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HEALTH CONSULTATION

PLEASANT HILL POLE PLANT
PLEASANT HILL, SABINE COUNTY, LOUISIANA

DISCUSSION

Soil at the site is contaminated with chemicals from previous wood treatment activities. The hazard that this contamination poses depends on how the land is used. The current owner indicated that he intends to plant pine trees on the property. However, the land is zoned residential. Therefore, the following assessment will conservatively assume that the property could be converted to residential use.

In the most recent sampling, arsenic concentrations as high as597 ppm were detected. Chronic exposure to soil containing this level of contamination could pose a hazard for both cancer and non-cancer health effects.Based on the EPA's Reference Dose (RfD) for PCP, the reported soil concentrations of PCP would not be expected to pose a hazard for non-cancer health effects. The EPA classifies PCP as a B2 carcinogen, or a probable human carcinogen. This classification is based on animal studies, since there is no convincing evidence from epidemiological studies that PCP causes cancer in humans. If PCP is assumed to be a human carcinogen, then the reported soil concentrations (as high as 510) could pose a significant cancer risk for long-term exposures.

Technical grade pentachlorophenol used in wood treatment often contains low concentrations of dioxin congeners. Three soil samples collected at the site contained TCDD equivalents at concentrations ranging from 1.1 to 1.8 ppb. This concentration would not pose a hazard for adults under an occupational exposure scenario, but it could pose a hazard if the property were converted to residential use.

In the area surrounding the site, there are several residences with private wells. In addition, there are public water wells within 1.3 miles of the site. No information was provided to indicate whether contamination at the site has migrated to the aquifer(s) being used as a drinking water source.

Hay is being grown on land that is contaminated with PCP, arsenic, dioxins, and other chemicals. Contaminated dust and soil could be deposited on the surface of the hay. In addition, plants may absorb arsenic from soil or groundwater. This contamination may pose a hazard to cattle that eat the hay, or possibly to humans who consume milk or meat from the cattle. No data were available on possible contamination of hay grown on the property. Therefore, the hazard to cattle or humans from this exposure pathway cannot be determined from the available information.


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