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HEALTH CONSULTATION

RAY HOLTMAN FARM
QUINCY, ADAMS COUNTY, ILLINOIS


DISCUSSION

IDPH reviewed the available sample data for the Ray Holtman Farm. Air samples were not collected at the site. The concentration of each chemical detected during sampling was compared with appropriate comparison values used to select chemicals for further evaluation for exposure and possible carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic endpoints if exposure occurred. Chemicals with concentrations that exceeded comparison values and those with no comparison values were selected for further evaluation. A discussion of each of the comparison values used is found in Attachment 6. Completed and potential exposure pathways to chemicals found at the site are shown in Tables 1 and 2.

Manganese was the primary chemical present at levels above comparison values. The background, off-site surface water sample collected east of the site had the highest amount of manganese of the five surface water samples at 5,890 parts per billion (ppb). This exceeded drinking water comparison values for both children and adults, although that water is not used for drinking water. The 1995 background sediment sample had the highest amount of manganese of the four sediment samples exceeding comparison values. Both on-site and off-site groundwater samples exceeded comparison values (Tables 3 and 4).

People living near the site are not likely to be exposed to soils, sediments, or surface water at levels that would cause adverse health effects. If consumed by small children, the manganese found in the groundwater could result in a dose of 0.0075 milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg/day). This dose is much less than the USEPA reference dose of 0.14 mg/kg/day, so adverse health effects would not be expected.

Manganese is an essential element that occurs naturally in water, food, soil, and air. Eating a small amount each day is important in maintaining one's health. Because manganese is a regular part of the human body, the body normally controls the amount absorbed and retained. Too much, however, can cause serious illness. Although there are some differences between different kinds of manganese compounds, most seem to cause the same health effects. Exposure to high levels of manganese dust in air may cause mental and emotional disturbances, and body movements may become slow and clumsy. This combination of symptoms is called "manganism" [5].

Men exposed to high levels of manganese dust in air may experience impotence. Animal studies have shown that too much manganese may also injure the testes. Little is known about the health effects of too much manganese in women. Animal studies have suggested that females may not be as sensitive as males, but this is not certain. When manganese in water or soil is ingested, most of it is excreted. Studies are unclear whether eating or drinking too much manganese can cause manganism or not. There is no information available on health effects of skin contact with manganese [5].

Arsenic exceeded the comparison values in one groundwater sample and in the 1995 background sediment sample (Table 5). Arsenic is also a naturally occurring element and is normally present at low levels in water, food, soil, and air. Most arsenic compounds can dissolve in water. Arsenic is not broken down or destroyed in the environment. However, it can change from one form to another by natural chemical reactions and by the action of bacteria that live in soil or water [6].

Arsenic readily enters the body, and the liver changes some arsenic to a less harmful organic form. The body excretes both inorganic and organic forms. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that arsenic is carcinogenic to humans. USEPA and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) have classified arsenic as a known human carcinogen [6].

The Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL) for arsenic is 50 ppm. MCLs are established by USEPA and are the enforceable maximum permissible level of a chemical in water delivered to any user of a public water system. None of the on-site groundwater samples exceeded this MCL. To date, no one is drinking water containing arsenic at levels found on site. Should arsenic be found in private well water, those levels should be evaluated for possible health implications.

Vanadium exceeded comparison values for one groundwater sample and one on-site surface water sample in 1995 (Table 6). Vanadium is a natural element in the earth and is found in fuel oils and coal. Vanadium does not dissolve well in water, but water can carry it, much as particles of sand might be carried. If vanadium is consumed, most does not enter the bloodstream but is excreted by the body. Small amounts may enter the bloodstream and then leave the body quickly through the urine. Little is known about the health effects of vanadium on humans [7]. People are not likely to be exposed to surface water at levels that would cause adverse health effects, and no one is currently consuming groundwater that contains vanadium at levels found in on-site groundwater.

While comparison values were not found for thallium, one surface water sample and one groundwater sample exceeded the Lifetime Health Advisory (LTHA) for drinking water established by USEPA. The LTHA is the concentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse non-carcinogenic effects over a lifetime of exposure. These samples also exceeded the MCL. No one is using surface water from the site as a drinking water source, and no one would be expected to incidentally ingest the surface water on a routine basis. The average person consumes, on a daily basis, about 2 parts thallium per billion parts of food. Thallium is naturally found in soil at levels from 0.3 to 0.7 parts per million [8].

IDPH discovered several errors in the "SURFACE SOIL - Ray Holtman Farm, 1993" table when we reviewed the January 1998 USEPA Final Project Report. The table included in the January 1998 USEPA Final Project Report was a compilation of data found in the B&V Corp. SSI Final Report dated March 19, 1993. While most data were correct, some sample results were incorrectly entered onto the table. Also, the table should have read "SURFACE SOIL - Ray Holtman Farm, 1992." When a discrepancy was noted, IDPH used results from the B & V Corp. report.

Further, some inconsistency was found in the labeling of sediment samples and surface soil samples. Sediment samples collected in 1992 were labeled ST-1, ST-2, and ST-3. However, the table for sediment samples collected in 1995 in the January 1998 USEPA Final Project Report showed sediment sample results labeled as SS-1 through SS-5. This is confusing because surface soil samples had originally been labeled SS-1, SS-2, and SS-3 (Table 4). As mentioned previously, a residential well was sampled for nitrate, nitrite, metals, and cyanide on August 14, 1986. Specific information regarding which residential well was sampled, who collected the sample, or where it was analyzed was not provided.

The document prepared by B&V Corp. stated that two other potential sources of contamination within a one mile radius of the site were found. Counter Top Processing, Inc., 4550 S. Gardner Expressway, Quincy, Illinois 62301 and INSU LOC, 4505 S. Gardner Expressway, Quincy, Ilinois 62301 are required under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to notify IEPA of documented releases of pollutants. In 1995, the IEPA Office of Chemical Safety Toxic Release Inventory reported that six businesses in Adams County had documented fugitive air releases of manganese or manganese compounds. In 1995 in Adams County, 15,225 pounds of manganese compounds and 59 pounds of fugitive air releases of manganese were recorded [10].


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