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TRI-COUNTY LANDFILL WASTE MANAGEMENT OF ILLINOIS
SOUTH ELGIN, KANE COUNTY, ILLINOIS



CONCLUSIONS

The Tri-County and Elgin Landfills are a public health hazard because the concentrations of chemicals in some private wells are high enough to be a long-term health hazard. If its water is regularly consumed, the concentration of lead in one private well immediately downgradient of the site is at high enough levels to be a long-term health hazard via ingestion to children (not likely, since the well apparently serves a business), fetuses, and future children of women who may become pregnant. Lead exposure can cause permanent neurological effects. Arsenic in three downgradient wells may be at high enough levels to possibly cause changes in skin pigmentation. While arsenic consumption may cause skin cancer in people, it is uncertain whether the concentrations found in the wells would result in an unacceptable risk. Again, these wells serve businesses, so the exposure of children is less likely than adults. Lead and arsenic are also elevated in on-site shallow and intermediate (+ bedrock for arsenic) groundwater, suggesting the site may be the source of contamination. If these compounds should reach more private wells or on-site wells are drilled into this contaminated water, more people could be exposed.

In one upgradient well, nitrate + nitrite concentrations were high enough that the water should not be consumed by an infant. Nitrate + nitrite may cause anoxia and even death in infants, The source of this contamination may have been a malfunctioning septic system.

For other chemicals found in private wells, the toxicological data are insufficient to evaluate the likelihood of possible health effects. Consequently, it is uncertain whether any symptoms will occur as a result of exposure to the concentrations found on- or off-site. Possible health effects of these compounds were described in the Toxicological Evaluation subsection of this report.

Many chemicals in on-site shallow and/or intermediate groundwater are at levels of concern for chronic exposure, including bis(2-chloroethyl)ether, nickel, nitrate + nitrite, and thallium. Exposure to this water is not currently occurring; however, and exposure may occur in the future if (1) any of these chemicals reach on- or off-site private wells and the water is consumed or (2) wells are drilled into the contaminated shallow or intermediate groundwater and the water is consumed. In on-site shallow or intermediate groundwater, the chronic MRL or RfD of these chemicals was exceeded, or the estimated cancer risk was at an unacceptable level. Should exposure occur, possible health effects of these compounds at on-site concentrations include (1) bis(2-Chloroethyl)ether may be able to cause liver cancer, (2) PCBs may cause reproductive effects, (3) vinyl chloride may cause liver damage, (4) barium may cause changes in heart rhythm, changes in nerve reflexes, difficulty in breathing, increased blood pressure, stomach irritation, and swelling of the brain, as well as damage to the heart, kidney, liver, and spleen, (5) cadmium may cause kidney damage, (6) fluoride can cause mottling of tooth enamel and skeletal fluorosis, (7) nickel may cause skin contact allergy, and (8) thallium may cause decreased learning ability in children exposed in the womb. For many compounds in shallow and/or intermediate groundwater, there is not enough toxicological data to determine if specific health effects may occur at on-site concentrations. This is also true for some symptoms or possible symptoms of chemicals listed above. These health effects were discussed in the Toxicological Evaluation subsection of this report.

If homes or other buildings are constructed on-site and their occupants drink water from these contaminated aquifers, they would be exposed to unacceptable levels of contamination. The geology and hydrology off-site are poorly understood, so it is uncertain which off-site private wells may be affected in the future. If groundwater moves in the same direction off-site, wells to the south and southwest are downgradient. South of the site, the clay layers are thin to absent, and in this area, contaminated shallow or intermediate groundwater may move downward into the deeper aquifers. In addition, shallow and intermediate groundwater in the northern part of the site appears to move to the north or northwest. If connections exist between the shallow, intermediate, and deeper aquifers north and northwest of the site, municipal and private wells in that direction may also become contaminated. Of particular concern is the potential contamination of the Newark Aquifer, which is used by many people, including the villages of South Elgin and Valley View. People can be exposed to chemicals in groundwater via inhalation during showering and other water use activities (volatile compounds), ingestion, or dermal contact.

In on-site surface soil and/or sediments, no chemicals exceeded their MRL, RfD, or cancer slope factor. However, for many of these contaminants, no MRL, RfD, cancer slope factor is available. Consequently, it is uncertain whether health effects may result from the concentrations found on-site. Possible health effects of these compounds were discussed in the Toxicological Evaluation subsection of this report. Exposure to compounds in on-site surface soil or sediments may occur via ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact. On-site workers and trespassers may be exposed to these chemicals (past, present, future).

Many contaminants were found in subsurface soil. While exposure to subsurface soil is not currently occurring, if houses or other buildings are built on-site, contamination may be brought to the surface. Occupants of these buildings could then be exposed to chemicals via inhalation (dust and volatile chemicals), ingestion (dust and soil), and dermal contact (soil, dust). On-site workers and trespassers could be exposed to compounds in subsurface soil during remediation. High lead levels were found in the soil of on-site test pits on the Elgin Landfill. If this contamination is brought to the surface, the exposure of children, pregnant females, women who may become pregnant, or other adults could occur.

In subsurface soil, the concentrations of PCBs exceeded the MRL for adults and pica children. Possible health effects of PCBs have already been described. However, many factors affect the absorption of chemicals from soil, making it difficult to determine health risks of exposure to it. No other compounds in subsurface soil exceeded the MRL or RfD for a pica child. No compounds with cancer slope factors in subsurface soil posed an unacceptable cancer risk from ingestion. For many compounds in subsurface soil, however, no MRL, RfD, or cancer slope factor is available. For these chemicals, the risks of exposure cannot be fully evaluated. Possible health effects of these compounds were described in the Toxicological Evaluation section of this report.

It is unknown whether off-site soil has been contaminated by the site. Exposure to any such chemicals could occur via the inhalation of airborne dust, ingestion, or dermal contact. Children playing in the unnamed tributary would be the most likely people exposed (past, present, future).

Because the consumption of surface water is probably infrequent, no health effects are expected from exposure to this medium.

Because the concentrations of airborne contaminants are unknown, the risk of exposure to chemicals via the inhalation or ingestion of airborne dust, as well as the inhalation of volatile chemicals, is unknown (on- and off-site; past, present, future).

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. It should be determined whether any children, pregnant women, or women of child-bearing age regularly drink water from well 7, which has a high lead level.
    1. If this is found to be the case:
      1. The following blood lead levels should be measured:

        1. Any children of mothers who regularly drank water from well 7 during or before pregnancy or lactation.
        2. Any pregnant females or women of child-bearing age who regularly drink or drank water from well 7.
      2. Blood lead levels of other people who drink or drank water from well 7 should also be examined, but time is not as critical.
      3. A first draw and a flushed water sample should be taken from well 7 to determine whether plumbing or possibly the landfill is the source of the lead.
  2. Access to the site should be restricted.
  3. Institutional controls should be used to prohibit future on-site construction.
  4. The concentrations of chemicals in on-site surface soil along the Prairie Path should be examined, since this is where contact by the public is most likely.
  5. The concentrations of on- and off-site airborne contaminants should be determined.
  6. Because soil contamination is present, during remediation, care should be taken to minimize the evolution of airborne dust and volatile chemicals.
  7. The geology and hydrogeology around the site needs to be examined.
    1. The direction of groundwater flow off-site needs to be determined.
    2. It should be determined if contaminated groundwater is flowing or may flow southward into the area south of the site where clay confining layers are thin or absent, and if any of these chemicals are likely to contaminate deeper aquifers.
    3. The likelihood of possible further contamination of wells around the site should be examined.
    4. The possible future contamination of the Newark Aquifer and wells (municipal and private) should be investigated.
  8. The on-site geology and hydrogeology needs further investigation to determine whether the layer of gray clay will sufficiently protect the deeper aquifers after the proposed leachate collection system is installed. This should be done before the proposed leachate collection system is constructed.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP) RECOMMENDATIONS

In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, the Tri-County and Elgin Landfills have been evaluated for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. It should be determined whether any children, pregnant women, or women of child-bearing age regularly drink water from well 7, which has a high lead level. This water should not be regularly consumed by these people. People may be exposed to contaminated surface soil. In the future, additional contamination of on- and off-site private wells may occur. Because it is uncertain whether exposure to site contaminants is occurring at levels which may cause health effects, no health studies are warranted at this time.

As part of the ATSDR Physician Education Cooperative Agreement, IDPH will inform health professionals of the public health implications associated with the Tri-County and Elgin Landfills. Community education is needed for citizens (private and municipal wells) and businesses on- and off-site.

Further environmental characterization and sampling of the Tri-County and Elgin Landfills should be designed to address the environmental and human exposure pathways discussed above. When additional information and data become available, such material will form the basis for further assessment by IDPH or ATSDR.

Public Health Actions

Based on the recommendations made in the public health assessment, the following public health actions have been or will be undertaken:

  1. As part of the ATSDR Physician Education Cooperative Agreement, IDPH will inform area health professionals of the public health implications associated with this site and others in the area. Community education will also be provided for citizens using private and municipal wells, as well as businesses on- and off-site.

PREPARERS AND REVIEWERS OF REPORT

PREPARER

Thomas A. Baughman
Environmental Toxicologist
Illinois Department of Public Health
West Chicago, Illinois

REVIEWERS

Ken McCann
Bruce Barrow
Environmental Toxicologists
Illinois Department of Public Health
Springfield, Illinois

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Louise Fabinski
Regional Operations
Office of the Assistant Administrator

ATSDR TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER

William Greim
Environmental Health Scientist
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
State Programs Section


CERTIFICATION

The Tri-County and Elgin Landfills Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Illinois Department of Public Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was begun.

William Greim, M.S., M.P.H
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)
ATSDR

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment, and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams, P.E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR

REFERENCES

ATSDR. April 1994a. Toxicological Profile for Aldrin/Dieldrin. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993a. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1994b. Toxicological Profile for Benzene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993b. Toxicological Profile for Beryllium. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993c. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993d. Toxicological Profile for Chromium. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993e. Toxicological Profile for 1,4-Dichlorobenzene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993f. Toxicological Profile for Di (2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993g. Toxicological Profile for Lead. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993h. Toxicological Profile for N-nitrosodiphenylamine. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993i. Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Arochlor-1260, 1254, 1248, 1242, 1232, 1221, and 1016). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993j. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993k. Toxicological Profile for trichloroethene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993L. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. March 1993a. Toxicological Profile for Antimony and Compounds. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. March 1993b. Toxicological Profile for Barium and Compounds. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. March 1993c. Toxicological Profile for 2-Hexanone. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. March 1993d. Toxicological Profile for Manganese and Compounds. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. October 1993a. Draft For Public Comment Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. March 1993e. Toxicological Profile for Thallium. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. August 1990a. Toxicological Profile for bis(2-Chloroethyl)ether. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. August 1990b. Toxicological Profile for Chloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. June 1991a. Toxicological Profile for Chloromethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. June 1991b. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. May 1994a. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. August 1994. Draft For Public Comment Toxicological Profile for 1,2- Dichloroethene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. May 1994b. Toxicological Profile for Hexachlorocyclohexanes. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. October 1993b. Toxicological Profile for Naphthalene and 2-Methylnaphthalene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. August 1990c. Toxicological Profile for N-nitrosodi-N-propylamine. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. May 1994c. Toxicological Profile for Pentachlorophenol. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. October 1993c. Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. May 1994d. Toxicological Profile for Mercury. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

ATSDR. April 1993m. Toxicological Profile for Nickel. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.

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