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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

YEOMAN CREEK AND EDWARDS FIELD LANDFILLS
WAUKEGAN, LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

The tables in this section list the contaminants of concern. These contaminants will be further evaluated in the remaining sections of this public health assessment to determine if they pose a threat to public health. The listing of a contaminant in the following tables does not necessarily mean it poses a threat to public health. The selection of these contaminants is based on the following factors:

  1. Concentrations of contaminants;
  2. Data quality, both in the field and in the laboratory, and the sampling plan design;
  3. Comparison of contaminant concentrations and background concentrations with health assessment comparison values for both carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic endpoints (discussed further); and
  4. Community health concerns.

Comparison values used for a public health assessment are levels of contaminants in a specific environmental medium that warrant further evaluation. These values include Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs), Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guides (RMEGs), Lifetime Health Advisories (LTHAs), and Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). If a site-related contaminant is found at levels above any of these comparison values or if no comparison value exists for the chemical in that medium (air, water, or soil), the contaminant is evaluated further in other sections of this document to determine if it poses a significant threat to public health. Known or suspected human carcinogens with no carcinogenic comparison value are also listed and are evaluated in other sections of this public health assessment.

EMEGs are comparison values developed for chemicals that are relatively toxic, frequently encountered at NPL sites, and present a potential for human exposure. They are derived to protect the most sensitive members of the population (e.g., children). Carcinogenic effects, chemical interactions, multiple routes of exposure, or other media-specific routes of exposure are not considered when calculating EMEGs. EMEGs are very conservative concentration values designed to protect the public.

CREGs are estimated contaminant concentrations that upon exposure, may result in one excess cancer in a million persons exposed to the chemical over a lifetime (70 years). These are also very conservative values designed to protect sensitive members of the population.

RMEGs are estimates of a daily oral exposure to a particular chemical that is unlikely to produce any noncarcinogenic, adverse health effects over a lifetime. They are based on USEPA reference doses (RfDs) and are conservative values designed to protect sensitive members of the population.

Reference concentrations (RfCs) are estimated air concentrations an individual can breathe for a lifetime (70 years) without experiencing adverse health effects. They are developed by USEPA.

LTHAs are estimated water concentrations an individual can drink for 70 years without experiencing noncarcinogenic health effects. These numbers contain a margin of safety to protect sensitive members of the population. These values are established by USEPA and are considered only if no EMEG, CREG, or RMEG are available for the chemical.

USEPA has established MCLs for public water supplies to reduce the chances of adverse health effects as a result of using contaminated drinking water. These standards are generally well below levels associated with health effects and take into account the financial and technical feasibility of achieving specific contaminant levels. These are enforceable limits that public water supplies must meet. These values are considered only if no EMEG, CREG, RMEG, or LTHA are available for the chemical. USEPA has also established MCLGs, maximum contaminant level goals. These are not enforceable but are sometimes used as comparison values instead of MCLs.

A. On-site Contamination

1. Air and Soil Gas

The on-site concentrations of chemicals in the ambient air are unknown. During the RI, a combustible gas indicator was used to analyze air in soil cracks at the Yeoman Creek Landfill, and elevated readings (not presented quantitatively) were found in some of them.

A flame ionization detector was used to qualitatively examine organic chemicals in the air 3 feet above ground at the Yeoman Creek Landfill. The compounds were not identified in this process. Elevated readings were obtained at five locations. The flame ionization detector did not detect anything in the ambient air at the Edwards Field Landfill.

On February 10 and 11, 1993, landfill gas was sampled from six boreholes near the perimeter of the Yeoman Creek and Edwards Field Landfills. Chemicals found in this soil gas included benzene, trichloroethene, and xylenes (Table 1). There are no comparison values for soil gas.

2. Leachate

Several chemicals were found in the leachate at both landfills (Table 2). There are no comparison values for leachate.

3. Groundwater

In on-site shallow groundwater at the Edwards Field Landfill, methylene chloride, vinyl chloride, arsenic, barium, beryllium, lead, manganese, and vanadium exceeded their comparison values (Table 3). Chemicals exceeding their comparison values in on-site shallow monitoring wells at the Yeoman Creek Landfill included benzene, vinyl chloride, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, pentachlorophenol, antimony, arsenic, beryllium, lead, manganese, and vanadium.

In deep monitoring wells at the Edwards Field Landfill, arsenic, barium, manganese, and vanadium exceed comparison values (Table 4). In deep monitoring wells at the Yeoman Creek Landfill, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, pentachlorophenol, arsenic, beryllium, lead, manganese, and nickel exceeded their comparison values.

4. Surface Soil and Sediments

Surface soil was sampled from leachate seeps of the two landfills (Table 5). At the Edwards Field Landfill, benzo(a)pyrene was the only organic chemical that exceeded its comparison value. In leachate seep soil from the Yeoman Creek Landfill, PCBs exceeded their comparison values. For the other organic chemicals in Table 5, no comparison values are available, so they will be further evaluated. The concentrations of all inorganic chemicals in Edwards Field Landfill and Yeoman Creek Landfill surface soil were within reported state or regional background levels (Table 5) and will not be evaluated further.

In sediments of Yeoman Creek adjacent to the Yeoman Creek Landfill and adjacent to the Edwards Field Landfill, organic chemicals that exceeded their comparison values included benzo(a)pyrene and PCBs (Table 6). In sediments from the marsh on the Edwards Field Landfill, only benzo(a)pyrene exceeded its comparison value. For the other organic chemicals presented in Table 6, no comparison values are available, so they will be further evaluated. The concentrations of all detected inorganic chemicals in Yeoman Creek sediments were within reported state or regional background levels (IEPA, 1994). In sediments from the on-site marsh on the Edwards Field Landfill, cadmium and lead exceeded state and regional background levels (Table 6).

5. Surface Water

In surface water of Yeoman Creek adjacent to the Yeoman Creek Landfill, bromodichloromethane, methylene chloride, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, arsenic, and manganese exceeded their comparison values (Table 8). In this stream adjacent to the Edwards Field Landfill, methylene chloride, PCBs, and manganese exceed comparison values. In surface water from the Edwards Field marsh, antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, lead, manganese, nickel, vanadium, and zinc exceeded their comparison values.

B. Off-site Contamination

1. Air

The concentrations of chemicals in off-site outdoor air near either of the two landfills are unknown. However, according to the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) database, there were several industries in Waukegan (zip codes 60085 and 60087) that released a reportable quantity of toxic substances to the air during 1991-93 (Table 9). Of the chemicals reported in the TRI (1995), acetone, ethyl benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethane, xylenes, antimony, barium, chromium, manganese, nickel, and zinc were found in on- or off-site samples. In addition, the general use of fossil fuels in a city environment would result in emissions of benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, other petroleum hydrocarbons, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

In the basement of one building north of the site, monitoring during the RI found flammable concentrations of combustible gases (presumed to be methane, but not verified), and unmeasured concentrations of benzene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, ethyl benzene, styrene, toluene, and vinyl chloride. It is unknown whether these latter chemicals were present at levels of concern or above concentrations commonly found in indoor or urban air.

2. Groundwater

Arsenic, beryllium, and manganese were found in shallow, upgradient wells (Table 3). In shallow off-site wells east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill, arsenic, barium, beryllium, lead, manganese, and vanadium exceeded their comparison values.

Arsenic, beryllium, lead, and manganese were found in upgradient deep groundwater (Table 4). In off-site deep monitoring wells east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill, benzene, arsenic, barium, lead, and manganese exceed comparison values.

3. Sediments

In upstream (background) Yeoman Creek sediments, benzo(a)pyrene was the only organic chemical that exceeded its comparison value (Table 6). In the sediments of Yeoman Creek between the two landfills, benzo(a)pyrene and PCBs exceeded their screening values. In Yeoman Creek sediments downstream from the Edwards Field Landfill and near Glen Flora Avenue, chemicals exceeding comparison values included benzo(a)pyrene, pentachlorophenol, and PCBs. The off-site marshes are south and east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill. In these sediments, benzo(a)pyrene was the only organic chemical present above the comparison value. All other organic chemicals found in off-site sediments (Table 6) have no comparison values, so they will be evaluated further. None of the inorganic chemicals detected in off-site sediments exceeded state and regional background levels (Table 6).

4. Surface Soil

In background surface soil, benzo(a)pyrene was the only organic chemical that exceeded its comparison value (Table 7). In off-site surface soil from the perimeter of the Edwards Field Landfill, benzo(a)pyrene and PCBs exceeded their comparison values. In off-site surface soil from the perimeter of the Yeoman Creek Landfill, benzo(a)pyrene, dieldrin, and PCBs exceeded comparison values. For all other organic chemicals in Table 7, no comparison values exist, so they will be evaluated further. All of the inorganic chemicals detected in the background or off-site perimeter surface soils were within state or regional background levels, except antimony found at the perimeter of the Yeoman Creek Landfill (Table 7).

According to the TRI (1995), only one company, Schuller International Incorporated Manville Roofing Systems, discharged a reportable quantity of hazardous substances to the ground. In 1992 and 1993, the company discharged antimony compounds in the amounts of 803 and 1,052 pounds, respectively. Also, 5,300, 1,901, and 2,311 pounds of dicabromodiphenyl oxide were applied to the land in 1991, 1992, and 1993, respectively. This industry is more than 1 mile east of the Yeoman Creek and Edwards Field Landfills.

5. Surface Water

Lead and manganese were found in Yeoman Creek surface water upstream of the site (Table 8). In this stream between the two landfills, only manganese exceeded its screening value. In Yeoman Creek downstream of the Edwards Field Landfill and near Glen Flora Avenue, chemicals of concern included bromodichloromethane, pentachlorophenol, arsenic, and manganese. In surface water from the off-site marshes south and east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill, acetone, methylene chloride, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, arsenic, lead, and manganese exceeded their comparison values.

The sampling analyses do not indicate the oxidative state of the chromium detected in the various site media. Chromium occurs in several states, with trivalent chromium being an essential nutrient required in small amounts. Only hexavalent chromium has been associated with toxic effects. If the chromium detected were in this state, then chromium would exceed its comparison value in the surface water from the marsh on the Edwards Field Landfill.

According to the TRI (1995), no industries in Waukegan Zip Codes 60085 or 60087 released a reportable quantity of any hazardous substance to surface water.

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

The USEPA RI (ICF Kaiser, 1994; Golder, 1994) stated that contractors followed acceptable quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures for chain of custody, blanks, and laboratory procedures; however, they did not quantitatively measure the concentrations of chemicals in the air of buildings north of the site, either before or after the ventilation system was installed. In the past (i.e., before the ventilation system was installed), this was the most likely location for significant exposure to site contaminants. Also, the USEPA RI (Golder, 1994) did not provide estimates of the population at various distances from the site, and the population numbers cited were outdated estimates for the population of Waukegan.

For all other documents used, IDPH assumed that adequate QA/QC measures were followed regarding chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. The analyses, conclusions, and recommendations in this public health assessment are valid only if the referenced documents are complete and reliable.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

In the basement of one building north of the site, flammable concentrations of combustible gases were found. Installation of a ventilation system has alleviated this situation. In the past, a fire occurred in the sump of a building north of the Yeoman Creek Landfill, but the cause was not determined. Fires have also occurred on the Yeoman Creek Landfill. At the southern end of the Edwards Field Landfill near Roger Edwards Avenue, we noted several physical hazards, including a pile of broken concrete and soil about 12 feet high, an old mattress, and dumped metal.

PATHWAYS ANALYSES

A hazardous chemical can affect people only if they contact it through an exposure pathway at a sufficient concentration to cause a toxic effect. This requires a source of exposure, an environmental transport medium, a route of exposure, and an exposed population (point of exposure). A pathway is complete if all of its components are present and people were exposed in the past, are currently exposed, or will be exposed in the future. If (1) parts of an exposure pathway are absent, (2) data are insufficient to determine if it is complete, or (3) exposure may occur at some time (past, present, future), then it is a potential pathway. If a part of an exposure pathway is not present and will never exist, the pathway is incomplete and can be eliminated from further consideration. The exposure pathways at this site are summarized in Table 10.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

1. Air

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the wastes can dissolve in groundwater and move in groundwater or remain as soil gas. Soil gas can migrate to the surface, potentially contaminating the outside air, or move laterally through the soil. If this gas or contaminated groundwater reaches buildings, VOCs may penetrate into the buildings and be inhaled by building occupants.

Flammable concentrations of combustible gases, and unmeasured levels of benzene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, ethyl benzene, styrene, toluene, and vinyl chloride were found in the basement of one building north of the site. A ventilation system was installed to dilute the gases and eliminate the explosion danger (Boyce, 1995; Golder, 1994). Because concentrations were not measured, it is unknown if some chemicals (other than combustible gases) were present above levels commonly found in indoor or urban air. The degradation of organic matter in a landfill can produce methane gas, which is flammable. In addition, the Yeoman Creek Landfill was a former peat bog that was mined, and the subsurface decay of any remaining peat could also produce methane gas. Because the concentrations of chemicals were not measured, the source of contaminants cannot be positively established, although landfill gas is suspected.

The building north of the site where flammable gases and other chemicals were detected has several businesses on the first floor and apartments on the second. The basement is mainly used for storage, and for meat cutting by a first-floor restaurant (Boyce, 1995). Extended occupancy of the basement is unlikely, so exposure there has been and will likely continue to be negligible. It is not known if chemicals in landfill gas have reached the first or second floors of this building. If people smoke in the restaurant or apartments, this would be a source of VOCs that may confound any study of gases entering the building. The present ventilation system should reduce the concentrations of chemicals and, hence, exposure to contaminants.

In the ambient air at the Yeoman Creek Landfill, elevated levels of combustible gases and VOCs were reported at five locations, but the chemicals were neither identified nor quantified (Golder, 1994). Trespassers or on-site workers are assumed to inhale chemicals in the on-site ambient air; however, this exposure is infrequent and of short duration because of difficulty accessing the site.

2. Soil

Surface soil at the site is believed to be contaminated by direct contact with wastes. Precipitation infiltrates wastes in the landfill, dissolves contaminants, and becomes leachate. When this leachate reaches the surface, surface soil becomes contaminated. Both landfills have contaminated surface soil caused by leachate seeps. However, both landfills are well-vegetated, which minimizes trespassers' contact with contaminated soil. On-site workers and trespassers may contact contaminated soil, particularly if they perform excavations. Remediation workers should use protective equipment.

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

1. Groundwater

A groundwater investigation conducted during the RI determined that the nearest private wells, about 1.5 miles north of the site, are not at risk of contamination because of a discontinuity in the contaminated aquifer. Furthermore, plumes of contaminated groundwater usually extend no more than 0.6 miles from a landfill (Christensen et al., 1994). Nearby businesses and residences are served by the municipal supply of Waukegan, which takes water from Lake Michigan and is not at risk of contamination by the landfill. Consequently, the ingestion of polluted groundwater from the site is not of concern, and nonvolatile chemicals in it will not be further considered in this document. If contaminated groundwater contacts buildings, dissolved VOCs may enter them and be inhaled. Leachate in each of the two landfills moves roughly in the direction of Yeoman Creek (Figure 2). VOCs in leachate, therefore, are more likely to contact buildings at the Yeoman Creek Landfill. Benzene, methylene chloride, and toluene were the VOCs found in Yeoman Creek Landfill leachate.

2. Sediments

Contaminated surface soil could be eroded from the landfill and washed into on- or off-site surface water bodies, contaminating sediments. Chemicals in leachate could also move through groundwater to surface water bodies (Yeoman Creek or on- or off-site marshes), potentially contaminating their sediments. At each landfill, drainage pathways and leachate seeps are shown in Figure 3.

People may be exposed to contaminated sediments through dermal contact and ingestion. Because children like to play in streams, their exposure to contaminated sediments is more likely than adults. Before it was fenced, Yeoman Creek near the apartments west of the site was the most likely location for the exposure of children to sediments. The marshy shore of Yeoman Creek near the Edwards Field Landfill would discourage access to that part of the stream. Similarly, on- and off-site marshes are less likely places for the exposure of children to sediments. Remediation workers may be exposed to contaminated sediments, which warrants the use of protective equipment.

3. Surface Water

As previously described for sediments, surface water may become contaminated by runoff from the landfill or polluted groundwater. The sampled surface water bodies are not used for municipal water, and few people would ingest surface water, so its consumption is not of concern. People may be exposed to contaminated surface water through dermal contact. Because children like to play in streams, their exposure to contaminated surface water is more likely than adults. Before it was fenced, Yeoman Creek near the apartments west of the site was the most likely location for the exposure of children to surface water. The marshy shore of Yeoman Creek near the Edwards Field Landfill would discourage access to that part of the stream. Similarly, the exposure of children to on- or off-site marsh surface water is less likely. Remediation workers may be exposed to contaminated surface water, which warrants the use of protective equipment.

C. Eliminated Exposure Pathways

1. Biota

Some site chemicals can accumulate in plants and animals. However, Yeoman Creek is too small to be fished, and hunting is not allowed within the City of Waukegan. The consumption of plants from either landfill is unlikely. Consequently, the consumption of contaminated plants or animals is an eliminated pathway that will not be further considered.

PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

A. Toxicological Evaluation

To evaluate potential health effects, the estimated exposure doses to site-related compounds were compared with health effects information in the literature, primarily ATSDR Toxicological Profiles. ATSDR and USEPA have developed chemical-specific guidelines for evaluating the potential for adverse health effects as a result of exposure to chemicals in air, water, and soil. ATSDR has developed Minimum Risk Levels (MRLs) to help evaluate noncancerous health effects. An MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a contaminant below which noncancerous adverse health effects are unlikely to occur. The exposure is expressed as milligrams of chemical per kilogram of body weight per day (mg/kg/d) for oral exposure. MRLs are developed for both the oral and inhalation routes of exposure. They are also developed for different lengths of exposure, such as acute (14 days or less), intermediate (15 to 364 days), and chronic (365 days or more). If an estimated exposure dose exceeds an MRL, it can be compared to the Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) for a specific health effect in animals or humans.

A USEPA Reference Dose (RfD) is an estimate of the daily exposure (mg/kg/d) to the public that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of harmful noncancerous effects during a lifetime. USEPA has also developed health advisories for exposure to drinking water for periods of one-day, ten-days, longer-term, and lifetime exposures to noncarcinogens. USEPA also evaluates the potential of a chemical to cause carcinogenic (cancer) effects over a lifetime. To do this, they have estimated cancer slope factors for certain chemicals with sufficient toxicological information on cancerous effects. These cancer slope factors are estimates of the potency of a chemical to cause cancer and are used to estimate the cancer risk of specific doses. However, these risk estimates are extremely conservative and are meant to protect susceptible members of the public. There is a 95 percent probability the actual risk is no higher, is probably lower, and may be zero. Furthermore, cancer risk estimates are extrapolated to low doses from high dose animal or human (usually occupational exposure) studies. This approach is somewhat controversial. Some researchers believe body repair mechanisms can handle low doses, and that higher doses are needed to cause cancer. Some people also question the validity of high to low dose extrapolation. Until more information on carcinogenesis becomes available, USEPA takes the conservative approach that there is no threshold and any exposure to a carcinogen carries a finite risk.

USEPA has established a weight-of-evidence classification system for carcinogens based on the adequacy and consistency of the available human and animal data. Group A compounds are known human carcinogens (usually occupational exposure). Group B1 chemicals are probable human carcinogens based on limited human data. Group B2 compounds are probable human carcinogens based on sufficient evidence in animals, but inadequate or no evidence in people. Group C chemicals are possible human carcinogens based on limited data. Group D compounds are not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity because of inadequate or no data. For group E chemicals, evidence exists that they do not cause cancer.

In the exposure estimate calculations for drinking water consumption, we used one liter per day for children and two liters per day for adults. Soil ingestion rates used were 5,000 milligrams per day for pica children and 100 milligrams per day for adults. Pica children are children usually less than 6 years of age who display a tendency to eat non-food items, including dirt. Body weights used were 10 kilograms for children and 70 kilograms for adults. For residents, daily exposure was assumed.

1. Volatile Organic Compounds

a. Acetone

Acetone exceeded it comparison value only in surface water of the marshes south and east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill. Absorption of acetone is nearly complete after inhalation or ingestion, and it can also be absorbed through the skin. Acetone is produced naturally in the body during the breakdown of fat, and it can be used by the body to make fats and sugars. After absorption, acetone is mostly converted to fats and sugars. Unaltered acetone is mainly exhaled in breath, some of it is eliminated in urine, and it does not persist long in the body. Acetone increases the activities of enzymes that break down foreign chemicals in the body. The products of these enzymes may be more or less toxic, depending on the parent compound (ATSDR, 1992a). While health effects have been observed after dermal application of pure acetone (ATSDR, 1992a), no studies have been performed after dermal application of dilute solutions. Dermal contact of marsh surface water has probably been infrequent, with the marshy shoreline further inhibiting access. Consequently, exposure to acetone has probably been negligible, and no adverse health effects are expected as a result of occasional exposure.

b. Bromodichloromethane

Bromodichloromethane exceeded its comparison value in the surface water of Yeoman Creek at the Yeoman Creek Landfill and downstream of the Edwards Field Landfill. It is readily absorbed after ingestion and is probably also absorbed after inhalation or skin contact, but this has not been studied (ATSDR, 1989a).

There have not been any studies of health effects following dermal exposure to bromodichloromethane. In rats, ingestion of this compound can cause kidney, liver, and intestinal cancer, and its consumption can also cause kidney and liver tumors in mice (ATSDR, 1989a). USEPA has classified bromodichloromethane in Group B2. However, cancer has not been observed after dermal exposure. Exposure to bromodichloromethane in Yeoman Creek surface water is probably infrequent and likely negligible; therefore, no adverse health effects are expected as a result of occasional exposure.

c. Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride exceeded its comparison value in surface water of Yeoman Creek at both landfills and in marshes south and east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill. It can be absorbed after dermal contact, inhalation, or ingestion, with about 70 percent of inhaled methylene chloride being absorbed. After absorption, it is distributed to the brain, fatty tissue, kidney, liver, and lungs. Some methylene chloride is broken down into carbon monoxide, which is also toxic. Most unchanged methylene chloride is eliminated in breath within two days of exposure (ATSDR, 1991f). There have been few studies of animals or humans after dermal exposure to methylene chloride, and those cases have involved direct contact with the pure liquid rather than a dilute solution. In mice and rats, inhalation of methylene chloride can cause liver and lung cancer, but studies of occupationally exposed people have been negative (ATSDR, 1991f). USEPA has classified it as a Group B2 carcinogen. Dermal contact with on- and off-site surface water is likely infrequent; consequently, exposure to methylene chloride is probably negligible, and no adverse health effects are expected as a result of occasional exposure.

2. Semi-volatile Organic Compounds

a. Dibenzofuran

Dibenzofuran was detected in on-site leachate seep soil at the Yeoman Creek Landfill, and in all sediments except those in marshes south and east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill. No information on noncarcinogenic effects of dibenzofuran could be found. There have been no animal or human studies of the possible carcinogenicity of dibenzofuran. It has not caused mutations in experiments with bacteria (TOXNET, 1992).

b. 1,4-Dichlorobenzene

1,4-Dichlorobenzene was found in on-site surface leachate seep soil at both landfills. It can be absorbed after ingestion or inhalation, but it is unknown whether it can be absorbed after dermal contact (ATSDR, 1991c). Noncancerous health effects in animals and humans (ATSDR, 1991c) have been observed at much higher doses than possible from exposure to soil at either landfill. In people, chronic exposure to levels more than 1,000 times higher than those found in on-site soil can cause eye and throat irritation. After oral administration of 1,4-dichlorobenzene, liver cancer has been observed in male, but not female rats. In addition, kidney cancer has been observed in mice. It is unknown whether 1,4-dichlorobenzene can cause cancer in humans (ATSDR, 1991c). The National Toxicology Program has classified 1,4-dichlorobenzene as "reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen" based on sufficient animal evidence and inadequate human evidence. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified it as "possibly carcinogenic" in humans. Exposure of trespassers or on-site workers to on-site leachate seep soil would probably be infrequent and not result in adverse health effects. Remediation workers should use protective equipment because their exposure would likely be greater than that of a trespasser.

c. Dieldrin

Dieldrin exceeded its comparison value only in off-site perimeter surface soil near the Yeoman Creek Landfill. It can be absorbed after dermal contact, inhalation, or ingestion. It accumulates in fat and is eliminated from the body very slowly (ATSDR, 1991a). Ingestion of off-site perimeter soil with the highest concentration of dieldrin would exceed the chronic MRL for children, but not adults. In one mouse study, two week ingestion of a dose 250 times higher than possible from eating off-site perimeter soil inhibited the immunological system. In mice, dieldrin can cause liver cancer (ATSDR, 1991a). USEPA has classified it as a Group B2 carcinogen. They have developed a cancer slope factor for dieldrin, which can be used to estimate the risk of specific doses. Lifetime daily ingestion of perimeter soil with the highest detected concentration of dieldrin would result in an estimated low increased risk of cancer. However, lifetime daily ingestion of this soil is unlikely, as the exposure of trespassers and on-site workers would probably be infrequent, resulting in negligible exposure and no adverse health effects.

d. bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate

Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate exceeded its comparison value in the surface water of Yeoman Creek along the Yeoman Creek Landfill and marshes south and east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill. It is readily absorbed after inhalation or ingestion, and some is absorbed after dermal contact (ATSDR, 1991d). After absorption, most of it is converted into monoethylhexyl phthalate and 2-ethylhexanol. These compounds go to the kidneys, liver, and testes, and small amounts are stored in fats. Most of these chemicals are eliminated from the body within 24 hours (ATSDR, 1991d).

Little information exists on the effects of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate in humans. Most of the information on this chemical comes from animal studies, and most of them involved exposure routes other than skin contact. Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate does not cause skin irritation, but other effects after dermal exposure have not been investigated. In mice and rats, ingestion of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate can cause liver cancer after oral exposure (ATSDR, 1991d). USEPA has classified it as a Group B2 carcinogen. Dermal exposure to on- or off-site surface water is likely infrequent, so exposure to this compound is probably negligible, and adverse health effects from occasional exposure are not expected.

e. 2-Methylnaphthalene

2-Methylnaphthalene was found in the sediments of Yeoman Creek along and downstream of the Yeoman Creek Landfill, and in surface leachate seep soil of the Yeoman Creek Landfill. It can be absorbed after inhalation, ingestion, or dermal contact (ATSDR, 1993a). There have not been any studies of health effects of 2-methylnaphthalene administered in animals or humans. In one mouse study, a mixture containing 2-methylnaphthalene, naphthalene, and 10 other methylated and ethylated naphthalenes appeared to inhibit the development of benzo(a)pyrene-induced skin tumors (ATSDR, 1993a). Exposures to 2-methylnaphthalene contaminated creek sediments and surface soil of Yeoman Creek Landfill would likely be infrequent, of short duration, and probably negligible; therefore, no adverse health effects are expected to result from occasional exposure.

f. 4-Methylphenol (p-Cresol)

4-Methylphenol was detected in surface leachate seep soil of the Yeoman Creek Landfill. It can be absorbed after dermal contact, inhalation, or ingestion. Most absorbed 4-methylphenol is eliminated from the body within one day (ATSDR, 1990b). The detected concentrations of 4-methylphenol did not exceed the MRL, so noncancerous adverse health effects are not expected. There are no cancer studies in humans or animals following oral exposure to methylphenols; however, one short-term animal study suggested that they may act to promote cancers from other causes (ATSDR, 1990b). The exposure of trespassers or on-site workers to leachate seep soil of the Yeoman Creek Landfill would probably be infrequent and result in negligible exposure. Adverse health effects are not expected as a result of occasional exposure.

g. 2-Nitrophenol

2-Nitrophenol was found only in sediments of the marsh on the Edwards Field Landfill. It can be absorbed after inhalation or ingestion, and some may be absorbed after skin contact. Once absorbed, it is changed into other chemicals that are eliminated from the body through urine in a few hours (ATSDR, 1990c). There is very little information on the health effects of this compound after oral exposure. No health effects were reported by ATSDR (1990c) for sublethal concentrations after oral exposure. Regular ingestion of marsh sediments is unlikely, so exposure is probably negligible; therefore, no adverse health effects are expected as a result of occasional exposure.

h. Pentachlorophenol

Pentachlorophenol exceeded its comparison value in sediments of the Edwards Field Landfill marsh and the sediments and surface water of Yeoman Creek downstream from the Edwards Field Landfill. It is readily absorbed after inhalation or dermal contact, and it is also absorbed after ingestion. After absorption, half the chemical is eliminated from the body in 33 hours to 14 days (Tsai, 1994; ATSDR, 1992b). Ingestion of sediments from Yeoman Creek with the maximum concentration found downstream of the two landfills would exceed the intermediate oral MRL or chronic oral RfD for a child, but not an adult. In cows, a dose about 200 times higher than possible from on- or off-site exposure may cause kidney damage; however, impurities present in the pentachlorophenol may have contributed to this toxicity. In mice and rats, oral exposure to pentachlorophenol has been associated with cancer of the adrenal gland, liver, and spleen (mice only). However, this compound is often contaminated with polychlorinated dioxins, which can cause liver cancer in mice, but not the other cancers (ATSDR, 1992b). It is unknown whether polychlorinated dioxins are present on-site. Based on the animal studies, USEPA has developed a cancer slope factor, that can be used to estimate cancer risks from lifetime exposure. If we apply this slope factor to a lifetime consumption of sediments containing the highest concentration of pentachlorophenol found, the estimated exposure would result in an insignificant or no increased risk of developing cancer. Regular lifetime consumption of on- or off-site sediments or dermal contact with Yeoman Creek surface water is unlikely, so exposure to pentachlorophenol is probably negligible. No adverse health effects are expected as a result of occasional exposure.

i. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

PCBs exceeded comparison values in all non-background Yeoman Creek sediments, surface leachate seep soil of the Edwards Field Landfill, off-site perimeter surface soil near both landfills, and surface water of Yeoman Creek at the Edwards Field Landfill. PCBs can be absorbed after ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact. PCBs will accumulate in organisms, primarily in fat (ATSDR, 1995b). Eating soil or sediments with the maximum concentrations of PCBs found in surface leachate seep soil of the Yeoman Creek Landfill or Yeoman Creek sediments at the Yeoman Creek Landfill would exceed the chronic oral MRL for pica children and adults. Ingestion of off-site perimeter surface soil from both landfills or sediments from Yeoman Creek downstream from the Yeoman Creek Landfill would exceed the MRL only for pica children. Exposure to on-site sediments or soils would have been more likely before the erection of site fences. Vegetation also would minimize exposure to contaminated soil. Before the site fence was built, children playing in Yeoman Creek by the apartments west of the Yeoman Creek Landfill may have been exposed to PCBs in sediments, but this has not been documented.

Dermatitis has been observed in studies of people occupationally exposed to PCBs, but these people were exposed to higher doses than are likely on-site. Young children of women who ate food containing certain concentrations of PCBs before and during pregnancy may have some trouble learning; however, because of exposure to other chemicals like DDT, it is uncertain whether PCBs were the cause. Furthermore, such exposure is unlikely on site. Animals given certain concentrations of PCBs in food for several weeks or months exhibited liver and thyroid gland damage, as well as anemia, acne, damaged reproduction, eye irritation, and immune suppression.

Mice and rats given PCBs in food exhibited liver cancer, and other cancers (stomach, intestine) may also be elevated. Cancer studies of occupationally-exposed workers have been inconclusive. Commercial PCB mixtures are generally contaminated with polychlorinated dibenzofurans, which may be at least partially responsible for the observed health effects of PCBs (ATSDR, 1995b). It is unknown whether polychlorinated dibenzofurans are present on or off site. USEPA has classified PCBs as Group B2 carcinogens, based on adequate animal evidence. The lifetime daily ingestion of surface leachate seep soil from the Yeoman Creek Landfill would result in an estimated moderate increased risk of developing cancer. Daily lifetime consumption of sediments of Yeoman Creek at the Yeoman Creek Landfill, between the two landfills, or at the Edwards Field Landfill would result in an estimated low increased risk of developing cancer. Lifetime daily ingestion of sediments from Yeoman Creek downstream from the two landfills or off-site perimeter surface soil from either landfill would result in an estimated no apparent increased risk of developing cancer. Absorption of PCBs from the types of soils found on site and the frequency of exposure are unknown; consequently, we cannot establish whether any of these health effects are possible from on or off site exposure. Daily lifetime ingestion of any of these media is unlikely, and vegetation would further decrease soil exposure. Regular dermal exposure to on- or off-site surface water is also unlikely. Exposure to PCBs in all these media is probably negligible, and no adverse health effects are expected from occasional exposure.

j. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Many compounds found in the various media were PAHs, including acenaphthylene, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene, and phenanthrene. These chemicals are common combustion products and were found in all sampled sediments and soils, as well as in surface water from Yeoman Creek at the Edwards Field Landfill, the marsh on the Edwards Field Landfill, and marshes south and east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill. PAHs can be absorbed after inhalation or ingestion, but dermal absorption would occur only at much higher concentrations than those found on or off site (ATSDR, 1993b). Daily ingestion of any of the sampled media containing benzo(a)pyrene would not exceed the chronic oral MRL for a pica child or adult; consequently, noncancerous effects are not expected.

Many PAHs are suspected carcinogens. Benz(a)anthracene can cause skin cancer in mice, and it may also cause liver and lung cancer after oral administration. In animals, benzo(a)pyrene can cause many types of tumors, including leukemia (ingestion) and cancers of the esophagus (ingestion), forestomach (ingestion), larynx (ingestion), liver (ingestion), lung (inhalation or ingestion), mammary glands (ingestion), and skin (dermal exposure). Benz(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, and indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene can cause cancer in animals after dermal exposure. Dibenz(a,h)anthracene may cause cancer after oral exposure, but problems with the two available studies make conclusions difficult. Mixtures of PAHs, such as coal tar, can also cause cancer in animals. Anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene cannot cause cancer in animals when administered alone (ATSDR, 1993b).

USEPA has developed a cancer slope factor for benzo(a)pyrene, and toxicity equivalency factors to use with other PAHs. Lifetime consumption of sediments with the highest concentration of PAHs in sediments from the Edwards Field marsh would result in an estimated high increased cancer risk. Lifetime consumption of sediments from Yeoman Creek, except for downstream from the two landfills, would result in an estimated moderate increased risk of developing cancer. Ingesting sediments from Yeoman Creek downstream from the two landfills or the marshes south and east of the Yeoman Creek Landfill would result in an estimated no apparent increased risk of developing cancer. Lifetime daily incidental ingestion of any of these media, however, is unlikely, and exposure to them is likely negligible. No adverse health effects are expected as a result of occasional exposure.

3. Inorganic Elements

a. Antimony

Antimony exceeded its comparison value in off-site perimeter soil near the Yeoman Creek Landfill. It can enter the body after ingestion or inhalation (ATSDR, 1990a). In rats, ingestion of antimony at levels about 11 times higher than those in off-site perimeter surface soil near the Yeoman Creek Landfill caused decreased weight gain in pregnant females and decreased blood pressure. In humans, exposure to much higher levels of antimony can cause increased blood pressure, so the meaning of the rat data is unclear. In people, consumption of antimony at levels about 80 times higher than in off-site perimeter soil near the Yeoman Creek Landfill can cause nausea and vomiting. While animals have contracted lung cancer after breathing antimony dust, no animal or human cancer studies were found regarding chronic ingestion of antimony (ATSDR, 1990a). Ingestion of off-site surface soil from the perimeter of the Yeoman Creek Landfill would exceed the chronic RfD for pica children but not for adults. Regular consumption of this medium is unlikely, and exposure is probably negligible. Vegetation would minimize the exposure of people to off-site perimeter soil of the Yeoman Creek Landfill.

b. Cadmium

Cadmium exceeded state background levels only in sediments from the Edwards Field Landfill marsh. Cadmium is readily absorbed after inhalation or ingestion, but little enters the body after dermal contact. Once absorbed, it accumulates in the body, particularly in the kidney and liver. It can also bioaccumulate in fish, livestock, and plants (ATSDR, 1991b). Chronic exposure to low levels of cadmium can result in enough accumulation in humans to cause toxic effects, including kidney damage, and possibly anemia, endocrine alterations, high blood pressure, immunosuppression, and loss of smell. Cadmium exposure in pregnant women may result in lower birth weights, but birth defects have not been observed in humans (ATSDR, 1991b). Ingestion of sediments from the Edwards Field marsh with the maximum cadmium concentration would exceed the chronic oral MRL for a pica child, but not in an adult. Regular consumption of sediments is unlikely, so exposure is probably negligible. No adverse health effects are expected as a result of occasional exposure.

c. Lead

Lead exceeded state and regional background levels in on-site leachate seep soil from the Yeoman Creek Landfill and sediments from the marsh on the Edwards Field Landfill. Lead is not appreciably absorbed through the skin, thus inhalation and ingestion are the typical exposure routes. After inhalation, nearly all of the lead deposited in the lower respiratory tract is absorbed, whatever the chemical form. After ingestion, absorption in children is about 50 percent, while only 8 to 15 percent of ingested lead is absorbed by adults. In adults, the absorption of lead after fasting can be up to 45 percent. Lead uptake is higher in people with inadequate calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc intakes, and it is also increased by fatty foods. In children, about 30 percent of the ingested lead in soil is absorbed. In the body, lead is mostly deposited in bone, with a half-life of 27 years. The half-life of a chemical in the body is the time for half of it to be eliminated. In adults, 95 percent of the lead body burden is in bone, while about 73 percent of it is in the bone of children. Lead in bones is liberated during pregnancy and lactation. It can readily pass the placenta, and because of its persistence in bone, fetal uptake can occur long after maternal exposure has ended (ATSDR, 1991e).

The most serious effect of lead is neurological impairment, and children are the most susceptible. In children, prenatal exposure, as well as postnatal blood lead levels of 10 to 15 micrograms per deciliter, have been associated with many disabilities, including cognitive deficit (decreased IQ), decreased growth, reduced birth weight, and reduced hearing. There seems to be no threshold below which lead does not affect IQ or hearing (ATSDR, 1991e), and the neurological effects of lead seem to be permanent (Needleman et al., 1990).

In children, lead can cause kidney damage at blood lead levels of 30 micrograms per deciliter, as well as vitamin D deficiency and symptoms of rickets above about 33 micrograms per deciliter (ATSDR, 1991e). Because of their greater uptake, slower elimination, and greater sensitivity to lead, children 6 years old or less are the most susceptible.

Because of restricted site access, exposure to lead contamination would likely be infrequent and probably negligible, and no adverse health effects are expected.

d. Nickel

Nickel exceeded its comparison value in the surface water from the marsh on the Edwards Field Landfill. Small amounts of nickel are essential for the health of animals and may also be important for people, but high concentrations are harmful. Nickel can be absorbed after ingestion or inhalation, and a small amount can be absorbed after dermal contact. Most ingested nickel is not absorbed but is eliminated in the feces. After absorption, most nickel is transported to the kidneys and is eliminated in the urine. Oral and dermal exposure to nickel have been known to cause allergy. Sensitized people exhibit skin dermatitis after being dermally exposed to nickel (ATSDR, 1995a). Lung and nasal cancer have been observed after occupational exposure (ATSDR, 1995a); however, these people were exposed to much higher levels than found in the marsh surface water. Furthermore, regular exposure to the marsh surface water is unlikely, and exposure is probably negligible.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

There have not been any health studies of people around the Yeoman Creek or Edwards Field Landfills. While people in buildings north of the Yeoman Creek Landfill may have inhaled contaminants that entered the structures, the concentrations are unknown. Consequently, we do not know whether they were exposed to levels that may cause health effects. The site is well-vegetated, which should minimize contact with soil and dust production. Children who live in the apartments west of the Yeoman Creek Landfill may have been exposed to contaminants in Yeoman Creek, but we have not documented such exposures. Because we do not know whether significant exposure to site contaminants has occurred and because no adverse health outcomes have been reported, no health studies are warranted at this time. In the future, if new data show that exposure of people is occurring at levels of health concern, the need for health studies will be reevaluated.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

The only known community health concern regarding the Yeoman Creek and Edwards Field Landfills is the possible contamination of Lake Michigan through leachate seeping into Yeoman Creek. Because of the large volume of Lake Michigan and the levels of contaminants in Yeoman Creek, any contribution of leachate from either landfill to pollution in Lake Michigan would almost certainly be negligible.


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