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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

DEPUE/NEW JERSEY ZINC/MOBIL CHEMICAL CORPORATION
DEPUE, BUREAU COUNTY, ILLINOIS


CONCLUSIONS

IDPH considers the site a public health hazard because of the potential exposures to contamination in surface soils and sediments and because of the likely long-term past exposures. Long-term past exposures to workers and residents in DePue were likely, and conditions still exist that could result in additional exposures. The opportunity for people to be exposed to contaminants on site have decreased because of security measures that have been implemented.

The contaminants of interest include metals that are found at elevated levels in residential soils. Cadmium and lead are the nonessential heavy metals known to accumulate in humans and other animals that are present at concentrations that could result in adverse health effects because of the cumulative nature of the metals. Excessive internal accumulation of cadmium can lead to kidney and skeletal disorders, and excessive lead exposure is especially damaging to young children. Because of the cumulative nature of cadmium and lead, former workers and long-time residents may have elevated body burdens accumulated during their lifetimes, and any subsequent exposures have the potential to result in adverse health effects. Biological screening for cadmium and lead in 1992 did not measure any exposures experienced by the group of volunteers that could be attributed to site conditions. Those tests only capture recent exposures to lead and cadmium and do not provide information on historical exposure.

No information is available on whether garden products contain cadmium, and information on residential soil lead and cadmium levels is limited.

Although private wells appear to be upgradient of source areas, some wells near the gypstack may not be geologically isolated from that area.

New information generated during the on-going cleanup efforts and RIs will be reviewed by IDPH as it becomes available.


RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. The site properties need continued security to prevent access to wastes.
  2. Education of residents should continue regarding methodologies to reduce exposures to environmental contamination in residential soil.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Soil samples from concerned citizens' properties and gardens should be collected and analyzed.
  2. Private wells near the gypstack should be surveyed. If any potable wells are identified, they should be sampled for the inorganic compounds found in this area.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

Actions Completed

  1. Blood lead and urine cadmium samples have been collected from a group of residents who live near the site. The biological testing was to determine if immediate measures were necessary to remove contamination to stop exposure. The testing showed that no current exposure was occurring that would warrant emergency action.
  2. Information has been distributed to residents around the facility, especially those with high levels of lead, cadmium, and zinc in their yards, on how to clean their homes and how to prevent tracking contaminated soil and dust into their homes. The information has been provided in English and in Spanish to be sure that all residents understand the written materials. Additionally, interpreters have been provided in public meetings to be sure that residents understand verbal information provided and to ensure everyone's concerns are understood.
  3. To address community concerns regarding multiple sclerosis among residents, IDPH arranged to have cases confirmed. That information is presented in an attachment to this document.

Actions Planned

  1. Both USEPA and Illinois EPA are aware of community concern about contamination on residential properties and of IDPH's recommendation to sample those areas if requested. If yards and garden soils are sampled and analyzed, IDPH will provide property owners with the results and with appropriate consultation.
  2. IDPH will continue with community health education to inform residents on how they can reduce their exposure to contaminated soils and dusts.
  3. IDPH will work with Illinois EPA to see if private drinking water wells are in the area that could be affected by the gypstack. If so, IDPH will work with Illinois EPA to sample those wells for contamination. IDPH will provide well owners with the results.
  4. IDPH will continue to evaluate this site for appropriate health follow-up activities as additional environmental data and information become available.

ATSDR CHILD HEALTH INITIATIVE

ATSDR's Child Health Initiative recognizes that the unique vulnerabilities of infants and children demand special emphasis in communities faced with contamination of their environment. Children are at greater risk than adults from certain kinds of exposures to hazardous substances emitted from sites. They are more likely exposed because they play outdoors and they often bring food into contaminated areas. They are shorter than adults, which means they can breathe in any dusts close to the ground. Children are also smaller, resulting in higher doses of chemical exposure per body weight. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages. Also, children depend completely on adults for risk identification and management decisions, housing decisions, and access to medical care.

IDPH evaluated the likelihood for residents living near the site to be exposed to lead at levels of health concern. Historically, children, who are now adults, were likely exposed to chemical contaminants at higher levels than they are presently. Soil lead levels in residential properties do not appear to be at concentrations that would elevate residents' blood lead levels. Still, metals in soils and sediments present sources of exposure for area children; however, in the future, exposures should decrease as remediation and educational efforts continue.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Preparer

Catherine Copley
Environmental Toxicologist
Illinois Department of Public Health

Reviewer

Ken Runkle
Environmental Toxicologist
Illinois Department of Public Health

ATSDR Regional Representative

Louise Fabinski
Regional Operations
Office of the Assistant Administrator

ATSDR Technical Project Officers

Gail Godfrey
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Steve Inserra
Division of Health Studies

Courtney Wilson
Division of Health Education and Promotion


REFERENCES

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1988) The Nature and Extent of Lead Poisoning in Children in the United States: A Report to Congress. Atlanta, Georgia.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a1990) Toxicological Profile for Barium (Draft for Public Comment). Atlanta, Georgia. October 1990.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (b1990) Toxicological Profile for Vanadium (Draft for Public Comment). Atlanta, Georgia. October 1990.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1992) Health Consultation of July 28, 1992 with IDPH regarding DePue, Illinois.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual (1992) Atlanta, Georgia. March 1992.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1994) Toxicological Profile for Zinc (Update). Atlanta, Georgia. May 1994.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a1997) Draft Toxicological Profile for Cadmium (Update). Atlanta, Georgia. September 1997.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (b1997) Toxicological Profile for Lead (Update) (Draft for Public Comment). Atlanta, Georgia. August 1997.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (c1997) Toxicological Profile for Manganese Update) (Draft for Public Comment). Atlanta, Georgia. September 1997.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (a1998) Toxicological Profile for Arsenic (Update) (Draft for Public Comment). Atlanta, Georgia. August 1998.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (b1998) Toxicological Profile for Chromium (Update) (Draft for Public Comment). Atlanta, Georgia. August 1998.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1999) Health Guidelines Comparison Values (First Quarter of 1999). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Ecology and Environment (1993) Site Assessment Report for NJ Zinc. Report for the USEPA Technical Assistance Team. Chicago, Illinois. July 29, 1993.

Gibb, JP and K Cartwright (1982) Retention of Zinc Cadmium, Copper, and Lead by Geological Materials. Cooperative Groundwater Report 9, Illinois State Water and Geological Surveys.

Golder Associates, Incorporated (1997) Focused South Ditch Remedial Investigation: DePue Site, DePue, Illinois. Prepared for the DePue Group. Chicago, Illinois. July 1997.

Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety (1992) Results of radium survey. Letter from Richard Allen, Office of Environmental Safety to L. Hinson, Mobil Mining and Mineral Company. Dated May 6, 1992.

Illinois Department of Public Health (1994) Incidence of Cancer in DePue (Bureau County), Illinois from 1987-119. Division of Epidemiologic Studies. February 1994.

Illinois Department of Public Health (1994) Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (410 ILCS 45) and Code (Part 845 dated December 31, 1994) and Division of Environmental Lead Program Policies and Procedures. Springfield, Illinois.

Illinois Department of Public Health (1996) Memo to ATSDR dated August 16, 1996 regarding health concerns in DePue, Illinois.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1975) NJ Zinc site visit. Division of Water Pollution Control. Rockford, Illinois. July 12, 1975.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1978) Assessment and classification of Illinois Lakes. Volume 2. Springfield, Illinois.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1982) NJ Zinc Company Hazardous Ranking Scoring package.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1983) Preliminary Assessment: Potential Hazardous Waste Site. Reviewed by Ecology and Environment with Illinois EPA Rockford Office. July 13, 1983.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1992) CERCLA Expanded Site Inspection Report for DePue/NJ Zinc/Mobil Chemical site (Draft). Springfield, Illinois.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1993a) Site Inspection Document: NJ Zinc/Mobil Chemical/DePue. Bureau of Land Remedial Project Management Section. May 18, 1993. Springfield, Illinois.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1993b) DePue Sampling Point Locations of April 29, 1993 and Analytical Results. Correspondence from Richard M. Lange, Illinois EPA Project Manager.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1994) Illinois Water Quality Report 1992-1993. Bureau of Water. Document Illinois EPA/WPC/94-160. August 1994.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1996) Illinois Water Quality Report 1994-1995. Bureau of Water. Document Illinois EPA/BOW/96-060a. September 1996.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1997a) Interim Water Treatment System fact sheet. Springfield, Illinois. February 1997. Data on three groundwater sources sampled January 19, 1996.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1997b) DePue Wildlife Management Area: Illinois Department of Natural Resources fact sheet. Springfield, Illinois. November, 1997. Information on IDNR investigation.

Illinois Pollution Control Board. PCB 88-130 Variance granted in report of January 19, 1989.

Illinois State Geologic Survey (1986) Inorganic Composition and Sedimentation Rates of Backwater Lakes Associated with the Illinois River. Richard Cahill and John Steele. Environmental Geology Note 115. Champaign, Illinois.

Terra Environmental Services (1995) Site Assessment Plan for the DePue Site, DePue, Illinois. Prepared for the DePue Group. December 6, 1995 Draft. Tampa, Florida.

Terra Environmental Services (1996) Letter to Richard Lange, Illinois EPA: Summary of Air Monitoring Program. November 14, 1996. Tampa, Florida.

U.S. Bureau of the Census (1990) 1990 Census of the Population and Housing of the United States: DePue, Illinois.

U.S. Department of Labor (1992) Occupational Safety and Health Administration Occupational Exposure to Cadmium: Final Rule, 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, and 1928; also 29 CFR 1926.42224, Washington, D.C., September 14, 1992.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1984) Potential Hazardous Waste Site: Preliminary Assessment. Mobil Chemical Corporation. Ecology and Environment, Inc., Chicago, IL completed form 2070-12 for U.S. EPA Region V, transmittal memo dated July 13, 1983.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1993) Site Assessment Report for NJ Zinc, DePue, Bureau County, Illinois. E & E Technical Assistance Team (TAT), July 29, 1993.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1993) 1990 Toxic Chemical Release Inventory. National Library of Medicine's TOXNET System.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1991) Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control. Atlanta, Georgia.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (1993) Public Health Service investigation of Lake DePue fish. Letter dated January 12, 1993 with results of October 1992 fish collection.

Village of DePue (1996) Letter to Gov. Jim Edgar from Village Board Members. March 1, 1996.


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