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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

KOHLER COMPANY LANDFILL
KOHLER, SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, WISCONSIN

CONCLUSIONS

  1. PCBs in the floodplain and sediments adjacent to the Kohler Company Landfill pose a public health hazard due to PCBs entering the food chain. These compounds are present in fish and ducks at potentially hazardous concentrations and may be consumed by nearby residents. PCBs are present in waste and unfiltered groundwater at the site. Whether PCBs in waste at the site may have affected the adjacent floodplain and river in the past is unknown. A significant source of PCBs exists upstream of the landfill site.

  2. Contaminants in landfill waste, leachate, and groundwater associated with the Kohler Landfill poses no apparent public health hazard at present because volatile organic compounds discharging in groundwater to the Sheboygan River are not expected to be at levels likely affect the health of people who swim or fish in the river.

  3. The Kohler Landfill poses an indeterminate public health hazard in the future because, if it is left unremediated, contaminants in groundwater might flow across the Sheboygan River to nearby private wells. While all current indications are that groundwater from the site is flowing into the river, the physical characteristics of the dolomite are such that groundwater flow cannot be predicted conclusively.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Continue efforts to extend public comprehension and compliance with the state health advisory on consuming sport-caught fish from the area.

  2. Groundwater from the dolomite aquifer on the side of the Sheboygan River opposite from the landfill should be sampled regularly to check whether groundwater contamination has flowed under the river. If chemicals of concern do flow under the river, drinking water from residences within one-half mile of the site should be analyzed for the chemicals of concern. Detection limits should be as close as possible to Wisconsin groundwater standards.

  3. Leachate and runoff water should be analyzed for PCBs.

A. Need for Follow-up Health Activities

ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel and the Wisconsin Division of Health evaluated the information on this site to determine the need for additional research or education about health related concerns. Such activities could include conducting further studies on cases of disease near the site or providing community members with additional information about the health effects of exposure to toxic chemicals associated with the site.

People who eat resident species of fish from the Sheboygan River are exposed to PCBs that accumulated in the fish. People who frequently may be consuming resident species could have an increased cancer risk, and children of women who frequently ate resident species of fish may have shown neurobehavioral effects of exposure to PCBs. Therefore, ATSDR and the division recommend a survey of the extent to which anglers who fish the river and their family members are exposed to PCBs. If the survey indicates that there may be high levels of exposure to PCBs in river fish, then a study of biological indicators of exposure in sport fish consumers would be appropriate.

B. Public Health Action

The Division of Health, in cooperation with ATSDR, will conduct the following activities to respond to the recommendations of this assessment:

  1. Conduct a survey of Sheboygan River anglers in order to assess the extent to which they and their families may be exposed to PCBs in sport-caught fish.

  2. Provide additional public health education as new information on public health concerns becomes available. Division staff will attend future meetings related to the site to record and respond to public health concerns.

  3. Continue to cooperate with the Sheboygan County Human Services' Division of Public Health in distributing information about fish contaminants to area residents who are likely to rely on sport caught fish as a source of nutrition.

  4. Continue to offer educational opportunities to health professionals regarding the health effects of exposure to PCBs.

The Kohler Company has proposed to continue sampling monitoring wells across the Sheboygan River as part of its closure activities for the landfill.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Jay Goldring, Ph.D.Research Scientist-Toxicologist
Division of Health
Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services

Kenneth Bro, Ph.D.
Environmental Engineer
Division of Health
Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES

Louise Fabinski, Region V
Regional Operations, Office of the Assistant Administrator

TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER

William Greim
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment & Consultation

CERTIFICATION

The Kohler Company Landfill Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Wisconsin Division of Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was begun.

William Greim
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
ATSDR

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment, and concurs with its findings.

Richard Gillig
for Director, DHAC, ATSDR

REFERENCES

  1. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Memorandum from Tom Petri to Jeff Bode regarding Kohler Company Landfill Runoff. June 26, 1979.

  2. Geraghty and Miller Inc. Kohler Company Landfill Remedial Investigation: Final Report. Milwaukee, WI: September 1991.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and Wisconsin Division of Health. Preliminary Health Assessment for Kohler Company Landfill. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1989.

  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V. Record of Decision for Kohler Company Landfill Source Control Operable Unit, Kohler, Wisconsin. Chicago, IL: EPA, March 1992.

  5. Geraghty and Miller Inc. Kohler Company Landfill Environmental Contamination Assessment and Ground Water Remedial Action Alternatives. Milwaukee, WI: November 1992.

  6. Geraghty and Miller Inc. Kohler Company Landfill Plan of Operation Modification (Source Control Remedial Design). Milwaukee, WI: December 1992.

  7. CACI Marketing Services, Inc. The Sourcebook of Demographics and Buying Power for Every ZIP Code in the USA. Fairfax, VA: 1989.

  8. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The Sheboygan River Remedial Action Plan. Public Review Draft. Publication WR-211-88. Madison, WI: WDNR, Dec. 1, 1988.

  9. Wisconsin Division of Health. Telephone communication of Jay Goldring with Jame Schaefer, environmental consultant, Sheboygan, WI. August 3, 1992.

  10. Triad Engineering. Impacts of Lagoon Sludge Disposal at Kohler Company. June 24, 1982.

  11. Roy F. Weston Inc. Phase I Technical Memorandum, Kohler Co. Landfill. February 1988.

  12. Radian Corporation. Kohler Company Landfill Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study: Draft Phase II Technical Memorandum. July 23, 1989.

  13. Geraghty and Miller. Kohler Company Landfill, Verification Sampling, December 1991 and January 1992.

  14. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V. Summary of 1992 PCB analyses of groundwater at the Kohler Company Landfill, Kohler, Wisconsin. Chicago, IL: EPA, March 1993.

  15. Blasland and Bouck. Final Remedial Investigation/ Enhanced Screening Report, Sheboygan River and Harbor. Syracuse, NY: Blasland and Bouck, Engineers, P.C. 1990.

  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and Wisconsin Division of Health. Public Health Assessment for Sheboygan River and Harbor. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1994.

  17. Geraghty and Miller. Analytical results from well water of residence across Sheboygan River from Kohler Company Landfill. Milwaukee, WI: 16 August 1991.

  18. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V. Summary of December 1992 analyses of residential water supply well water near the Kohler Company Landfill, Kohler, Wisconsin. Chicago, IL: EPA, March 1993.

  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1991.

  20. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Division of Health. Health guide for people who eat sport fish from Wisconsin waters. PUBL-IE-019 4/29 Rev. Madison, WI: 1992.

  21. Wisconsin Division of Health. Personal communication of Jay Goldring with Mary Young. 1992.

  22. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Wisconsin Migratory Bird Regulations. WDNR Publication WM-010-90REV. Madison, WI: 1990.

  23. Jacobson JL, SW Jacobson and HEB Humphrey. 1990. Effects of exposure to PCBs and related compounds on growth and activity in children. Neurotoxicol Teratol 12:319-326.

  24. Fein GG, JL Jacobson and SW Jacobson et al. 1984. Prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls: effects on birth size and gestational age. J Pediatr 105:315-320.

  25. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System. Trichloroethylene. Rev. 1/1/92.

  26. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1989.

  27. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System. 1,1-Dichloroethylene. Rev. 1/1/92.

  28. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethane. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1989.

  29. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System. Trans-1,2-dichloroethylene. Rev. 1/1/92.

  30. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1989.

  31. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking water regulations and health advisories. October 1991.

  32. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for vinyl chloride. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1991.

  33. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for silver. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1990.

  34. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for cadmium. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1991.

  35. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft toxicological profile for lead. Atlanta, GA: ATSDR, 1991.

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