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PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MAGNOLIA CITY LANDFILL
MAGNOLIA, COLUMBIA COUNTY, ARKANSAS


SUMMARY

Magnolia City Landfill is an active municipal landfill located nearMagnolia, Arkansas. Aluminum hydroxide sludge and liquid hazardouswastes, primarily consisting of organics and solvents, are amongthe different types of waste materials which have been accepted bythis landfill since the mid-1950's. Past waste disposal practicesincluded burning liquid waste and placing the residual in adisposal pit, and pouring liquid waste into drums which were laterburied. On-site ground water is contaminated with lead, chromium,benzene, and possibly vinyl chloride. Approximately two dozenhouseholds are located within a 1-mile radius of the site. Some ofthese households may depend on ground water for drinking ordomestic purposes. Monitoring has indicated lead and zinccontamination in two residential wells. The source of thiscontamination has not been determined. Although ingestion orinhalation of contaminants in the ground water from the site wouldbe a public health concern, whether this is occurring or couldoccur is unknown. Therefore, it is not possible based on the dataprovided to evaluate the long-term public health threat raised bythe site. Exposure pathways of indeterminate public health concerninclude ingestion of and inhalation of contaminated ground water.

The Magnolia City Landfill is an indeterminate public health hazardbecause a risk to human health may exist from possible exposure tohazardous substances at concentrations that may result in adversehuman health effects. ATSDR has recommended that an environmentalhealth education program be conducted to advise the public healthprofessional and local medical communities of the nature andpossible consequences of exposure to contaminants at the MagnoliaCity Landfill. This program has subsequently been provided byATSDR, in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Health. Inaddition, ATSDR will contact the EPA and the Arkansas Department ofHealth to alert them of the potential for exposure to contaminatedwater from private wells in off-site areas and to help determineappropriate future actions.

This document has been made available for Public Comment. As aresult of comments received by ATSDR, the document has been alteredto reflect publicly stated concerns regarding the document. Appendix 1 contains further information regarding Public Comments.


BACKGROUND

A. SITE DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY

The Magnolia City Landfill site, located in Magnolia, ColumbiaCounty, Arkansas, is 80 acres, with 40 acres being used as alandfill (see figures 1 and 2). The City of Magnolia received apermit in November 1975, from the Arkansas Department of PollutionControl and Ecology, to operate this site as a solid waste disposalfacility. The landfill presently continues to accept residential,commercial, and industrial waste from the entire county ofColumbia.

During the period from 1955 through 1979, Magnolia City Landfillreceived approximately 95,700 gallons of liquid waste, containingorganics and solvents, from Firestone Coated Fabrics Company. Prior to 1974, approximately 56,100 gallons of this waste wasburned and the residual buried. The remaining 39,600 gallons ofthe waste was placed in drums and buried between the years1974-1979. Some of these drums were reportedly smashed by landfilloperators when the burial area was covered.

Magnolia City Landfill also received approximately 37,450 cubicyards of aluminum hydroxide sludge from the Alumax AluminumCorporation, Magnolia Division (formerly the Howmet AluminumCorporation). The volume of waste transported to the landfill byAlumax has reportedly been reduced by 88 percent since 1983. TheU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has noted evidence ofillicit dumping at this site.

The Magnolia City Landfill was proposed to the EPA'sNationalPriorities List (NPL) on October 25, 1989. The EPA subsequentlyreevaluated the groundwater usage in the three mile radius aroundthe site and determined that all the residents in the affected areahave access to municipal water with minimal hook-up requirements. Because an alternate unthreatened source of groundwater isavailable, the rank of this site fell below the cutoff score forlisting on the NPL. Consequently, the site was dropped from NPLconsideration on August 28, 1990.

B. SITE VISIT

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)representatives visited the site in January 1990. During this sitevisit it was learned that, in contrast to municipal waste, which iscrushed and covered each day with a layer of soil, the aluminumhydroxide sludge is deposited in piles which are levelledperiodically. The landfill is unfenced and accessible. Thegatekeeper stated that the landfill is not used for recreationalpurposes, although people occasionally trespass to scavenge throughthe municipal waste. One scavenger was noted on the site duringthe site visit. During a tour of the immediate area surroundingthe site it was observed that flow in Hurricane creek was low.

C. DEMOGRAPHICS, LAND USE AND NATURAL RESOURCE USE

The area around the site is rural and sparsely populated. Anestimated two dozen households are located within a one-mile radiusof the site. The closest residence is located approximatelyone-quarter mile from the site boundary. Approximately 630students in kindergarten through the second grade live within a4-mile radius of the landfill.

Houses near the site may be served by one of three community watersystems or may rely on their own private wells for water. Apopulation of approximately 12,000 people inhabit the area which atleast one of these three water systems are able to serve. Sixty-five to seventy-five percent of the residents use communitysupplied water. According to Mr. Wheatley, Mayor of the City ofMagnolia, and the EPA, 100 per cent of all residents in theaffected area have access to either the Dorcheat Water System ofthe Walker Water System with minimal hook-up requirements (1). Itis unclear how many households potentially impacted by the site useprivate well water for domestic purposes. Many of the householdswhich have municipal water also have a private well which residentsmay use for watering gardens, watering livestock, washing cars, andpossibly for drinking water (see figure 3).

No recreation or other raw water usage is known in nearby Hurricaneand Nations creeks. There are seasonal variations in the level offlow in these intermittent streams. As previously stated, thelevel of flow was observed to be low during the site visit inJanuary 1990.

Magnolia City Landfill is surrounded by woods and residentialareas. There is no significant irrigation of crops. Limitedhunting of squirrel occurs in the area near the site. Majornatural resources include oil, gas, and timber.

D. STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH DATA

ATSDR has identified the following state and local health datasources as potentially pertinent to this site:

  • Arkansas Vital Statistics
  • Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Arkansas.
  • Reproductive Health Monitoring System

The first two documents are generated through the Arkansas StateDepartment of Health. The vital statistics are analyzed down tothe county level. Although a cancer registry was begun in early1970's, the information gathered was incomplete and unreliable. Efforts to continue the registry ceased in the early 1980's; it hasnot been functioning for the past ten years (2). An independentresearch group at a major hospital has been monitoring fetal lossand birth defects in central and southern counties of Arkansas (2). No additional independent studies related to health effects of thepopulation around the Magnolia City landfill have been identified.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Residents living in the Walker Water Association service area inthe vicinity of the site have reportedly requested connection tomunicipal water out of concern about potential site-relatedground-water contamination (3). A resident of this area indicatedto ATSDR representatives (4) that some neighbors attributedheadaches and stomachaches to the contaminated water. In addition,the resident indicated that neighborhood cancer deaths might beattributable to the contaminated water. No additional citizen'sconcerns or disease occurrences related to the Magnolia CityLandfill were discovered during the site visit or throughsubsequent phone calls to state and local health departments.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

The environmental characterization data was taken from two EPAdocuments, the Expanded Site Inspection (5) and the Hazard RankingSystem report (6). A search through the Toxic Chemical ReleaseInventory (TRI) for the years 1987 and 1988 did not identify anyfacility in the Magnolia City Landfill zip code area with reportedreleases of contaminants of concern at the site.

A. ON-SITE CONTAMINATION

On-site sampling of ground water, surface water, soil, air, andwastes was conducted in March 1987 and February 1988. In July1987, ground-water and drilling soil samples were collected aton-site monitoring wells. These wells were resampled in September1987.

Organic vapor analyzers and HNU photoionizers were used to conducton-site air monitoring. The instrument readings were all withinthe background range (0-5 parts contaminant per million parts air[ppm]) and did not identify any elevation of volatile or vaporconcentrations.

All other media were analyzed for the presence of contaminantslisted on the Hazardous Substances List. With the exception ofground water, the levels of contaminants in these media were not ofpublic health concern.

Ground-water samples drawn from the seven monitoring wells locatedalong the perimeter of the landfill were found to have high levelsof inorganic contaminants. Monitoring well #4 also containedelevated levels of organic contaminants.

In July 1987, slightly elevated levels of lead were detected ineach of the monitoring wells, except for wells #2, #7 and #8.

Values of lead concentration were reported as unusable from samplescollected during September 1987. In February 1988, a ground-watersample from monitoring well #4 was analyzed and again indicated anelevated lead concentration. As can be seen in Table I, elevatedlevels of chromium were detected in each of the monitoring wells. It was detected in monitoring wells #3, #7, and #8 in both July andSeptember 1987, and in well #4 on September 1987 and February 1988.Samples taken from monitoring well #4 also indicated highconcentrations of benzene and trichloroethylene (TCE) during eachsampling event. In September 1987, vinyl chloride was detected inmonitoring well #4 (see Table I).

B. OFF-SITE CONTAMINATION

Ground-water, surface-water, soils, and sediment samples werecollected off the site in March 1987 and February 1988. The mediain which elevated levels of contaminants were detected are groundwater and surface water. In March 1987, elevated levels of zincwere detected in two and lead in four residential wells. Also atthis time, lead was detected in surface-water drainage pathways. The February 1988 effort reported no lead concentrations abovedetection limit in the four wells. Only one of the residentialwells initially reporting elevated levels of zinc was resampled. For this well there was a dramatic reduction in the concentration(see Tables II & III).

C. QUALITY ASSURANCE AND QUALITY CONTROL

In preparing this Preliminary Public Health Assessment, the ATSDRrelies on the information provided in the reference documents andassumes that adequate data quality assurance and quality control(QA/QC) measures were followed with regard to chain-of-custody,laboratory procedures, and data reporting. The validity of theanalysis and the conclusions drawn in this Preliminary PublicHealth Assessment are determined by the reliability of thereferenced information.

Data Gaps and Inconsistencies

The information provided to the ATSDR does not include data fromeach monitoring and residential well for each sample date. Thedata from September 1987 for lead is reported as unusable becauseit extended beyond control limits. In February 1988 onlymonitoring well #4 was resampled. It is not possible to completelycharacterize the plume of contamination in the ground water usingavailable data.

Consistency in the setting of detection limits is also of concern. Lead was not detected in any of the samples drawn from residentialwells during the February 1988 sampling round. This, however, maybe a result of the detection limit used to analyze the samples. For this particular batch of samples a detection limit of 30micrograms per liter (ug/L) was used. Thirty ug/L is below thecurrent Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 50 ug/L but above theproposed MCL (PMCL) of 5 ug/L. A detection limit of 5 ug/L washowever used to analyze for lead in surface water samples. Asingestion of lead contaminated ground water is a primary exposurepathway, an appropriate detection limit at or near the PMCL shouldbe used when analyzing for lead in this media.

Critical Evaluation of Data

  1. Because TCE was found in laboratory control rinsates, itspresence in the samples may reasonably be attributed tolaboratory artifacts.

  2. The ground-water sample taken from monitoring well #1 in July1987 is estimated to have a lead concentration of 67 ug/L; butaccording to the QA/QC section of the Field Investigation Team(FIT) report the actual value may be 0.43 of that measurement.

  3. Zinc (15,400 ug/L) was detected in a residential well. However, by the next sampling date the concentration hadreportedly dropped off significantly to 971 ug/L. This couldindicate that zinc is no longer a problem or that one of thevalues was erroneously reported.

  4. Values for vinyl chloride at on-site monitoring wells aregiven only as estimates. These estimated values fall withinrange of public health concern, but it is difficult toevaluate the potential health effects due to exposure to vinylchloride at this site because the concentration is notprecisely quantified.

  5. Soil gas monitoring, a tool used to indicate whetherunderground migration of contaminated vapors is occurring, wasnot conducted on- or off-site.

  6. Organics and solvents that may be volatile and/or combustiblewere reportedly buried in drums at the site. Information onthese drums, some of which were reportedly smashed duringburial, is not available. This information is necessary tomore accurately characterize the extent of contamination onthe site.

D. PHYSICAL AND OTHER HAZARDS

The composition of waste materials deposited in landfills may allowfor the production of methane, a highly explosive gas. Althoughthe existence of buried drums could not be verified (3) bymagnetometer surveys conducted on site, their potential presenceincreases the possible physical hazard.


PATHWAYS ANALYSES

A. ENVIRONMENTAL PATHWAYS (FATE AND TRANSPORT)

Soil/Sediment

The surficial aquifer under Magnolia City Landfill is contaminated. Although the current data does not indicate elevated levels ofcontaminants in the soil, conditions at the site support thepossibility that contaminants may have leached from the soils andwastes into the aquifer. The general environmental characteristicsof the soil and the presence of chemicals which enhance transportincrease the potential for migration of contaminants through soillayers into the aquifer.

Soil type, soil composition, permeability and water retentioncapacity can greatly influence the transport of contaminantsthrough soils. There are two types of sandy loam soils in thislandfill. Loam is a rich soil composed of clay, sand, and someorganic matter. The western side of the site contains Smithtonsoil which is normally found on upland flats, exhibits low naturalfertility and organic content, and is acidic. The soil hasmoderate to low permeability and medium available water capacity. Because this area is poorly drained the ground tends to be wetseveral days following a precipitation event. The soil found onthe eastern two-thirds of the landfill where the disposal pit islocated is called Sacul series. It is also acidic, but has lowerpermeability and higher available water capacity than the Smithtonsoil. It drains moderately well, but has the tendency to shrinkand swell with climatic changes.

Methane tends to migrate through the soil and eventually rise tothe surface. A pipeline runs northeast across the southern end ofthe landfill. If methane is being produced it could migrate alongthe path of this pipeline. Volatile organic compounds (VOC's) havebeen observed to have an affinity to methane gas and thereforecould be transported with the gas. Due to the type of soil at andaround the site it is likely that methane and the VOC's would exitto the surface before reaching the distance at which residencesexist. Therefore, explosion near residential areas is not likelyto occur.

Materials such as the aluminum hydroxide sludge deposited along thesouthern border of the site contain small percentages of othermetals such as lead. The acidic property of the soils at thislandfill could facilitate lead migration from the sludge throughthe soil layers. Thus, it may be possible that throughinfiltration lead could leach through the soil layers and into theground water. The potential for lead, chromium and zinc to migratealong a soil pathway may be further increased by the presence ofacidic materials which may have been disposed of at the landfill.

The organic content of the soil is also a very important factor indetermining whether lead and other metals will have a greatertendency to adsorb to soil or migrate down through the soil layersand into the aquifer. Generally, metals are more mobile in soilscontaining less organic matter. As previously indicated, the soilsat this sight are low in organic content.

Chromium is most often found in the +3 [Cr(III)] or +6 [Cr(VI)]oxidation states. Cr(VI) is more mobile than Cr(III), whichusually becomes adsorbed or complexed to soil particles, metaloxides, or organic matter and is therefore usually relativelyimmobile. Cr(VI) has a tendency to be reduced to Cr(III). In alow organic soil CR (VI) is less likely to be reduced; but in anacidic environment mobility of Cr(III) can be increased. Thus, itappears that chromium, whether in the +3 or +6 oxidation state, maybe mobile in this environment.

Zinc is usually found in the +2 oxidation state. It can be foundas a hydrated ion, a metal-organic complex, or a metal-inorganiccomplex in water. In acidic soils, zinc absorption to soils isrelated to the availability of cation exchange sites. Becausethere are other mobile metals present, competition for the bindingsites will occur, and zinc too may be mobilized.

It appears that VOC's will also be mobile in this environment. Volatilization would be limited for contaminants discharged intosubsurface soil, but transport from the soil to the ground waterwould be expected to occur fairly easily.

Ground Water

The Cockfield Formation is the affected aquifer. The Cockfield ispart of the Claiborne Group which is composed of sand, clay, andsilt layers. The Claiborne is a part of the larger Gulf CoastalPlains aquifer system. An important regional characteristic ofthese aquifers is that recharge is chiefly accomplished by verticalinfiltration and in some places from surface-water infiltration. The Cockfield Formation, Cook Mountain, and Sparta Sandstone arethe major subdivisions of the Claiborne.

Residential wells draw from the Cockfield, which is composed offine to medium grained sand and thin beds of lignite. Its maximumthickness is approximately 100 feet. The direction of regionalground water flow in the Cockfield is southeasterly. Because thesite is on a topographic high, groundwater beneath the site flowsradially outward primarily in the northeast, northwest andsoutheast directions. Water table levels are usually 15-20 feetbelow the surface but are very close to the surface (2-4 feetbelow) in winter and early spring.

The Sparta Sandstone, an important source of water for municipalwater systems, lies 750 feet below the site and is composed of sandwith clay or shale interbeds and localized lignite occurrences. Cook Mountain acts as a confining bed between the Cockfield and theSparta Sandstone. It is composed of clay and shale with smallamounts of sand. Its maximum thickness is approximately 280 feetand it is believed to be relatively impermeable.

On-site sampling has indicated the presence of heavy metals andVOC's in the surficial aquifer (the Cockfield Formation). Leadconcentrations ranging from just below to just above the currentMCL were detected in wells downgradient of the site. The highestlead and zinc values (99 ug/L and 15.4 mg/L) were detected off-sitein an downgradient residential well located approximatelytwo-thirds of a mile from the northern border of the site (well#12). There is a downgradient well approximately one quarter of amile north of the site in which the concentration of lead was alittle more than a third of the 99 ug/L maximum noted above (well#67).

Normally lead and other heavy metals are not soluble in water andare known to travel slowly through an aquifer. They may, however,form soluble complexes which will increase their propensity formigration through this medium. The site's ground-watercontamination plume has not been adequately characterized; thus,given the limited data, a pathway between on- and off- sitecontamination cannot be established at this time.

Surface Water

Because the site is located on a topographic high, water flowingalong natural drainage pathways could potentially contaminateoff-site surface water. Hurricane Creek is a primary target lyinghalf a mile south of the landfill. Lead was detected in a drainagepathway; but sampling thus far has not indicated that HurricaneCreek has been affected.

During the site visit it was observed that the creek was nearlydry. Seasonal variations in level of flow may affect migration ofcontaminants along this pathway. Until seasonal monitoring candocument that this is not the case, surface water should not beruled out as a potential pathway.

Air

No volatiles or vapors were detected at on-site sampling stationsusing direct reading equipment. The likelihood of airbornereleases of contaminants are minimal because the VOC's wereinjected into a subsurface soil disposal pit. As previouslymentioned atmospheric volatilization would be limited in suchcases. Soil gas monitoring, a tool used to indicate whetherunderground vapors exist and if migration is occurring, was notconducted on- or off- site. Until such sampling is done a soil gaspathway cannot be ruled out.

Food Chain

It has been reported that limited squirrel hunting has occurred inthe vicinity of the site. Lead concentrations are not elevated inthe soil and according to the available data surface-watercontamination is minimal. In light of this a food chaincontamination problem via squirrels is not expected. Current usersof contaminated ground water are reportedly not using that waterfor watering livestock. Therefore, exposure to contaminantsthrough this foodchain entity is not expected. Future migration ofcontaminated ground water to residential wells where livestock iswatered may require further investigation.

B. HUMAN EXPOSURE PATHWAYS

Available data indicate that human exposure to lead contaminatedground water may have occurred in the past (residential wells #12and #67) or may still be occurring (residential wells #37 and #69)off the site via ingestion. The source of this contamination hasnot been determined. Individuals at the two residences where wellswere identified as contaminated reportedly use that water forbathing, car washing and gardening only. Individuals at the tworemaining residences reportedly use the water for drinking anddomestic uses. Of those four homes only one was reportedlyconnected to municipal water at the time the EPA report waswritten.

The extent of the ground-water contamination plume and residentialground water use has not been fully characterized. It is unknownexactly how many residences use well water for drinking purposesbecause it has not been determined that all homes in the area havebeen connected to the public water system. Public water isavailable to the entire affected area. A risk of future exposuremay exist if the groundwater plume is found to extend in thepathway of residential wells. If the water is used for drinkingpurposes, the exposure pathway of concern would be ingestion. Theinhalation and dermal pathways become important if benzene, vinylchloride, and other volatiles are carried with the plume. Thesechemicals will volatilize fairly easily from water especially whenused in domestic activities such as cooking and showering.

Insufficient data preclude a complete characterization of humanexposure to contaminated surface water and air, but available dataindicate that this is not likely to be of concern. Available dataindicate that human exposure to contaminated soil is not likely tobe of concern.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

A. TOXICOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS

Human exposure to lead from off-site residential wells (up to 99ug/L) is of potential public health concern. Concentrations oflead above the EPA PMCL (5 ug/L) promulgated under the SafeDrinking Water Act have been detected in four out of nineresidential wells sampled.

Lead toxicological studies only show health effects in humans atcontamination levels higher than the highest level found aroundMagnolia City Landfill. Yet, most studies discuss information interms of blood lead level rather than external exposure level. Therefore, the effects of lead on human health at the levels foundaround Magnolia City Landfill cannot be determined with certainty. The Centers for Disease Control has recently revaluated itsguidelines on acceptable blood lead levels based on recentscientific information and studies (7). New data indicate thatsignificant adverse health effects of lead exposure can occur inchildren at blood lead levels previously believed to be safe. Somehealth effects have been documented at blood lead levels as low as10 ug/dl (7).

Blood lead concentrations of 10 ug/dl are associated withneurobehavioral deficits, hearing impairments, and inhibition ofhemoglobin synthesis in children (7). Blood lead levels between10-20 ug/dl in children have been shown to result in a four- tofive-point decrease in the Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.), and inelectrophysiological changes in brain activity. Blood leadconcentrations greater than 33 ug/dl in children produce neurotoxiceffects as well as a depression in plasma levels of Vitamin D. Neurotoxic effects of lead in children are of primary concern sincethose effects can be irreversible, even after blood lead levelsreturn to a normal range (8).

Gastrointestinal symptoms are characteristic of lead poisoning (8);however, a dose-response relationship has not been explored. Headaches were not reported in the literature. No data on theassociation between human oral exposure to lead and cancer havebeen reported. Animal oral exposure studies suggest a qualitativerelationship between exposure to lead in food and renal tumors. Human occupational inhalation data are inconclusive but suggest anincrease in malignant neoplasms. The EPA has classified lead as aprobable human carcinogen. Therefore, exposure to lead should beavoided at any level.

Human exposure to zinc at a private well off-site is of no apparentpublic health concern. Zinc is a metal naturally found in theearth's crust and is an essential nutrient required by the humanbody in low doses. When ingested in doses significantly higherthan found at this private well, zinc is known to be toxic inhumans. Levels found in this private well may result in humanexposure to approximately twice as much zinc as is estimated to bethe recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the average adult by theNational Academy of Sciences (NAS). The level of zinc detectedexceeds the USEPA Office of Water Regulations and Standards'Ambient Water Quality Criterion of 5 mg/L. However, this is ataste-based standard.

The minimum zinc exposure level associated with adverse humanhealth effects is not known (9). Several studies have suggestedthat human ingestion of zinc may cause symptoms of gastrointestinaldistress, however, dose levels could not be established. Gastrointestinal symptoms have been associated with the ingestionof various forms of zinc (e.g. zinc chloride, zinc sulfate); as theform of zinc detected in residential wells is not specified,application to this site cannot be determined with certainty. Headaches were not reported in the literature. Due to very limitedand inconclusive animal data, an association of cancer with zincingestion cannot be established. Other effects noted in zinc healthstudies were associated with exposures to concentrationssignificantly higher than those found around the Magnolia CityLandfill site.

In addition, if ground-water contaminants migrate from on the siteto off, ingestion exposure to benzene, chromium and possibly vinylchloride may occur.

B. HEALTH OUTCOME DATA EVALUATION

Information on Columbia county and Magnolia city has been collectedfor 1980-1985 by an independent research group at a major hospitalin Arkansas. Investigators there report that both the county(Columbia) and the city (Magnolia City) have statisticallysignificant elevated rates of fetal loss when compared to othercounties and cities of south-central Arkansas (10). These ratesremain elevated and the difference continues to be statisticallysignificant even when adjusting for dissimilarity among thecounties in maternal age and race. However, it is not known ifmothers living near the landfill have an excess rate of fetal loss. Furthermore, the cause of the excess rate of fetal loss in ColumbiaCounty and Magnolia City cannot be determined from these data.


CONCLUSIONS

Based on available information, ATSDR has concluded that theMagnolia City Landfill is an indeterminate public health hazardbecause there is no evidence of exposure to any receptorpopulation. Additional information is necessary to assess thepotential for current exposure to site contaminants that might bemigrating from the site. As noted in the Exposure Pathways Section of this Preliminary Public Health Assessment, exposure to elevatedlevels of VOCs and chromium may occur in the future via ingestionof contaminated groundwater. Additionally, exposure to elevatedlevels of lead may be occurring and may have occurred in the pastvia ingestion of contaminated water in off-site residential wells.


RECOMMENDATIONS

The ATSDR recommends the following:

  1. Conduct a well survey of all public and private wells aroundthe site to determine the extent of residential ground-wateruse.

  2. Provide an alternate water supply source for individuals usingcontaminated water.

  3. Monitor on-site and off-site ground water to determine theextent of the site's ground water contamination plume, toidentify any contaminant migration patterns, and to verifycontaminant levels. Use a method with appropriate sensitivityand detection limits.

  4. If plume definition indicates a risk of future contaminationof residential wells, take appropriate steps to effectivelyprevent future exposure to contaminated water. This may beachieved by use of institutional controls (e.g. enforceableordinances and codes) and or provision of an alternative watersource.

  5. Completely characterize the extent of contamination at thesite. This should include establishing the location of theburied drums and determining the nature and extent ofcontamination surrounding them.

  6. When indicated by public health needs, and as resourcespermit, evaluate additional relevant health outcome data andcommunity health concerns, if available.

  7. The Magnolia City Landfill site has been evaluated by theATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel to determine whatfurther activities ATSDR should conduct at this site. Anenvironmental health education program is recommended toadvise the public health professional and local medicalcommunities of the nature and possible consequences ofexposure to contaminants at the Magnolia City Landfill.
  8. This activity will be conducted by the ATSDR Division ofHealth Education in conjunction with the local medicalcommunity.

  9. ATSDR will contact the EPA and the Arkansas Department ofHealth to alert them of the potential for exposure tocontaminated water from private wells in off-site areas.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

Based on data evaluated and the recommendations made by HARP, ATSDRhas taken the following Public Health Action:

ATSDR in cooperation with the State of Arkansas Department ofHealth has provided environmental health education for thecommunity to assist the community in assessing possible adversehealth effects associated with exposure to hazardous substances. Literature on the effects of lead intoxication has been distributedto the state epidemiologist, local health clinics and physicians.

In addition, ATSDR will take the following Public Health Action:

ATSDR will contact the EPA and the Arkansas Department of Health toalert them of the potential for exposure to contaminated water fromprivate wells in off-site areas and to help determine appropriatefuture actions.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Health Reviewer:

Stephanie Prausnitz
Environmental Health Scientist
Health Science Section
Remedial Programs Branch


Environmental Reviewer:

Rosalyn Lee
Environmental Health Engineer
Environmental Science Section
Remedial Programs Branch


ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Region VI Representative:

George L. Pettigrew
Field Operations Branch
Dallas, Texas


REFERENCES

  1. Support Document for the Revised National Priorities List Final Rule,August 1990. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,DC., August 1990.

  2. Record of Communication with Doctor Thomas McChesney, StateEpidemiologist, Arkansas. Through: Stephanie Prausnitz, ATSDR. March 25, 1991.

  3. In Expanded Site Inspection for Magnolia City Landfill Site, prepared byEcology and Environment, Inc., April 25, 1988: Record of Communicationwith Walker Water Association representative, Magnolia, Arkansas. Through: Raymond Wayne, FIT, EPA Region VI. March 31, 1988.

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Record ofCommunication with Walker Water Association representative, Magnolia,Arkansas. January 7, 1991.

  5. Expanded Site Inspection for Magnolia City Landfill Site, prepared byEcology and Environment, Inc., April 25, 1988.

  6. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Hazard Ranking System Evaluation,Magnolia City Landfill, May 1, 1989.

  7. Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children. Centers for DiseaseControl, U.S. Public Health Service, October 1991.

  8. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. "Toxicological Profilefor Lead" Oak Ridge Laboratory, 1990.

  9. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. "Toxicological Profilefor Zinc" Draft for Public Comment, 1989.

  10. Report to Policy Advisory Commission, 1980-1982 South and CentralArkansas Study Area and 1983-1985 South Arkansas Study Area Only. Arkansas Reproductive Health Monitoring System, Arkansas Children'sHospital. October, 1989.

FIGURES

Site Location Map
Figure 1. Site Location Map

Area Map
Figure 2. Area Map

Residential Well Location Map
Figure 3. Residential Well Location Map


TABLES

Table 1.

ONSITE GROUNDWATER

Monitoring Well #

Max. Concentration in micrograms per liter (ug/L)
  1 2 3 4 5 7 8 MCL PMCL
Lead

67J
(7/87)

 

40J
(7/87)

54J
(2/88)

20J
(7/87)

   

50

5

Chromium

167
(7/87)

202
(9/87)

212
(9/87)

227
(2/88)

233
(2/88)

663
(9/87)

305
(9/87)

50

 
Benzene      

47
(7/87)

     

5

 
Trichloroethene      

90
(9/87)

     

5

 
Vinyl Chloride      

2J
(9/87)

     

2

 
Sampling date in ( )                  

J: Value estimated
MCL: Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
PMCL: Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
Data Sources: ESI & HRS Documents

Table II.

OFFSITE GROUNDWATER
Residential Well #
Max. Concentration in micrograms per liter (ug/L)
(3/87)
  12 37 67 69 MCL PMCL SMCL
Lead

99

46

36

19

50

5

 
Zinc

15,400

2,300

23

61

   

5

MCL: Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
PMCL: Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
SMCL: Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (EPA)
Data Sources: ESI & HRS Documents

Table III.

OFFSITE SURFACE WATER
Corner of Site
Max. Concentration of Lead in micrograms per liter (ug/L)
(3/87)
  SE NE NW
 

20J

7.4J (Duplicate 56)

21.5J

J: Value estimated
Data Sources: ESI & HRS Documents


APPENDIX 1: RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS

The Magnolia City Landfill Preliminary Public Health Assessment was availablefor public review and comment from July 1 through July 31, 1991. ATSDRreceived one written response pertaining to the Magnolia City Landfill PublicComment period. The commenter stated that the Preliminary Public HealthAssessment "should reflect the fact that an alternate unthreatened source ofground water is available to all residents in the affected area." ATSDR hasreviewed the available evidence. The Preliminary Public Health Assessment hasbeen modified to reflect ground water availability.


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