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PETITIONED PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SERVICES INC.
GRIFFITH, LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

The tables in this section list the contaminants of concern. Thosecontaminants are evaluated in subsequent sections of this publichealth assessment to determine whether human exposure to them is ofpublic health concern. ATSDR selects and discusses contaminantsbased upon the following factors:

  • concentrations of contaminants on and off the site;
  • field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design;
  • comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with public health assessment comparison values for noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic endpoints;
  • comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with background concentrations, if available; and
  • community health concerns.

The tables that follow under the On-site Contamination and Off-siteContamination subsections list contaminants of concern. Humanexposure to contaminants listed may not necessarily result inadverse health effects. Instead, the list indicates contaminantsthat will be evaluated further in this public health assessment.

Comparison values for this public health assessment are contaminantconcentrations in specific media used to select contaminants forfurther evaluation. Those values include Environmental MediaEvaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs),and other relevant guidelines. CREGs are estimated contaminantconcentrations based on the expected occurrence of one excesscancer in a million persons exposed over a lifetime. CREGs arecalculated from EPA's cancer slope factors. EPA's Proposed MaximumContaminant Levels (PMCLs) are Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs)proposed for adoption by EPA. The MCL represents contaminantconcentrations that EPA deems protective of public health (considering the availability and economics of water treatmenttechnology) over a lifetime (70 years) at an exposure rate of 2liters water per day. The MCLs are regulatory concentrations. EPA's Reference Doses (RfDs) are estimates of the levels of dailyexposure to contaminants unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

A. ON-SITE CONTAMINATION

Contaminants of concern in each medium at the ACS site are listedin Tables 1 - 4. All analytical results in this subsection werecollected by Warzyn Engineering during the RI process from July1989 through August 1990 (1) and during additional sampling in January 1991 and August 1991.

Waste Material and Subsurface Soil

Organic chemical (e.g., trichloroethene and benzene) contaminationwas found in the waste material and subsurface soil (greater thanone foot) samples at similar levels at the On-Site Containment,Still Bottoms, Treatment Lagoon #1, Fire Pond, and Off-SiteContainment areas (Table 1). Except for polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs), much lower organic chemical contamination was found at theKapica/Pazmey area. The maximum concentration of PCBs was detectedin waste material; the Off-site Containment area contained thehighest concentration of PCBs in soil. The Kapica/Pazmey area soilcontained concentrations of PCBs ranging from 0 - 27 mg/Kg atdepths of 0 - 1 foot and from 0 - 42 mg/Kg at depths of 3 - 4.5feet. The highest concentration of metals (lead, barium, andcadmium) in the soil was found at the Kapica/Pazmey area. Subsurface soil samples collected at depths of 3 feet in theKapica/Pazmey area contained concentrations of

Table 1.

RANGE OF CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATIONS IN ON-SITE WASTE MATERIAL AND SUBSURFACE SOIL
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE
(mg/kg)
COMPARISON VALUE
(mg/kg) Source

WASTE MATERIAL      
       

Trichloroethene

<0.005-1,700 1 RfD
Benzene <0.005-7,100 2 CREG
Tetrachloroethene <0.005-5,900 500 RfD
Xylene (Total) <0.005-25,000 100,000 RfD
Carbon Tetrachloride <0.005-3,600 35 RfD
1,1,2-Trichloroethane <0.005-320 12 CREG
Naphthalene <0.33-2,400 200 RfD
1,1,1-Trichloroethane <0.005-20,000 4,500 RfD
Toluene <0.005-200,000 10,000 RfD
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) <0.08-400 0.09 CREG
Lead <0.005-16,200 *  

Barium

<42-1,560 3,500 RfD
       

SUBSURFACE SOIL

     
       

Tetrachloroethene

<0.005-46,000 500 RfD
Trichloroethene <0.005-19,000 1 RfD
Benzene <0.005-46,000 2 CREG
Chloroform <0.005-2,800 20 EMEG
Methyl Isobutyl Ketone <0.01-2,500 2,500 RfD
Vinyl Chloride <0.01-160 2 EMEG
1,1,1-Trichloroethane <0.005-150,000 4,500 RfD
1,1,2-Trichloroethane <0.005-400 12 CREG
Xylene (Total) <0.005-100,000 100,000 RfD
Methyl Ethyl Ketone <0.01-99,000 2,500 RfD
PCB <0.08-250 0.09 CREG
Lead <0.005-17,200 *  

Barium

<42-1,780 3,500 RfD
Cadmium <0.1-1,700 1 EMEG

NOTE:

mg/kg - milligrams per kilogram (ppm - parts per million)
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EMEG - Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RfD - Reference Dose
* - No Comparison Value

Source: Warzyn Engineering, Inc. Draft Remedial Investigation Report,ACS NPL Site, Griffith, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Warzyn Engineering,Inc., 1990.


lead ranging from 5,810 - 10,700 mg/kg. The next highest levels of metals contamination in soil were found at the Still Bottom area (1). No waste material or subsurface soil samples were taken at the Griffith Municipal Landfill (1).

Surface Soil

Surface soil (0-3 inches) samples were not collected during the RIprocess. All of the waste material at the On-Site Containment, StillBottoms, Treatment Lagoon #1, Fire Pond, and Off-Site Containment areasare covered with several feet of clean soil (1). Therefore, it is notnecessary to sample surface soils at those locations. However, wasteliquids and rinse water from drums were discarded directly onto theKapica/Pazmey surface soils. Surface soil samples from that area wouldhave been useful to determine PCB and metal concentrations in the topsoil. That type of data is needed because people are more likely tocontact surface than subsurface soils.

Leachate

Leachate samples were taken at the Griffith Municipal Landfill. Analysisof the samples showed elevated levels of organic chemicals and metalsoriginating from the landfill (Table 2) (1).

TABLE 2

Table 2.

RANGE OF CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATIONS IN ON-SITE LEACHATE
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE
(mg/L)
COMPARISON VALUE
(mg/L) Source

Benzene <0.005-0.006 0.001 CREG
Methyl Ethyl Ketone <0.005-0.83 2 RfD
Barium <0.005-2.37 0.7 RfD
Lead <0.005-1.37 0.005 PMCL
Manganese <0.005-9.3 1 RfD
Chromium (Total) <0.005-0.288 0.05 EMEG
Mercury <0.0002-0.00098 0.003 RfD

NOTE:

mg/L - milligrams per liter (ppm - parts per million)
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EMEG - Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RfD - Reference Dose
PMCL - Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level

Source: Warzyn Engineering, Inc. Draft Remedial Investigation Report, ACS NPL Site, Griffith, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Warzyn Engineering, Inc., 1990.

Surface Water and Sediment

Surface water and sediment samples were taken in the marshlandssurrounding the ACS site. Analysis of those samples showed benzene andlead on site at levels above comparison values (Table 3). Benzene and lead were not detected at levels above the comparison values beyond theboundaries of the site (1).

TABLE 3

Table 3.

RANGE OF CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATIONS IN ON-SITE SURFACE WATER AND SEDIMENT
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE
(mg/L)
COMPARISON VALUE
(mg/L) Source

SURFACE WATER
     
Benzene
Lead
<0.005-0.46
<0.005-0.0238
0.001
0.005
CREG
PMCL
SEDIMENT
(mg/kg) (mg/kg)  
Benzene
Lead
<0.005-14
<20-702
0.001
*
CREG

NOTE:

mg/L - milligrams per liter (ppm - parts per million)
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
PMCL - Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level
* - No Comparison Value

Source: Warzyn Engineering, Inc. Draft Remedial Investigation Report, ACS NPL Site, Griffith, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Warzyn Engineering, Inc., 1990.

Groundwater

Extensive groundwater monitoring (three rounds) has been conducted byWarzyn Engineering at the ACS site (1). Analysis of the groundwatersamples indicates that many of the organic chemical and metal soilcontaminants have migrated into the upper water table aquifer (Table 4). No contamination at levels above the comparison values was found in thelower aquifer.

Table 4.

RANGE OF CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATIONS ON-SITE GROUNDWATER
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE
(mg/L)
COMPARISON VALUE
(mg/L) Source

Benzene <0.005-100 0.001 CREG
Toluene <0.005-2.3 2 RfD
Ethylbenzene <0.01-1.1 1 RfD
Xylene (Total) <0.005-3.0 20 RfD
PCB <0.001-0.0026 0.000005 CREG
Chloroethane <0.005-2.0 0.5 Rfd
Vinyl Chloride <0.01-0.72

0.00002

CREG
1,1-Dichloroethane <0.01-2.4 1 RfD
1,2-Dichloroethane (Total) <0.01-0.4 0.0004 CREG
Methyl Ethyl Ketone <0.01-220 2 RfD

Methyl Isobutyl Ketone

<0.01-54 2 RfD
2-Hexanone <0.01-1.8 0.3 RfD
Arsenic <0.005-0.03 0.01 EMEG
Barium <0.005-1.8 0.7 RfD
Manganese <0.005-4.2 1 RfD

NOTE:

mg/L - milligrams per liter (ppm - parts per million)
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EMEG - Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RfD - Reference Dose

Source: Warzyn Engineering, Inc. Draft Remedial Investigation Report, ACS NPL Site, Griffith, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Warzyn Engineering, Inc., 1990.

Air

No air samples were collected during the RI.

As discussed in the Site Description and History section, the majoroperations at ACS were solvent recovery and chemical manufacturing. During operations, the same chemicals found at the NPL site could bereleased to the environment. In order to identify whether ACS dischargedadditional amounts of site-related chemicals to the environment, ATSDRsearched the 1987 and 1988 Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI). TRI isa database developed by EPA from chemical release (air, water, and soil)information provided by certain industries. TRI indicates that ACSdischarged to the air six chemicals of concern at the NPL site (1,1,1-trichloroethane, xylene (total), trichloroethene, tetrachloroethene,methyl ethyl ketone, and toluene). The highest air discharges werereported in 1988 (1,1,1-trichloroethane, 452 pounds per year (lbs/yr);xylene (total), 3,671 lbs/yr; trichloroethene, 302 lbs/yr;tetrachloroethene, 72 lbs/yr; methyl ethyl ketone, 5,765 lbs/yr; andtoluene 6,190 lbs/yr). All of the reported levels of discharged chemicalsare estimated, preventing comparison of the analytical levels for thecontaminants found at the NPL site and the ACS discharge to air.

B. OFF-SITE CONTAMINATION

Groundwater

Off-site migration of contaminated upper aquifer groundwater has beenconfirmed by the Warzyn Engineering investigation. Groundwater sampleswere collected from off-site monitoring wells and off-site private wellsdrawing groundwater from the upper and lower aquifers (See Appendix,Figures 3 and 4). Table 5 lists the contaminants of concern found in theoff-site groundwater. Warzyn Engineering collected the environmental datapresented in this subsection during the RI process from July 1989 throughAugust 1990 (1).

The highest groundwater contamination was found in off-site upper aquifermonitoring wells near the ACS site (1). Groundwater from off-site privatewells did not contain any site-related contaminants. One private wellcontained lead at levels (0.0417 mg/L) above the comparison value of 0.005mg/L. This private well is an unused industrial supply well north of thesite (private well PW-07, see Appendix, Figure 3) (1).

In addition to determining what ACS is discharging to the environment, TRIwas searched to determine whether other industries in Griffith aredischarging site-related contaminants. TRI did not contain any otherinformation on similar toxic chemical releases in the Griffith area.

Table 5.

RANGE OF CONTAMINATION CONCENTRATIONS IN OFF-SITE MONITORING WELLS AND THE PRIVATE INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY WELL
Contaminant Concentration Range
(mg/L)
Comparison Value
(mg/L) Source

Monitoring Wells      
Benzene <0.005-0.012 0.001 CREG
Trichloroethene <0.005-0.045 0.003 CREG
Tetrachloroethene <0.005-0.20 0.0007 CREG
PCB <0.0001-0.027 0.000005 CREG
       
Industrial Supply Well      

Lead

<0.003-0.0417 0.005 PMCL

NOTE:

mg/L - milligrams per liter (ppm - parts per million)
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
PMCL - Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level

Source: Warzyn Engineering, Inc. Draft Remedial Investigation Report, ACS NPL Site, Griffith, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Warzyn Engineering Inc., 1990.

C. QUALITY ASSURANCE AND QUALITY CONTROL

ATSDR was provided with quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC)information about the RI analytic data, indicating that appropriate QA/QCwas performed for the samples collected by Warzyn Engineering. Theconclusions presented in this public health assessment are based in parton the data presented in the RI report. The validity of the conclusions,therefore, depends on the accuracy and reliability of the data provided.

D. PHYSICAL AND OTHER HAZARDS

No physical or other hazards were noted during the ATSDR site visit,except those normally found at an industrial area.


PATHWAYS ANALYSES

A. ENVIRONMENTAL PATHWAYS (Fate and Transport)

Contaminants of concern could migrate through several environmentalpathways. The two primary environmental pathways are groundwater andsurface water. To help readers of this assessment better understandpathways, regional hydrogeologic conditions are explained; potentialenvironmental pathways are also discussed.

Regional Hydrogeologic Conditions

The ACS site is on the lake bed of ancient glacial Lake Chicago. Thelandscape is generally low-lying, and predominantly the result ofcontinental glacial processes and processes associated with the formationof glacial Lake Chicago and the present-day Lake Michigan. Those glacialprocesses deposited varying layers of sand, gravel, and clay on top of theregional bedrock. Glacial deposits close to the site are approximately130 feet thick.

Glacial deposits near the ACS site can be divided into three units: anupper sand and gravel unit, an intermediate silty clay unit, and a lowersand and gravel unit. Groundwater is found in both the upper and lowersand and gravel units. The intermediate, silty clay unit acts as adividing layer between the two groundwater aquifers. This dividing layer,called an aquitard, inhibits the flow of groundwater between the twogroundwater aquifers.

Groundwater flow within the upper sand and gravel aquifer follows thecontours of the local topography and is influenced by activities at theGriffith Municipal Landfill. Groundwater within the upper aquifer tendsto flow in all directions. Groundwater from the upper aquifer dischargesnorth, northeast, west, and southwest to the local marshes and ditchessurrounding the NPL site. Groundwater flow south and east has not beencompletely evaluated, but it appears that Turkey Creek is a dischargepoint for groundwater flowing in those directions. The upper aquifer isthe source of water for a few residences, however, upper aquifer water isnot considered potable. (see Appendix, Figure 3).

The lower sand and gravel aquifer is used extensively as a source ofpotable water. Groundwater in this aquifer flows north and eventuallydischarges into Lake Michigan.

Surface-water runoff at the site is west and south into local marshes, which drain into Turkey Creek.

Groundwater Pathway

In the past, waste from ACS and Kapica Drum operations was disposed onsite. Most of the waste from ACS was buried on site (On-Site Containmentarea, Still Bottoms area, Treatment Lagoon #1, and Off-Site Containmentarea). Liquid waste from Kapica Drum was discharged onto the ground. Some waste from the two facilities might have been sent to the GriffithMunicipal Landfill. Since the waste was discarded, various toxicsubstances in it have migrated through the soil into the groundwater (seeTables 4 and 5). Groundwater monitoring data indicate contamination atlevels above comparison values is restricted to the upper sand and gravelaquifer. Groundwater contamination in the aquifer is moving in thedirection of groundwater flow, but has not migrated very far off site. Analysis of samples taken from local residential wells did not show site-related contaminants; therefore, it is unlikely people have been exposedto the contaminated groundwater. If the migration of contaminatedgroundwater is not prevented, contaminants from the site could migrateinto residential wells.

Results of private well samples showed that one unused industrial supplywell (PW-07) was contaminated with lead at levels above comparison values. The lead contamination is probably not related to the ACS site becauselead was not detected in groundwater at or near the site, and analyses ofa sample from an upgradient private well just south of PW-07 also did notfind lead.

Surface Water Pathway

As previously discussed, the upper aquifer discharges into local marshes,ditches, and Turkey Creek. In addition, surface-water runoff from thesite and leachate from the Griffith Municipal Landfill drain into the samebodies of water. Analysis of surface-water and sediment samples from themarshes and ditches on site showed site-related contaminants (lead andbenzene) at levels above comparison values. Those on-site contaminantsprobably are the result of migration of contaminated groundwater, surface-water runoff, and leachate. People probably would not contactcontaminants on site because access is restricted by a fence. The levelsof contamination steadily decrease with distance from the sources ofcontamination and are at or below background levels before surface waterexits the site boundaries. It is therefore unlikely that off-site fish orwildlife have bioaccumulated site-related contaminants.

Waste Material and Soil

Analysis of soil and waste samples taken at the ACS site indicate the soilis contaminated at levels above comparison values at the On-SiteContainment, Still Bottoms, Treatment Lagoon #1, Off-Site Containment, andKapica/Pazmey areas. Contamination at the On-Site Containment, StillBottoms, Treatment Lagoon #1, and Off-Site Containment areas is locatedseveral feet below the surface. People probably will not contact the soilcontamination except during excavation of the soil. Groundwater willcontinue to be contaminated, however, unless the site is remediated.

The Kapica/Pazmey area subsurface soil has elevated concentrations of PCBsand metals. Some contaminants may be in the surface soils (0-3 inches)because drum rinse water and liquid waste were reportedly dischargeddirectly onto the ground. Wind erosion, traffic patterns (truckmovement), and surface-water runoff could transport those contaminants offsite. Surface soil sampling is needed to confirm whether contamination isof public health concern.

Air

Although no air monitoring was conducted on site, it is unlikely thatsignificant amounts of site-related contaminants are being released intothe air because most of the volatile contaminants (e.g., benzene) areseveral feet below the soil surface. Routine air monitoring with hand-held instruments (e.g., organic vapor analyzer) did not detect aircontamination except when subsurface soils were excavated.

One possible environmental pathway that has not been investigated iswhether methane gas is being generated at and migrating from the GriffithMunicipal Landfill. As solid waste material decomposes, methane isproduced. Because waste material from ACS and Kapica Drum were reportedto be disposed in the landfill, it is likely that hazardous substances arein the landfill. Therefore, methane and volatile hazardous substances(e.g., benzene) could travel through the unsaturated soil, above thegroundwater, into nearby buildings. Analysis of landfill gas should beconducted to evaluate that possible pathway, and gas monitoring should bea part of an overall environmental monitoring and control program for thelandfill (e.g., groundwater monitoring and control of contaminantmigration).

B. HUMAN EXPOSURE PATHWAYS

Using information from the environmental pathways evaluation, there do notappear to be current or past human exposures to site-related contaminantsat levels of public health concern.

Groundwater monitoring data clearly indicate that no site-relatedcontaminants have migrated to potable water wells (e.g., residentialwells). In the future, however, contaminated groundwater could enterlocal residential wells and people could be chronically exposed to site-related contaminants at levels of public health concern. The contaminantsmost likely to migrate into local residential wells are benzene,trichloroethene, and tetrachloroethene, the primary constituents of thegroundwater contaminant plume that has migrated off site.

Most of the soil contamination (On-Site Containment, Still Bottoms,Treatment Lagoon #1, and Off-Site Containment areas) is under several feetof clean soil, which would prevent human exposure except when the soil isexcavated. If the subsurface soil contamination is excavated, peoplecould ingest, inhale, or have skin contact with it. Standard dust controland personal protective procedures should prevent that type of exposure.

There may be some surface soil contamination with PCBs and heavy metals(lead, barium, and cadmium) in the Kapica/Pazmey area. If surface soil inthat area is contaminated, people could ingest, inhale, or have skincontact with contaminants. The Kapica/Pazmey area is visited only to movestored boats and cars, therefore, any human exposure is not likely to besignificant. Surface soil must be sampled before this pathway can beevaluated further.

Analysis of off-site surface water and sediments did not showcontamination at levels above background or of public health concern. People probably would not ingest on-site fish or wildlife that havebioaccumulated lead or other site-related contaminants because there is noon-site fishing or hunting.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

A. TOXICOLOGIC EVALUATION

Although many contaminants were detected at the ACS site at levels ofpublic health concern, available information indicates there are nocompleted human exposure pathways. If the contaminants continue tomigrate, however, people could be exposed to groundwater contamination byway of ingestion, skin contact, or even inhalation. The groundwatercontaminants most likely to migrate into local residential wells arebenzene, trichloroethene, and tetrachloroethene; their toxicologicimplications are discussed in the following paragraphs. Because the threecompounds have similar toxicologies, they are discussed together.

In addition, surface soil in the Kapica/Pazmey area (on-site) may becontaminated. If so, people could ingest, inhale, or have skin contactwith the PCBs and heavy metals (lead, barium, and cadmium). Thetoxicologic implications of the compounds also are discussed.

Benzene, Trichloroethene, and Tetrachloroethene

Studies of workers indicate that benzene, trichloroethene, andtetrachloroethene effects depend on the amount and length of exposure. Inhalation and skin contact were the routes of exposure examined duringmost of those studies. Exposure to 10 ppm benzene, 50 ppm trichloroetheneor 50 ppm tetrachloroethene in the air can cause eye, nose, and throatirritation. As an individual's exposure increases, central nervous systemeffects appear, including headaches, dizziness, poor coordination, andloss of memory. Skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea canoccur, as well as loss of feeling and/or pain in the hands or feet(2,3,4).

Exposure to high levels of those chemicals in the air can damage thelungs, liver, and kidneys. Chronic exposure to lower amounts can alsoaffect those organs. Animals with long-term exposure to trichloroetheneappear to have immune system effects. Short-term benzene exposure alsoaffects the immune systems of animals. It has not been determined whethertetrachloroethene affects the immune systems of people or animals (2,3,4).

All three chemicals have been evaluated for their ability to cause cancer. Benzene is considered a human carcinogen; studies of human exposures totrichloroethene and tetrachloroethene are not considered adequate to proveor disprove an association. Results of some animal studies indicatetetrachloroethene could cause cancer in humans. Trichloroethene studiesin animals are not adequate to make conclusions about its ability to causecancer (2,3,4).

The ability of those chemicals to affect the reproductive process or thefetus (i.e., cause birth defects) has been evaluated. Animals testsindicate that high doses of benzene, trichloroethene, andtetrachloroethene can cause both reproductive effects and birth defects. Those studies are inconclusive, however, on whether the chemicals couldcause such effects in people (2,3,4).

How benzene, trichloroethene, and tetrachloroethene enter people's bodiescan influence the health effects experienced. When inhaled or ingested,a high percentage of the chemicals move into the bloodstream. The healtheffects of ingestion, therefore, could be similar to inhalation ofequivalent concentrations. The health effects of skin contact areprobably not similar to those of inhalation or ingestion because less ofthe chemicals move from the skin into the bloodstream (2,3,4).

Whether or not health effects occur is affected by how long it takes thebody to process (metabolize) and eliminate a chemical and how much of thechemical is stored. As exposure continues slow metabolism and/or long-term storage results in a steady decrease in the amount needed to causehealth effects. Benzene, trichloroethene, and tetrachloroethene areeliminated from the body in a few days to a week. Little or nothing isstored in the body (2,3,4).

PCBs

PCBs are chemicals that were manufactured until 1977 for use as coolantsand lubricants in transformers and other electrical equipment. PCBs canstill be found in older electrical equipment, and there is extensive, low-level PCB contamination of the environment (5).

Studies of human exposure indicate that PCBs can irritate the skin andcause liver effects. Those studies did not identify the relationshipbetween dose and effect. Limited evidence from human studies suggeststhat PCBs can cause cancer, reproductive effects, and birth defects (5).

PCBs can enter the body by way of inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. The rate at which PCBs enter the body through those routes has not yetbeen clearly identified (5).

PCBs are metabolized and eliminated from the body with in days, or theycan be stored in the body for years. The rate of elimination and amountstored depends on the type of PCB exposure (5).

Lead

Exposure to lead causes a wide range of effects. Short-term exposuresabove 0.05 ppm in air affect the central nervous system (headaches,dizziness, etc.) and gastrointestinal tract (nausea, diarrhea, andvomiting). Higher amounts can affect the production of blood, kidney andheart functions, and behavior. Long-term exposure of adults to lead above0.05 ppm in water has similar effects, it also causes blood pressure torise. Lead is strongly linked with decreases in IQ, mood disorders,memory loss, poor coordination, and decreased function of the thyroid andadrenal glands. Children are especially sensitive to lead; the sameeffects are observed in them at half the concentration (6).

Lead is considered a possible human carcinogen based on studies inexperimental animals. Investigations of an association between leadexposure and cancer in workers have produced contradictory results (6).

Lead can affect both the reproductive process and development of thefetus. Effects include reduced production of sperm, premature birth, lowbirth weight, and after birth-learning disabilities (6).

Lead enters the blood much easier by way of inhalation and ingestion thanby skin contact. It is eliminated slowly from the body; much of it isstored in the bones. Because lead remains in the body, the amount neededto cause an effect decreases as length of exposure increases (6).

Barium

There is not much information on barium's effects on people's health. Studies of a small number of people who ingested large doses of bariumshowed effects on the respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervoussystems and on the liver, kidney, and spleen. Lower concentrations ofbarium, however, are often used in making x-rays of the stomach orintestine and have never been found to be harmful. There are no validdata on whether barium causes cancer, birth defects, or reproductiveeffects in humans or animals (7).

Barium enters the blood much easier by way of inhalation than ingestion. It is very difficult for barium to enter the body following skin contact. Barium is eliminated from the body in one to two weeks; whatever remainsis stored in the bones. It is not known whether the stored barium causeshealth effects (7).

Cadmium

Exposure to cadmium causes a variety of health effects in humans. Ingestion of 0.1 milligram cadmium per kilogram body weight per day(mg/kg/day) can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Inhalation of morethan 0.1 ppm cadmium in air causes irritation of the respiratory tract. Long-term exposure can damage the kidneys and lungs. Limited evidencefrom human studies suggests that cadmium can cause lung cancer, but thereis no evidence that cadmium causes birth defects or reproductive problemsin people (8).

Data from animal studies indicates that cadmium can cause cancer,reproductive and birth defects, and liver damage, and that the metalaffects the immune and central nervous systems (8).

Cadmium enters the blood much easier by way of inhalation than byingestion. Cadmium does not easily enter the body by way of skin contact. Cadmium is eliminated slowly from the body; much of it is stored in thebones. Because it remains in the body, the amount needed to cause aneffect decreases as length of exposure increases (8).

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

The primary health concern of the individuals who petitioned ATSDR (seeCommunity Health Concerns section) is a high frequency of cancer occurringwithin an 8-block area north of the ACS site. The types of cancers reported are breast, brain, uterus, and leukemia.

As indicated in the Human Exposure Pathways section, there is nodocumentation indicating that human exposures to site-specificcontaminants are occurring or have occurred. Therefore, it is unlikelythat the health outcomes reported by the petitioners are associated withthe ACS site.

Cancer of the breast or uterus has not been shown to be associated withenvironmental agents (9). Cancers of the lung, brain, and colon-rectum,and leukemia, have been associated with environmental agents. Two of themost important environmental factors associated with cancer are tobaccouse (up to 35% of cancer deaths) and diet (up to 35% of all cancerdeaths). Some hazardous substances have been associated with specifictypes of cancer (e,g. occupational asbestos exposure and lung cancer,occupational benzene exposure and leukemia, and residential radon exposureand lung cancer) (10).

In an attempt to address this community health concern, the Indiana StateBoard of Health provided ATSDR with 1987-1989 cancer incidence data forthe City of Griffith from the Indiana Cancer Registry and with 1970-1979site-specific cancer mortality rates by race and gender for the UnitedStates, Indiana, and Lake County. In addition, ATSDR reviewed 1950-1979cancer mortality data for Lake County from the Riggans Cancer Mortalitydatabase.

Review of the incidence data showed percentages of site-specific cancersfor Griffith (population 17,916 - 1990 U.S. Census) to be comparable topercentages for U.S. as a whole. The four types of cancer that occurredmost often in Griffith were lung, colon-rectum, cervix, and breast. Reviewof mortality rates showed more deaths than expected in Lake County for allcancer sites combined compared to the State of Indiana. The data werelimited; it was not possible to identify cases occurring in the 8-blockarea of concern to the petitioners. Information is not available onnumbers of specific cancers and characteristics of the affected persons.

A health statistics review could be conducted in the future, when theIndiana Cancer Registry will have additional years of data and the abilityto identify cases occurring in the 8-block area of concern. A healthstatistics review could better quantify and characterize the specificcancer cases of concern to the petitioners and help identify public healtheducation needs.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

During the April 1990 site visit, ATSDR listened to community healthconcerns of the individuals who petitioned the Agency.

1. The petitioners believe there ares high frequencies of breast, brain, uterus, lung, and leukemia cancer occurring in an 8-block areanorth of the ACS site.

As indicated in the Human Exposure Pathways and Health Outcome Data sections, there is no documentation human exposure to site-related contaminants. Therefore, it is unlikely that the human healthoutcomes reported by the petitioners are associated with the ACS site.

2. The petitioners are concerned that the oil and solvent discharge fromthe Griffith Airport might have contaminated their residential wells.

As a result of information provided by the Indiana State Board of Health,EPA, and ATSDR, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)conducted a preliminary assessment in February 1991, and a siteinvestigation in October 1991, on the Griffith Airport oil and solventdischarge. IDEM concluded that no further remedial action for theGriffith Airport is warranted.


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