from inhalationexposures to residents who live near the site can not be determined. Although there are nohealth guidelines established for inhalation exposure to PNAs, background levels of PNAs in theair have been reported in rural areas comparable to the 1984 air monitoring data. Estimate levelsof inhalation exposure to PNA's by nearby residents did not indicate an increase in cancerincidence. Nor were these estimates likely to cause any permanent adverse chronic healtheffects.
TCE exposure through inhalation potentially occurred in the past (approximately a seven yearperiod of time) to residents living near the site. However, inhalation exposure was not expectedto exceed ATSDR's acute MRL (300 ppb) for inhalation of exposures lasting less than 14 days. For exposures lasting less than 14 days, therefore, the TCE concentration in air of 13.5 µg/m3(2.5 ppbv), the highest fence line concentration, is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. Because insufficient human and animal studies exist, ATSDR has not developed intermediateand chronic MRLs for inhalation exposure to TCE. In addition, USEPA has no ReferenceConcentration (Rfc) in air for TCE. The most likely health effects that may result fromintermediate and chronic exposure to TCE at this site involve the nervous system. These effectsare discussed in this subsection. Since the one-month ambient air data for TCE may notrepresent past exposure over time, there is no certainty that these health effects occurred as the result of TCE exposure.
The nervous system is probably the most sensitive system that will show adverse health effectsfrom chronic exposure to TCE. While it is unlikely that neurological health effects occurred as aresult of exposure to past TCE ambient air levels, possible neurological effects include thefollowing: slowed reaction time, sleepiness, dizziness, headache, and facial numbness. Inaddition, long-term exposure can produce liver and kidney damage, and effects to blood. Animal studies have shown adverse effects on unborn and on newborns. At present, insufficientinformation exists to determine whether these effects can occur in humans.
The 1984 air data are insufficient to determine the cancer risk for past inhalation exposure to TCE in ambient air. For past exposure conditions, no historical data on ambient air exist at off-site residential exposure points during site operations. Therefore, the cancer risk from inhalation exposures to residents who live near the site can not be determined.
Vital Records Review
The analysis of birth and death records was used to determine if there had been any observablechange in the mortality or morbidity rates or patterns in the Village of Greenup or its immediatevicinity. Age-adjusted mortality rates were examined for all causes, cardiovascular disease,respiratory disease, and cancer for 1973 (prior to A & F Materials operation) to 1983 (after A &F Materials closing and during some of the site cleanup). These observed death rates werecompared to expected rates (based on the population of Illinois).
There was no observable elevation in rates of cardiovascular deaths in Greenup through thisperiod. Respiratory mortality was elevated in Greenup during certain years; however, thiselevation largely occurred prior to the inception of A & F Materials operations. Cancer deathswere elevated in certain years, when compared to the rest of the state, but inconsistently andagain mostly prior to A & F Materials operation. Total mortality was significantly elevated formales in 1977 but not for females. No other significant elevations of any mortality rateexamined could be found.
The cancer mortality data were examined with more detail for two reasons: l) the community'sconcern that cancer mortality among residents near the site was elevated above normal rates, and2) cancer is actually a number of diseases and, by looking only at total cancer morality, asignificant increase in one type of cancer may be hidden or washed away when lumped withnormal or below-normal rates of other types of cancer. To address this, total cancer mortalityand the mortalities associated with leukemias, lymphomas, respiratory cancers, liver andgallbladder cancers, bladder cancers, colon cancers, brain and nervous cancers, and bone cancerswere examined from 1968 to 1983. No elevation in cancer rates occurred which could be relatedto the A & F Materials site. Cancer locations were plotted on the basis of address as reported ondeath certificates. Cancer cases in living individuals were also reported in an epidemiologysurvey. Distribution of cases was random in nature. The data did not indicate a higher numberof cases closer to the site than in other areas of the Village and no apparent clustering ofnumbers or types.
Site Assessment Study
A study was completed by IDPH in 1987. It consisted of two areas of interest. First, anassessment was made of the situation to determine what hazards were likely and what risks wereinvolved in and around the site. Second, a health study was conducted on the Greenup residentsto determine the health status of the community. In addition, a vital records review of Greenup over the past 15-20 years also was performed.
The results of the health survey and vital records review indicate no increased rate of any singlecause of death (including cancer). Disease incidence was also apparently unchanged. There wasno relation to chronic disease or congenital birth defects based on the proximity to the site. However, there was evidence to suggest that during the years the facility operated or sat idle(waste lagoons) symptoms which might be associated with acute respiratory disorders (i.e. sorethroat, stuffy noses, irritated windpipe, etc.) and emotional stress conditions were elevatedwithin close proximity to the site. No other consistent pattern of chronic or persistent diseaseemerged from this study.
Based on the risk assessment, it was determined that any increase in chronic health effects due toexposure from the site would be unlikely seen among residents. This was because of therelatively low levels of compounds to which residents were exposed as well as the relativelyshort time that they were exposed to these compounds.
Incidence of Cancer
A Cancer Cluster Investigation was conducted as a follow-up to the Site Assessment Study andthe community's concern about the incidence or occurrence of cancer. The study area includedthe population of Greenup. All cases of cancer diagnosed among Greenup residents for 1985-88were identified. The source for these data was the Illinois State Cancer Registry (ISCR). Identification of cancer cases in the ISCR is dependent upon reporting by hospitals as mandatedby a 1984 state law.
All cancer cases from the study area were grouped by tumor site, sex and age. These cancercases were referred to as the "observed" cases. Specific rates from a standard population wereapplied to each group of the study population to obtain an "expected" number of cases for thestudy area. The standard population was defined as an area in Illinois of a similar populationsize and age distribution as the study area. The observed number of cases was compared to theexpected number of cases. These differences were not statistically significant for either sex. In other words, differences were probably produced by chance rather than an environmental factor.
Each of the community concerns about health are addressed as follows:
- What are the health effects resulting from exposure to chemicals originating from thesite?
As mentioned in the Site Assessment Study, respiratory distress may have resulted fromexposure to materials originating from the A & F Materials site. However, long-term orchronic health effects resulting from past potential inhalation exposure of site aircontaminants is not expected to have caused health problems.
- Is there an unusual incidence of cancer deaths among Greenup residents living near thesite?
No elevation in cancer rates has been observed that could be related to the A & FMaterials site. There was no indication that a higher number of cancer cases existedcloser to the site as opposed to other areas of the Village.