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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

CARTER-LEE LUMBER COMPANY
INDIANAPOLIS, MARION COUNTY, INDIANA


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

The tables in this section list the contaminants of concern. We evaluate these chemicals andpresent our findings in subsequent sections of this public health assessment. We determinewhether exposure to the chemicals has occurred, and if so, we discuss the public healthsignificance of those exposures. ATSDR selects and discusses a chemical as a contaminant ofconcern based upon the following factors:

  1. comparison of on-site and off-site contaminant concentrations with contaminant concentrations for environmental media derived from values used to evaluate noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic health endpoints;
  2. no comparison value exists for the contaminant in an environmental medium and the toxic properties are not known;
  3. an evaluation of the field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design; and
  4. community health concerns related to a particular chemical.

In the data tables presented in the On-Site Contamination and Off-Site Contaminationsubsections, the listed chemical does not mean that it will cause adverse health effects because it ispresent above a comparison value. Instead, the list indicates which chemicals are evaluatedfurther.

The ATSDR definition of subsurface soil is: any soil sample collected at 3 inches or deeper. Incontrast the definition of subsurface soils reported in the RI is 6 inches or greater. The data tablesin this document reflect the ATSDR definition. We evaluated the sample data reported in the finalRI report.

Data tables include the following acronyms:
CREG=Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide. CREGs are estimated contaminantconcentrations based on one excess cancer in a million people exposedover a lifetime. They are calculated from EPA's cancer slope factors.
EMEG=Environmental Media Evaluation Guide. EMEGs are media-specificcomparison values that are used to select chemicals of concern athazardous waste sites. They are derived from the minimal risk level.
LTHA=Lifetime Health Advisory (for drinking water). The LTHA is derived fromthe Drinking Water Equivalent Levels (DWEL) for noncarcinogens. Fornoncarcinogenic organic and inorganic compounds, LTHAs are 20% and10%, respectively, of the DWEL. For possible carcinogens, the LTHA isdivided by an additional factor of 10.
MCL=Maximum Contaminant Level (for drinking water). MCLs representcontaminant concentrations that EPA deems protective of public health(considering the availability and economics of water treatment technology)over a lifetime (70 years) at an exposure rate of 2 liters of water per day. While MCLs are regulatory concentrations, Proposed MaximumContaminant Level Goals and Maximum Contaminant Level Goals are not.
NAS=National Academy of Sciences. NAS determined that water suppliescontaining more than 20 ppm sodium may pose problems for people whoare on sodium-restricted diets of 1 gram per day.
ppm=Parts per million.
ppb=Parts per billion.
RfD=Reference Dose. EPA's estimate of the daily exposure to a contaminantthat is unlikely to cause noncancer adverse health effects.
RMEG=Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide. RMEGs are media-specificcomparison values that are used to select chemicals of concern athazardous waste sites. They are derived from the reference dose.

The Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) is an EPA database that contains information onchemical releases from industries in the United States. It is used to determine the potentialsources of contamination near NPL sites. The TRI includes only chemical releases that have beenreported since the database was initiated in 1987. A computer search was conducted by zipcode(46222) of all available toxic release inventory (TRI 87-93) data to determine the number ofindustries within this zipcode that potentially emit chemicals into the environment which are in common with the Carter-Lee Lumber Company site.

The TRI listed eight facilities within this zipcode which emit the following chemicals into the air: ammonia, nitric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, 1,1,1-trichloroethane,tetrachloroethane, aluminum oxide, and cobalt. No water or land emissions were reported forthose chemicals.

EPA conducted a remedial investigation in two phases between November 1992 (Phase I) andJune/September 1993 (Phase II).

Phase I sampling was conducted for on-site surface soil (CLSS01-03), on-site soil boring(CLSBO1-12), off-site subsurface soil (CLBK01-02, 07-17), on-site groundwater (CLMW01, 03,04, 05), off-site groundwater (CLMW02), and off-site (upgradient) groundwater (CLMW01). Subsurface soil sample CLBK02 was collected from a garden at a single residence.

Phase II focused on off-site subsurface soil (CLBK03 & CLBK06) and off-site groundwater(CLMW02) monitoring.

A. On-Site and Off-Site Soil Samples

On-site subsurface soil samples (see Figure 2) were analyzed for volatile organic compounds(VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs), inorganic chemicals, and cyanide. Phase I (November 1992), on-site soil boring sampleswere analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs, inorganic chemicals, and cyanide. Theresults of the analyses are summarized in Table 1.

Off-site subsurface soil samples (see Figure 3) were analyzed for SVOCs and inorganic chemicals. Because the four primary samples of the off-site analyses were for inorganic chemicals andpolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) only, selected samples were analyzed for VOCs,pesticides, PCBs, and cyanide. All chemicals that were detected off site at a level exceedingcomparison values are listed in Table 1.

In addition, two off-site subsurface soil samples (CLBK03 & 06; see Figure 3) were collectedduring Phase II (June/September 1993). Off-site subsurface soil samples were analyzed forVOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs, inorganic chemicals, and cyanide. All off-site chemicals thatwere detected at a level above comparison values during the June/September 1993 sampling arelisted in Table 2.

B. Groundwater Samples

On- and off-site groundwater samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs,inorganic chemicals, and cyanide. In November 1992, Phase I results identified the presence of 15 inorganic chemicals in on-site groundwater samples and 8 inorganic chemicals in off-sitegroundwater samples.

In June and September 1993, during Phase II, two additional rounds of on- and off-sitegroundwater collection and analyses were conducted (see Figure 4). In addition, two off-sitesubsurface soil samples (CLBK03, 06) were collected.

On- and off-site groundwater samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs,inorganic chemicals, and cyanide. In June and September 1993, Phase II results identified thepresence of 3 inorganic chemicals in on-site groundwater samples and 3 inorganic chemicals inoff-site groundwater samples. All chemicals that were detected in on- and off-site groundwater at a level of concern are listed in Table 3.

Figure 2
Figure 2. On-Site Soil Sample Location Map

Figure 3
Figure 3. Off-site Soil Sample Location Map



Table 1.

Phase I On- Site and Off-Site Soil Sample Results, November 1992
ChemicalOn-site SamplingOff-site SamplingComparison Value
Depth 0 - 18 FeetDepth 0 - 20 Feet Depth 0 -16 Feet
Sample
Location
Sample
Depth
(Feet)
Maximum
Concentration
Range (ppm)
Sample
Location
Sample
Depth
(Feet)
Maximum
Concentration
Range (ppm)
Sample
Location
Sample
Depth
(Feet)
Maximum
Concentration
Range (ppm)
ppmSource
aluminumCLSS03 & CLSS011 - 183,030 - 5,510CLSB12 & CLSB050 - 102,310 -
14,900
CLBK13 & CLBK140 - 0.52,820 - 16,0000.8RMEG
antimony---CLSB7,8,9 &CLSB050 - 43.5 - 10---0.8RMEG
arsenicCLSS01 & CLSS030 - 1812.8 - 14.4CLSB09 & CLSB050 - 46.6 - 197CLBK15 & CLBK170 - 0.54 - 59.50.6EMEG
bariumCLSS03 & CLSS010 - 1820.9 - 63CLSB08 & CLSB110 - 51.2 - 158CLBK13 & CLBK140 - 0.514.9 - 198100RMEG
benzo(a)anthraceneCLSS02 & CLSS030 - 180.71 - 0.79CLSB01 & CLSB110 - 200.4 - 2.4CLBK12 & CLBK090 - 0.50.5 - 360*-
benzo(a)pyreneCLSS030 - 180.71CLSB01 & CLSB110 - 200.39 - 2.1CLBK12 & CLBK090 - 0.50.48 - 3600.1CREG
benzo(b)fluorantheneCLSS03 & CLSS020 - 180.68 - 1.6CLSB01 &CLSB04,110 - 200.47 - 2.4CLBK13 & CLBK090 - 0.50.38 - 290*-
benzo(g,h,i)peryleneCLSS020 - 10.53CLSB070 - 21.4CLBK15 & CLBK090 - 0.51.2 - 140*-
benzo(k)fluorantheneCLSS030 - 180.61CLSB113 - 52CLBK11,12 &CLBK090 - 0.50.45 - 290*-
berylliumCLSS02 & CLSS010 - 10.36 - 0.48CLSB12 & CLSB080 - 100.29 - 151CLBK04,13 &CLBK120 - 0.50.25 - 1.20.2CREG
cadmiumCLSS02 & CLSS030 - 180.89 - 1.2CLSB10 &CLSB04,120 - 160.07 - 0.9CLBK13 & CLBK090 - 0.50.85 - 5.61EMEG
calciumCLSS020 - 1102,000CLSB05 & CLSB100 - 164,460 -198,000---*-
carbazole------CLBK15 & CLBK160 - 0.50.37 - 1.2*-
chromiumCLSS020 - 111.2CLSB04 & CLSB102 - 1610.2 - 439CLBK010 - 1610.210RMEG
chryseneCLSS03 & CLSS020 - 180.74 - 0.8CLSB01 & CLSB110 - 200.39 - 2.6CLBK13 & CLBK110 - 0.50.4 - 0.79*-
cobaltCLSS02 & CLSS01,CLSS030 - 184 - 4.4CLSB12 & CLSB100 - 103.3 - 15.3CLBK13 &CLBK02**0 - 0.53.3 - 16.3*-
copperCLSS02 & CLSS010 - 122 - 25.6CLSB11 & CLSB050 - 517.2 - 114CLBK13 & CLBK040 - 0.513.2 - 6,970*-
dibenz(a,h)anthracene------CLBK15 & CLBK100 - 0.50.5 - 1.3*-
dibenzofuran------CLBK160 - 0.50.45*-
fluorantheneCLSS02 & CLSS030 - 180.99 - 1.4CLSB10 & CLSB112 - 60.65 - 5CLBK02** &CLBK090 - 0.50.37 - 79080RMEG
indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyreneCLSS030 - 180.4CLSB03 & CLSB110 - 180.36 - 0.97CLBK12 & CLBK100 - 0.50.4 - 2.9*-
ironCLSS020 - 18,860CLSB12 & CLSB050 - 106,510 -161,000CLBK010 - 1612,900*-
lead---CLSB07 & CLSB080 - 218.4 - 376---*-
magnesiumCLSS03 & CLSS010 - 1827,800 -50,100CLSB10 & CLSB090 - 6605 - 25,100CLBK07 & CLBK040 - 0.54,080 - 39,400*-
manganeseCLSS03 & CLSS010 - 18275 - 404CLSB09 & CLSB060 - 4314 - 1,280CLBK04 &CLBK02**0 - 0.5276 - 1,400300RMEG
2-methyl naphthalene------CLBK170 - 0.50.42*-
nickelCLSS03 & CLSS010 - 189.9 - 14.1CLSB12 & CLSB070 - 109.5 - 173CLBK13 & CLBK140 - 0.57 - 33.340RMEG
phenanthreneCLSS02 & CLSS030 - 180.75 - 1.1CLSB01 & CLSB090 - 200.41 - 2.8CLBK01,14 &CLBK090 - 160.5 - 370*-
potassiumCLSS02 & CLSS010 - 1465 - 775CLSB10 & CLSB050 - 6169 - 1,250CLBK09 & CLBK140 - 0.5511 - 2,130*-
pyreneCLSS02 & CLSS030 - 180.99 - 1.8CLSB06 & CLSB040 - 160.63 - 2.6CLBK13 & CLBK090 - 0.50.4 - 80060RMEG
sodiumCLSS03 & CLSS010 - 18103 - 139CLSB10 & CLSB080 - 629.3 - 197CLBK07 & CLBK140 - 0.547.9 - 1,51020NAS
thallium---CLSB07,08,09 &CLSB100 - 60.11 - 0.36CLBK13 & CLBK170 - 0.50.21 - 0.45*-
vanadiumCLSS03 & CLSS010 - 189.7 - 164CLSB10 & CLSB050 - 65.3 - 88.6CLBK13 & CLBK140 - 0.510.5 - 45.96EMEG

* No comparison value available
**Sample # CLBK02 is a sample taken from a garden.
Single concentration indicates that only one sample was collected.
- Indicates that no sample was analyzed for that contaminant.


Table 2.

Phase II Off-site Subsurface Soil Sample Results (Depth 0 - 1 Foot), June/September 1993
ChemicalSample LocationSample
Depth
Maximum
Concentration
Range (ppm)
Comparison Value
ppmSource
aluminumCLBK03 & CLBK060 - 13.58 - 4.94*-
benzo(a)anthraceneCLBK06 & CLBK030 - 10.44 - 1.2*-
benzo(a)pyreneCLBK06 & CLBK030 - 10.44 - 1.90.1CREG
benzo(b)fluorantheneCLBK06 & CLBK030 - 11.2 - 4*-
benzo(g,h,i)peryleneCLBK030 - 10.99*-
benzo(k)fluorantheneCLBK06 & CLBK030 - 10.73 - 2*-
chryseneCLBK06 & CLBK030 - 10.67 - 1.8*-
dibenz(a,h)anthraceneCLBK030 - 10.4*-
indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyreneCLBK030 - 11.2*-
2-methyl naphthaleneCLBK030 - 10.7*-
naphthaleneCLBK030 - 10.63*-
phenanthreneCLBK06 & CLBK030 - 10.81 - 1.7*-

Single concentration indicates that only one sample was collected
* No comparison value available
- Not applicable because no comparison value is available


Figure 4. Groundwater Monitoring Well Locations

Table 3.

Phases I & II On-Site and Off-Site Groundwater Sample Results; November 1992, June 1993, and September 1993
ChemicalOn-site SamplingOff-site Sampling (Upgradient)Comparison
Value
Sample
Location
Sample
Dates
Maximum
Concentration
Range (ppb)
Sample
Location
Sample
Dates
Maximum
Concentration
Range (ppb)
ppbSource
aluminumCLMW03 &CLMW0111/9226,500 - 32,300---4RMEG
arsenicCLMW04 &CLMW0511/921,100 - 1,500CLMW0211/921,6003EMEG
bariumCLMW04 &CLMW0511/9244,800 - 68,500CLMW0211/9267,000700RMEG
berylliumCLMW0311/921,100---.008CREG
calciumCLMW01 &CLMW0509/93 &11/92116,000 -19,700,000CLMW0209/93101,000*-
ironCLMW03 &CLMW0411/9210,600 - 23,500---*-
leadCLMW03,CLMW05 &CLMW0111/921,200 - 1,400CLMW0206/935.515MCL
magnesiumCLMW05 &CLMW0406/93 &11/9228,200 -40,200,000CLMW0206/9331,400*-
manganeseCLMW01 &CLMW0509/93 &11/9227 - 90,600CLMW0211/927,80050RMEG
nickelCLMW03 &CLMW0511/928,900 - 11,400CLMW0211/9211,400200RMEG
potassiumCLMW01 &CLMW0411/923,840,000 -4,490,000CLMW0211/924,400,000*-
seleniumCLMW03 &CLMW0511/921,300 - 3,700CLMW0211/923,00020EMEG
sodiumCLMW05 &CLMW0411/9224,800,000 -53,200,000CLMW0211/9231,200,00020NAS
thalliumCLMW0311/921,000CLMW0211/921,4000.4LTHA
zincCLMW0311/924,600---3,000RMEG

Single concentration indicates only one sample
* No health comparison value available
- Not applicable because no comparison value exists

No surface water or ambient air monitoring were conducted during the RI.

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC)

Data from the sampling events used in the preparation of this report were reviewed, and theyfulfilled the requirements for QA/QC. All duplicates, blanks, reference standards, associatedretention times, matrix spike and matrix spike duplicates, and surrogate detection limits were met.

No estimated or qualified values were used in the preparation of this report.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

The Carter-Lee Lumber Company presently uses the area of contamination for temporary lumberstorage. The piles of lumber present a trip and fall hazard; however, this area is restricted by a 8-foot fence and personnel working in this area are aware of the hazards of working around piles of lumber.


PATHWAYS ANALYSES

To determine whether nearby residents are exposed to contaminants migrating from the site,ATSDR evaluates the environmental and human components that lead to human exposure. Anexposure pathway consists of five elements: 1) a source of contamination, 2) transport ofcontaminants through an environmental medium, 3) a point of exposure, 4) a route of humanexposure, and 5) an exposed population.

ATSDR categorizes exposure pathways as complete, potential, or eliminated. All five pathwayelements are present in completed pathways. The exposure either occurred in the past, is occurring, or will occur in the future. If at least one of the five elements is missing, the exposurepathway is potential if the missing element is likely to exist, but we do not have data tosubstantiate the missing element. Exposure to a contaminant could have occurred in the past,could be occurring, or could occur in the future. An exposure pathway can be eliminated if atleast one of the five elements is missing and will never be present. No completed exposurepathways were identified. Table 4 identifies potential exposure pathways. The discussion thatfollows Table 4 incorporates only those pathways that are important and relevant to the site.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

We did not identify any completed human exposure pathways.

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

On-site and off-site groundwater

Residents in this area use a municipal water supply that is monitored according to federalregulations. No municipal wells are within a 1-mile radius of the site. The closest drinking waterwell is approximately 3,500 feet away, west of and upgradient from the site. However, on-sitemonitoring wells contain very high levels of lead and arsenic.

Marion County occasionally supplements its municipal supply with groundwater pumped from thesame aquifer monitored at the site. This well field is approximately 7 miles south of the site and should not be influenced by site contaminants.

If people used old, existing private wells on or in the near vicinity of the site, those people couldbe exposed to site-related contaminants through direct ingestion or dermal contact. People mayhave used those wells in the past, but we do not know what levels of contaminants may have beenpresent when the wells may have been used. Furthermore, if the wells did exist, they were likelyabandoned and would be difficult to locate for testing. Additionally, we would not know ifcontaminants that may be present today reflect what may have been in the well water when theywere used. People are not using the wells presently but could use the wells in the future ifallowed.

Eleven industrial wells were identified downgradient of the site. The well owners surveyed havewells screened in the same aquifer sampled on site. We believe that the industries use municipalwater for their drinking water supply and only use their industrial wells for industry processes. Those workers are not believed to be exposed to site-related contaminants.


Table 4.

Potential Exposure Pathways
PATHWAY
NAME
EXPOSURE PATHWAY ELEMENTS TIME
SOURCEENVIRONMENTAL
MEDIA
POINT OF
EXPOSURE
ROUTE OF
EXPOSURE
EXPOSED
POPULATION
GroundwaterCarter-Lee
Lumber
GroundwaterOn Site
Off Site
Ingestion
Dermal Contact
ResidentsPast
Future

C. Eliminated Exposure Pathways

Although contamination exists in on-site subsurface soil, no one is expected to come into contactwith that soil. The contaminated areas are covered with clean top soil, gravel, and asphalt.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

In this section, we discuss the health effects of people exposed to specific chemicals, evaluatestate and local health databases, if available, and address any existing community health concerns.

A. Toxicological Evaluation

This subsection of the public health assessment describes the public health implications ofexposure to contaminants that are associated with the site. ATSDR developed toxicologicalprofiles for several chemicals that have been found at this site. These profiles provide informationon health effects, environmental transport, human exposure, and regulatory status. No completedexposure pathways were identified; therefore, no one is expected to experience site-relatedadverse health effects. We did identify a potential exposure pathway through use of contaminatedgroundwater.

People may have been exposed to contaminants in the past through drinking contaminated waterin on-site and nearby off-site wells. If allowed, people may use contaminated well water in thefuture. No one is using private well water for drinking or household purposes at the present time. Although a number of contaminants exceeded comparison values in groundwater, we will discussonly arsenic and lead because the toxicity of those two chemicals is better known. Should futureinvestigations indicate that people are being exposed to contaminated groundwater, ISDH willfurther evaluate other contaminants in the water. Because a community member was concernedabout contaminants in soil carried to their home for use in a garden, we did evaluate the gardensoil for contaminants. We did not find any contaminants that exceeded comparison values in thegarden soil. Therefore, people who garden at that home are not expected to experience anyadverse health effects as a result of that activity.

Arsenic

Long-term oral exposure to inorganic arsenic may cause a pattern of skin changes. Skin changesinclude darkening of the skin and the appearance of small corns or warts on the palms, soles, andtorso. While these skin changes are not considered to be a health concern, a small number of thecorns may ultimately develop into skin cancer. Swallowing arsenic has also been reported toincrease the risk of cancer of the liver, bladder, kidneys, and lungs (3).

Arsenic was found at 1,600 ppb and 1,500 ppb in the off-site and on-site groundwater,respectively. Possible health effects associated with ingesting the groundwater in this area areirritation of the stomach and intestines with symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting, anddiarrhea (3).

Lead

Lead is found in the earth's crust as a naturally occurring metal. Because lead has been widelyused, such as in leaded gasoline, lead is found in air, drinking water, rivers, lakes, oceans, dust,soil, and in animals and plants. Lead can enter the body through inhalation (lead dust), ingestion(lead contaminated foods), but only small portions will absorb through the skin (5).

Lead is partitioned first in the soft tissues (liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles, and heart). After several weeks it travels to and is stored in bone and teeth. Symptoms associated with leadexposure at high levels include possible decrease in memory; weakness in the fingers, wrists, orankles; and anemia (5).

Children are more sensitive to the effects of lead than adults. Lead exposure can cause prematurebirth, smaller babies, decreased intelligent quotient and damage to the male reproductive system inadults, and brain and kidney damage in both children and adults (5). We do not know how muchlead will cause these effects, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)recommends that children's blood lead levels not exceed 10 micrograms per deciliter (5).

Lead was found at 376 ppm in the on-site soil. Soil in this area of the United States typicallycontains 10-300 ppm of lead. The level found in the on-site soil is within guidelines for residentialsoils. Lead was found in the on-site groundwater at 1,400 ppb and 5.5 ppb in the off-sitegroundwater. EPA has established an Action Level for lead in public drinking water supplies at15 ppb. That means if a public water supply contains lead at 15 ppb, then action must be taken to lower the level of lead. EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for lead is zero.

ATSDR has not derived a minimum risk level (MRL) for lead. A RfD does not exist for leadbecause no thresholds (safe levels) have been demonstrated. Therefore, ATSDR recommendsthat people avoid lead exposure whenever possible (5).

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

No completed exposure pathways have been identified. For that reason, no adverse health effectsrelated to site contamination are expected, and no one has reported experiencing adverse healtheffects they feel may be a result of exposure. For those reasons, we did not evaluate any healthoutcome data.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

  1. I took soil from the site for my garden. My children may have been exposed to thisdirt. Should I be concerned?

    Soil samples taken from garden dirt showed very low levels of contaminants. In fact, thelevels found are comparable to what is found in most urban soils. Several factorsdetermine whether a contaminant in the environment will pose a health risk. A few ofthese factors include how much of the contaminant is there, how often a person is exposedto that level, and whether the person touches, breathes, or ingests the contaminant.

    We feel that young children likely ingest more soil than adults and older children becauseof their hand to mouth activities. For that reason, we use very conservative ingestion rateswhen we calculate how much of a contaminant a young child might ingest. Although thelevels of contaminants in the soil in your garden are low, we feel you should continue toencourage healthy habits in your children such as washing of hands before eating. If youhave very young children in your home, you may want to observe your children at play todetermine any unusual play habits such as eating dirt. Some children have a rare conditioncalled pica, which is a craving for unnatural things (dirt, clay, chalk), caused by lack ofspecific nutrients in the body. If you feel your child may have pica, you should consultwith your family doctor.

  2. Is it safe to eat vegetables grown in soil taken from this site?

    Most contaminants do not readily accumulate in the edible portions of plants. Thecontaminants that are known to accumulate in edible plant tissue were not found in thegarden soil sample at levels that would cause problems. For instance, a study of carrotsgrown in chemically contaminated soils indicated that small amounts of contaminants werefound only in the peelings of the carrot and not in the interior of the root. Surfaceabsorption appears to be the major means whereby certain chemicals accumulate in crops. In the carrot study, leaf samples contained only small amounts of contaminants, butscientists were not clear whether the contaminant found on the leaves was the result ofuptake through the root system or from soil particles on the surface of the leaves (6). Forthat reason, we recommend that, regardless of where fruits and vegetables are grown, youwash your vegetables thoroughly and peel any root vegetables such as beets, carrots,radishes, and potatoes.


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