PETRO-PROCESSORS OF LOUISIANA INCORPORATE
BATON ROUGE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LOUISIANA
The tables in this section list the contaminants of concern. These contaminants are evaluated inthe subsequent sections of the health assessment to determine whether exposure to the existingcontaminants has public health significance. ATSDR and SEE select and discuss thesecontaminants based upon the following factors:
- Concentrations of contaminants on and off the site.
- Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design.
- Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with health assessment comparison valuesfor (1) non-carcinogenic endpoints and (2) carcinogenic endpoints.
- Community health concerns.
If a contaminant is listed in the data tables that follow, it does not necessarily mean that it willcause adverse health effects from exposure. Instead, it indicates which contaminants will beevaluated further in the health assessment. When selected as a contaminant of concern in onemedium, a contaminant and its concentration will be reported in all other media. Appendix Ccontains a list and definitions of acronyms and terms used in the tables.
Comparison values for the health assessment are concentrations of existing contaminants inspecific media that are used to select contaminants for further evaluation. These include theEMEG, RMEG and CREG values provided by the ATSDR. The EMEGs and RMEGs arecomparison values derived for health effects with non-cancer end points, whereas, the CREGcomparison values are estimated contaminant concentrations based on a one excess cancer in amillion persons exposed over a lifetime. They are calculated from the EPA cancer slope factors. Comparison values are not intended to be used as predictors of adverse health effects or settingclean-up levels. Media concentrations below these levels are not likely to pose a health threat,however, levels above the comparison values do not necessarily mean a health threat is likely. It does not take into consideration highly sensitive or susceptible persons.
The PPI site is not included on the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) reports. The fourmajor industries located around the PPI site are Reynolds Metal Co., Schuylkill Metal Co.,Rollins Industry, and Kaiser Aluminum Co. Only Schuylkill Metal Co. is listed in the 1989 or1993 TRI report. Toxic substances such as sulfuric acid, aluminum (fume or dust), antimonycompounds, lead compounds, and arsenic compounds were reported by Schuylkill Metal Co. The total release of these chemicals from this company in 1989 was 229,440 pounds. Thebreakdown of this total includes 7,068 pounds released in air, 293 pounds in water and 222,079pounds onto land. In 1993, the release was for antimony compounds (41,814 lb), arsenic (16,726lb), and lead (88,282 lb).
As stated earlier, the Brooklawn area consists of three generally identifiable areas of wastedisposal or contamination: (1) the bluff area, (2) the batture area which contains the upper and lower lagoons, and (3) the cypress swamp area.
The bluff waste disposal area contained about 18,500 cubic yards of industrial waste debris suchas bulk rubbers and polymers, drums containing semi-solid wastes, empty drums, white chalkysolids, black wet solids, metallic slag, and oily wastes.
The batture area (a batture is the land between a river at low water stage and a levee) has upperand lower lagoons which are within the Mississippi River flood plain. The upper lagoon containsabout 28,000 cubic yards of sludge-like wastes, the lower lagoon contains about 12,500 cubicyards of similar materials. Wastes disposed of in the lagoons included drummed wastes, blocksof rubber, plastic wastes, cardboard materials, yellow white granular and rubber materials, andmaterials described as black, stringy, tar-like sludge.
Contamination beneath the lagoons has been detected to depths of 60 feet below grade. Thelagoons are the areas containing the highest contaminant concentrations detected at the PPI site. Free phase liquid and dissolved contaminant groundwater plumes have been identified beneaththe lagoons and adjacent batture areas, extending south of Hall Buck Road.
Soils and sediments in the cypress swamp area have been contaminated with black, oily wastesdown to depths of 6.5 feet. The cypress swamp area is estimated to contain about 38,000 cubicyards of black oily, tar-like materials.
Analysis of soil samples from the bluff and the batture areas detected heavy contamination withchlorinated hydrocarbons, chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) andhexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) at levels that exceeded ATSDR comparison values. At the bluffarea, contaminant distribution appeared to be heavy from 15 to 47 feet deep. In the batture area,contamination was detected from the surface down to a depth of 32 feet. Levels ofcontamination are presented in Table 1.
Comparison Values were obtained from the Health Guidelines for evaluating public health implications 6/30/95. Exposure assumptions: a child with a body weight of 10 kg, soil ingestion rate of 200 mg/day, pica child soil ingestion of5000 mg/day.
Surface water samples from the two waste lagoons located at the Brooklawn site, showed that theupper lagoon is more heavily contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons than the lower lagoon. In 1994, following removal of sludge and incineration off-site of free-phase organics, the upperlagoon was filled with clean soil and a two inch clay cap was placed as a cover. The majorcontaminants that were detected in the surface water from the lagoons are presented in Table 2.
During heavy rainfall in the past, the lagoons may have overflowed into Bayou Baton Rouge tothe southwest contaminating the bayou water. Currently, according to LDEQ, storm water iscontinuously pumped from the open lower lagoon, treated by incineration, monitored andreleased into the bayou.
Comparison Values were obtained from the Health Guidelines for evaluating public health implications (6/30/95).
During December 1981, four monitoring wells were installed at the Brooklawn area. Drillingdepth ranged from 32 to 53 feet. A very dark reddish-brown oily liquid was encountered at 53feet from monitoring well BL-3, located at the south end of the lagoons (batture area) (AppendixA, Figure 3). The contaminants detected in well BL-3 included hexachlorobutadiene,hexachloroethane and various other chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Groundwater samples were also collected from wells located southwest of the lagoons and nearthe southeast corner of Cypress Swamp. These wells, screened at depths between 0 to 10 feetbelow mean sea level (MSL), indicated elevated concentrations of chlorinated hydrocarboncompounds ranging from 50-500 ppm. Samples from monitoring wells screened between 10 and30 feet below MSL indicated chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations in the range of 500-5000ppm. Groundwater sampled from wells in the 40 feet below MSL sand indicated chlorinatedhydrocarbons at concentrations less than 5 ppm. The lateral extent of groundwatercontamination as of 1988 appears to be confined to the southwest edge of the cypress swamp,abutting the western batture area and the lower batture area southeast of the lagoons. Table 3, presents the concentrations of the contaminants detected at the Brooklawn area from groundwater sampling in 1984.
Health Guidelines for evaluating public health implications (6/30/95). Exposure assumptions are for a child with a 10 kgbody weight, water ingestion rate of one liter per day, for 70 year lifetime. LTHA is the lifetime health advisory fordrinking water (EPA).
The release of volatile contaminants into the air during the initial remedial activities in 1987 wasa major concern. During this time, the NOAEL (no observed adverse effects level) fence lineexposure limits were exceeded on 6 separate days in November and December along BrooklawnRoad (Air Emissions Risk Assessment at the Petro-Processors Site, August 31, 1993, AddendumC to the Remedial Planning Activities Report). Air monitoring data from the waste mixing andsolidification area showed that comparison values were routinely exceeded. Airbornecontaminants were collected using glass sealed XAD-2 sorbent tubes and charcoal sorbent tubes. HCBD was the primary compound detected at elevated levels and it was considered to be one ofthe primary contaminants of concern (Table 4).
Samples collected during periods when no waste handling was being conducted indicated that allcontaminants were at levels well below their comparison values. Data of air emissions fromcurrent incineration of waste at the Brooklawn site is being submitted by NPC for review andwill appear in the Health Advisories Update.
Comparison Values were obtained from the Health Guidelines for evaluating public health implications (6/30/95).
Scenic Highway Area
The Scenic Highway area consists of two main areas of waste disposal or contamination: 1) thebluff area, which was the initial primary disposal site and 2) the batture area a relatively smallarea of waste burial to the west of the bluff area, (Appendix A, Figure 4). As seen from thetopographic features of the map, the batture area is further divided into the north, northwest, and southwest batture areas.
The bluff area contained rubber, plastic, wood and some drummed wastes. Soil samplesobtained from this area were described as being stained black with oily material. Approximately88,000 cubic yards of mixed industrial wastes were identified for excavation from the bluff area.
Contaminated soil in the batture area was detected to depths of approximately 14 feet. Freephase liquid and groundwater contaminant plumes appear to originate near the southern edge ofthe bluff area.
Surface soil (depth unknown) samples indicate relatively low to moderate contamination withchlorinated hydrocarbons and chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons, HCB and HCBD. Soil coredata indicate that chlorinated hydrocarbons persist throughout the subsurface at low levels ofcontamination. At the 35-37 foot depths, the number of compounds and their relativeconcentrations in the soil increase. However, chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons wereconcentrated more near the surface at 5 to 7 feet than in the deeper soils sampled at 15-17 feet. Generally, soil contamination extends from the surface to a depth of 25 feet (Table 5).
The Scenic Highway site was capped in 1992 and contains a 2 inch clay cap. Bayou BatonRouge runs along the western boundary of the Scenic Highway site.
Health Guidelines for evaluating public health implications (6/30/95). Exposure assumptions are for a child with a 10 kgbody weight, soil ingestion rate of 200 mg/day, pica child soil ingestion of 5000 mg/day, for a 70 year lifetime. Contaminants were detected at surface soil to a depth of 25 feet.
Results of the groundwater sampled from monitoring wells on-site indicate heavy contaminationwith chlorinated hydrocarbons. Groundwater was found to be contaminated in the vicinity of thebluff area and the north, northwest and southwest batture areas (Metcalf and Eddy, 1988). WellGM-7 (Appendix A, Figure 5), indicated chlorinated hydrocarbons at levels of 500-5000 ppm. Elevated concentrations of groundwater contaminants were also found in well GM-3 and GM-4south of the batture area. Concentrations of chlorinated hydrocarbons ranged from 5-50 ppm. The contamination had migrated to a maximum depth of 40 feet below the surface elevation.
Groundwater in the shallow alluvial deposits flows southwest from the bluff area towards BayouBaton Rouge. Some of the contaminants identified during 1988, are highly mobile in soils. Groundwater samples were collected from a shallow up-gradient well located in the northwestcorner of the site, well S-UG-1, which is screened at about 40 feet below MSL. Data forgroundwater samples from well S-UG-1, shows 96 ppb 1,2-dichloroethane, and 75 ppb 1,1dichloroethane. Since the compounds observed in the well are highly mobile and soluble, thisindicates that S-UG-1 is also situated in the leading edge of a contaminated plume. The degreeof contamination that may be moving off-site toward Bayou Baton Rouge is currently underinvestigation by EPA.
Currently there are nine monitoring wells installed around the Scenic Highway area. Three ofthese wells are deep monitoring wells. One is deep up-gradient well screened at 128 to 290 feetbelow MSL, and two are deep gradient wells screened at 135 to 367 feet below MSL. Chemicalanalysis of groundwater from these wells did not indicate any contamination.
Analysis of on-site air sampling at the Scenic Highway site showed above comparison valuelevels of chlorinated hydrocarbons, HCB and HCBD (Table 6).
Comparison Values were obtained from the Health Guidelines for evaluating public health implications (6/30/95).
In February 1985, the field investigation team (FIT) from EPA Region VI, collected 35 soilsamples from 23 locations at Devil's Swamp. These soil samples were collected to determine thenature and extent of possible contaminant migration from the Brooklawn facility into Devil'sSwamp.
HCBD and HCB were detected in all but five of the soil sample locations. The HCBDconcentrations ranged between 300 and 460 ppm and HCB between 5.6 and 54 ppm (Table 7).Seventeen of the 23 soil samples showed heavy metal contamination. The most significantcontamination indicated concentrations of lead that ranged from 22-319 ppm.
In 1992, EPA conducted an Expanded Site Investigation on Devil's Swamp and Bayou BatonRouge. Sediment and water were sampled throughout the Devil's Swamp and Bayou BatonRouge area. Soil was not sampled.
In August 1985, data on sediment samples from Devil's Swamp indicated the presence of HCB,HCBD and PCB (Table 8).
Sediment samples taken from the northeastern end of Devil's Swamp near the entrance of theRollins Environmental Inc. discharge ditch, showed PCB's at concentrations of up to 4 ppm. TheWater Pollution Control Division (WPCD) of LDEQ considers a level of 0.020 ppm of PCB's insediments as an upper limit for background levels. Additional sampling was undertaken inMarch 1986. The analytical results of sediment samples taken in the wastewater effluent ditchon the Rollins property indicated PCB's in the sediment. PCB levels ranged from 0.11 ppm to14.2 ppm. The PCB data indicates that Devil's Swamp is acting as a reservoir for thesecompounds which are persistent in the environment.
According to the EPA Expanded Site Investigation on Devil's Swamp in 1992, thirty-sixsediment samples were collected from four locations in Devil's Swamp: (1) northern Devil'sSwamp which encompasses NPC/Ewell property, (2) north central Devil's Swamp which extendfrom NPC/Ewell property to Devil's Swamp, (3) southern Devil's Swamp which includes the areafrom Devil's Swamp lake to the re-emerging channel of southern Bayou Baton Rouge, and (4)southern Bayou Baton Rouge. Chemical analysis of sediment samples collected north of theNPC/Ewell property line detected the highest concentration of HCBD (12,000 ppm), HCB (120ppm), and lead (310 ppm). Concentrations of PCB's were highest (6.4 ppm) in sediment samplescollected west of the Rollins outfall. These levels exceeded ATSDR comparison values.
In 1985, the FIT collected water samples from 23 locations in Devil's Swamp to determine thenature and extent of possible contaminant migration from the Brooklawn facility into Devil'sSwamp. HCBD and HCB were the only compounds detected in significant concentrations in thewater samples.
In 1992, EPA collected water samples from four locations in Devil's Swamp: (1) northern Devil'sSwamp, (2) north central Devil's Swamp, (3) southern Devil's Swamp, and (4) southern BayouBaton Rouge. Chemical analysis of surface water detected 1,2 dichloroethane and HCBD atlevels that did not exceed ATSDR comparison values.
During waste excavation activities in June 1987, elevated levels of volatile contaminants escapedfrom the Brooklawn area. HCBD was the primary toxic compound detected at elevated levels. At both the Schuylkill fence line and the Reynolds fence line, the levels detected exceededATSDR comparison values (Table 9). All waste handling operations involving excavation werestopped at this time and other remedial alternatives for the site were reviewed. A differentremedial plan which did not involve excavation was later adopted.
From the Fall of 1986 through the Spring of 1987, the LDEQ analyzed a series of fish samplesfrom Devil's Swamp for residues of observed chemicals in edible tissues (fillets). The tissueresults indicated that the levels of HCB and HCBD exceeded the guidelines of the LDHH andLDEQ. The comparison value level for both HCB and HCBD is 0.06 ppm, applicable only toedible tissues. The HCB and HCBD levels detected in fish sampled in 1987 are presented inTable 10. As a result of this study and earlier sediment screening, the Louisiana Water PollutionControl Division of LDEQ and LDHH posted signs on October 29, 1987, advising the public against swimming or taking and consuming fish or other aquaticorganisms from Devil's Swamp Lake.
In March 1993, additional fish and crawfish sampling was conducted at Devil's Swamp andBayou Baton Rouge. HCB and HCBD were detected at above comparison value levels in finfish. The HCB concentration in fish fillets ranged from 0.02-5.4 ppm and HCBD from 0.014-3.6 ppm. Analyses of crawfish data did not detect any HCB or HCBD contamination levels that wouldpose adverse health effects. As a result of the elevated levels of HCB and HCBD in fish, LDHHand LDEQ recommended to the public that consumption of all fish species from these waters belimited to two meals per month. A meal is considered to be one-half pound of fish. This healthadvisory is based on fish samples taken from Devil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge. It isdesigned to include sensitive populations such as children and pregnant women. However, thearea of concern extends beyond the sampled area to include all of Thomas Point east from theBaton Rouge Harbor west to the Mississippi River and extends from Hall Buck Marine Roadsouth to the Mississippi River. When additional data become available for review, theboundaries of the advisory may change to reflect current conditions and data. Other biotasampling was also conducted which included raccoon, deer and squirrel. Contaminants detectedin these tissues were at levels that pose no health risk.
(LA health guideline)
|Large mouth bass||0.024-0.122||0.021-0.224||0.06|
|Big mouth buffalo||0.0-0.006||0.0-0.028||0.06|
|Small mouth buffalo||0.0-0.015||0.0-0.026||0.06|
Scenic Highway Area
In 1992, EPA collected twenty-two sediment samples from different locations in Bayou BatonRouge. Contamination was detected from 250 feet upstream of the NPC northern propertyboundary at the Scenic Highway site to 500 feet downstream of NPC's barrow pit bridge.Chemical analysis of the sediment samples detected concentrations of 49 ppm HCB, 65 ppmHCBD and 1410 ppm of lead. These levels exceed ATSDR comparison values.
In 1992, EPA collected three surface water samples from different locations in Bayou BatonRouge. Chemical analysis did not show any contamination.
A contaminated groundwater plume exists approximately 50 feet below mean sea level (about110 feet below the surface), that crosses the railroad tracks in the direction of U.S. Highway 61. (Metcalf and Eddy report 1988).
No excavation of the wastes at the Scenic Highway area took place, therefore, no off-site air samples were collected. The area was capped in 1992 and contains a two inch clay cover.
Soil was not sampled during the Expanded Site Investigation of 1992.
Various types of environmental samples were collected periodically, by different methods and atseveral different times and locations. Comparisons were difficult due to the numerous methodsof analysis performed using different detection limits. Results were reported in different unitsand levels of QA/QC have varied from study to study. No documentation of sample handlingand preservation is available. The analysis of air samples includes data on blanks but not on theanalysis of duplicates, split samples, or standards. No discussion of recovery efficiency oranalysis is included. Although some monitoring data gathered, analyzed, and validated byregulatory agencies appear to have undergone laboratory QA/QC procedures, no QA/QCinformation has been provided for most of the analytic data received. In particular, data before 1985 have no QA/QC documentation.
The site itself is fenced and there are guards on duty 24 hours a day. The only physical hazards present are those associated with construction activities.
Exposure pathways are identified by examining environmental and human components that leadto contact with contaminants. A pathway analysis considers five elements: a source ofcontamination, transport through an environmental medium, a point of exposure, a route ofexposure, and an exposed population. The environmental component consists of the first threeelements, i.e., source of contamination, transport medium, and point of exposure. The humanexposure component consists of the last two elements, i.e., route of human exposure and thereceptor population. ATSDR categorizes an exposure pathway either as completed or as a potential exposure pathway if the exposure pathway cannot be eliminated. Completed pathwaysrequire that the five elements exist and indicates that exposure to a contaminant has occurred inthe past, is currently occurring or will occur in the future. Potential pathways, however, requirethat at least one of the five elements is missing, but could exist. Potential pathways indicate thatexposure to a contaminant could have occurred in the past, could be occurring now, or couldoccur in the future. An exposure pathway can be eliminated if at least one of the five elements ismissing and will never be present. The discussion that follows incorporates only those pathways that are important and relevant to the site.
Source of Exposure
The Petro-Processors Inc. Site, is located in an industrial corridor, north of Baton Rouge. Itserved as a toxic waste dump from approximately 1965-1980. Contaminants at both theBrooklawn and the Scenic Highway sites were located within the air, soil, surface water andgroundwater. Past sources of exposure included air, surface water, and soil. Contaminationon-site as well as off-site has probably occurred due to the various transport mechanisms actingsuch as; wind, surface water runoff, flooding, excavation, construction and dust from vehiculartraffic. Exposure to air contaminants on-site occurred when initial remediation practices began. To date, the sites are contained within a fenced and secured area. Air monitoring as well asshallow and deep ground water monitoring is occurring at the Brooklawn site. The upper lagoonat the Brooklawn site has been capped, while the lower lagoon is being treated on site bypumping and incineration of surface water and sediment. The treated water that is discharged ismonitored. A clay cap has been placed at the Scenic Highway site, and no remediation isoccurring at this time. A potential source of exposure presently and in the future is fromcontaminated groundwater moving in a plume off-site of the facilities. In addition, a source ofpotential exposure presently and in the future off-site includes exposure to contaminated soil,sediment, surface and ground water, and ingestion of fish. This source of exposure includesportions of Devils Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge. No samples of residential soil or water hasbeen tested at this time.
Past exposure pathways are likely from contamination of surface and subsurface soil at both thesites. Soil ingestion and dermal contact are considered routes of exposure, particularly forremedial workers on-site. Workers on-site must follow precautionary environmental guidelinesdefined by EPA. Many of the lagoons and major areas containing hazardous contaminants havebeen covered and potential exposures have been minimized. Residents are unlikely to getexposed on-site because the site is secured and guarded 24 hours. However, limited informationis available on current and future sources of soil exposure to the general population off-site.
Past exposure may have occurred, current and future exposure is possible from the contaminated sediments detected in Devil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge.
Devil's Swamp: Past exposure to contaminated sediments could have occurred through dermalcontact and ingestion of fish and water by residents who use Devil's Swamp for fishing andswimming. In 1993 and presently, a health advisory exists, warning against sediment and watercontact at Devil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge (Appendix E). The potential for present andfuture exposures exists for persons who do not follow the health advisory.
Bayou Baton Rouge: Past, present and future exposure pathways are possible from contaminatedsediment at Bayou Baton Rouge through ingestion and dermal contact. The bayou flows by boththe Brooklawn and Scenic Highway areas. Prior erosion of the bank may have caused wastematerial to directly enter the waterway. However, erosion control has been initiated. The health advisory recommends no sediment or water contact for Bayou Baton Rouge as well as Devil's Swamp.
Past, current and future exposure pathways were/are likely from contamination of fish in Devil'sSwamp. Fish in Devil's Swamp accumulated HCB and HCBD either directly by ingestingcontaminated water and sediment or indirectly by consuming other fish. The LDEQ and theLDHH posted an advisory for Devil's Swamp Lake on October 29, 1987. The advisory wasupdated and expanded in 1993. The LDHH and LDEQ advised that consumption of all fishspecies from the Devil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge area be limited to two meals per month,consisting of one-half pound of fish per meal (Appendix E). These areas are sites of recreationalactivity such as hunting and fishing. Present and future exposure to contaminated fish maycontinue if the health advisory is not heeded.
Past exposure has occurred through inhalation of contaminated ambient air and volatiles. On-siteand off-site air data show that air was a route of migration of HCBD from the site duringexcavation activities. Levels of HCBD monitored at the fence line were exceeded on severaloccasions. HCBD was released at elevated levels into the air from the excavation ofcontaminated soil and other materials on-site. The exposed populations were residents living onSpringfield Road, workers at neighboring industries within 400 yards of the site, and workerson-site.
Present and future exposures through inhalation are unlikely to occur because EPA iscontinuously supervising air monitoring activities to ensure compliance with the threshold actionlevels.
Past exposures may have occurred from flooding and surface water contamination at Devil'sSwamp and Bayou Baton Rouge. Present and future exposures may also occur from surfacewater contamination and flooding in the area.
Bayou Baton Rouge: At the Brooklawn area, there were two waste lagoons that were several feetabove the natural drainage. During high rainfall the lagoons overflowed into Bayou Baton Rougeto the southwest contaminating the bayou water. One lagoon has been remediated and the otheris being monitored. Currently at the Brooklawn site, storm water flow into the remaining lagoonis prevented and the water level is monitored; when the level becomes too high, it is pumped off and incinerated.
At the Scenic Highway area, the only surface water is the bayou bordering the contaminated siteon the east and flowing southward. Surface water flowing over and through the Scenic Highwayarea drains to this bayou. The current health advisory recommends no contact with surfacewaters at Bayou Baton Rouge because of elevated levels of metals and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Devil's Swamp: Past exposure existed through ingestion of fish and through dermal contact andingestion of water during swimming in contaminated water. The current health advisoryrecommends no contact with surface waters at Devil's Swamp due to elevated levels of arsenic,lead, mercury, HCB, and HCBD (Appendix E).
Past, present, and future exposure pathways are likely to occur from contamination of surface andsubsurface soil at the residential yards of people on Springfield Road and residents living directlyacross Scenic Highway. Contamination of the points of exposure has probably occurred becauseof several environmental transport mechanisms. These mechanisms include; transport of sitecontaminants by wind, surface runoff, flooding, and excavation. Bayou Baton Rouge is adjacentto the property of the people living on the northern side of Springfield Road.
Soil ingestion and dermal contact are considered to be routes of exposure. Residents onSpringfield Road and residents living directly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highwayarea may be exposed to soil contaminants but since sampling data on residential yards are lacking the degree of exposure cannot be assessed.
|Pathway Name||Exposure Pathway Elements||Time||Type|
|Soil||Soil||Site, nearbyresidential yards||Dermal contact,ingestion||Workers,Residents||Past andPresent||Completed|
|Dermal contact||Workers,Residents,Visitors||Past andPresent||Completed|
|Surface water||Surface water||Devil Swamp|
|Dermal contact,ingestion||Residents, Visitors||Past||Completed|
|Air||Air||Nearby residentialand industrialcorridor||Inhalation||Workerson-site andnearbyIndustriesResidents||Past||Completed|
|Ingestion||Fish eaters||Past andPresent||Completed|
Production Water Wells
There are 12 known production water wells (industrial usage) within a one-mile radius of boththe Brooklawn and Scenic Highway areas that are pumped from the "400-foot" aquifer. Futureexposure pathways are possible since the waste sources at the site pose a threat to the "400-foot"aquifer. Currently, the deepest water contamination found at Brooklawn site is about 40 feetbelow mean sea level or 70 feet below the surface elevation. This occurs in one isolated pocketbetween Bayou Baton Rouge and south of the lower lagoon. The contamination has migratedlaterally approximately 500 feet from the lagoon boundaries. Four monitoring wells at a depth of 32-53 feet indicated high levels of chlorinated hydrocarbons.
At the Scenic Highway area the contamination has migrated to a maximum depth of 40 feetbelow the surface elevation and averages 25 feet deep. The contamination has stayed within thelimit of the waste deposit area, except in an area composed of a layer of light-gray fine sand,where it has migrated off-site about 50 feet from the waste deposit area.
Users of these production wells represent the potentially exposed populations. If the 400-footaquifer becomes contaminated, then exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons may occur throughinhalation and dermal contact.
In the area of north Baton Rouge, specifically Baker, Scotlandville and Zachary, the upper,shallow aquifer are not used for public water supply. Potable water is pumped from the"2000-foot" aquifer. Contaminant migration to this aquifer is unlikely at present. The nearestpublic drinking water supply is more than one mile from the site. According to the LouisianaDepartment of Transportation and Development Water Well Registration System, there are noregistered private drinking water wells within 1/4 mile of the site. However, there is no currentrestriction on using the "400-foot" aquifer. Therefore, an individual could purchase property nearthe Brooklawn or Scenic Highway areas and install a well at any depth, thus creating a potentialfuture exposure pathway through ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact with water from thesewells. More information on the number of residential wells and their exact depth and location is needed to characterize the future migration potential of contamination to these wells.
|Pathway Name||Exposure Pathway Elements||Time||Type|
|Soil||Soil||Site, nearbyresidential yards||Ingestion|
|Sediment||Sediment||Devil's Swamp,Bayou BatonRouge||Dermal contact||Workers,Residents||Future||Potential|
|Air||Air||Nearbyresidential andindustrialcorridor||Inhalation||Workers on-siteand nearbyIndustriesResidents||Future||Potential|
|Users of wells||Future||Potential|
|Residential wells||Groundwater||Residences||Ingestion||Users of wells||Future||Potential|
In this section we shall discuss the health effects from completed exposure pathways to specificcontaminants, evaluate state and local health databases, and address specific community healthconcerns. To evaluate health effects, ATSDR has developed a minimal risk level (MRL) forcontaminants commonly found at hazardous waste sites. The MRL is an estimate of daily humanexposure to a contaminant, below which non-cancerous adverse health effects are unlikely tooccur. MRLs are developed for each route of exposure, such as ingestion, dermal contact andinhalation, and for the length of exposure, such as acute (less than 14 days), intermediate (15 to364 days), and chronic (greater than 365 days). In the absence of the MRL, EPA's ReferenceDose (RfD) was used whenever it was available. The Reference Dose is an estimate of the dailylevel of human exposure that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of adverse health effectsduring a portion of a person's lifetime. For carcinogenic effects, an excess cancer risk wascalculated using the Cancer Potency Factor (CPF). For the consumption of fish, an acceptablerisk of 1x 10-5 used by Louisiana State Agencies for issuing fish advisories was adopted. This represents the risk of one excess cancer in a population of 100,000.
The health effects which result from the interaction of an individual with a hazardous substancein the environment depends on several factors. One is the route of exposure, whether thechemical is inhaled, consumed with food or water, or contacts the skin. Another factor is thedose to which a person is exposed, and the mechanisms by which chemicals are altered in theenvironment, or inside the body once absorbed. Variations in these mechanisms exist betweenindividuals.
Exposure doses were estimated for all completed exposure pathways. For calculation ofinhalation exposure doses the assumptions used were: 1) an adult intake rate of 23 cubic meters(m3) of air per day, 2) a body weight of 70 kilograms, and 3) a 70 year life span. For a child, theinhalation rate of 8 cubic meters of air per day and a body weight of 10 kilograms.
For estimating the exposure dose from soil ingestion, the assumptions used were: 1) an adultingestion rate of 50 mg of soil per day and a body weight of 70 kg and 2) a pica child ingestionrate of 5000 mg of soil per day and a body weight of 10 kg. For a non-pica child the ingestionrate of 200 mg of soil per day and a body weight of 10 kg.
ATSDR does not provide a MRL for skin exposure, since there is no available method fordetermining the amount of absorption of a chemical through the skin. It is therefore difficult todetermine the health effects from skin exposure.
1,1,2-Trichloroethane was detected in soil surface water and groundwater on site at Brooklawn. It was also detected in soil on site at Scenic. Soil is considered a completed exposure pathway. Exposure to soil through ingestion and dermal contact probably occurred in the past, is probablyoccurring presently and could occur in the future. The exposed populations are workers atneighboring industries within 400 yards of the site and workers on-site. The potentially exposedpopulations include the residents living on Springfield Road and residents living directly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highway area. Using the highest concentration in soil (75,000 ppm), the ingestion exposure for an adult doesnot exceed ATSDR's intermediate MRL, but it does exceed EPA's RfD.
1,1,2-Trichloroethane can cause temporary stinging and burning when it contacts the skin. Thereis no other information on the health effects of this chemical in humans. Introducing high dosesof 1,1,2-trichloroethane by mouth to animals over a long period of time caused liver cancer. Wedo not know whether humans exposed to this chemical would develop cancer. Since it has acarcinogenic potential, we estimate that an individual exposed through ingestion of soil at thislevel would have a moderately increased risk of developing cancer. Some uncertainty exists inthis risk estimate because it is based on extrapolation from animal studies.
1,2-Dichloroethane was detected at elevated levels in soil and ground water on-site at Brooklawnand Scenic Highway. Soil is considered a completed exposure pathway. Exposure throughingestion and dermal contact probably occurred in the past, is probably occurring currently andcould occur in the future. The exposed populations are workers in the neighboring industries andworkers on-site. The potentially exposed populations are the residents living on SpringfieldRoad and those directly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highway area.
ATSDR does not have an MRL nor does EPA have an RfD for 1,2-dichloroethane. 1,2-Dichloroethane can cause nervous system disorders and liver and kidney disease. We do notknow what levels cause these effects. Exposure to 1,2-dichloroethane has so far not beenassociated with cancer in humans. However, cancer was seen in laboratory animals who werefed large doses of the chemical.
Using the highest concentration of 1,2-dichloroethane in soil (2,800 ppm) the ingestion exposurefor an adult does not exceed the NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level). Therefore, no healtheffects are expected. Since 1,2-dichloroethane is a potential carcinogen, we have estimated itscarcinogenic potential and found that an individual exposed through ingestion of soil would haveno apparent increased risk of developing cancer. Exposure to the levels of 1,2-dichloroethanedetected at Petro-Processors is unlikely to cause health effects.
Vinyl chloride was detected at elevated levels in soil and groundwater at Brooklawn and in soilon-site at Scenic. Completed exposure pathways exist through ingestion and dermal contact withsoil. Exposure probably occurred in the past, is probably occurring currently and may occur inthe future. The exposed populations are workers in the neighboring industries and workerson-site. The potentially exposed populations are residents living on Springfield Road anddirectly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highway area.
Using the highest concentration detected in soil (570 ppm), the ingestion exposure for adultsexceeds ATSDRs chronic MRL. Long-term exposure to vinyl chloride at this level is likely tocause health effects. Studies showed that people exposed to vinyl chloride over several yearshave developed changes in the structure of their livers. People who have worked with vinylchloride have developed nerve damage and immune reaction. Exposure to vinyl chloride overlong periods of time can cause cancer of the liver, brain, lung and some cancers in the blood. Vinyl chloride does not have a cancer potency factor. For this reason, it was difficult todetermine the excess cancer risk from soil exposure.
Carbon tetrachloride was detected at elevated levels in soil, groundwater, and air duringremediation on-site at Brooklawn. It was also detected in soil and air samples on-site at theScenic Highway. Completed exposure pathways exist through inhalation of air and by ingestionand dermal contact with soil. Exposure to contaminated soil probably occurred in the past, andmay occur in the future. The exposed populations are workers in the neighboring industries andworkers on-site. The potentially exposed populations are residents living on Springfield Roadand directly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highway area.
Exposure through inhalation has occurred in the past during excavation. The estimatedinhalation exposure dose to carbon tetrachloride at 102.6 ppm exceeds ATSDR's intermediate oracute MRL but it does not exceed EPA's RfD. Exposure at this level may cause health effects. Excessive exposure to carbon tetrachloride may result in kidney and liver damage, however,these effects may disappear after exposure stops. Both organs can repair damaged cells. Severalanimal studies have shown that carbon tetrachloride can cause cancer of the liver Carbontetrachloride is a probable human carcinogen, exposure through inhalation is unlikely to causecancer because exposure was for a short period of time during excavation. There is no currentexposure and future exposure is unlikely due to continuous air monitoring by EPA duringremediation.
Using the highest concentration of carbon tetrachloride detected in soil (610 ppm), the ingestionexposure for adults does not exceed ATSDR's MRL nor does it exceed EPA's RfD. Using theseanimal studies we estimate that residents and workers who may be exposed through soilingestion would have no apparent increased risk of developing cancer.
Chloroform was detected at elevated levels in groundwater from the on-site monitoring wells andin air during remediation at the Brooklawn site. It was also detected in air samples at the ScenicHighway site. A completed exposure pathway exists through air. Exposure through inhalationhad probably occurred in the past and it may occur in the future. Exposed populations includeworkers on-site, workers in the neighboring industries, and residents living on Springfield Road and residents directly across Scenic Highway.
The maximum level of chloroform detected in the air during excavation was 5.16 ppm. Thecalculated exposure dose exceeds ATSDR's chronic and acute MRL as well as EPA's RfD. Health effects at this level may occur. Chloroform affects the central nervous system, liver, andkidneys. Short term exposure to high concentrations of chloroform in the air causes tiredness,dizziness, and headaches. Long term exposure to high levels of chloroform in the air or in thefood and drinking water can effect liver and kidney function.
Hexachlorobenzene was detected at levels above ATSDRs Comparison Values in soil on-site andin soil and sediment off-site at Brooklawn. HCB was also detected in soil and air at the ScenicHighway site. In addition, HCB was detected in the edible portion of fish tissue sampled inDevils Swamp Lake (Table 10) and Bayou Baton Rouge. Completed exposure pathways existthrough soil ingestion and dermal contact and through ingestion of fish from Devil's Swamp. Exposure through ingestion and dermal contact with soil and ingestion of fish has probablyoccurred in the past, is probably occurring presently and could occur in the future. The exposedpopulations are workers in the neighboring industries, workers on-site and residents, who do notfollow the health advisory by eating fish from or swimming in Devil's Swamp. The populationspotentially exposed through soil ingestion are residents living on Springfield Road and directly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highway area.
Using the highest concentration of HCB in soil (2000 ppm), the ingestion exposure for adultsdoes not exceed ATSDRs chronic or intermediate MRL's or EPAs RfD. HCB remains in theenvironment for a long time and when it enters the body, accumulates in many tissue types,especially fat tissue.
HCB can cause skin disorders, weight loss, enlargement of the thyroid and lymph nodes andabnormal increase of body weight. HCB was determined to be a possible human carcinogen. Only animal studies have shown that HCB can cause liver cancer. Using these animal studies,we estimate that an individual exposed through ingestion of soil would have a low increased risk of developing cancer.
Ingestion of fish from Devil's Swamp by residents could cause health effects. The levels of HCBdetected exceed the Louisiana Health Guidelines for fish consumption. Residents are advised tolimit their consumption of all fish species from Devil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge to twomeals per month. A meal is considered one-half pound of fish.
No animal or human studies are available on health effects via dermal exposure to HCB,therefore, potential health effects from exposure to the elevated levels detected in the sedimentscan not be evaluated. The health advisory issued in 1993 by LDEQ and LDHH, advises againstwater or sediment contact with Devil's Swamp and/or Bayou Baton Rouge.
HCE was detected at levels above ATSDR Comparison Value, on-site in groundwater, soil (onand off-site), and in air samples taken during excavation. The completed exposure pathways existthrough air and soil. Exposure through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact may haveoccurred in the past, may be occurring currently and could occur in the future. The exposedpopulations are workers in the neighboring industries and workers on-site. The potentiallyexposed populations are residents living on Springfield Road and directly across Scenic Highwayfrom the Scenic Highway area.
Exposure through inhalation has occurred in the past during excavation at levels of 0.219 ppm. The estimated inhalation exposure dose from HCE exceeds EPA's RfD. Exposure to HCE at thislevel may cause health effects. Inhaled HCE vapors can cause irritation to the nasal cavity andother tissues of the lungs. Animal studies have shown the kidney and liver to be the primarytargets of HCE. Neurological effects were observed in animals given high doses. Based onanimal studies, EPA has classified HCE as a possible human carcinogen, however, it may nothave the same effect in humans. While HCE has carcinogenic potential, exposure throughinhalation is unlikely to cause cancer, due to the short period of exposure occurring duringexcavation. There is no current exposure and future exposure is unlikely due to continued airmonitoring by EPA during remediation.
Using the highest concentration of HCE detected in soil (2820 ppm) at Brooklawn, the exposuredose for adults does not exceed EPA's RfD. We estimate that residents who live near the PPI siteand the workers on-site who are exposed through soil ingestion would have no increased risk ofdeveloping cancer.
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane was detected at levels above Comparison Values, for soil and airduring excavation, at Brooklawn. It was also detected in air samples taken on-site at ScenicHighway. Completed exposure is through inhalation and ingestion. Exposure may have occurredin the past and could occur in the future. The exposed population is workers on-site. Thepotentially exposed populations are neighboring industries and residents living on SpringfieldRoad and directly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highway area.
ATSDR does not have an MRL nor does EPA have an RfD for 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane. Atamounts high enough to smell, breathing or ingesting 1,1,2,2 -tetrachloroethane may cause liverdamage, stomach aches, or dizziness. Information is not available to determine whetherexposure to 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane can cause cancer in humans.
Using the highest concentration detected in air during excavation at Brooklawn, the estimatedinhalation exposure dose does not exceed the RfC (Reference concentration). Using the highestconcentration in soil, the estimated exposure dose for adults does not exceed the LOAEL (LowObserved Adverse Effect Level). Therefore health effects are unlikely to occur from inhalationexposure to 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane.
Pentachlorobenzene was detected at levels above Comparison Values in soil and groundwateron-site at Brooklawn and also in soil on-site at Scenic Highway. Completed exposure pathwaysare through ingestion and dermal contact with soil. Exposure probably occurred in the past andcould occur in the future. The exposed populations are workers on-site. The potentially exposedpopulations are workers in the neighboring industries and residents living on Springfield Roadand directly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highway area.
Experimental testing on rats indicates that pentachlorobenzene can produce developmentaleffects and decreased body weights. There is no information as to whether it has carcinogeniceffects. Using the highest concentration detected in soil (2040 ppm), the estimated soil ingestionexposure dose for adults does not exceed EPA's RfD, thus health effects are unlikely to occur.
Benzene was detected on-site, at Brooklawn, in soil, groundwater and air samples taken duringexcavation. Completed exposure pathways are through air inhalation, soil ingestion, and dermalcontact. Exposure probably occurred in the past, and could occur in the future. The exposedpopulations are workers in the neighboring industries and workers on-site. The potentiallyexposed populations are residents living on Springfield Road and directly across Scenic Highwayfrom the Scenic Highway area.
ATSDR does not have an MRL nor does EPA have an RfD for benzene, since a "no exposurelevel" is acceptable. Benzene is a human carcinogen which may cause blood disorders that couldresult in leukemia. Long term exposure to benzene may cause harmful effects to the bonemarrow, resulting in decreased normal blood production and important blood components. Exposure to benzene can be harmful to the immune system, increasing the chance for infectionand lowering the body's defense against tumors.
Using the highest concentration of benzene detected in soil (72 ppm), the ingestion exposuredose for adults and pica children are below the NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level). Health effects from exposure to benzene at this site are unlikely to occur.
We have estimated that residents who live near the PPI site and the workers on-site who areexposed through soil ingestion would have no increased risk of developing cancer. For themaximum levels detected in air (4.45 ppm), the estimated exposure dose does not exceed the RfCfor acute or intermediate exposure, therefore, no health effects are expected. Long-term exposure is unlikely to happen due to continued air monitoring by EPA during remediation.
Hexachlorobutadiene was detected at above safe comparison values in the soil, groundwater andair on-site, at both the Brooklawn and Scenic Highway sites. Off-site, HCBD has been detectedin the soil, sediment and water, as well as fish samples taken from Devils Swamp and BayouBaton Rouge. Completed exposure pathways are through air inhalation, soil ingestion anddermal contact, and ingestion of fish. Exposure probably occurred in the past, is probablyoccurring currently, and could occur in the future. The exposed populations are workers in theneighboring industries, workers on-site, and residents who do not follow the fish consumptionadvisory. The potentially exposed populations are residents living on Springfield Road anddirectly across Scenic Highway from the Scenic Highway area.
Exposure through inhalation has occurred in the past during excavation. Inhalation exposure toHCBD at the maximum level detected (1265 ppm) on site at Brooklawn, exceeds the ATSDRintermediate MRL. Exposure to HCBD may result in health effects. HCBD is a possible humancarcinogen, but exposure through inhalation is unlikely to cause cancer since the exposure wasfor a short period of time during excavation. There is no current exposure and future exposure is unlikely due to continued air monitoring by EPA during remediation.
Using the highest concentration detected in soil (9400 ppm) on-site at Scenic Highway, theestimated ingestion exposure for an adult does not exceed EPA's RfD but it does exceedATSDR's intermediate MRL.
Animal studies have shown that ingested HCBD caused damage to the kidneys and liver inexposed rats and mice. HCBD causes a decrease in fetal body weight in rats. Although studieshave shown that HCBD can cause liver cancer in animals, HCBD is determined by EPA to be apossible human carcinogen, due to lack of sufficient human data.. Using the animal data, weestimate that an individual exposed through ingestion of soil would have a low increased risk of developing cancer.
Ingestion exposure to HCBD from contaminated fish has probably occurred in the past and isprobably occurring now for residents who do not heed the advisory posted at Devil's Swamp andBayou Baton Rouge. Detected levels of HCBD in fish samples collected from the swampexceeded the Louisiana Health Guidelines for fish consumption. Therefore, since the amount ofHCBD ingested by individuals who are eating contaminated fish from the area exceeds theseguidelines, health effects may occur. Residents are advised to limit their consumption of all fishspecies from Devil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge to two meals per month. A meal isconsidered one-half pound of fish.
No animal or human studies are available on health effects via dermal exposure to HCBD. Therefore, potential health effects from exposure to elevated levels detected in the sediment can not be evaluated.
The health outcome data evaluated in this section, includes the possible health effects fromexposure to site-related contaminants and the health concerns of local residents. The maincommunity concerns were directed towards exposure pathways, remediation plans, localevacuation plans, odors, respiratory problems, and cancer. The health outcome to be reviewed in this section is cancer.
Based on the data available, human exposure could have occurred during the entire period ofoperation of the site, from approximately 1964 until 1987 or beyond. Thus, the time period forcancers to occur would include the period beginning 15 years following initial exposure andonset of disease and extending 15 or more years beyond activities linked to exposure.
Cancer incidence rates for Alsen including the block groups 0041-1, 0042032 and 0042034(Appendix A, Figures 6 and 7) and for all of East Baton Rouge Parish were calculated. Population figures for 1990 were obtained for all 65 census tracts within East Baton RougeParish and all 31 zip code delivery zones within these census tracts.
The site population was defined as areas within the census block groups 0041-1, 0042032 and0042034 (Appendix A, Figures 6 and 7). Defining the site population as such, the evaluation ofdata coded by census tract and/or block group could be accomplished to better address thepopulation exposed. Additionally, data could be evaluated for a smaller and more accurate sitepopulation because populations geographically distant from the site but within zip code deliveryzones could be eliminated. East Baton Rouge Parish was used as a comparison population toevaluate if differences in cancer rates exist in the site population. Data for the site and thecomparison population were gathered in a similar manner which allows for comparability of thepopulations.
Cancer incidence data was used to evaluate possible health outcomes. Cancer cases, diagnosed by anatomic site and age in the town of Alsen (block groups 0041-1, 0042032 and 0042034) andEast Baton Rouge Parish, were obtained from the Louisiana Tumor Registry (LSU MedicalCenter) from 1983 to 1990. When we compare cancer incidence rates of two small populationsincluding Alsen and East Baton Rouge Parish, caution must be used in its interpretation. Ratesmay change dramatically due to small changes in cancer occurrence. The following cancer sitestatistics were examined for statistical significance based on community concerns:
- Cancers of the trachea, bronchus and lung; International Classification of Disease (ICD)codes 162.0, 162.2 -162.9
- Cancers of the urinary system: bladder, kidney, renal pelvis, urethra and other urinary organs;ICD codes 188.0 - 189.9
- Cancer of the liver, gallbladder and bile duct; ICD code 155.0, 156.0, 156.1, 156.9
- Malignant melanoma; ICD code 172
- All-sites cancers
Descriptive data for the exposed community including Alsen and for East Baton Rouge Parishare presented in Appendix C. For each age group the number of observed cases, the populationand the case rates per 100,000 are presented. These are age specific rates. Using the rates fromEast Baton Rouge as a reference, the expected number of cases in Alsen were calculated. TheStandardized Cancer Incidence Ratios (SIR) are the ratios of the total observed cases over totalnumber of expected cases. A SIR lower than 1, shows that Alsen had fewer cases than expected,conversely a ratio higher than 1 shows that Alsen had more cases than expected. The Chi Squarewas calculated to test for significance of the SIR. A p-value less than 0.05 indicates that there is a very low probability that the difference observed is due to chance alone.
Nine cases of lung cancer were observed for a population of 2812 (Table 11). The number oflung cancer cases observed in Alsen was lower than the number expected (a ratio of 0.69). Nocases of cancer of the liver, gallbladder or leukemia was observed. These differences in suchsmall populations, have little meaning, because the difference may be due to chance alone. Cancers of the urinary tract were lower than expected, 1 case compared with 29 expected (SIR =0.21, Table 12); cancers from other sites were 30 compared with 75.3 cases expected (SIR =0.40, Table 13). These differences were not significant, since they may be due to chance alone. For cancers at all sites, the rate observed in Alsen is less than half of those expected for apopulation the size of 2812 (SIR = 0.43, Table 14).
The principal limitation inherent with this type of descriptive evaluation is the lack of adjustmentfor all established risk factors and the small number of cases observed or expected in a smallpopulation.
Exposure to the volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons and aromatic chlorinated hydrocarbons (HCB,HCBD) at high concentrations, may have caused acute health problems such as headaches andother nervous system effects (dizziness, weakness, vertigo, irritability, depression or confusion).The populations at highest risk for these effects are the workers on the site and workers in theneighboring industries 400 yards from the site. Due to a lack of data, it is difficult to draw validconclusions regarding the occurrence and frequency of these particular types of effects.
We have addressed each of the community concerns about health as follows:
- Will workers at the Reynolds Metals Company Calcite Coke Plant experience healtheffects during remediation?
Most likely the workers at this company will not have health effects due to the remediation. In1987 the initial remediation plan that was chosen caused the airborne release of certain organicvapors that exceeded safe levels beyond the Brooklawn site boundary. This caused eye, nose,and throat irritation, foul odors, and nausea for some workers at the Reynolds Plant. Theremediation was halted until a safer plan was found. In March of 1988, NIOSH conducted ahazard investigation in response to a request from the Aluminum, Brick, and Glass WorkersInternational Union. The investigation indicated that the initial remediation plan of excavationand "solidification" released airborne concentrations of HCBD up to five times higher than theTLV (threshhold limit value). NIOSH will evaluate the remediation proposals with particularattention to potential employee exposure levels, monitoring programs, and emergencynotification and response procedures.
The current remediation strategy is hydraulic containment and incineration of organic material. There will be stringent monitoring of air emissions. Air emissions data from the incinerationprocess were scheduled to be available in 1995. Contaminated groundwater will be treated onsite and discharged in accordance with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System(NPDES) Permit which is issued by EPA.
- People hunt and fish in this area. Are fish and wildlife in the area contaminated?
There is a health advisory that recommends limiting consumption of fish from the area to twomeals per month. The public is also advised not to swim in or come in contact with sediments inDevil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge. Sampling data on raccoon, deer and small mammals(squirrels) detected contamination at levels that pose no health risk.
- Are the allergies, skin rashes, headaches, sinus infections, respiratory problems, andnose bleeds individuals around the site experience due to the contaminants at the site?
Not necessarily. Some of these conditions could result as a consequence of exposure to thecontaminants at the site, however many other types of exposure such as pollen, infections, etc.might also cause these problems.
- Do the residents on Springfield Road have a higher cancer rate than expected?
Cancer incidence rates were calculated for the Alsen community (Springfield Road is within thiscommunity) and East Baton Rouge Parish. In general, cancer rates are lower in this area. Pleaserefer to the Health Outcome Data Evaluations section of the Health Assessment.
- Is the groundwater or surface water in the area surrounding the site contaminated, and if so, can these have adverse health effects?
Surface water from Devil's Swamp is contaminated with elevated levels of HCB, HCBD, arsenic,lead and mercury. The drinking water aquifer at 400 feet below mean sea level is notcontaminated at present. Adverse health effects are difficult to assess.
- Will the Public Health Assessment evaluate the synergistic effects of exposure sourcesfrom industrial sites in the area along with exposures from the Petro-Processor sites?
No, the Public Health Assessment (PHA) is site specific. Within the document, chemicalsreleased from operations that occurred on the site are discussed in detail including health effectsrelated to them. The PHA also includes a section on TRI that list all the industries near the sitethat contribute the release of chemicals into the environment. However, TRI data does notevaluate the potential health effects, only the amount of chemical released.
- Is there an evacuation plan for the local community in case of an emergency?
Yes, there is an emergency evacuation plan which includes releases of hazardous substances forthe whole East Baton Rouge parish, and for the Alsen community. Further information can berequested by calling Emergency Preparedness (504) 389-3035 or the Baton Rouge City ParishGovernment (504) 389-3000.
- Which chemicals have breached the site? How far and where have they migrated?
Chlorinated hydrocarbons, HCB, and HCBD have breached the site. They were detected in soilsamples from Devil's Swamp. HCB and HCBD were detected in sediment in Devil's Swamp andBayou Baton Rouge. The drinking water aquifer at 400 feet below mean sea level is notcontaminated at present.
- Do the Threshold Limit Values (TLV) during remediation consider residents who areexposed for 24 hours a day?
No, TLVs do not consider exposures of 24 hours per day. A TLV is the exposure level for acontaminant above which a worker should not be exposed over the course of an eight hour day,due to possible adverse health effects. The conditions under which workers can be exposed tocontaminants are different and not comparable to off site exposure.
Additional Community Concerns
On February 8, 1994, the Coalition for Community Action, a citizens group near the site, held a meeting and stated a number of additional concerns. These concerns are addressed below.
- The community would like to see more signs posted around the contaminated swamparea.
LOPH has been working with LDEQ and DOTD since August of 1993 to arrange to haveadditional signs posted around the contaminated swamp area. LOPH purchased 20 signs thatread:
THIS AREA IS UNDER A HEALTH ADVISORY FOR:
SEDIMENT AND WATER CONTACT
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
LA OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH 504-342-1742
LA DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY 504-765-0634
The signs will be located mainly around the perimeter of the swamp with a few signs in the mainwater channels. Having signs posted for low and high water levels is an LOPH priority andshould be accomplished within a few months.
- A method should be developed and implemented to inform and educate the public aboutthe contaminated condition of the swamp.
LOPH has spoken with some community members about public education. Several articles havebeen written and a fact sheet is currently being prepared. We plan on working with theCommunity Assistance Panel for Petro-Processors to develop a way to reach all segments of thepopulation and will invite everyone in the Coalition to participate in this process. We alsocontacted schools and attempted to conduct grand rounds at area hospitals.
- The state (LDEQ and LDHH) and federal agencies (EPA) should work together toprovide information to the public. Public service announcements, mass mail campaigns,etc. should be considered to reach all segments of the population.
LOPH put a Public Service Announcement in the Baton Rouge Advocate July 15, 1993 about thehealth advisory for Devil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge (Appendix D). In addition, massmailings to area Physicians have been distributed. If this did not reach the members of theCoalition we need to determine a better way to reach their community.
- All landowners or property in the swamp that is impacted by the contamination shouldbe notified and properly informed.
LOPH worked with LDEQ to identify the landowners in the contaminated portion of Devil'sSwamp. Individual letters were sent to the landowners on July 6, 1993. If any citizen is aware ofother landowners that are not aware of the advisory, please notify LOPH in order to get thisinformation out to them. Individual letters were also sent to inform the landowners about theposting of signs in the area.
- People are continuing to hunt and fish in the swamp. A method must be developed tostop the harvesting of contaminated species.
The health advisory for the Devil's Swamp and Bayou Baton Rouge area recommends limitingconsumption of all species of fish to two meals per month due to contamination by HCB, HCBD,and mercury. This is not a ban. We want to educate the community regarding consumption. Analysis of samples of crawfish from the swamp did not demonstrate levels of contaminationwith mercury, lead, arsenic, HCB, or HCBD, that poses a health threat. Preliminary analysis ofPCB has indicated no contamination. LOPH has recommended to LDEQ further PCB analysis offish and crawfish. The wildlife sampled (raccoon, duck, deer, and small mammals) also did notindicate contamination. According to these samples there is no need at this time to eliminatehunting, crawfishing, or fishing; it is recommended to limit fish consumption to no more thantwo meals per month. Hunting and fishing activities may continue.
Please note that the advisory is not just for fishing. High levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, HCB,and HCBD are in the water and sediment. LOPH recommends no swimming nor other water orsediment contact in the contaminated area (Appendix D).