PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
BYESVILLE, GUERNSEY COUNTY, OHIO
The Remedial Investigation consisted of two phases. Phase I and Phase II investigations evaluated contaminants in soil, leachate, surface water and sediment, groundwater, and air. Sample analysis included volatile organic compounds, semivolatile organic compounds, PCBs, pesticides, metals, and cyanide. Air sample analysis in the Phase I investigation included only volatile organic compounds. The Health and Safety Plan in the Phase II investigation evaluated ambient air. Phase I sampling took place in 1985 and 1986, and Phase II in 1989. The data for both Phase I and Phase II of the Remedial Investigation are discussed jointly.
Approximate landfill and property boundaries are shown in Figure 2, Appendix A. Sampling areas fit into one of the following categories: 1) impacted by Fultz Landfill, 2) background, or 3) off-site. The sample sites potentially impacted by the landfill were not necessarily within the landfill borders, but are considered on-site (Figure 2, Appendix A).
Chemicals presented in this Section will be discussed in further detail in other sections of the public health assessment. Chemicals listed in these data tables are not necessarily a threat to human health and may be eliminated in other sections of the public health assessment.
Comparison values are numbers used as guides to aid in the determination of the chemicals of concern at a site. If a chemical's concentration exceeds the comparison value and is in a human exposure pathway (drinking water), it may be retained as a chemical of concern. Comparison values for the chemicals that do not cause cancer are either ATSDR's environmental media evaluation guides (EMEGs) or are calculated by ODH. The calculated values use the USEPA standard Reference Dose (RfD), adult and/or child body weights, and ingestion rates. If exposure to a child is not likely to occur, the comparison value will be given only for adults. Cancer guides evaluate the potential cancer risk associated with potential exposure to a chemical and use the USEPA cancer slope factors. It does not mean that a person will develop cancer but that there is an increased risk of cancer. The comparison values for drinking water are either the USEPA maximum contaminant level or ATSDRs EMEG, whichever is the lowest number.
Ten surface soil samples were taken from landfill cover soils, from 0-12 feet. Samples taken deeper than 3-6 inches is not representative of surface soil. Several soil samples from the southern part of the landfill contained toluene, at a maximum concentration of 0.12 mg/kg (ppm) and di-n-butylphthalate with concentrations ranging from 0.31-0.72 mg/kg (ppm). The comparison values for these two chemicals were calculated from their RfDs and are 140,000 ppm and 70,000 ppm, respectively. Sample analysis for inorganic chemicals, such as metals, did not detect concentrations above background.
Leachate Water and Sediment
Nine leachate water and sediment samples were taken from seven seeps along the northern base of the landfill and on the northeastern slope (Table 2). The Remedial Investigation identified 17 leachate seeps at the site.
|*Chemicals found in both leachate water and sediment|
|µg/L = parts per billion|
|µg/kg = parts per billion|
The concentrations of chemicals are low. Chromium and barium were the only inorganic chemicals found above background in leachate water, with concentrations of 900 µg/L and 2,155 µg/L, respectively.
Surface Water and Sediment
Eight samples of surface water and sediment were taken from five of the six ponds bordering the site, one downstream station in Stream A, and two downstream stations in Wills Creek (Figure 2, Appendix A). One sample station in Wills Creek, upstream of the Fultz Landfill, is used as a comparison to background. The site used for background comparisons for surface water is not impacted by the site, but may reflect regional concentration of chemicals. The sample stations in Stream A and Wills Creek may have been impacted by the landfill.
The downstream surface water samples collected from Stream A and Wills Creek did not contain any chemicals related specifically to the site. Sediment samples contained low concentrations of noncarcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (970 µg/kg in Stream A and 396 µg/kg in Wills Creek). Specific PAHs in creek sediment samples included pyrene, phenanthrene, fluoranthrene, and 2-methylnaphthalene. Concentrations of PAHs in stream sediments were close to or below background concentrations. The sample site used for background contained relatively high concentration levels (9,535 µg/kg) of PAHs. Sediment samples from Stream A contained slightly higher than background concentrations of arsenic (54 µg/kg), and barium (460 µg/kg). Wills Creek sediment samples did not contain metals above local background concentrations.
On-site surface water samples from one of the on-site ponds contained trichloroethene of 1.75 µg/L, close to the chemical detection limit. The concentration of inorganic chemicals, such as metals, did not significantly vary from background samples. Pond sediments contained a number of organic chemicals at concentrations close to the detection limits, with Pond 1A containing the largest number (Table 3).
µg/L = parts per billion
Most of these chemicals in the sediment samples were at concentrations very close to the detection limits. Some of these chemicals, including chlorobenzene, toluene, and 1,1,1-trichloro-ethane were found in some of the other pond sediments, but Pond 1A was the most contaminated. Concentrations of inorganic chemicals, such as metals, in pond sediment samples did not vary from local background levels.
Groundwater was sampled from 15 monitoring wells in 1985 and 1986, and 19 monitoring wells in 1989. There were a few chemicals of concern present in these samples (Table 4). In addition, there were a number of other chemicals found in both aquifers at the site at concentrations close to the detection limits. These chemicals, concentration levels, and distribution are shown in Figure 4, Appendix A.
|Chemical|| Concentration Range|
µg/L = Parts Per Billion
PAHs = Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons
1 = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide calculated by ODH
2 = Comparison Value Calculated by ODH
3 = ATSDR EMEG
4 = USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level
5 = USEPA Action Level
These concentrations were the maximum levels detected in ground-water samples. Vinyl chloride was detected in two other monitoring wells, but was not found in any other media. Barium and chromium were detected at increased concentrations in leachate samples, but no other media.
Off-site samples included surface soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment to determine the impact from the Fultz Landfill. Off-site samples were also used for background comparison to on-site samples. There were only a limited number of off-site samples taken.
Three soil samples taken from three off-site areas not impacted by the Fultz Landfill indicated the presence of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (260 µg/kg, total). These sites were 600-800 feet upgradient and 1200 feet downgradient from the landfill. The specific PAHs detected included naphthalene and 2-methylnaphthalene. The concentrations were very close to the detection limit. PAHs in off-site soils may be related to regional coal mining activities, however, additional samples would further delineate PAH levels in soils.
Surface Water and Sediment
Surface water and sediment samples were taken from one upstream station in Stream A and two from Wills Creek. There were no chemicals of concern in either surface water or sediment samples from Stream A or surface water from Wills Creek. Wills Creek sediment samples contained PAHs (9,535 µg/kg, total concentration and 1,012 µg/kg, total concentration) and very low concentrations of volatile organic compounds. The presence of PAHs may reflect regional coal mining activities. There were no unusually high concentrations of metals or inorganics present in off-site surface water or sediment from either Stream A or Wills Creek.
Samples of groundwater in 1985 and 1986 from six residential wells and from the Byesville community water supply represent the off-site groundwater samples. Four of the six residential wells are downgradient. Residential wells did not contain any chemicals of concern. Carbon tetrachloride was detected in pretreated water from the Byesville community well, but was not detected after treatment. Carbon tetrachloride was not found in any other media on-site or off-site. There were no metals or inorganics present in Byesville well samples at increased concentrations.
The Toxic Chemical Release Inventory information obtained from the OEPA for the City of Byesville did not report any releases of toxic materials that would impact the Fultz Landfill.
In preparing this public health assessment, the Ohio Department of Health and ATSDR rely on the information provided in the referenced documents and assume that adequate quality assurance and quality control measures were followed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. The validity of the analysis and conclusions drawn for this public health assessment is determined by the completeness and reliability of the referenced information.
At the time of this public health assessment, site access was not restricted. Those trespassing on the site may come in contact with garbage and waste. Exposed waste materials and garbage were noted during the site visit. There are also odd pieces of equipment on the site, including junked automobiles, a trailer, and a tanker truck. In addition, the steep terrain and the ponds in the area may represent a physical hazard. Those most likely affected would be trespassers, primarily hunters and children.
This section includes discussions of how chemicals move in the environment and how people can be exposed to the chemicals. For example, chemicals in a landfill can move through the landfill into the groundwater or seep out of the landfill at the surface (leachate). Chemicals in soil can be blown off site by the wind or can be carried away from the site in rain water runoff. A chemical may be in groundwater or soil, but people may not come in contact with the water or dirt. If people are not in contact with the contaminated water or dirt, they will not be exposed to the chemicals.
The environmental pathways at the Fultz Landfill are the movement of chemicals away from the landfill in leachate and groundwater. The chemicals in the groundwater and leachate at this site move fairly easily with water and are mobile under the types of conditions found at this site. The site was onced mined for coal which makes it easier for chemicals such as metals and other inorganic chemicals to move into the groundwater from the wastes sources. The contamination of surface soil is minimal and therefore, it is not an important or significant pathway. The chemicals in surface water and sediment are the type that are not very mobile and would not tend to migrate off the site.
The exposure pathway through which persons may be exposed to site-related chemicals from the Fultz Landfill site is groundwater. The residents in the area surrounding the site and in the city of Byesville use groundwater as a drinking water supply.
The reported disposal of hazardous waste at the Fultz Landfill resulted in the low level contamination of soils, leachate, surface water, sediment, and groundwater. Leachate, leachate sediments, sediments from Pond 1A, and the groundwater contained the largest number of site-related chemicals. Only a few chemicals are present in all of the media sampled.
Leachate contamination may be an indicator of movement of chemicals through the soils into the groundwater. Groundwater in both the shallow aquifer and the deep aquifer contained site-related chemicals. There were very few site-related chemicals present in on-site soil samples. The general lack of soil cover or limited soil contamination at the site may explain the lack of chemicals in soil. Soil contaminants may also have migrated into the groundwater. Ten soil samples were taken, which adequately characterizes soil contamination.
The majority of chemicals found in the leachate are mobile in soils and were present in both the shallow and deep mine aquifers. Volatile organic compounds, in particular, are very mobile in soils. There are a large number of volatile organic compounds present in the groundwater samples, but concentrations were low and some were detected in only one sample. Other chemicals found at low concentrations in the groundwater and leachate, such as phenols and benzyl alcohol, are also very mobile in soils. Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons were present in shallow aquifer samples. Typically, these chemicals are not very mobile in soils. The presence of these types of chemicals in groundwater may be an indication of high concentrations of soil contaminants below the surface.
Because chemicals in groundwater may degrade, chemicals may be present as the parent compound or its degradation products. For example, vinyl chloride is a degradation product of 1,1-dichloro-ethene, but can also be a parent or an original chemical. Recharge to the groundwater at the Fultz site consists of rainwater and run-off seeping through the landfill wastes into the shallow aquifer, then through fractures and collapsed mine chambers into the deep mine aquifer. Infiltration of rain water through landfill wastes may increase transport of chemicals to the groundwater.
In general, two connected, water-bearing, groundwater aquifer systems are present at the site. The shallow aquifer system is groundwater contained in the unconsolidated soils, garbage, and mine spoils that fill the valley at the north end of the site. The shallow aquifer system also includes seasonal perched bedrock aquifers. This aquifer is up to 55 feet thick, and is thickest on the south side of the valley, beneath the landfill (Figure 3, Appendix A). Depth to the water table is from 2 feet in the western portion of the Stream A valley, to 38 feet in the land-fill area. Although the bulk of the landfill wastes lies above the water table, wastes do come in contact with the water table at the northwest end of the landfill during high precipitation.
Groundwater flow in the shallow aquifer in the valley is from the east to the west, except for the area around Ponds 2 and 2A. In this area, a depression in the water table divides the shallow aquifer into east and west systems, forming a groundwater capture zone. The capture zone causes groundwater in the eastern portion of the shallow aquifer system to flow into the underlying deep mine aquifer. Groundwater flow in the western portion of the shallow aquifer is to the west, from Pond 3 towards the Wills Creek Valley, discharging into Wills Creek. Groundwater in these areas may include leachate from the landfill as well as possibly contaminated groundwater from sources to the east, upgradient from the landfill area, in the vicinity of Pond 1A.
The second aquifer system at the Fultz site is the deep mine aquifer and consists of the flooded underground Ideal Mine. This mine is one of 14 interconnected deep mines in the Freeport Coal seam that underlie this part of Guernsey County. Mining has left voids beneath the site, affecting groundwater flow. These voids are 4-5 feet high, but in some areas might be filled with collapsed ceiling rock.
The general direction of groundwater flow in the deep mine aquifer is south-southeast from the site, following the regional dip of the coal bed. It is difficult to accurately determine groundwater flow because past deep mining caused complex flow patterns. Mine passageways tend to run west-northwest to east-southeast, with galleries oriented at right angles, slightly east of north to slightly west of south (PRC Environmental 1990, Figures 1-3). The Fultz site is an unconfined recharge area for the deep mine aquifer and groundwater flow should be through these mine voids.
The deep mine aquifer in the vicinity of the Byesville municipal well to the southeast of the Fultz site is under confined conditions. This means that the aquifer in this area is overlain by impermeable rock layers causing artesian flow towards the surface through this well. Because the Byesville well is a significant artesian discharge point for the deep mine aquifer system, groundwater may flow in the aquifer from the Fultz site, a point of recharge, to the Byesville municipal well. The route groundwater would take would be circuitous, and dispersion, mixing, and dilution along the way, would cause water quality to vary widely depending on local hydrologic conditions. This would lessen the impact of site-related contaminants on this municipal water supply.
There does not appear to be a pattern of distribution of chemicals detected in the groundwater (Figure 4, Appendix A). This may result from the changes in groundwater flow at the site. The groundwater flow appears to be highly variable, flowing in at least three different directions. This may have an impact on contaminant transport in the groundwater.
Groundwater on-site contained site-related chemicals at levels of concern. There is no indication that people are currently being exposed to on-site groundwater. Residents in the area surrounding the site who are not receiving water from Byesville or Cambridge also depend on groundwater as the sole source of drinking water. The residential wells sampled are downgradient from the site and are screened in the shallow alluvial aquifer (in the Wills Creek Valley) and the deep mine aquifer. The shallow alluvial aquifer is connected to the on-site shallow aquifer. The Byesville municipal well is in the deep mine aquifer which may receive recharge from groundwater and surface water at the site. The Byesville municipal well is the primary drinking water source for the residents of Byesville. There is a potential for residents using groundwater from wells located southeast or west from the site (along the directional flow of the groundwater) to be exposed to arsenic, barium, chromium, lead, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and vinyl chloride. These chemicals are present in on-site groundwater and not in private or public water supplies. Potential human exposure pathways are shown in Table 5. Metals are not easily absorbed through the skin and do not easily volatilize from running water; therefore, exposure to humans should not occur through skin contact or inhalation.
As discussed in the Human Exposure Pathway Section of this document, residents in the area of Fultz Landfill may be exposed to arsenic, barium, chromium, lead, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and vinyl chloride. The data do not indicate that people are currently being exposed to these chemicals, but that there is a possibility that it could occur in the future.
The following section discusses the available data about the chemicals that are in potential human exposure pathways at the Fultz Landfill. There is often little information about the health effects caused by low level environmental exposure. Most human exposure studies use information from industrial exposures, where the doses are much higher than exposure from contaminants at the Fultz Landfill. Industrial exposure data normally do not include precise information about the dose, the purity of the chemicals, their interactions with other substances, and the duration of the exposure. With these limitations, human exposure data will be used in the following Toxicology Section. Although animals do not necessarily have the same responses that humans show when exposed to toxic substances, animal experiments can be conducted under carefully controlled dosages and time periods. Accordingly, when human information is unavailable, pertinent animal data will be incorporated into this section.
Human exposure to arsenic at the Fultz Landfill could occur if drinking water becomes contaminated. On-site groundwater contained arsenic at 427 µg/L.
Arsenic is a naturally-occurring element that is normally found combined with other elements. The exact forms of arsenic at the Fultz Landfill are unknown. Arsenic toxicity varies depending upon its form. The soluble inorganic forms are well absorbed from the digestive tract and distributed widely throughout the body. Arsenic is cleared rapidly from the blood. Most arsenic that is absorbed into the body is converted to a less-toxic form and excreted; consequently, arsenic does not accumulate in the body during exposures to low levels. Although arsenic accumulates in the liver, kidney, lung, spleen, aorta, and upper gastrointestinal tract, it is also cleared rapidly from these tissues. Arsenic remains and accumulates in the body mainly through the skin and hair.
Studies of the chronic oral effects of arsenic show that although some people can ingest up to 150 µg/kg/day without noticeable ill-effects, in more sensitive individuals, doses as low as 20 to 60 µg/kg/day may result in one or more signs of arsenic toxicity including: digestive tract irritation, disturbances of the blood and nervous systems, skin and blood vessel injuries, and liver or kidney injury. The potential ingestion of groundwater containing the maximum levels detected on-site could result in these type health effects. In addition, the potential could exist for persons to develop neurological problems such as numbness of the hands and feet, "pins and needles" sensations, which can lead to muscle weakness. The severity of these symptoms generally depends upon the duration of exposure. In most cases of chronic exposure, many or all of the signs of arsenic toxicity are detected together, indicating that the dose-response relationships for the various systemic end points are fairly similar. The most sensitive effects are the changes in pigmentation of the skin and the appearance of calluses.
In a carcinogenicity (ability to cause cancer) study, humans were classified into three exposure groups on the basis of arsenic concentration in their drinking water: low = 0 to 0.29 mg/L; medium = 0.3 to 0.59 mg/L; and high = 0.6 mg/L or more arsenic. The skin cancer prevalence rates in these groups were proportional to the arsenic exposure level. This study was consistent with other studies that detected an increased frequency of cancer in individuals exposed to water containing 0.3 mg/L or more arsenic (ATSDR, 1988). Groundwater on-site contained arsenic at 0.4 mg/L which is above this 0.3 mg/L exposure group and could increase a person's risk of cancer if exposure were to occur.
Some people may be exposed to additional sources of arsenic, such as in some industries. Persons who may show above average sensitivity to arsenic include those on protein-poor diets or those with choline deficiency. Inorganic arsenic is detoxified in humans by liver enzymes. Those individuals with low liver enzyme activity may be more sensitive to the effects of arsenic than are people with normal liver enzyme activity (ATSDR 1989).
Arsenic interacts with several other substances. A study of class-room behavior found that arsenic and other toxic metals increased the neurotoxic or nervous system effects of lead, measured by aggressive behavior in the classroom and decreased reading and spelling achievement. Also, the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon, benzo(a)pyrene, interacts with arsenic in the induction of lung tumors in hamsters.
Humans could be exposed to arsenic at the Fultz Landfill if drinking water becomes contaminated. Barium occurs in nature in several forms. The exact form of barium at the Fultz Landfill is unknown. Barium concentrations in on-site groundwater reached a high concentration of 6,000 µg/L. If a person were exposed to this maximum level of barium in drinking water, the estimated dose would exceed the USEPA Reference dose. The RfD is the estimate of daily exposure that should not result in adverse health effects in humans. In laboratory animal studies, this estimated exposure dose has been associated with the development of heart problems. The highest level of barium in on-site groundwater also exceeds the USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level for barium.
Barium taken by mouth is poorly absorbed into the body. Less than 5% of an administered dose of barium is absorbed through the digestive tract. The little that is absorbed stays mostly in the bones and teeth of humans.
Little human data are available about the effects of chronic barium exposure and these studies were not consistent with modern standards. Chronic oral exposure to low levels of barium has been shown to be related to some adverse effects in various animal organ systems. There appear to be no effects on the respiratory system of animals from exposure to various levels of barium through drinking water. There were, however, notable increases in blood pressure in rats exposed to high doses of barium. However, no effects on blood pressure were observed during the same experiment at lower doses.
Elemental barium in intermediate and chronic drinking water studies in doses ranging from 0.7 to 35 mg/kg/day was not associated with blood tissue changes or liver effects in rats. An estimated dose from drinking water with high levels of barium in on-site groundwater (6,000 µg/L) would not exceed these levels. Chronic oral exposure of rats to 14 mg/kg/day was not associated with lesions of the lymph nodes or thymus. These exposure levels also did not appear to be associated with brain or reproductive system injury.
Limited data suggest that some groups of the population may be more susceptible to barium exposure than the general population. Although the dose levels of barium that researchers used in interaction and risk studies may be higher than those expected at the Fultz Landfill, the possibility of potential problems does exist. People most at risk include: those with cardiovascular problems, lung disease, or taking certain prescription drugs, children, pregnant women, and smokers.
The human exposure pathway for chromium in the Fultz Landfill is through the potential ingestion of drinking water. Chromium is a naturally occurring element that is found in three major forms: chromium (0), chromium (III), and chromium (VI). It is not known which form is found at the Fultz Landfill. Chromium is an essential nutrient in the human diet that helps to maintain the normal metabolism of glucose, cholesterol, and fat. It is present in groundwater on-site at concentration levels (1,580 µg/L) much higher than the MCL. If a person were to be exposed to this maximum level of chromium (VI), the estimated dose would exceed the USEPA Reference Dose.
In animals, the digestive tract is the primary route of chromium entry into the body, however, uptake is relatively low and depends on the valence state of chromium. Chromium (VI) is more easily absorbed than chromium (III). Once absorbed, most chromium (VI) is changed to chromium (III). However, chromium (VI) can cross cell membranes easily, where it forms chromium protein complexes which cannot leave the cell.
In animal studies, hypoactivity was observed in rats given high doses of sodium chromate (VI) (98 mg/kg/day) in their drinking water. These same effects did not occur at lower doses. The highest exposure level at which no adverse effects were observed in chronic studies of rats exposed to chromium (VI) in drinking water was 25 mg/L (2.4 mg/kg/day).
Individuals who convert chromium (VI) to chromium (III) slowly have higher blood levels. These slow reducers might have increased susceptibility to the kidney and liver toxicity of chromium, however, clinical evidence for this is lacking. Chromium interacts with several other substances. Potassium dichromate, given by injection, increased the effects of the kidney poisons: mercuric chloride, citrinin, and hexachloro-1,3-butadiene. Chromium nitrate and mercuric chloride also interact with the transport of substances in the kidneys. Other studies indicate that chromium (VI) can enhance the effects of agents that damage DNA, such as some viruses, zinc, and benzo(a)pyrene (ATSDR 1989).
The environmental pathway for human exposure to lead at the Fultz Landfill is through the ingestion of drinking water. The highest lead concentration in on-site groundwater is 1,530 µg/L.
The database for lead is unusual in that it contains a great deal of information about dose-response relationships in humans, however, data are normally expressed in terms of internal exposure (normally blood levels), rather than in terms of environmental exposure levels.
Adults do not absorb lead readily via the digestive tract, whereas children absorb lead more readily. Most of absorbed lead is stored in bones. Lead is also distributed to the red blood cells, blood plasma, kidney, liver, and brain. This storage is cumulative and the body's lead levels increase over time. The amount of lead in the body is normally estimated by measuring blood levels. The lead in hair, bone, teeth, and urine can also be determined.
The end points of greatest concern for human health are the blood, the nervous, heart, and blood vessel systems, vitamin D metabolism, and growth. Much of the available information about lead exposure in humans uses either blood lead levels or was not done using modern protocols; therefore, animal data must be relied upon to determine the potential effects from exposure to lead through the consumption of drinking water containing lead.
Laboratory studies in a variety of animals revealed that exposure to lead in drinking water caused responses that were related to the lead dose. The primary effect was a depression of the immune system. Other effects included developmental delays (as seen in delays in righting reflexes) and decreases in the blood hemoglobin levels of the fetus. An EPA review of animal studies concluded that low-level lead exposure before or soon after birth results in retarded growth, however, this review did not establish dose-effect relationships. Other studies in rats and mice have provided no evidence that oral exposure to lead causes birth defects.
Segments of the population at highest risk from health effects from lead are preschool-age children, pregnant women and their fetuses, and white males between 40 and 59 years of age (ATSDR 1990). Lead in a pregnant woman can be carried to the unborn child and cause premature birth and low birth weight. In infants and young children, lead exposure has been shown to decrease intelligence (IQ) scores, slow growth, and cause hearing problems. These effects can happen at low exposure levels and last as the children get older. There is evidence that these effects may begin with child blood lead levels of 10 µg/dl. Middle-aged white males may have increased blood pressure which is associated with blood lead concentrations possibly as low as 7 µg/dL. Consumption of groundwater containing elevated lead concentrations at this site could likely result in an increase in blood lead levels sufficient to cause many of the health effects discussed above.
Lead interacts with many elements and nutrients. Calcium, iron, and phosphorus inhibit lead absorption. Inadequate levels of iron enhances the effects of exposure to lead on certain blood and liver enzyme activities (ATSDR 1990).
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Because of the large number of sources of PAHs, most people experience low level exposure to these substances. The potential for human exposure to PAHs at the Fultz site is through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water. The PAH compounds at the Fultz Landfill are not considered to be cancer-causing agents. Since the majority of studies of PAH toxicity have centered around their cancer-causing ability, less is known about the other effects of these substances (Sandmeyer 1981).
Among the noncarcinogenic PAHs, naphthalene is probably the most highly studied, thus, information on it may be used as an example for noncarcinogenic PAHs, although each PAH compound is somewhat different. In humans, the chronic oral effects that have been reported include: digestive symptoms such as abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, headache, profuse perspiration, listlessness, confusion, and urinary system symptoms such as irritation of the urinary bladder, urgency, painful or difficult urination, and the passage of a brown or black urine. The doses and durations of these exposures are unknown, but the doses were probably much higher than those expected at the Fultz site. If a person were to be exposed to this maximum level of PAHs in drinking water the estimated dose would exceed levels of concern.
Another symptom may be an acute break-up of the red blood cells within the vessels; this symptom is found particularly in individuals affected with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G-6-PD), a deficiency of an enzyme in the red blood cells (Gosselin 1984).
Populations which may be particularly susceptible to effects from naphthalene exposure are the young (who may have inadequate detoxification mechanisms) and those with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Naphthalene can also be toxic in normal individuals who do not have recognized blood cell defects. Even minute doses may be toxic to sensitive individuals (Gosselin 1984).
Humans may be exposed to PAHs at the Fultz Landfill through direct dermal contact with contaminated groundwater. Except in the case of newborns, naphthalene absorption through the skin is believed to be inadequate to produce acute general body reactions. However, general body reactions have occurred after dressing infants in clothing stored with naphthalene mothballs, suggesting that skin absorption may occur. With the exception of skin inflammation, reports of naphthalene poisoning in industry are rare. Other dermal effects include ulceration of the eye cornea and cataracts following exposure to vapor and dust (Gosselin 1984). The concentration levels for these effects are unknown, but are probably much higher than those expected at the Fultz Landfill. Upon repeated contact, naphthalene can cause skin redness and inflammation, especially in hypersensitive individuals.
The human exposure pathway to vinyl chloride from the Fultz Landfill is through the use of contaminated groundwater. The highest level of vinyl chloride in on-site groundwater is 7.0 µg/L. Exposure to this maximum level of vinyl chloride may result in a slight excess risk of cancer if exposure would be for a person's lifetime. Chronic oral toxicity data were not located for humans. The liver appears to be the critical target organ in animals exposed orally to vinyl chloride.
Examination of the effects of chronic human inhalation of vinyl chloride has shown that it can cause chromosome abnormalities in a type of white blood cell in occupationally-exposed workers. These studies have identified 1 ppm as the highest dose level at which no chromosome abnormalities were observed. Several epidemiologic studies or trends in disease have associated occupational exposure to vinyl chloride with cancers of the liver and possibly of the brain.
Pertinent information about chronic dermal exposure to vinyl chloride in either humans or animals was not located in the available literature (ATSDR 1989).
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies vinyl chloride as a positive human carcinogen (Sittig 1985). The USEPA classifies vinyl chloride through both the ingestion and inhalation pathways as belonging to class A, a human carcinogen (ATSDR 1989).
Information has not been located specifically regarding subpopulations that are unusually sensitive to the effects of vinyl chloride. Populations at higher risk are those that have occupational exposure.
Vinyl chloride may interact with several other compounds. Phenobarbital may interact with vinyl chloride by the induction of enzymes that enhance the metabolism of vinyl chloride to a toxic intermediate. Ethanol may intensify some of the fetal and maternal effects of vinyl chloride. Other substances which may interact with vinyl chloride include trichloropropene oxide and cysteine (ATSDR 1989).
The only health outcome data available are county cancer mortality data and county birth defects data. There are no health outcome data available which are specific to this site. The smallest area for which data are available is Guernsey County which would not be relevant for the immediate area around Fultz. Since county level data encompass a much larger population than those potentially affected in the vicinity of the site, any health effect would be diluted and statistically insignificant.
The Guernsey County Health Commissioner indicated that there is a lack of community concern. The County Health Department has not received any community concern information. ODH has made several attempts to investigate the existence of community concerns, however, there does not appear to be any community health concerns about the Fultz Landfill.