PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
CARTER-LEE LUMBER COMPANY
INDIANAPOLIS, MARION COUNTY, INDIANA
Comments and Responses
- I believe that the residents and employees within the one-mile radius are at risk andshould have complete blood work to detect any and all possible health afflictionscaused by the contaminants.
People who live near hazardous waste sites have shared with us their fear of neverknowing what may be happening to their health and their frustration when we are notalways able to provide adequate proof that they are safe, especially when some membersof a community have illnesses that their doctors cannot yet explain. We have looked at allways that you may have been exposed to the contaminants present at this site. We havenot found where anyone has been exposed to contaminants at the site at levels that weknow cause health effects. For that reason, we would not know what tests to run onblood samples and would not know how to interpret any test results. If you feel that youhave been exposed to contaminants at the site in a way that has not been discussed in thisdocument, we ask that you let us know.
- I would like to know if the employees of the Carter-Lee Lumber Company havebeen tested for carcinogens in the blood? If so, what is the time span of employmentthat yielded positive results and negative results?
We did investigate the allegations of weight loss and skin lesions occurring in workers, butwe were unable to substantiate this information. We did not conduct blood testingbecause we could not find where workers were exposed to levels of contaminants that areassociated with health effects. We do not know if any employee has undergone testingthrough his or her health care provider. If any employees wish to share information withus, we are available to them.
- My understanding is that concentrations of arsenic, beryllium, and cyanide weredetected in several on-site groundwater monitoring wells. Is there a blood test thatcould tell you whether a person has been exposed or not?
Although these chemicals, and others, are present in on-site groundwater, we do notbelieve that anyone is exposed to the contaminated groundwater. The levels of cyanidefound in the on-site groundwater were below comparison values and would not beexpected to cause adverse health effects should someone accidentally ingest some of thewater. As explained in this document, unless you come into contact with thecontamination, you should not experience health effects as a result of the contamination.
Clinical tests exist to determine if you have one of these chemicals in your body. However, everyone has a certain amount of arsenic and cyanide in their bodies. Sometimes we have difficulty distinguishing what levels are normal for one person andwhat is normal for another. We do have ranges that we feel describe what is normal forthe majority of people. We also have to consider other factors when we evaluate yourspecific exposure. Those factors include the dose (how much of a chemical you havecontacted), the duration of exposure (how long and often you are exposed), and how youcome in contact with it (touch it, breathe it, or ingest it) . We also consider the otherchemicals you are exposed to at home and at work and your age, gender, diet, familytraits, lifestyle, and state of health.