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HEALTH CONSULTATION

DOUBLE A METALS
CHICAGO, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS


DISCUSSION

Concentrations of each soil and surface water contaminant were compared with the appropriate environmental comparisonvalue used to select contaminants for further evaluation for carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health effects (Attachment3). Soil comparison values were also used for waste pile contaminants because exposure to a waste pile was consideredsimilar to soil. Contaminants that exceeded comparison values or for which no comparison value was available wereselected for further evaluation.

During the level II EPS, thirteen on-site soil boring samples (B1 to B13) and one surface soil sample were collected(Attachment 4). Ten soil borings were drilled to a depth of ten feet (B1-B3 and B7-B13), while three borings were dug byhand to a depth of up to four feet (B4-B6). One surface soil sample was collected at an unknown depth from beneath thediesel fuel tanks. Four composite samples were made out of eleven boring samples (B1-B4, B6-B9, B11-B13). Allsamples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and two were analyzed for metal contamination(Attachment 5). A wipe sample was also collected from beneath the above ground storage tanks and was analyzed forpolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). No contaminants were detected in the soil or wipe samples that exceeded comparisonvalue levels.

During USEPA's site removal assessment, samples were collected from seven waste piles (WP1-WP7), four drums (D1-D4), surface soil near the transformer, furnace insulation, and surface water from the flooded loading dock area(Attachment 2). The waste pile samples were analyzed for metals and the drum samples were analyzed for VOCs andPCBs. The surface water sample was analyzed for eight metals (Attachment 5). The soil sample was analyzed for PCBs,and the insulation sample was analyzed for asbestos.

Each waste pile sample was homogenized and composited by collecting samples (0-6 inches) from 6 to 10 differentlocations in each waste pile. The on-site waste pile contained arsenic, chromium, and lead at levels that exceededcomparison values. The contaminants, their maximum concentration, the sample location, frequency of detection, andcomparison values are listed in Table 1.

Table 1.

Waste Pile Contamination/Double A Metals Site
Chemical
Name
Maximum
Concentration
(ppm*)
Sample
Location
Frequency
of
Detection
Comparison
Value
(ppm)
Source of
Comparison
Value
Arsenic28WP47/720EMEG
(child)
Chromium560WP67/7300RMEG
(child)
Lead3,180WP4,
WP2
7/71000IDPH [7]
* ppm = parts per million

People could be exposed to contaminants in the waste pile through dermal contact, incidental ingestion, and inhalation ofcontaminated dusts. Varying weather conditions, such as rain or winds, may cause waste pile contaminants to spread toother areas on site and off site. Populations exposed to the contaminants could include salvage workers, trespassers,residents, site workers and site visitors. Approximately 10 site workers are presently employed and are at greatest risk ofexposure to waste pile contaminants, and approximately 1,000 people may have been exposed since facility operationsbegan.

Arsenic was found in sample WP4 at a level above the comparison value. However, the estimated dose for children whomay come in contact with the arsenic for a short period of time every week and for adults who may come in contact withthe arsenic during their work week would not be expected to cause adverse health effects.

Chromium was detected at a level above the comparison value for chromium VI. Chromium can exist in the environmentas trivalent chromium or chromium (III), which occurs naturally in the environment and is an essential nutrient, or ashexavalent chromium or chromium (VI), which is generally produced by industrial processes and is much more toxic. Forour purposes, we assumed that all of the chromium in the waste pile is chromium VI. USEPA classifies chromium VI as aknown carcinogen through the inhalation route [3]. Occupational exposure to chromium can cause irritation to the nose ifinhaled, and skin irritations with dermal contact. Exposure to the maximum concentration of chromium would result in adermal absorbed dose greater than the RfD (developed by the USEPA) for children and adults. The RfD is an estimate ofdaily exposure levels designed to protect the sensitive individuals exposed to potentially toxic substances. Therefore,children and adults who might come in direct contact with the chromium may experience skin irritation. However, anestimated dose through incidental ingestion of the chromium should not cause non-cancerous health effects. Althoughinhalation of chromium VI dust is known to cause cancer, the chromium in the waste material is not likely to be in the formof dust or the levels associated with the occupational exposures known to cause cancer. As a precaution, however,inhalation of dust generated at the waste pile should be avoided.

Lead occurs naturally in the environment; however, it mostly enters the environment from human activities. Lead iscommonly found in a variety of products, including ammunition, electronic items, batteries, solder, caulking, paints, andgasoline. Exposure to lead is of particular concern with children. Exposure to elevated levels of lead may lead to nervoussystem damage such as decreased intelligence quotient (IQ) scores, reduced concentration, and reduced growth in youngchildren. In adults, lead exposure may cause decreased reaction time, memory loss, and anemia [4]. Kidney and braindamage is also possible in adults and children with high doses. Since children may have access to the site, the IDPH LeadPoisoning Prevention Code (Part 845) was used to determine a health risk from exposure to this site. According to IDPHLead Poisoning Prevention Code (Part 845), the maximum allowable concentration of lead in soil readily accessible tochildren should not exceed 1,000 parts per million (ppm). Levels of lead were greater than 1,000 ppm in four of sevensamples. If children played come in direct contact with the waste pile often, they may ingest enough lead to increase theirblood lead levels and experience subtle health effects.

Ethyl benzene, toluene, and total xylenes were present in the drums. The concentrations of contaminants are shown inTable 2.

Table 2.

Drum Sample Contamination/Double A Metals Site
Chemical Name Concentration (ppm)
D1 D2 D3 D4
Ethyl benzene 340 320 120 2
Toluene 120 400 ND 2
Total Xylenes 1,150 1,780 490 3
PCBs ND ND ND ND

The drums may pose an explosion hazard and could cause soil and groundwater contamination if they leak.

No contaminants were detected in the surface water or soil sample that exceeded comparison values, and asbestos was notin the insulation material.

USEPA personnel also collected 5 off-site surface soil samples (0-3 inches) on March 24, 1997. Two samples werecollected from a commercial area west of Pulaski Road and three were collected from residential locations within one blocknorth of the site (Attachment 6). Analysis was conducted only for lead. Sample results were less than IDPH's guideline forresidential properties.

An additional 45 on-site surface soil samples (0-3 inches) have been collected in a grid-like pattern from the front and backyards (Attachment 7). All samples were analyzed for lead, and some samples were also analyzed for arsenic. Surface soilwas excavated to a maximum of 2 feet where levels of lead exceeded 500 ppm. Sampling results indicate that adversehealth effects would not be expected to occur from exposure to soil lead or arsenic on site.


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