PETITIONED PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
AMERICAN CHEMICAL SERVICES INC.
GRIFFITH, LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA
- Using available information, ATSDR considers the American Chemical Services NPL site an indeterminate public health hazard. ATSDR needs additional information on surface soil in the Kapica\Pazmey area to determine whether there would be a health impact if individuals contact potentially contaminated, on-site surface soil.
- ATSDR found no evidence of current or past exposure of residents to site-related contaminants. As long as waste material and contaminated soil remain, however, the contaminants can migrate into the groundwater. It is possible that the groundwater contamination could migrate to residential wells. The site could become a public health hazard in the future if residents are chronically exposed to contaminants at concentrations currently detected in the off-site monitoring wells.
- One unused industrial supply well contained lead at levels of public health concern (0.0417 mg/L). It is unlikely that the lead contamination is related to the ACS; however, lead was not detected in groundwater at or near the site and analyses of a sample from an upgradient private well south of the contaminated private well did not find lead.
- Data are inadequate in the following areas:
- ATSDR concludes that additional surface soil sampling (0 to 3 inches) should be conducted at the Kapica/Pazmey area. To better characterize the extent of surface-soil contamination.
- Environmental contamination at the Griffith Municipal Landfill has not been fully characterized. Soil gas analysis should be conducted to evaluate the extent of landfill gas generation and migration.
- Cancer incidence and cancer mortality data are limited by the inability to identify cases occurring in the 8 block area of concern to the petitioners. In addition, the numbers of specific cancers and characteristics of the affected persons are not available.
Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations
- To prevent them from being exposed to site contaminants, workers conducting remedial activities should follow appropriate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommendations.
- Dust and vapor control measures should be implemented to prevent on and off-site exposure to site-related contaminants during excavation of waste material and contaminated soil.
Site Characterization Recommendations
- Monitoring for site-related contaminants should be conducted quarterly at residential wells downgradient of the site. Appropriate procedures should be used to prevent human exposure to off-site migration of groundwater contamination.
- Surface-soil sampling (0-3 inches) should be conducted to better characterize the extent of contamination at the Kapica/Pazmey area. Appropriate procedures should be used to prevent exposure to potential surface soil contamination in the area.
- The extent of landfill gas generation and migration from the Griffith Municipal Landfill should be determined. Appropriate procedures should be used to prevent people from being exposed to landfill gasses. The landfill gas monitoring should be part of an overall environmental monitoring and control program for the landfill (e.g., groundwater monitoring and control of contaminant migration).
- When adequate cancer incidence data from the Indiana Cancer Registry become available, an in-depth health statistics review should be conducted to determine whether there is a high frequency of cancer occurring within the 8-block area identified by the local citizens.
- When indicated by public health needs, the evaluation of additional relevant environmental data, health outcome data, and community health concerns, if available, is recommended.
Health Activities Recommendation Panel Recommendations
The American Chemical Services NPL site, Griffith, Lake County, Indiana, has been evaluated by the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) to determine future health-related activities ATSDR should conduct at this site. Although there is no documentation indicating that people are being exposed to site-related contaminants, there are public concerns that should be addressed. HARP has made the following recommendation:
- ATSDR should provide public health education during meetings with the petitioners and the general public.
Public Health Actions
In response to community concerns, and based on the conclusions and recommendations of the health assessors and HARP, the following actions either have been or will be performed.
ATSDR in cooperation with the Indiana State Board of Health, will conduct the following public health actions:
- Discuss the findings of the public health assessment and community health concerns with the petitioners.
- Evaluate additional environmental data, health outcome data, and community health concerns when indicated by public health need.
EPA, in cooperation with Indiana Department of Environmental Management will conduct the following actions:
- Ensure OSHA standards and NIOSH recommendations are used during site remediation to protect workers from exposure to site contaminants.
Sven E. Rodenbeck, PE
Remedial Programs Branch
Ugo Ivey, MD
Community Health Branch
Jack E. Hanley
Environmental Health Scientist
Remedial Programs Branch
ATSDR Regional Representative
Louise A. Fabinski
Senior Public Health Advisor
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