PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
EL DORADO, UNION COUNTY, ARKANSAS
- The Popile, Inc. site poses an indeterminate public health hazard because available information is insufficient to determine whether past exposures to site contaminants may have occurred at levels that could have resulted in adverse health conditions. In addition, current exposures to site contaminants, although not expected to cause adverse health conditions, cannot be fully evaluated because contaminant data for some media (such as fish in Bayou de Loutre) are unavailable. However, based on the present level of contaminants in on-site groundwater, the site could pose a public health hazard in the future if the site is developed for residential and/or commercial/industrial activities and on-site wells are used for drinking water purposes.
- ATSDR has identified two completed exposure pathways at the Popile, Inc. site. The first completedpathway involves former employees of the wood treatment facility. These workers were likely exposed toon-site contaminants including PAHs, pentachlorophenol, dioxins, arsenic, and lead, through ingestion ofcontaminated media such as soils, sludges, sediments, and water. However, due to lack of environmentalsampling data from the period when the facility was operating, it is not possible to determine if exposure tothe site contaminants posed a significant health hazard.
The second completed pathway involves exposure of individuals using Bayou de Loutre, near the site, forrecreational purposes. These individuals have likely been exposed to contaminants, such as PAHs,pentachlorophenol, dioxins, arsenic, and lead, through the ingestion of contaminated surface water andsediments in the bayou. However, at the levels of contamination found in the bayou surface waters andsediments, there does not appear to be a current health hazard.
- ATSDR has identified four potential exposure pathways associated with the Popile site. These pathways involve the following potential exposures: 1) inhalation of contaminants in ambient air and air-borne dusts by past on-site workers and possibly by other individuals on and around the site; 2) ingestion of contaminated surface soils by individuals accessing the site, such as site investigative personnel, fisherman, hunters, and trespassers; 3) ingestion of contaminants in fish that are caught and eaten from Bayou de Loutre near the site; and 4) ingestion of groundwater contaminants in drinking water from private wells located downgradient of the site (if such wells become contaminated in the future) and from private wells that may be utilized on-site in the future. Of these potential pathways, exposure to site groundwater is believed to be the most significant since ingestion of contaminants at the levels found in on-site groundwater could result in adverse health effects. It should be noted, however, that exposure to groundwater contaminations is not likely unless the site is developed and on-site wells are installed for drinking water purposes.
- Health outcome data were not evaluated in this assessment due to the reasons given in the Health Outcome Data Evaluation subsection of the Public Health Implications section.
- Data inadequacies include the following:
- Sampling data for private wells in the site area are unavailable. Also, information on the location, type, depth, and use of area private wells is insufficient.
- No information or data exist on whether fish in Bayou de Loutre adjacent to the site arecontaminated with site-related contaminants.
Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations
- Provide future on-site remedial workers with adequate protective equipment and training, in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.120, and follow appropriate National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Occupational Safety and Health Administrative (OSHA) guidelines. Also, protect individuals on and off the site during remediation from exposure to any dusts or vapors that may be released.
- Consider institutional controls to prevent future use of contaminated groundwater at the site for drinkingwater supplies. These controls should remain in place until remediation or natural processes have reducedcontaminant concentrations to below levels of public health concern.
Site Characterization Recommendations
- Identify private well users in the site area (especially those downgradient of the site), and obtain and analyze representative samples from these wells to determine whether site-related contaminants (including metals) are present at levels of concern.
- Conduct ambient air sampling around the site perimeter during the remedial action to ensure that airborne contaminants are not released at levels that could adversely individuals living or working off-site.
- Collect fish samples from Bayou de Loutre immediately upstream of the site and downstream to the Highway 167 bridge, and analyze edible fish portions for bioaccumulative contaminants.
Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended,requires ATSDR to perform public health actions needed at hazardous waste sites. To determine if public healthactions are needed at the Popile, Inc. site, ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has evaluatedthe data and information developed in this public health assessment. HARP has determined that no follow-up healthactions are indicated at this time because 1) available information is insufficient to determine whether past exposuresto site contaminants may have occurred at levels that could have resulted in adverse health conditions, and 2) currentexposures to site contaminants are not expected to cause adverse health conditions. However, ATSDR will reevaluatethe site for appropriate follow-up actions if additional information becomes available indicating that human exposureto site contaminants is occurring at levels of public health concern.
Public Health Actions Plan
The purpose of the Public Health Actions Plan (PHAP) is to ensure that this public health assessment not onlyidentifies public health hazards, but also provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse humanhealth effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.
ATSDR provided the residents of the town of El Dorado and surrounding communities the opportunity to commenton this public health assessment before final release. The public comment period was held from September 14 toOctober 14, 1994. ATSDR did not receive any comments on this public health assessment.
At this time no public health actions to be implemented have been identified by ATSDR's HARP.
ATSDR will collaborate with appropriate federal, state, and local agencies to pursue the implementation of therecommendations outlined in this public health assessment.
This final PHAP will be evaluated annually unless additional information warrants more frequent evaluation. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data may determine the need for additional actions at the Popile, Inc. site.
Environmental Health Engineer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment & Consultation
Déborah A. Boling
Environmental Health Scientist
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment & Consultation
ATSDR Regional Representative:
Senior Regional Representative
EPA Region VI
- CDM Federal Programs Corporation. Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study For The Popile, Inc. Site, ElDorado, Arkansas. June 26, 1992.
- CDM Federal Program Corporation. Risk Assessment For The Popile, Inc. Site, El Dorado, Arkansas. July 1,1992.
- Ecology and Environment, Inc. Site Assessment Report For Popile, Inc., El Dorado, Union County, Arkansas.May 25, 1990.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VI, Dallas, Texas. Decision Summary, Popile, Inc. Site,Record of Decision. February 1993.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VI, Dallas, Texas. Memorandum to C. Gazda from P.Hammack regarding removal action at the Popile site. February 8, 1994.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VI, Dallas, Texas. Hazard Ranking System DocumentationRecord, Popile, Inc. 1991.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. Atlanta:ATSDR, March 1992.
- ICF Technology, Inc., Region VI. Listing Site Inspection of Popile, Inc. September 25, 1991.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for arsenic. Atlanta: ATSDR,February 1992.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Atlanta: ATSDR, June 1989.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for lead. Atlanta: ATSDR,February 1992.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. 1987. Statement on childhood lead poisoning. Committee onEnvironmental Hazards/Committee on Accident and Poison Prevention. Pediatrics 79:457-462.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for polycyclic aromatichydrocarbons. Atlanta: ATSDR, December 1990.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for pentachlorophenol. Atlanta: ATSDR, October 1992.