PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
WESSON, COPIAH COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI
ATSDR considers the proposed Potter Company NPL site to not to be a public health hazard currently. This is due to the lack of any ongoing exposures to any site-related contaminants.
However, the residents of Wesson and students and staff at Copiah-Lincoln Community College were exposed to trichloroethylene (TCE) at levels of health concern for up to 15 years. The possible health consequences of this exposure should be evaluated by first better identifying the length and level of exposure through groundwater flow modelling. Depending on the results of this modelling, a cancer mortality data review for Wesson, and an epidemiologic study of Wesson residents should be considered.
One data gap was identified. This was the lack of analyses for PCBs in water.
If the site is not remediated appropriately, there is a potential for the Wesson Municipal wells 3
and 4 and Lincoln Rural wells 1 and 2 to be contaminated by TCE and other site-related
ATSDR recommends the following:
1) that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency require Potter Company to analyze for PCBs in the monitoring wells where contamination is the highest; and
2) that the length of exposure to TCE in drinking water by Wesson residents be determined by groundwater flow modelling;
ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has evaluated the data and information developed in the Potter Company Public Health Assessment and has determined that the residents of Wesson and health care professionals should receive additional information on the toxicity of TCE. The specific type and targets of this education will be identified through consultation between ATSDR's Divisions of Health Assessment and Consultation and Health Education.
If more information becomes available on the length and level of exposure to TCE in Wesson drinking water through groundwater flow modelling, ATSDR Division of Health Studies should review to determine the need for health studies follow-up.
Public Health Action Plan
ATSDR will conduct groundwater flow modelling of the Wesson area to determine the length of exposure to TCE.
The Potter Company Public Health Assessment was available for public review and comment from August 31, 1994 through September 29, 1994. The Public Comment Period was announced in the Brookhaven Daily Leader. Copies of the public health assessment were made available for review at the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Library, and the Wesson Town Hall. In addition, the public health assessment was sent to seven persons or organizations. Comments were received from First Environment, the environmental consultant to Potter Company .
Comments and responses are described in Appendix 4.
John R. Crellin, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Sven E. Rodenbeck, P.E.
Environmental Engineer Consultant
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
ATSDR Regional Representative
Robert E. Safay
Senior Regional Representative
ATSDR Region IV
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- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). HRS Documentation Record, Potter Company (Region IV). Washington, D.C.: EPA, December 1992.
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