PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
AMERICAN CREOSOTE WORKS, INCORPORATED
WINNFIELD, WINN PARISH, LOUISIANA
The Public Comment Period for American Creosote company extended from September 1, 1994through October 31, 1994. During this time, no letters or phone calls were received by LOPHregarding the American Creosote company Public Health Assessment. As part of the PublicComment process, LOPH held a public meeting on September 19, 1994 at the Allen Building inWinnfield to explain the document, answer questions, and collect comments. Twenty peopleattended. The comments can be grouped into health concerns, remedial concerns, and otherconcerns.
|1)||Concern about access to the site due to the fact that the entire site is not fenced.|
|The southern part of the site is not fenced. The levels of contaminants on this area of the site are very low and do not cause health effects. This area of the site will not be remediated. Thenorthern boundary of the site is Creosote Branch. The fence is placed on the south side of theCreosote Branch allowing access to contaminated sediments in the Branch. Access to this area ofthe site would expose anyone who was in the Creosote Branch to site contaminants.|
|2)||Concern about the continued use of creosote on telephone poles and railroad ties.|
|This Public Health Assessment is site specific and it evaluates environmental data, health data and community concerns related specifically to the American Creosote site. In order to address theabove concern, it would be necessary to know the contaminants present, the concentration, theroutes of exposure, and the population exposed.|
|3)||Concerns about a high rate of breast cancer and a potential thyroid cancer cluster in Winnfield.|
|Adequate cancer incidence data are not available at this time for Winn Parish to investigate concerns of high breast cancer rates. However, the contaminants of concern at the site have notbeen associated with breast cancer.|
SEE has asked the community to identify those individuals with thyroid cancer in order toinvestigate the cluster. SEE is waiting for the information.
|4)||Concern about being contaminated and if the contamination stays with a person.|
|The contaminants detected at the American Creosote Site are Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Pentachlorophenol (PCP) and Dioxin. |
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected in onsite soil and surface water and insediment offsite. Exposure to the levels detected do not exceed health guidelines. PAHs canenter all the tissues of your body, but do not tend to be stored in your body for a long time. Themajority of PAHs that enter the body is excreted in the feces and urine within a few days.
Pentachlorophenol (PCP) was detected in onsite surface soil and surface water. the level of PCPdetected in soil does not exceed health guidelines. Exposure of children to levels detected inonsite surface water does exceed health guidelines, but does not necessarily represent a healththreat. PCP quickly leaves your body. Studies in humans show that half the amount of PCPtaken in is usually gone within 33 hours. Most of the PCP that enters your body does not breakdown and leaves in your urine. PCP that stays in the body is distributed to organs like the liver,kidneys and the brain.
Dioxin was detected in onsite soil. No off site soil data is available. Exposure to the levelsdetected in onsite soil exceeds health guidelines. Dioxin is highly toxic. Dioxin is fat soluble andwill accumulate in the body in organs with fat and in body fat. Because dioxin is fat soluble, it hasa long residence time in the body.
|5)||Request that the drinking wells are sampled every six months to check for contaminants.|
|To the knowledge of LOPH there are no private drinking wells within a one mile radius of the site. The Public Water Systems are tested according to EPA Safe Drinking Water Regulationsevery 3 years. EPA collected a ground water sample from a municipal drinking water supply well200 yards north of the creosote branch. The only compounds detected in the sample from thiswell were PAHs (acenaphthene, fluorene) but the levels did not exceed ATSDR comparisonvalues. A resample of this well indicated no PAHs or phenol.|
|6)||Concern about a child's asthma becoming worse since moving to that neighborhood.|
|The only contaminant that is associated with respiratory effects are PAHs. There is no air monitoring data available to indicate the level of PAHs in order to determine if exposure is atlevels that may cause respiratory health effects. The worsening of asthma could be due tonumerous reasons including dust in the air because the site does not have vegetative covering, oran allergic reaction to substances in the area for example.|
|7)||Concern that the incinerator will have an effect on health.|
|The incinerator burns sediments, soils, and wood fragments at high temperatures and effectively destroys any toxic materials in the burning process. PAHs that are incinerated are 99.99%destroyed and the PCPs that are incinerated are 99.9999% destroyed by the design removalefficiency set up by EPA. The major products of combustion are carbon monoxide, carbondioxide, water in the form of steam and particulate matter which are emitted through theincinerator's smoke stack at levels that do not exceed ambient air standards. Continuous airmonitoring will be conducted in the smoke stack and at the site perimeter during site remediation.|
|8)||How will the community be protected from contaminated dust during remediation?|
|There will be continuous air monitoring at the site perimeter. If levels of contaminants exceed air standards, remedial operations will be stopped.|
|9)||Has there been, or could there be, a study on the past workers who were covered in creosote while working?|
|There has not been a study of the workers at the American Creosote Plant. Occupational exposure and studies are usually conducted by OSHA (Occupational Safet and HealthAdministration) or NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health).|
|10)||Concern about the contamination in Creosote branch, possibly reaching the Dugdamona.|
|The sediment and surface water has been tested in Creosote Branch. PCP was detected in the surface water on site. There is no surface water data for off-site. PAHs were detected insediment in Creosote Branch off-site 1 mile down stream, 6,300 feet and 10,000 feet downstream. There are no fish or crawfish data from creosote branch. Fish sample from the LittleRiver at Highway 500 approximately 30 miles downstream from the site indicated no sitecontaminants. No data is available from the Dugdamona River.|
|11)||Concern about a high rate of women with hysterectomies in Winnfield.|
|LOPH is not able to measure the rate of hysterectomies since it is not a reportable disease and there is no registry for hysterectomies. However, the site contaminants are not associated withhealth effects that would indicate a hysterectomy.|
|12)||Concern about filling the data gaps.|
|The EPA representative at the meeting committed to cooperating with LOPH and othergovernmental agencies to fill the data gaps and providing information that would help LOPH.|