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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

US DOE MOUND FACILITY
[a/k/a MOUND PLANT (USDOE)]
MIAMISBURG, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, OHIO


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

ATSDR and Boston University (BU) staff talked with approximately 200 people about their concerns over a 3 1/2-year period. Residents in and around Miamisburg expressed concerns that radioactive and nonradioactive (hazardous) substances originating from the Mound Plant have caused or may cause illnesses in their families, their neighbors, and themselves. Many people emphasized their concerns for the health of their children. Many people expressed alarm at the numbers of illnesses in the community.

Early in our discussions, residents and Miamisburg city officials expressed concerns for the public's safety in the Miami-Erie Canal and Miamisburg Community Park. We prepared a health consultation, in which we reviewed the available data on the contamination in these areas [6]. We presented our conclusion that the Miami-Erie Canal and the Community Park are safe in the health consultation and at public meetings with city officials, the Miamisburg City Council, and the community.

Mound Plant officials brought government and community representatives together during 1994 to discuss the future of the canals and the Miamisburg Community Park area. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the U. S. and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies convened the panel, initially called the OU4 Focus Group. DOE officials agreed to dig up the soils contaminated with plutonium and ship them off site. Subsequently, the Mound Action Committee (MAC) was formed to include additional stakeholders in the discussion of the canals removal action as well as to address a wider range of community concerns. Since the canals discussion shifted from public health to environmental management, ATSDR staff kept informed of the discussions without direct involvement. The MAC group presented agreed-upon soil clean-up levels in March 1995. At the time of the request for public comment, ATSDR staff wrote to DOE that the clean-up levels proposed by the MAC are protective of the public's health [33]. The MAC addressed many people's concerns about the plutonium in the Miami-Erie Canal and Community Park. The removal action in the canals will address a 20-year legacy in this community.

Also, early in our discussions, individuals from the community expressed fears and alarm to us, as well as to Mound Plant officials, arising from observations of activities on or near the Mound Plant. These reported plant activities included alarms sounding, helicopters flying overhead, unexplained lights, explosions, and the Mound Plant electronic sign indicating worker "injury-free" days. DOE officials and their contractors repeatedly made efforts to address these questions and concerns (and others) through private meetings and letters, telephone calls, question and answer sessions during the Mound Plant CERCLA Quarterly Public Meetings, and in their newsletters, Superfund Update and New Directions. (DOE removed the injury-free working days sign in 1994.) During the evolution of discussions between community members and Mound officials, ATSDR staff observed that these kinds of questions and fears appear to have subsided and the public has tended toward a greater interest in the interpretation and meaning of the materials in the presentations (e.g., environmental data, work priorities, and budget considerations). This is a community of people who have persistently asked questions and educated themselves. As a result, the community has developed an effective framework for subsequent discussions.

The following is a summary of the community's health-related concerns that ATSDR and BU personnel identified through meetings and telephone calls with individuals and groups, public meetings, public availability sessions, and the review of newspaper articles and other documents related to the site. These concerns are organized into five categories: (1) exposure concerns, which have to do with ways citizens feel they might have been, might currently be, or might in the future be exposed to hazardous substances from the Mound Plant; (2) health outcome concerns, which represent community health issues that may be related to the site; (3) procedural concerns, which have to do primarily with activities of DOE and its contractors; (4) concerns of Mound workers; and (5) concerns related to ATSDR. We are not able to address all of the questions and concerns that we received, and we have indicated those questions for which we do not have a response. In several cases, we have grouped concerns together that are similar and that suggest a similar response.

Exposure Concerns

  1. Were the residents of Montgomery County exposed to tritium by the accidental airborne release of tritium by the Mound Plant in 1989?

Possibly. However, ATSDR scientists do not think anyone was exposed to air concentrations of tritium at levels that would affect people's health. Gases and particulate matter released from the Mound Plant are diluted very quickly in the atmosphere. DOE air monitoring data do not show greater tritium air concentrations in 1989 than in 1988 or 1987.

  1. In the 1970s, emissions from the plant would blow over the golf course. Are there risks to people who were exposed?

Yes, but the risks are very small. Risks depend on both the concentrations of emissions and the duration of the exposures. Air monitoring stations measure the concentrations of substances in air at a distance from the plant. Environmental air data from the Mound Plant do not indicate that air emissions were ever at levels of public health concern.

  1. A resident played in and around the plant storage and holding tanks as a child. What are the long-term effects of contaminants to people who grew up playing in or near the tanks?

None. These tanks on the north side of the Main Hill were used for the Mound drinking water before the plant wells were dug. This was not a contaminated area.

  1. Were Conrail bridge workers contaminated by plutonium-238 in the Miami-Erie Canal bed?

Yes. Plutonium-238 was found on the clothing of some workers. However, ATSDR scientists do not think the workers were exposed to enough plutonium-238 for a long enough duration to be a health hazard.

  1. A resident wants to know the pathways by which she might be exposed to radionuclides from the Mound Plant.

Radionuclides from the Mound Plant are in the air, surface water, groundwater, soil and grass, and vegetation in general. The pathways are all the ways a person can come in contact with the radionuclides, such as breathing the air, drinking the water, eating locally grown produce, eating local fish and game, and touching the water or soil. In our evaluation of the environment around the Mound Plant (see Appendix F) the radiation dose to a person who eats locally grown vegetables containing naturally occurring radioactive potassium is likely going to be greater than the dose from exposures to radionuclides from the Mound facility. We do not think any of the radionuclides from the Mound facility in the environment pose a public health hazard. Merely coming in contact with radionuclides does not mean that a person will experience any adverse health effects.

  1. A resident asked, "Which chemicals might I be exposed to from the Mound Plant? How would exposure to these chemicals affect my health?"

The important chemicals that a person could be exposed to from the Mound Plant today are plutonium compounds. Past exposures could have also included tritium and polonium compounds. In addition, low levels of organic compounds, such as trichloroethene, have been frequently detected in on- and off-site production and monitoring wells. Health effects from exposures depend on the type of chemical, the quantity or concentration of the chemical, the route of exposure, and the duration of exposure. The contaminants from the Mound Plant are not presently at levels that would cause adverse health effects. See appendices A through D for a more thorough discussion of historic releases of contaminants to the environment.

  1. Can I be exposed to radiation from any source in the Miamisburg Community Park?

Yes. The sources are radioactive materials in the air, water (fishing pond), soils, and grass. ATSDR and National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory (NAREL) scientists collected samples of these environmental media in the Miamisburg Community Park and analyzed them for radionuclides. None of the results show that the radiation from any of these materials poses a health hazard. Please see Appendix E for a discussion of the results.

  1. Is there radioactive contamination off site?

Yes, in very small amounts, but not enough to cause anyone health problems.

  1. We are concerned about airborne exposure from releases of plutonium and tritium from the Mound Plant.

Air monitoring stations have never shown that air concentrations of plutonium or tritium have ever posed a health hazard. Furthermore, plutonium in soil from fallout is not at levels that pose a public health hazard.

  1. I'm concerned about contamination of the air and water by leakage, wastes and stack emissions from the plant.

All of these potential sources are monitored to ensure that if contamination occurs, it will be detected and minimized.

  1. Can residential areas be contaminated by radiation from soil removal at the Miami-Erie Canal?

It is possible, but not likely. Soil will be contained during removal operations.

  1. A resident is concerned about the park beside the plant, specifically about the sandbox and the swimming pool. Kids play in the dirt. Also, if it is radioactive, how are they going to get businesses to move in?

The city removed the kiddy park from Community Park in 1994. The Community Park and the swimming pool are safe. The presence of radioactivity does not mean the area is unsafe; radionuclides are a natural part of our environment and are present everywhere. The amount of radioactivity in the Community Park is not enough to cause people health problems.

  1. Am I being exposed to radiation from Mound's 1969 plutonium-238 spill in the Miami-Erie Canal bed? If so, will this exposure affect my health adversely?

No one is "being exposed" to radiation from Mound's 1969 plutonium-238 spill in the Miami-Erie Canal bed unless he or she is in the canal. Even if someone is in the canal, the exposure is not great enough to affect his or her health. See the ATSDR Mound Plant Health Consultation for further information.

  1. What are the radionuclide levels in the north and south Miami-Erie Canal?

Please refer to Appendix E of this report; DOE's Special Canal Sampling Report, July 1993; and the Mound Laboratory Environmental Plutonium Study, 1974, D.R. Rogers. None of the radionuclides in the Miami-Erie Canal are at levels of health concern.

  1. A resident lives near Shepherd Road and the Dayton-Cincinnati Pike near the canal. She is concerned with the water flows from Mound Plant. Personally, I have no problems, but I would like to know what has gone down the canal.

Most of the water from the Mound Plant is discharged through a pipe into the Great Miami River; some of it goes to the river via the south Miami-Erie Canal and Overflow Creek. The principal radioactive contaminant in the surface water today is plutonium238; however, the concentration of plutonium-238 in surface water is not high enough to cause anyone adverse health effects. Historically, Mound discharged appreciable quantities of tritium to the canal; however, ATSDR scientists do not think the levels of tritium in the canal were ever high enough to cause anyone adverse health effects. See Appendix D for more discussion of historic tritium releases to the canal. ATSDR and NAREL sampled soil and water from the canals in 1994. We did not find any radioactive substances at concentrations high enough to cause adverse health effects. Appendix E contains a discussion of our data.

  1. A resident has lived in Bud's Mobile Home Court since the 1970s and drank well water for 12 years. Is this the reason he has high blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia and male breast cancer? (The Mobile Home Court went on city water 3 years ago).

The information we have concerning the contents of the well water from the area of Bud's Mobile Home Court since the 1970s comes from the Mound Laboratory environmental monitoring reports. The contamination in these wells cannot account for any of the health effects listed.

  1. A resident lives 500 feet from the Mound Plant fence line. City water was installed at her home in 1991-92. Her daughter had tremors and blacked out at age 13 (4 years ago). Her son has a learning disability and has had tumors on his leg and mouth since 1978. Could this be caused by tritium from the Mound Plant?

Tritium levels in the groundwater were never high enough to cause these, or any other, health problems. Please see Appendix C for our analysis of tritium in the area.

  1. Can volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the Mound Plant contaminate public drinking water supplies? Could VOCs contaminate public water supplies from any source other than Mound? How would this contamination affect my health?

Public drinking water for Miamisburg is drawn from the Buried Valley Aquifer immediately west of the Great Miami River and west-northwest from the Mound Plant Main Hill. If there are VOCs in the liquid effluent from the Mound Plant, they will be discharged into the river south of the Miamisburg municipal water pumps. Although VOCs might be in the river water from upstream (from sources other than Mound) and be drawn into the Miamisburg pumping stations, most of the VOCs are treated and removed by normal water treatment procedures. However, there may be small amounts of VOCs in public drinking water as a result of the chlorination process used to kill harmful bacteria in drinking water supplies. These byproducts of the treatment process (particularly chloroform) are considered by public health officials to be a necessary risk resulting from reducing a much greater risk of bacterial contamination. Large quantities of chloroform can harm the nervous system, liver, and kidneys, and cause cancer of the colon and urinary bladder in humans.

  1. Has pollution from the Mound Plant contaminated the Buried Valley Aquifer (drinking water wells)?

The Mound Plant has contaminated the Buried Valley Aquifer with tritium and VOCs, but the levels are below those established by the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act.

  1. A family uses private well water and their home is located downgrade from Mound. Will the water affect their health or cause cancer?

When public health officials consider private water supplies, their primary public health concern is bacteriological contamination, usually stemming from leaky septic tank systems. Lead contamination from older well plumbing follows in importance. We also sometimes detect polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other oils in the water from faulty pumps; PCBs may be a health concern if they are present. Other substances that may be a health concern in private wells include pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that may have infiltrated the aquifer in the vicinity of a well, and high levels of naturally occurring metals from the local environment. Regardless of whether a private well is downgrade from the Mound Plant (or any other industrial facility), any or all of these substances may be important in private well water. There is no evidence that private well contamination originating from the Mound facility will cause adverse health effects, including cancer.

  1. Some residents are concerned about alpha particles in the well water.

Alpha particles are emitted from some radionuclides. Some alpha-emitting radionuclides are naturally occurring (e.g., uranium-238 and radium-226) and some are man-made (e.g., plutonium-238 and americium-241). Since several alpha-emitting radionuclides are naturally occurring, it is not unusual to find them in low concentrations in private water supplies. In the off-site well sampling programs of the Mound Plant, no wells showed alpha-emitting radionuclides at levels of health concern. Residents who have not had their wells sampled and who are concerned about the alpha particles may wish to have their well water analyzed.

  1. A resident lives on Benner Road. The water has tritium in it; it's a private well. The DOE says, "It's not enough to hurt you." It's a cover-up. His neighbor also has tritium in the water.

Tritium occurs naturally in the environment and can be found everywhere. The current U.S. EPA drinking water standard for tritium is 20,000 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is protective of the public's health. None of the private wells DOE sampled in 1994 have more than 3,000 pCi/L, and none of the private wells NAREL sampled in 1994 have more than 2,000 pCi/L. These quantities of tritium are not a public health hazard.

  1. Is it safe to garden and eat vegetables grown in the Hillview Platt?

Probably. ATSDR scientists believe the garden soil in the Hillview Platt (and, therefore, produce grown in the soil) is safe, based on environmental data collected by DOE and NAREL. However, we can't know if all the local soils are safe, since they may be contaminated by activities of the residents or previous residents (such as application of herbicides, removal of paint from a house, etc.) or from fallout of dusts from the nearby highway. Residents should evaluate the known history of their properties when considering gardening. ATSDR scientists do not expect releases from the Mound Plant will result in contamination of vegetables. ATSDR and NAREL collected and analyzed some vegetables in the Miamisburg area (see Appendix E), but we did not collect vegetables from the Hillview Platt area.

  1. Unknown amounts of toxic waste are buried on site. This was reported to EPA. Is anything being done? A resident is afraid of the DOE and does not think anything is being done even if it is being reported to EPA.

Much has been done and is being done. Burial sites have been identified, and remediation actions have been completed, are being completed, or are planned. DOE plans remediation activities in cooperation with the U.S. EPA and the Ohio EPA and with input from the public.

  1. From which sites around the Mound Plant might radionuclides be released (intentionally and/or accidentally)?

The major places at the Mound Plant where radionuclides might be released are the air stacks (for air releases) and the site drainage ditch (for liquid releases). Treated waste water also is directed via enclosed pipe directly to the Great Miami River. There may be other locations where releases occur due to rainwater runoff and wind transport of particulate matter. ATSDR does not have a complete source listing of radionuclides at the Mound Plant.

  1. Access to the site is not secured.

ATSDR scientists know this is correct; however, there is no evidence that trespassing is a problem at Mound.

  1. How do the climatological and meteorological conditions influence airborne tritium releases?

Tritium is released as a gas (HT or T2) lighter than air, or a water vapor (HTO or T2O). Therefore, tritium will disperse rapidly and follow the prevailing winds and become incorporated into the atmospheric water cycles. For example, tritiated water can fall as rain.

  1. How deep in the soil has Mound checked for mixed wastes?

Sampling for radionuclides and chemical contamination is done at various depths. Mound scientists identify this information in the work plans and reports that are available in the CERCLA Public Reading Room in the Miamisburg Senior Adult Center. (305 Central Avenue in Miamisburg. Call 937-865-4561 or 937-865-4140 for hours of operation.) In some cases, samples collected from depths of more than 50 feet were analyzed for both chemical and radionuclide contamination. In other cases, only the top foot of soil was collected. The depth of the sample depends on the type of data needed. For example, air deposition is measured on the surface; but where there is a potential for leaching, a sample may be collected from a greater depth.

  1. When a water line was put into Hillview Platt dirt was put into the ballpark. There was a waste dump where the ballpark is now. Cancer deaths are 90% in the area around the ballpark. Is the ballpark safe?

The ballpark is safe. The dirt on top of the waste dump acts as a barrier between people and the hazardous materials. ATSDR scientists have not seen cancer mortality data that would support the assertion of extraordinary cancer death rates.

  1. There have been spills from the site. A resident has seen workers digging around the railroad line about one and a half miles southeast of the plant. What was the spill, and what are possible effects?

The spill was plutonium-238. In the area of the railroad bridge, much of the contaminated soil was removed in 1989. ATSDR scientists do not expect any adverse health effects.

  1. A resident is concerned about the plutonium and tritium spills as well as the old pump station site under Arthur Avenue. Is it contributing to contamination?
  2. We're concerned about high gamma readings in the culvert under the road near the plant at Mound Road and 6th Street. Children play there. It's not monitored.

ATSDR has forwarded these concerns and these locations to DOE. DOE staff have indicated they will include these areas in a planned sampling effort.

  1. There used to be fish and tadpoles in the Overflow Creek. Now there's not. What's there is the "ick." (Resident is) afraid to let her kids go over to the levee in case they get contaminated.

We sampled the water in the Overflow Creek and did not find contaminants at levels of health concern.

  1. Effluent storm lines run under the neighborhood. Potable water system lines run lines run parallel to these. I'm afraid of the drinking water being contaminated.

Contamination outside the lines that carry potable water does not affect the water inside the lines because the lines carrying potable water are sealed and the pressure inside the lines carrying potable water is higher than the pressure outside them.

  1. Can accidental releases of tritium by the Mound Plant contaminate city drinking water? People are concerned that there's tritium in the water.

Liquid releases from the Mound Plant do not affect Miamisburg drinking water. Very small amounts of tritium from air releases could get into the city water supply. There is tritium in the water; some of it occurs naturally. To our knowledge, the City of Miamisburg drinking water has never had tritium concentrations above the EPA Safe Drinking Water standard of 20,000 pCi/L.

  1. Are Hillview Platt residents being exposed to plutonium and/or VOCs in their well water?

We analyzed water samples for plutonium that we collected from one well in the Hillview Platt area in July and November of 1994. Within the uncertainty of the analytical measurements, we could not detect any plutonium. We did not analyze the samples for VOCs. DOE did not sample wells in the Hillview Platt during its 1994 residential, municipal, and industrial well investigation; therefore, our well data are all the data we have seen.

  1. A resident's well is enclosed in a small building. How can he find out if his well and yard are contaminated?

He will need to have samples of his well water and soil analyzed for contaminants. He should contact the DOE, the Ohio EPA, or the U.S. EPA and request sampling and provide any reasons for suspecting contamination so the appropriate tests can be run.

  1. A resident is concerned about Huber Heights water supply.
  2. A resident lives at Carlwood and Woodbridge, approximately 2 miles east-northeast of the Mound Plant. He is concerned about the safety of the drinking water supply for his three children.

These residents should contact the water treatment authorities about their specific concerns. The authorities can provide copies of water analysis reports that they submitted to the State.

  1. Where will they move the waste to? They'll make more of a mess trying to clean it up.

Much of the waste is taken off site. When agencies plan clean-up actions, they consider the effects of the clean-up process as they choose among the available options. For specific clean-up plans for specific wastes at the Mound Plant, please contact Mr. Art Kleinrath at Mound, Mr. Timothy Fischer at the U.S. EPA Region V (Chicago), or Mr. Brian Nickel at the Ohio EPA (Dayton).

The following questions and concerns about exposures are ones that we are unable to answer. We have attempted to suggest a response in some cases; in most cases, we have insufficient information to address these concerns. If people are still concerned about any of these issues we suggest that they call the Mound Community Relations office for the Environmental Restoration Program at 937-865-4140. Additional contacts are: Art Kleinrath with the Department of Energy, Brian Nickel with the Ohio EPA, and Tim Fischer with the U.S. EPA.

  1. Yesterday's paper commented about a spill in the park (November 8 or 9, 1994). What area is affected?
  1. A resident believes that contaminated dirt from Coleman Platt was dumped on a ballpark in the city.
  1. The Bell Civic Park, formerly a Little League park, was used as a dump. This needs to be checked out.
  1. A resident is concerned about runoff from the canal going into Rice Field. Could runoff from the Mound Plant have killed the young trees planted in a nearby culvert? All her cats die prematurely. Could exposure to the runoff be killing them?

ATSDR scientists do not know in what way runoff from the Mound Plant could explain these deaths.

  1. What would cause the cattle to drop dead? Five head of cattle just lay down and died in 1972. Another farmer lived right down the road. His cattle grazed on a farm on Benner Road and died. Was it something from the plant? The milk cows had calves. One calf was hot and lay down and died. Three years in a row that happened.

ATSDR scientists do not know why these deaths occurred; it is highly unlikely that radiation could cause these deaths.

  1. A woman's grandmother used to have a garden in her backyard (near the plant), and they ate all the vegetables. She thinks people should be told not to eat the vegetables.

ATSDR scientists do not know the basis for this woman's belief; without further information, we cannot comment. We have not found any evidence to support this recommendation.

  1. A resident who lives a block and a half northeast from the Mound Plant wants to know the identity of the black oily stuff that doesn't wash off that gets on the grass and patio furniture?
  1. What is the "orange stuff" that comes from the Mound stacks at dusk?

ATSDR scientists do not know for sure. We believe this may be a result of reflected sunlight scattering off dust particles in the air.

  1. A resident who lives on Shepherd Road contends that the well water repeatedly fails the health department tests. Most of the people in this area are physically tired. Can the water ever be expected to be usable again?

ATSDR scientists cannot answer this question, because we do not know why the well water fails the health department tests.

  1. What is the robotic thing with test tubes in it buried under the parking lot?
  1. Have the residents of Miamisburg been exposed to radon by discharges of the substance from the Mound Plant? Are they currently being exposed to radon?

We did not see any data that indicate Mound released any radioactive materials that could expose the surrounding residents to significant amounts of radon; however, we did not measure radon in the environment. In particular, and more importantly, we did not measure radon in people's homes. Radon in homes is more of a public health concern than outdoor radon; the source of radon in a house is usually the soil beneath the house.

Health Outcome Concerns

  1. A resident who lives on Black Ridge (Coleman Platt) believes that there seems to be many cases of cancer. "Being uninformed is scary. People are constantly afraid, others seem unaware."
  2. One resident contends that in the 30+ houses in the neighborhood, there have been 11 cancer deaths in his memory.

    Both children in one family got cancer; they were raised near the plant and they lived in Coleman Platt from 1952-1969. The son had cancer "in the glands." the daughter had cancer "in the privates." The children's uncle who lived there also died of cancer. On Lawrence Avenue practically everyone has cancer.

    A woman had two relatives die of cancer. They lived across the river from the plant, about 1 mile away. Her stepfather, who lived in the area all his life and lived on Central for years, had lung cancer and brain cancer.

    "There is a high incidence of cancer in Hillview Platt."

    A woman's grandfather died of a brain tumor and lung cancer in 1989.

    A resident lived on Arthur Avenue on the west side of Mound from 1976-1983 (downhill of water discharge). His mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died in January 1981. She was in her 40s. He claims that within 4 years 2 adjacent neighbors (ages in 40s) died of cancer. There have been a total of 5 deaths in 5 houses in the immediate area. These include 1 resident who was a nonsmoker, nondrinker in his 40s; 2 neighborhood women (a woman in her 40s died of cervical cancer and a woman in her 60s died of cancer and emphysema) and a man aged 55-60 died of an unknown cause. There were three more cancer deaths on Arthur Ave since the mid-1970s.

    A resident on Richard Street lived near the canal since July 1957. She was a pharmacist in a hospital and made chemotherapy IVs for 8-10 years. Protection varied over the years; earlier fume hoods directed air to the face. She was diagnosed in March 1990 with a brain tumor, which was surgically removed and in remission; there is no prior family history. Her husband had his left kidney removed 17 years ago for cancer; he's lived in the area for 19 years. Two other residents had left brain tumors at the same time.

    A woman had two cousins who had cancer (and) who lived near the plant.

    "The biggest concern is cancer. People don't want to get cancer."

    "Five out of eight homes in the neighborhood have had incidents of cancer: cancer of the larynx, one throat, one breast, one lung and one lymph node in neck. There are over nine larynx cancers total in the local area."

    A resident's mother who lives near the site had uterine cancer.

    A woman lost a son to leukemia and wants to know why. She knows lots of people who live near the plant who have had cancer. Her son was treated at Children's Hospital in Dayton. She met a woman there whose daughter died of leukemia who also lived in Miamisburg all her life.

    "Why do all these people in the neighborhood have cancer?"

There are many cases of cancer. The American Cancer Society reports that more than 10 million Americans alive in 1996 have a history of cancer, and about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men living in 1996 have had or will eventually have cancer [34]. Cancer is the number two cause of death in the United States after heart disease. Unfortunately, it is often not possible to determine the cause of a person's cancer. In the United States, the top two causes of cancer--accounting for more than half of all cancer deaths--are tobacco use and poor diets [35]. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health estimate that environmental pollution may account for two percent of fatal cancers in the United States; mainly, these are cancers of the lung and bladder [35]. People who wish to have more information can contact the American Cancer Society, their local health department, or their private physician.

  1. A resident is concerned about the rash of cancers in the Coleman Platt area. "Are these related to the Mound Plant?"
  2. Near the senior high school there are approximately 25-30 homes from where more than five residents died of cancer; several other residents currently have cancer. "Is this caused by Mound?"

    A resident was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1990 and had the thyroid removed. He also has rheumatoid arthritis. "Could these be caused by the Mound Plant?"

    A resident believes that there are many cases of cancer in this area. Many are relatively rare forms of cancer such as brain cancer and kidney cancers. "Are these related to releases from the Mound Plant?"

    A citizen's grandfather died of a brain tumor in 1989. "Could his death be attributed to off-site radiation exposure from the Mound Plant?"

    A person's 16-year-old son was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1988. He is in remission after surgery and radiation therapy. "Is this possibly related to Mound?" The drinking water is from a well.

    A citizen's 11-year-old son died of leukemia in 1990. "Is off-site radiation exposure from the Mound Plant culpable for his death?"

    A resident has lived directly west of Mound Plant on Arthur Avenue for approximately 37 years. Her husband died of lung cancer. Her son grew up on Arthur Avenue and had a kidney removed from cancer in 1988. Her daughter (34 years old) now lives in Texas and was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She is concerned that these illnesses might be related to the plant.

    "Can cancer and other adverse health effects among people in Miamisburg be attributed to Mound Plant pollution?"

    "Is the runoff from the Mound Plant the reason for the high rates of cancer, leukemia and immune deficiency diseases in the area?"

    Three people have lived on Cook Lane for over 30 years, and they all suffer from skin cancer (husband, wife and daughter). Other family members have bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. "Are these caused by releases from Mound?"

    A neighbor has uterine cancer. "Could this be related to Mound?"

    A citizen is concerned about her son's unexplained rashes. "Can off-site exposure to radiation from the Mound Plant explain her son's rashes?"

    A resident's wife suffers from high blood pressure and triglycerides and low blood sugar. "Is this from Mound?"

    "Are asthma, pneumonia, or pulmonary diseases a result of contamination from Mound Plant?"

    A resident who has had osteoarthritis for 10 years wonders if this is caused by contamination or radiation from Mound.

    "There seem to be many cases of learning disabilities in the children living near Mound. Also, the children don't retain information and have behavior problems."

We do not know if any cancers are related to the Mound Plant; we do not know if any adverse health effects are related to the Mound Plant. The environmental data that we reviewed do not suggest that contaminants from the Mound Plant were ever present in high enough concentrations to cause adverse health effects--although there are some important data gaps that we describe elsewhere in this public health assessment; see also Appendices A and B. The health outcome data for the area population cannot show an association between environmental releases from the Mound Plant and any adverse health effects (including cancer) in the population, even if one exists. With one exception, the health outcome data that we reviewed do not show that the area population is experiencing health outcomes at rates that are high above the rates that are expected in the population. The exception is that the incidence of lung cancer in Montgomery County appears to be elevated compared to all of Ohio and the United States. See also Appendix F for more discussion of the available health outcome data.

  1. "How do liver cancer, leukemia, and birth defects incidence in the Miamisburg area compare with those in other areas?"
  2. A resident is concerned about the many cancers within one or two blocks of Mound. His wife had cancer of the spleen and liver. There were two cases of breast cancer. There was one liver cancer, one throat cancer, and one leukemia. "Are cancer rates in the community excessive?"

    A resident on Arthur Avenue has cancer records for residents of the Platt (more than 50 cancer cases). "Isn't this abnormally high?"

    "Are Miamisburg area residents experiencing more health problems than normal?" A resident wonders if he should move out of the area.

We have not found any health outcome data specific to the Miamisburg population or to subpopulations within Miamisburg to compare with data on other populations. Also, there are no compelling environmental or health data to support a recommendation that anyone should move out of the area. Please see Appendix F for further discussion.

  1. How do cancer incident rates in Montgomery County compare with those in other counties in Ohio?

The incidence of lung cancer in Montgomery County appears to be elevated compared to all of Ohio and the United States. Please see Appendix F for a discussion of the Montgomery County data.

  1. "Are most cancers downwind of the plant?"

We don't know. We do not have data to answer this question.

  1. A resident's husband (a smoker) died of lung cancer. He worked at Mound making small parts and often worked in a bunker five stories underground. Her daughter has had breast cancer. There are at least four cancer deaths on Old Main Street.

Smoking causes 30 percent of cancer deaths, making tobacco smoke the single most lethal carcinogen in the United States [35]. Work-related cancers occur mainly in the lung, skin, bladder, and the blood-forming (hematopoietic) system. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women [34, 36]. Risk factors for breast cancer include inherited genetic mutations, but there are other risk factors such as never having had children or having a first child after age 30 [36]. Please see discussions in the Health Outcome Data section of this document and Appendix F.

  1. A resident lives one-quarter mile from the fence line of the Mound Plant. "There have been three cases of brain cancer and an unknown number of assorted other cancers in the neighborhood. Isn't this highly unusual?"

Yes. Three cases of brain cancer in a neighborhood is highly unusual.

  1. A woman's grandmother had an infection in her bones that ate away her bones. She herself has always had trouble with infections (e.g. drainage from the belly button). She lives in the Hillview Platt, within one-half mile of the site.
  2. A resident's daughter had blackout spells in 1989 and has nosebleeds constantly for no reason.

    A woman's daughter almost died from kidney problems. Is this related to the 1976 release from the plant? She gets cysts and tumors on her stomach.

    A resident has vaginal discharges and infections. She had to have a hysterectomy because of bleeding cysts.

    There are lots of miscarriages in Hillview Platt. A woman had a miscarriage at 5 months; the doctors don't know why. She missed her periods for no reason, and has irregular blood clots. Her whole system is run down; she suffers from fatigue and kidney and bladder problems.

    When they were digging up the canal a woman walked over to the canal. Subsequently, her skin and eyes burned. She broke out with a strange rash on her back--alternating red and white rings--and it lasted for 5 months.

    A woman's children had rashes covering one side of the body and the rashes were not poison ivy. One child broke out in rashes which covered his body, and his body would swell. The doctors didn't know what was causing it. Her kids have diarrhea constantly.

    One resident is concerned that something from the plant will cause birth defects in her grandchildren, such as Down's syndrome or deformities. She has lived there all her life, (and she) used to play and wade in the canal.

    People in the neighborhood suffer from what they call "Mound Bones," which is a kind of cysts.

    A woman has heart murmurs, headaches, dizziness, and glaucoma, which her mom and uncle also have. They all played in the canal and river and ate blackberries from the canal.

    The dogs in the neighborhood have no hair on their back ends and have big knots under the skin. A woman's dog died of Crohn's disease.

    There are a lot of learning disabilities in Miamisburg. A resident's daughter has a high blood lead count, she's hyperactive, can't control her temper, and has mood swings. The resident's mother has the shakes. The resident's nerves are shot and she is worried that radiation or chemicals from the plant might have caused it.

Some of the health problems described in this list appear to have environmental causes, particularly rashes and high blood lead levels. High blood lead can lead to learning disabilities in children; it is reversible and can and should be treated promptly.

Again; we have no data that show an association between environmental releases from the Mound Plant and any adverse health effects. We also do not know whether these diseases are occurring more often among people in this area than they do in other populations. We recommend that people talk with their family physicians about their health problems; it is important that their diseases be properly diagnosed.

  1. A couple lived next door to the Mound Plant for 10 years and had previously lived in the trailer park. They suffer from many health problems (diabetes, hives, allergies, uterine cancer, arthritis, hypertension). "What has been released from the Mound Plant, and are these releases responsible for our health problems?"
  2. A resident grew up in the Miamisburg area less than 2 miles from the site "down the hill". She is concerned about giving birth to an affected baby. "Will her baby be deformed or suffer adverse health effects?"

    A mother's child played in Sycamore Park and in the creek. The child developed a rash as did the father, who removed the child from the creek. The child subsequently developed pneumonia and asthma. She believes this was caused by contamination from Mound.

    "I live across the river from the Mound Plant. Many people on my street have cancer or have died from cancer. Should the children be tested or checked for something?"

A list of radioactive materials released from the Mound Plant is published in the plant's annual environmental monitoring reports. Nonradioactive releases are regulated under permits issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Mound releases are not at levels known to cause health effects. In response to the last entry, we do not know what we would have children tested for, although we recommend that children have routine physical examinations.

  1. A resident writes: "As a child I lived 5 or 6 years in the Coleman Platt area. I lived in Miamisburg for 46 years all together. I have three children. What are the health hazards from the Mound Plant? Have there been adverse health effects, and is there an increased cancer rate in Miamisburg?"
  2. "I lived 1/8 mile from the Mound Plant until 1 year ago; now I live near the Dayton Mall. I am concerned about my health and that of my family. What health effects can I expect from the contamination, especially for my kids? I want to know what I've been exposed to and what health problems are related to these substances."

    One resident believes that contamination from the Mound Plant caused his sexual dysfunction. Would plutonium cause this?

We have been unable to document that exposures have occurred at levels of health concern. Please refer to Mound's environmental monitoring reports for a description of contaminants in the environment from the plant; refer to Appendix B for a description of the toxicological effects from polonium-210, Appendix D for a description of toxicological effects from tritium, and ATSDR's Health Consultation for the toxicological effects from plutonium-238 [6].

  1. In 1991, while Mound workers were digging out the south canal near the railroad, a resident experienced irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Why?

We do not know. One plausible explanation is that wind blew some dust and this person breathed some of it. The dust could have caused irritation even if it was not contaminated.

  1. In the 1970s, there was open burning of materials at Mound. After this, a resident suffered from migraine headaches. Are these events related?

Possibly. Migraines may be related, in some cases, to allergic reactions. Allergic reactions, in turn, can be initiated by exposures to things in the air.

Procedural Concerns

  1. Why did they have to bring the stuff here? Why didn't they leave it at Oak Ridge?

The Department of Defense intentionally located the research and production of weapons systems at various places around the country for security reasons. One reason Monsanto Chemical Company officials gave for locating the new laboratory in Miamisburg was the availability of power, transportation, and industrial and commercial services. Also, the majority of workers at the two Dayton laboratories lived within easy commuting distance of Miamisburg [37].

  1. A resident was not given the results of the tests he allowed to be carried out on his well water.

ATSDR staff asked Mound personnel about this. Well testing results have taken longer to prepare than was anticipated. If this is still a concern, please contact ATSDR staff at the address given at the front of this document.

  1. Can the public name sites to check for contamination?

Yes. Contact the Department of Energy or the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to suggest sampling locations.

  1. What do the emergency alarms (fire and ambulance) heard on the plant signify?

They may signify testing or drilling of personnel for emergencies, or they may indicate actual emergencies.

  1. Accidents or spills at the Mound Plant, no matter how small, should be documented, and the public should be notified.

The DOE, U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA, and ATSDR agree that there are limits below which spills need not be documented and the public need not be notified. When a spill is small and there is no hazard to the public, the benefit of notifying the public should be considered along with the time, efforts and resources necessary for recording and publicizing the spill.

  1. Citizens of Miamisburg are concerned about the lack of validation of DOE data.

The Ohio EPA, and ATSDR and NAREL have collected environmental data independently of DOE. Historically and recently, Ohio and U.S. EPAs have split samples, analyzed them independently, and compared results. These are ways we can evaluate the accuracy of DOE's data. We are satisfied that, where we have been able to compare data, DOE's data are consistent with the results we have from other agencies.

  1. People who attend DOE CERCLA community meetings are dissatisfied with DOE's conclusions because DOE is not making the connection between levels of contamination and health.

DOE personnel generally prefer to have the Ohio Department of Health and ATSDR staff discuss health issues at Mound because DOE staff are aware that there is a perception of conflict of interest if they interpret their own data from a health perspective.

  1. The data from the plant's radionuclide sampling stations are not representative of public exposure conditions in the vicinity of the Mound Plant.

ATSDR staff are interested in ways the community would improve on the current environmental monitoring program at the Mound Plant. Please contact us at the address given at the front of this document.

  1. The meteorological monitoring program at the Mound Plant is not appropriate for certain conditions around the Mound Plant. How does this influence exposure assessments?

The average annual rainfall and wind parameters are sufficient to evaluate chronic exposures to people near the Mound Plant. We consider the average meteorological conditions to estimate how much contamination people might be exposed to, regularly or constantly, over a duration of a year or more. This is the usual procedure, since most of the environmental releases from the Mound Plant and all of the off-site environmental contamination that ATSDR staff have seen are not at levels that would cause acute health effects. Localized meteorological conditions may be important to the consideration of acute exposures to large releases. However, it is not practical to have monitoring equipment measure all possible local conditions. Therefore, when we consider acute exposures, we assume a worst-case situation in which someone will be directly in the exposure pathway. The lack of localized meteorological data is not a hindrance to our work.

  1. We lack the expertise to interpret DOE/Mound documents. Can the information contained in these documents be presented in a form comprehensible to the general public?

ATSDR staff recommend that members of the public ask to meet with Mound employees when there are specific documents they wish to discuss. The Mound Plant maintains the CERCLA Public Reading Room in the Miamisburg Senior Adult Center at 305 Central Avenue in Miamisburg. (Call 937-865-4561 or 937-865-4140 for hours of operation.) Citizens can review documents there. When individuals have difficulty understanding documents or parts of documents, they should request to meet with DOE or Babcock and Wilcox of Ohio staff.

  1. A resident feels that there was gross negligence regarding the discharge of hazardous materials/wastes. EPA (or other federal agencies) cannot regulate or control DOE. DOE didn't have to document all spills. DOE needs to make incident records known to public. They need to inventory incidence and decontamination of spills.

The U.S. and Ohio EPAs regulate Mound Plant. Mound published information on historic spills in the Operable Unit 9 Site Scoping Report, Volume 11.

  1. In the summer, about 15 years ago, helicopters swarmed around the Mound and the river like "bees around a hive" and made many trips. Was there a release or other problems then?

In 1979 and again in June of 1989, EG&G Measurements, Inc. of Las Vegas, Nevada, conducted an aerial overflight radiological survey of the Mound Plant to map the background terrestrial gamma exposure rates around the facility. Helicopters surveyed 16 square miles by flying 250-foot intervals at 150 feet altitude. Most likely, this was the activity recalled. (The results of the 1989 overflight showed that the areas highest in radiation are the coal or coal ash piles belonging to the Dayton Power and Light Company on the west side of the Great Miami River [38].)

  1. A resident has lived west of the park on Old Main St. for 25 years. He signed a release for R.F. Weston to perform soil tests about one and a half years ago, but never knew if or when they came. Are the results available?

Probably yes. Ask Mound public relations staff for assistance.

  1. "When (workers) were digging in the canal, a resident wanted a copy of the air monitoring reports. She requested the information in 1991 and never got it. It's public information. They should give it to us."

Air monitoring results are in the annual environmental monitoring reports. These reports are available in the Mound Plant Public Reading Room.

  1. If the city takes over Mound, how will the city keep it clean or clean it up if necessary? Who will be responsible? What liability to whom?

ATSDR staff suggest interested persons contact DOE with these questions.

Concerns of Mound Workers

In general, ATSDR staff cannot address the concerns of Mound workers. We have included the following worker concerns here because we received them. We have also shared these concerns with DOE staff. DOE managers have asked ATSDR health assessors to recommend that concerned workers request a consultation with appropriate managers at Mound through Mark Becker in the Office of Public Affairs (937-865-4450) to discuss these or other issues.

  1. A resident says, "I worked intermittently at the plant from the 1950s until I retired. I installed phones, sometimes in security areas. Sometimes I would be told to scrub; sometimes they kept my tools. I'm worried about what I might have been exposed to and the effects on my health. I'm concerned about my wife, too; she's lived in Miamisburg all her life.

We have some information concerning what radioactive and hazardous materials Mound scientists worked with; we refer you to Mound's site-scoping reports and annual environmental monitoring reports for information about these contaminants at Mound. However, we do not know what materials you might have been exposed to or how much, or what your wife has been exposed to. Therefore, we do not know what effects, if any, exposures may have on your health or your wife's health.

  1. Have many Mound employees died of diseases (that resulted) from contamination?

No one knows whether contamination has ever caused any deaths among Mound employees. Mortality studies of Mound workers indicate that specific disease rates may have been elevated in some worker groups, but the researchers could not rule out causes other than exposure to contamination as the cause of these deaths. See Appendix F for further discussion.

  1. Workers were told that action (pilot program 3162) for workers at Mound was not going to happen until the year 2000. That will be too late for some of us. We need a program now.
  2. One worker complains, "The lab doesn't monitor us properly, nor does it give appropriate follow-up to potentially exposure-related medical conditions."

    When the lab's medical staff treated a worker for an exposure he received, they didn't inform him of the potentially deleterious effects of the procedure until ex post facto.

    Why is the lab so hesitant to own up to their responsibilities to their workers?

    While employed at the lab, I'm sure that I've been exposed numerous times, but the lab never acknowledges it.

    One worker reports having great difficulty in obtaining copies of his medical records from the labs.

    A worker said, "I highly doubt the quality of the medical records that the lab releases. Staff failed to mention some of my exposures in my medical records. They must have edited them out."

    Another worker: "I don't understand much of the medical/technical information that the lab gave me in regard to my personal worker records."

    The lab discontinued some of its monitoring years back and has yet to replace it.

    An employee contends that the lab has adulterated information in his personal medical records.

    Some of the lab's monitoring procedures are inappropriate and inaccurate.

    The lab threw some of one employee's records away because (staff) didn't like the results they saw.

    We need responsible health care from the lab.

    We can't trust lab records. Information is missing.

We do not have a response to these questions and concerns.

Concerns Related to ATSDR

  1. The announcement for the public availability session was misleading; it implied that the public was not wanted. A resident was upset by this. More publicity is needed. ATSDR staff needs to watch phrasing and wording to encourage maximum participation.

We are learning. We do not intend to mislead, and we welcome the public's feedback.

  1. ATSDR should get health outcome data from real people, not from agencies.

Sometimes we do. However, unless health outcome data are readily available, we have to consider whether the time and expense of collecting it is justified. We do this by evaluating exposures. In the case of this public health assessment, we have not identified any exposures to contamination from the Mound Plant at levels that can cause adverse health problems. Therefore, we do not expect to find health problems in the community that are related to contamination from the Mound facility. Without more compelling evidence, we do not recommend initiating more in-depth exposure investigations for this site.

  1. If the Mound Plant is closing, why do a health assessment?

For several reasons. ATSDR staff provides an opportunity for the public to discuss health concerns with federal health officials, and we make public health recommendations to DOE pertaining to remediation activities. A public health assessment is our way of learning about the site and sharing our health perspective with members of the community and other agencies. Finally, CERCLA legislation requires us to conduct a public health assessment for all Superfund sites.

  1. Toxic records must become public. ATSDR needs to openly communicate through media: TV, newspaper. Don't withhold information. Help to get people involved. Example: a person with a sick child may think his is the only one; he may not know that there were other cases of the same illness.

ATSDR documents are available from ATSDR or the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and through the Freedom of Information Act. ATSDR staff withhold information such as an individual's medical records or personal identifier information related to environmental data. We also do not release other agencies' data.

Health outcome incidence data may be obtained through state and local health departments; however, the data may not reflect the current year. Because of issues of confidentiality, contact with other people experiencing similar illnesses may have to be established through established organizations and support groups. The U.S. Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine maintains a database, called DIRLINE (for Directory of Information Resources Online), of biomedical organizations, databases, and research resources dedicated to specific diseases and exposures. DIRLINE contains over 17,000 entries. These include contact information for many national organizations (such as ones dedicated to hemophilia and diabetes) but not contacts for local chapters; (these may be obtained from the national organizations). Access to DIRLINE is free through the Internet or computer online services (such as MEDLINE). Contact your local health department, hospital library, medical library, or public library for computer access to DIRLINE. A spinoff from DIRLINE, called Health Hotlines, is a listing of more than 300 organizations that maintain toll-free 1-800 numbers.

  1. A mailing list or newsletter from ATSDR would be good.

Anyone can request to receive the newsletter Hazardous Substances & Public Health. Write to Managing Editor, Hazardous Substances and Public Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Mailstop E-33, Atlanta, GA 30333, or call (800) 447-1544. Also; this newsletter is available to anyone who has access to the Internet. Access ATSDR's Home Page at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/. This newsletter comes out approximately quarterly.

  1. A resident who lives in Centerville and works doing research at the Mound Plant isconcerned that the ATSDR investigations will be anti-Mound and that Moundemployees have worked very hard to be safe and protect the environment. Numbersget misquoted and taken out of context. Look at other sources of radioactivity (e.g.,power plants that burn coal high in certain materials that cause radioactivity whenburned). Compare local levels of contamination with (levels in) other areas.
  2. A Mound employee asked ATSDR staff to make sure their investigations are fair. Hedoesn't want the public health assessment to condemn Mound or its employees. (Mound employees) have done an exceptionally good job safety wise andenvironmentally.

Power plants in the area burn coal that contains naturally-occurring radionuclides. We have notinvestigated their emissions directly. However, we collected ambient air samples at monitoringstations around the Mound Plant as well as soil and other samples around the Mound Plant. We alsocollected background samples that should not be influenced by releases from the Mound Plant. Aswe expected, background samples contain radioactive materials, too. See also question 73 and Appendix E.

ATSDR staff invite comments from all sectors of the public concerning this document.

  1. ATSDR should do something to draw a crowd. The media is a good way tocommunicate. A lot of people don't read the paper but see TV news and listen toradio.
  2. The ATSDR should communicate via senior citizens, PTAs, church groups, and ladies' and men's auxiliaries.

    ATSDR should have small meetings and explain to people what they're doing. You should advertise on radio and TV.

ATSDR staff appreciate these suggestions. We try to use a variety of means to publicize our meetings.

  1. A resident thinks that the ATSDR should have a toll-free number for citizens to call.

ATSDR now has a toll-free telephone number: 1-800-447-1544. All calls are received in ATSDR'sDivision of Toxicology. A receptionist will take your call and ask you who you wish to talk with orthe reason for your call. Your call may be forwarded to another office where another receptionistwill record your message. The receptionist will take your name and telephone number and ask youthe best time to call you back. If you ask to talk to a specific ATSDR staff person, she or he willthen return your call. Otherwise, the message that you called will be forwarded to the most appropriate person, based on the nature of your inquiry.

  1. A resident who has lived in the area since 1964 recommends house-to-housecanvassing in a 3- to 4-mile area. He would like to see a medical monitoring program to (determine whether) certain diseases are present or increasing.
  2. If you want to do a study you should go door to door, not just talk to two or three people.

House-to-house canvassing in a 3- to 4-mile area may reveal some information about diseaseoccurrences in this area. However, canvassing is unlikely to reveal much information aboutexposures to contaminants in the environment. Without documented exposures, ATSDR cannot do a study.

Disease "clusters" are not necessarily meaningful. Many diseases occur in different areas atdifferent rates. If an unusual disease has an unusual disease rate, the rate might suggest a cause; but unfortunately, many diseases do not have unique causes or we don't know their causes.

The State of Ohio Department of Health collects information about the incidence of cancers. TheOhio cancer database will reveal whether cancers are present or increasing at the zip code andcensus tract levels. Ohio does not maintain databases for diseases other than cancers, primarilybecause these databases are very expensive to set up and maintain and, in some cases, it is difficult to ensure physician compliance with reporting requirements.

We use medical monitoring as a way to identify disease cases (also called "case-finding") in apopulation determined to be at significant increased risk of adverse health effects from exposure tohazardous substances. ATSDR has established criteria that are used to determine theappropriateness of conducting medical monitoring in a community [39]. Generally, we use medicalmonitoring only to follow an exposed population and when we think early intervention (referral andtreatment) might do some good. At Mound, we have not identified a population exposed tohazardous substances at levels that we expect could cause adverse health effects; therefore, we do not have a population to monitor or a disease to screen for.


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Under current site conditions, the Mound Plant poses no apparent public health hazard to off-site populations.
  2. Current releases of radioactive and nonradioactive substances from the Mound Plant to the environment pose no apparent public health hazard.

    We define "current" beginning January 1, 1987, and continuing through the present.

  3. Releases of wastes from the Mound Laboratory sanitary sewage treatment facility in 1982 and 1983 posed a temporary public health hazard to people swimming, boating and fishing downstream in the Great Miami River.

  4. There are insufficient data to determine whether releases of nonradioactive materials from the Mound Laboratory to the air or to the Great Miami River ever were a public health problem.
  5. There are insufficient data to determine whether releases of polonium-210 from the Mound Laboratory to the air or to the Great Miami River ever were a public health problem.

  6. Apart from polonium-210, releases of radioactive substances to the air or to the area waterways from the Mound facility do not appear ever to have been a public health problem. These releases include plutonium-238 and hydrogen-3 (tritium).

RECOMMENDATIONS

No recommendations.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

ATSDR staff are presently investigating the feasibility of reviewing Mound laboratory notebooksfor data that we haven't seen. We are undertaking this investigation as a result of written commentswe received on the Public Comment Version of the Mound Plant public health assessment. We areprimarily interested in environmental data from what is called "the polonium era," especially 1950sdata. We have requested information, such as the number of documents that may be involved, andwhat efforts will be necessary to make them available to us. We are also considering how toconduct this investigation once the documents are available. When we have further plans, we will announce them.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Authors

William H. Taylor, PhD, DABT
Chemist, Lead Health Assessor
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Carol A. Connell
Health Physicist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


Contributors

Edward Gregory, PhD
Demographic Analyst
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR gratefully acknowledges the assistance and contributions to this public health assessment bypersonnel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Air and RadiationEnvironmental Laboratory (NAREL), and the Boston University (BU) School of Public Health,Department of Environmental Health. NAREL personnel assisted with environmental samplecollection and analysis, dosimetry, statistical analysis, and public health evaluation of these data. BU personnel assisted with the collection and analysis of community concerns and the investigation and evaluation of health outcome data.


Internal Reviewers of Report

Burt J. Cooper
Chief, Energy Section
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Kathryn D. Harmsen
Writer-Editor
Office of Policy and External Affairs

Ronald E. Hatcher
Writer-Editor
Program of Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


Review by Panel of Independent Experts

ATSDR submitted an earlier draft of this document (along with draft public health assessments forthree other sites) to a panel of scientists and public health professionals for review prior to releasingit for public comment. The panel consisted entirely of non-ATSDR employees. Panel memberswere chosen for their expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, groundwater, and radiation, as well asto represent the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, state health departments, thecommunity perspective, and the historical perspective of the public health assessment process. Panel members met on September 10, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss their recommendations with the authors. The panel's comments are reflected in this document.

ATSDR submitted the previous version of this document (the Public Comment Release version) toadditional outside reviewers during the spring 1997. Their comments and our responses to them areincluded in the Public Comments pages (H-1 through H-82) before the bibliography at the end of this document.


ATSDR Regional Representatives

Louise A. Fabinski, Senior Regional Representative
Clayton G. Koher, Regional Representative
Office of Regional Operations
ATSDR Region V, Chicago, IL


REFERENCES

  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Trip report. 1992 May.

  2. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Trip reports. 1992 Jul, Nov; 1993 Mar, Jun, Oct, Dec; 1994 Dec; 1995 Apr, May, Aug.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Trip Report. 1992 Nov.

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Trip Reports. 1992 Nov; 1993 Mar, Sep; 1994 Jun.

  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Particularly, 1992 May, and 1993 Mar, Sep, Nov.

  6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health consultation, DOE Mound Plant, Miami-Erie Canals and Miamisburg Community Park, Miamisburg, Ohio. 1993 Sep 29.

  7. US Environmental Protection Agency, National Air and Radiation EnvironmentalLaboratory. Work plan for environmental studies in the vicinity of the Mound Plant, 1993 Aug 11.

  8. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Trip Reports. 1993 Mar, Sep, Oct.

  9. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public availability sessions. 1993 Nov 9-10.

  10. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR public health forum for the Mound Plant Superfund site. 1994 Apr 6.

  11. Tag Grant Advisor presentation at ATSDR public health forum for the Mound PlantSuperfund site, handouts.

  12. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Meeting with Mound Plant workers. 1994 Aug 4.

  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and Boston University School of Public Health. An environmental health workshop for the community. 1995 May 19.

  14. EG&G Mound Applied Technologies, Environmental Technology & Monitoring Group. Mound site environmental report for calendar year 1996. US Department of Energy; 1997 Jun.

  15. Regional Air Pollution Control Agency. Telephone conversations, 1998 Jan 13-4.

  16. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. OAQPS staff paper, review of the national ambient air quality standards for ozone, assessment of scientific and technical information, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, EPA-452/R-96-007, 1996 Jun.

  17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. OAQPS staff paper, review of the national ambient air quality standards for particulate matter: policy assessment of scientific and technical information, EPA-452/R-96-013, 1996 Jul 15.

  18. EG&G Mound Applied Technologies, Environmental Technology & Monitoring Group. Mound site environmental report for calendar year 1995. US Department of Energy. MLM-3823;1996 Aug.

  19. Regional Air Pollution Control Agency. Internet home page:http://laa.co.montgomery.oh.us , 1996 Oct 8.

  20. EG&G Mound Applied Technologies, Environmental Restoration Program. Operable Unit 9, Regional soils investigation report, Mound Plant, Miamisburg, Ohio. US Department of Energy. Revision 2;1995 Aug.

  21. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Letter to Mr. Arthur W. Kleinrath, DOE, 1995 Jun 20.

  22. EG&G Mound Applied Technologies, Environmental Restoration Program. Residential, municipal, and industrial well investigation, Operable Unit 9, Mound Plant, Miamisburg, Ohio. US Department of Energy. Technical report, revision 0;1995 Apr.

  23. EG&G Mound Applied Technologies, Environmental Restoration Program. Operable Unit 9, Surface water and sediment investigation report, Mound Plant, Miamisburg, Ohio. US Department of Energy. Technical memorandum Revision 1; 1996 Jun; Revision 2;1996 Sep.

  24. Brock TD, Brock KM, Ward DM. Basic microbiology with applications, third edition. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1986.

  25. Centers for Disease Control. Water-related disease outbreaks, surveillance, annual summary 1982 and annual summary 1983, (reports) issued 1983 Aug and 1984 Sep, respectively.

  26. Styron CE, Meyer HE. Potable water standards project: Final report. Mound Facility, Monsanto Research Corporation, US Department of Energy. MLM-2819;1981 Apr 7.

  27. Dames & Moore. Evaluation of the Buried Valley Aquifer adjacent to Mound Laboratory (partial copy). Monsanto Research Corporation, US Energy Research and Development Administration. 84-79;1976 Dec 20.

  28. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and US EPA National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory. Miamisburg sampling, 1993 Dec, 1994 Apr, Jun, Jul, Nov, 1995 Jan.

  29. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Letter to Mr. Arthur W. Kleinrath, DOE, 1995 Sep 8.

  30. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Letter to Mr. Arthur W. Kleinrath, DOE, 1995 Jan 11.

  31. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Letter to Ms. Jolene Walker, EG&G Mound Applied Technologies, 1994 Nov 22.

  32. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Toxic chemical releases inventory, 1993.

  33. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Letter to Ms. Jolene Walker, EG&G Mound Applied Technologies, 1995 Dec 7.

  34. American Cancer Society. Cancer facts & figures--1996.

  35. Trichopoulos D, Li FP, Hunter DJ. What causes cancer? Sci Am;1996 Sep;275(3):80-7.

  36. Rennie J (ed.) Twelve major cancers. Sci Am;1996 Sep;275(3):126-32.

  37. The Miamisburg News, 1947 Jan 30.

  38. EG&G Energy Measurements, The Remote Sensing Laboratory. An aerial radiological survey of the EG&G Mound Applied Technologies and surrounding area, Miamisburg, Ohio. (Date of survey: June 1989.) US Department of Energy. EGG-10617-1108 UC-702; 1992 Nov.

  39. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR's final criteria for determining the appropriateness of a medical monitoring program under CERCLA. 1995 Jul 28;60 FR 38840-44.

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