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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT ADDENDUM

CHEM-DYNE CORPORATION
HAMILTON, BUTLER COUNTY, OHIO


CONCLUSIONS

Currently, soil and air at the Chem-Dyne site pose a no apparent public health risk to area residents, workers, or trespassers on the site. These media are not likely to pose a risk in the future. The site is in the Long Term Remedial Action stage of site clean-up. Contaminated soil and buildings on site have been removed, demolished, or capped and the air and soil pathways are eliminated.

Off-site groundwater, however, is still contaminated with several chemicals which could pose a risk to human health if exposure occurs. Off-site groundwater poses an indeterminate public health hazard as it is not known if nearby plants utilize the water for plant processes. It is not known if these facilities monitor the water once it enters the plant. Using contaminated water in heating, air conditioning, or as cooling water does not pose a significant risk to workers in these plants. Only in the plants where the water is not used in a closed systems such as for heating and cooling are workers at risk. In order to determine whether or not area workers may be exposed to contaminated groundwater used in plant processing, ODH will contact each potentially impacted business to survey how the groundwater water is used and whether or not it is sampled on a regular basis.

If area residents continue to eat fish caught in the Ford Canal, they could be exposed to site-related chemicals. ODH recommends that people not eat any fish advisory caught in the canal because of contamination with PCBs, other organic compounds, and metals. It is possible that people may continue to eat contaminated fish from the canal.

In the past, when the site was in operation, Chem-Dyne site likely posed a public health hazard. This means that people, primarily on-site workers, were likely exposed to chemicals in the air and the soil. How long the exposure could have lasted is not known. The business opened in 1976, was closed in 1980, and final soil remediation was completed in 1987. After 1983, workers on site would have been required to wear proper protective clothing and equipment. Prior to about 1983, people entering the site could have still been exposed to many different chemicals in soil and in the air. Air concentrations at that time (1983) would not have been at levels where adverse health effects would occur. People working with the Chem-Dyne company would have been exposed for four years or less. While exposure to contaminated soil and air were a concern in the past, exposure has been eliminated through the clean-up of surface contamination.

Off-site workers and people living near the site may have been exposed via inhalation, although air levels on site in 1983 were below levels at which health effects have been reported, and should not have resulted in long term health effects. However, it is likely that when Chem-dyne was in operation the number and concentrations of chemicals in the air would have been higher. There is no data availbe to determine what chemicals or concentrations were in the air prior to 1983. There were at least two fires at the site in the 1970's which could have caused the release of very high levels of site-related chemicals. Area residents and workers may have experienced respiratory problems during these fires, however, the symptoms would have been episodic and not likely to continue after the fires were extinguished.

As early as 1980, people living and working near the Chem-Dyne site reported an increased incidence of headaches, dizziness, eye irritations, and nausea resulting from exposure to fumes generated by site operations. Other health-related concerns voiced by the community have included reports of high cancer rates and an epidemic of childhood leukemia in the surrounding neighborhoods. An Ohio Department of Health (ODH) survey revealed a high rate of self-reported respiratory disease in residents living within 0.5 mile of the Chem-Dyne site. The study also concluded that increased incidence of cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes were not associated with living close to the site. However, this evaluation of cancer incidence may have been impacted by a short latency period resulting from the plant being closed for a few years when the study was initiated. Most cancers require a period of 10-30 years after exposure before they appear in the exposed population.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. In order to determine whether or not nearby workers are at risk of exposure, obtain the most recent water monitoring data from facilities near the Chem-Dyne site.

2. Contact nearby businesses to determine how water from wells is used in plant operations.

Health Activity Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendation:

3. The data and information developed in this public health assessment have been evalutated for the appropriate follow-up health activities. Both air and soil were past completed exposure pathways. Area residents and former workers may have been exposed, but there is no way to determine what those chemicals were or what the concentrations were 14 years after the plant closed. Air concentrations in 1983 were below levels where health effects have been reported. In the past, residents had complained about health effects which they believed to be caused by the company. A 1989 health survey revealed a high rate of self-reported respiratory disease in residents living close to the site. We are not able to address these concerns at this time with the data currently available. The data do not indicate that people are currently being exposed to levels of chemicals that would be expected to affect their health. Therefore, no specific health follow-up actions are indicated at this time. However, additional information is needed concerning the whether or not nearby companies that use contaminated water monitor the water once it enters the plant. If data become available suggesting that human exposure to chemicals at levels of public health concern is occurring, ATSDR and ODH will reevalutate this site for follow-up health activities.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Chem-Dyne site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or ODH at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included, is a commitment on the part of ATSDR and ODH to follow-up on this plan to ensur that it is implimented.

1. ODH will survey local businesses to determine how groundwater is used in their company and to obtain the latest production well sample results.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Tracy Shelley, M.S.
Chief, Health Assessment Branch
Bureau of Epidemiology and Toxicology
Ohio Department of Health

Robert Frey, Ph.D
Geologist, Health Assessment Branch
Bureau of Epidemiology and Toxicology
Ohio Department of Health

Irena Scott, Ph.D
Researcher, Health Assessment Branch
Bureau of Epidemiology and Toxicology
Ohio Department of Health

Reviewed by B. Kim Mortensen, Ph.D
Chief, Bureau of Epidemiology and Toxicology
Ohio Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative
Louise Fabinski
Regional Operations
Senior Health Scientist
Region V

ATSDR Technical Project Officer
Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Toxicologist
Division of Health Assessment
and Consultation, Superfund Site Assessment Branch

CERTIFICATION

This Chem-Dyne Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Ohio Department of 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.


Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
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.


Richard Gillig
for Robert C. Williams, P.E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health Assessment for the Chem-Dyne Groundwater Investigation, Hamilton, Ohio. February, 1983.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. ATSDR/TP/02, 1993.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Toxicological Profile for Benzene. ATSDR/TP/03, 1993.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Draft Toxicological Profile for Chlordane. 1992.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Draft Toxicological Profile for 1,2- Dichloroethane. ATSDR, 1992.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Draft Toxicological Profile for Heptachlor/Heptachlor Epoxide. ATSDR/TP-92/11, 1993.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead. ATSDR, 1993.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Toxicological Profile for selected PCBs- 1260, 1254, -1248, -1242, -1232, -1221, and -1016. ATSDR/TP-92/16, 1993.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene. ATSDR TP-92/18, 1993.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Draft Toxicological Profile for Toluene. ATSDR, 1992.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene. ATSDR TP-92/19, 1993.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride. ATSDR/TP-92/29, 1993.

Austin, H., et al. Reviews and Commentary. Benzene and Leukemia, A Review of the Literature and a Risk Assessment. Am. J. Epidemiol. 127:3, 419-439. 1988.

Bove, F., M. Fulcomer, and J. Klotz. Population-Based Surveillance and Etiological Research of Adverse Reproductive Outcomes and Toxic Wastes, Phase IV-A and Phase IV-B. New Jersey State Department of Health. November 1992.

Byers, V., A. Levin, D. Ozonoff, and R. Baldwin. Association between clinical symptoms and lymphocyte abnormalities in a population with chronic domestic exposure to industrial solvent-contaminated domestic water supply and a high incidence of leukaemia. Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 27:77-81. 1988.

Ch2MHill. Remedial Investigation Report, Volumes 1, 2A, and 2B. Chem-Dyne Site, Hamilton, Ohio. May 1984.

Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, Ltd. 1993. Chem-Dyne Site Trust Fund, 1992 Annual Report. Chem-Dyne Site, Hamilton, Ohio.

Lagakos, S., B. Wessen, and M. Zelen. An analysis of contaminated well water and health effects in Woburn, Massachusetts. Jr. Am. Statist. Assoc. 81:583-596. 1986.

NIOSH. Health Hazard Evaluation Report. Chem-Dyne Hazardous Waste Site, Hamilton, Ohio. 1985.

Ohio Department of Health. Health Assessment of the Population in Close Proximity to the Chem-Dyne Hazardous Waste Facility. Chem-Dyne Site, Hamilton, Ohio. March 1989.

Toxics A to Z, University of California Press, 1991.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. Feasibility Study Report. Chem-Dyne Site, Hamilton, Ohio. November 1984.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. Enforcement Decision Document. Chem-Dyne Site, Hamilton, Ohio. 1985.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. Revised Community Relations Plan for the Chem-Dyne Site, Hamilton, Ohio. 1986.


GLOSSARY

Carcinogen: A chemical that causes cancer.

Chronic exposure: An exposure lasting for one year or longer.

Epidemiology: The study of the spread of diseases.

Immune system: The body's natural defense system that protects against harmful disease agents.

Leukemia: A group of often fatal diseases characterized by an uncontrolled increase in leukocytes or white blood cells.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Organic compounds that are grouped together based on similar properties. There are many chemicals which are considered to be VOCs.


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