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HEALTH CONSULTATION

UNION CREOSOTING
(a/k/a UNION POST COMPANY)
FARMERVILLE, UNION PARISH, LOUISIANA


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) received a request from ATSDR Regional Office VI on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency Region VI to determine whether a proposed removal action level at the Union Creosoting site would be protective of public health. The proposed removal action level of 3 parts per million (ppm) of benzo(a)pyrene equivalents in soil would be used to conduct a soil removal at this site.


DISCUSSION

The Union Creosoting site is an inactive wood preserving facility on about four acres in a rural area of Farmerville, Louisiana. The nearest residences are about 40 feet from the site [1].Wood was treated at this site with creosote from 1954 to 1987 [1]. Site features include the former process area consisting of three creosote drip areas, an untreated wood storage area, a former pond, the pressure vessel area, and an underground storage tank. [1].

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality determined that the on-site soil has been contaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by sampling on-site drums [1]. PAHs are potentially hazardous chemicals that make up creosote [2]. There are several PAHs that are probable human carcinogens. The proposed on-site soil cleanup action level is 3 parts per million (ppm) of benzo(a)pyrene equivalents. In order to calculate the carcinogenic potential of the PAHs, each carcinogenic PAH is assigned a toxic equivalence factor (TEF), which is an estimate based on its relative potency to benzo(a)pyrene [3]. The concentration of each PAH is multiplied by its TEF, and the sum of the products is described as benzo(a)pyrene equivalents [4].

The facility is adjacent to residential property and access to the site is currently restricted by a four-foot-high barbed fence [1]. The planned future use of this property is for a cattle holding area. However, ATSDR assumes that there could be intermittent public access to the property in the future. At the proposed soil clean-up level of 3 ppm of benzo(a)pyrene equivalents, adverse health effects are unlikely at the Union Creosoting site. This level of PAHs is well below the concentrations known to cause non-carcinogenic health effects for adults and children [3].

The risk of developing cancer from exposure to soil was also evaluated. Benzo(a)pyrene equivalents are used to estimate the cancer potency for PAHs as a group. Assuming nearby residents of the Union Creosoting site accidentally ingest soil regularly over their lifetime, there still would be no apparent increased risk of developing cancer at the soil cleanup level of 3 ppm benzo(a)pyrene equivalents. The proposed soil cleanup level is also consistent with other creosoting sites in Louisiana where residential exposure is possible [5,6].

Adverse health effects are unlikely to occur at the Union Creosoting site at the proposed soil removal level of 3 ppm of benzo(a)pyrene equivalents. This level of PAHs is well below the concentrations known to cause adverse health effects in humans [2,3].


CONCLUSIONS

The soil clean-up level of 3 ppm benzo(a)pyrene equivalents would be protective of public health for the Union Creosoting site, based on future use of the land as a cattle holding area subject to intermittent public access.


RECOMMENDATION

There are no further recommendations.


REFERENCES

  1. Memorandum from Michael Torres, Response and Prevention Branch to Myron Knudson, Superfund Division. Subject: request for a Removal Action at the Union Creosoting site, Farmerville, Union Parish, Louisiana. No date provided.

  2. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. August 1996. Toxicological profile for creosote. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, GA.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. August 1995. Toxicological profile for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons] (PAHs). US Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, GA.

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. June 21, 2000. Health Consultation: Renner Creosoting, Jennings, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana. Atlanta, GA.

  5. US Environmental Protection Agency. June 1, 2000. Lincoln Creosote fact sheet.

  6. US Environmental Protection Agency. April 4, 2000. Madisonville Creosote Works fact sheet.

PREPARER OF REPORT

Kimberly K. Chapman, MSEH
Environmental Health Scientist
Exposure Investigations and Consultation Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


Reviewer of Report

Maurice C. West, PE, DEE
Deputy Branch Chief
Exposure Investigations and Consultation Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


Table of Contents

  
 
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