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HEALTH CONSULTATION

LEFFINGWELL ROAD PIPELINE SPILL
BERLIN TOWNSHIP, MAHONING COUNTY, OHIO
( Number 1 )


DISCUSSION OF THE ISSUES

NEDO-OEPA (DERR) asked ODH to evaluate the health risks posed by incidental exposure to sediments in the intermittent stream north of the Leffingwell Road culvert. This evaluation was based on the analytical results from sediment samples taken November 14, 1997, from 10 locations along the course of the creek from Leffingwell Road to where Bedell Road crosses the creek to the north (NEDO-OEPA, 1997b).

The results of this sediment sampling indicate that semi-volatile organic compounds (PAHs) are not in sediments in downstream portions of the intermittent stream north of OEPA sampling site SD-09, north of Leffingwell Road (Figure 3). Low levels of carcinogenic PAHs were found only at sampling locality SD-09, essentially the same site in which the same chemicals were detected in sediments in the December 18, 1996, sampling event. Sediment sampling results from the November 14, 1997, sampling confirm the presence of comparatively low levels of PAHs and their limited distribution in the intermittent stream sediments. A comparison of the results of the November 14, 1997, sediment sampling event and background levels of PAHs in rural and urban soils is presented in Table 2 (Appendix A).

The sampling results for sediments sampled November 14, 1997, for station SD-09 indicate the presence of PAHs at 0.46 ppm for benzo(a)anthracene, 0.62 ppm for chrysene, 0.71 ppm for benzo(b)fluoranthene, and 0.5 ppm for benzo(a)pyrene. Doses associated with adverse health effects from any PAH compound when taken orally are higher than any of the measured levels from station SD09 (ATSDR, 1995). The adverse health effects listed in the Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) (ATSDR, 1995) are associated with skin contact at concentrations that are higher than those found in the sediment sample from SD09. In addition, these values are within the background levels listed by ATSDR (1995) for a variety of PAHs in both rural and urban soils ( see Table 1, Appendix A).

Because there is little evidence that residents are having prolonged contact with sediments in this area and because the detected levels are lower than those associated with adverse health effects, incidental contact with the stream and its sediments should not pose a health hazard.


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Chemical contaminants detected in sediments in the intermittent stream north of the culvert under Leffingwell Road consist of isolated occurrences of semi-volatile organic compounds, primarily low-levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

  2. PAHs found in stream sediments are currently limited to those portions of the creek immediately adjacent to Leffingwell Road. Portions of the stream downstream of sampling locality SD-09 are free of PAH contamination.

  3. Carcinogenic PAHs were detected in sediments only at sampling locality SD-09. Concentrations of PAH compounds at SD-09 from the November 14, 1997, sampling were nearly 50% lower than levels of the same compounds detected at the same locality in the December 18, 1996, sampling event.

  4. The isolated and limited occurrence of carcinogenic PAHs in stream sediments and the low levels of these compounds present (at levels below those associated with adverse health effects) indicate that incidental contact with the intermittent stream and its sediments north of Leffingwell Road does not pose a health hazard to area residents.

 

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