PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
KINGSBURY, LA PORTE COUNTY, INDIANA
The tables in this section list the contaminants of concern. We evaluate these chemicals in thesubsequent sections of this public health assessment and determine whether exposure to them haspublic health significance. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)selects and discusses a chemical as a contaminant of concern based upon the following factors:
- the chemical has no comparison value and/or may be toxic to humans at specified levels;
- the comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with public health assessmentcomparison values for 1) noncarcinogenic endpoints and 2) carcinogenic endpoints;
- an evaluation of the field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design;
- community health concerns related to a particular chemical.
In the data tables that follow under the On-site Contamination and Off-site Contaminationsubsections, the listed chemical does not mean that it will cause adverse health effects fromexposures. Instead, the list indicates which chemicals will be evaluated further in the publichealth assessment.
Comparison values for this public health assessment are contaminant concentrations in specificmedia that are used to select contaminants for further evaluation. Sample data provided aredocumented in the Final RI report. The data tables include the following acronyms:
|CREG||=||Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide|
|EMEG||=||Environmental Media Evaluation Guide|
|LTHA||=||Lifetime Health Advisory (for drinking water)|
|MCL||=||Maximum Contaminant Level for Drinking Water|
|ppm||=||Parts per million|
|ppb||=||Parts per billion|
|RMEG||=||Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide. RMEGs are media-specificcomparison values that are used to select chemicals of concern at hazardouswaste sites. They are derived by ATSDR from the reference dose level.|
The Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) is an EPA database that contains information onchemical releases of industries in the United States. It is used to determine the potential sourcesof contamination near NPL sites. A computer search was conducted of all available toxic releaseinventory (TRI 87-90) data to determine the number of industries near the site within the city ofKingsbury (zipcode = 46345). The data showed three industries with releases of seven chemicalsin common with this site during 1987 to 1991. These chemicals are aluminum (dust), chromium, 1,1,1-TCA, nickel, copper, lead compounds, and zinc. All chemicals found in sampled media have been assessed for adverse health effects.
As stated in the Site Description and History subsection, six study areas have been designated atthe site based on the past activities and the current existing conditions, such as visible stains orstressed vegetation, excavated areas, soil piles, and areas where tanks or drums were recently or currently stored.
The media sampled included surface soils, subsurface soil, soil gas, sediment, surface water, andgroundwater. In addition, samples from the groundwater production wells include data fromproduction well PW-01, which is considered on site for purposes of this public healthassessment.
Several surface soil samples were collected on site. Various VOCs and heavy metals weredetected. Surface soil sample results are shown in Table 1. The Cardinal Chemical facility (AreaC) was the most heavily contaminated area for surface soils. The highest surface soilconcentrations were measured at the site of two old lagoons near the northwest corner of theCardinal Chemical facility. High concentrations (above 1,000 ppb) were also seen in other areasof the site where drums are or were stored, or where waste disposal pits existed. Many of thecontaminants detected in the surface soils were also detected in the subsurface soil andgroundwater samples.
Range - ppm
Concentrations listing one number indicate the only level of detection
* No health comparison value available
Subsurface soil sampling identified Areas A and C as the possible sources of contaminants foundin the groundwater. Samples from these locations contained concentrations of chlorinatedorganic solvents; non-chlorinated organic solvents (toluene, xylenes, and ethylbenzene); andketones (acetone and related chemicals). High concentrations of SVOCs (above 1,000 ppb) werealso identified. All of the locations noted above contained the contaminants detected in thegroundwater. Subsurface soil sample results are shown in Table 2.
Range - ppm
Concentrations listing one number indicate the only level of detection
* No health comparison value available
|1. FCC Tank Farm||- Area A-1|
|2. FCC Exposed Tank Locations||- Area A-2|
|3. Cardinal Chemical||- Area C|
|4. Space Leasing||- Area F|
|5. White Oak Park||- Background|
In Areas A-1 and A-2, samples showed both TCE and toluene, but only TCE was found in AreaC. Area F had high concentrations of both TCE and toluene. The depths of the samples rangedfrom 1 to 10 feet. Soil gas sample results are shown in Table 3.
The sediments in the pond (see Appendix A, Figure 9) in Area F showed concentrations ofseveral VOCs and PCBs. The sediments in the wetland area (south of Area B) contained highconcentrations of lead. Sediment sample results are shown in Table 4.
|Chemical||Concentration Range - ppm||Comparison Value|
* No health comparison value available
Concentrations listing one number indicate the only level of detection
* No health comparison value
Groundwater - Monitoring Wells
Many of the contaminants present in the soils were also present in the groundwater. With oneexception, contamination appears to be limited to the shallow and intermediate portions of theupper aquifer at discrete locations across the project study area (see Appendix A, Figures 10-13). The deep portion of the upper aquifer in Area C is contaminated. Numerous organic andinorganic chemicals were detected in unfiltered groundwater samples, as shown in Tables 6 and 7.
Range - ppb
* No health comparison value available
Range - ppb
Concentrations listing one number indicate the only level of detection
* No health comparison value available
At least three individual groundwater contamination plumes have been identified. One plume isdowngradient of the old waste disposal area at the FCC plant (Area A). The second plumeappears to originate near the National Packaging facility (Area D). Based on the variation ofchemicals detected in each nest of wells, the third plume appears to be near the CardinalChemical facility (Area C).
Groundwater - Production Wells
Results of the production well samples (see Appendix A, Figure 10) collected by EPA during theRI indicated no VOC contamination (4). However, results obtained during past sampling surveysof the KUC have shown the presence of contamination. Samples collected by the IDEM fromWell A (identified as RI sample location PW-03, Area D; Figure 10) have shown contaminationby TCE and DCA. These concentrations exceeded the MCL for VOCs and have resulted in WellA (PW-03) being removed from service as requested by the Indiana Public Water Supply Sectionin May 1988. Production wells PW-01 and PW-02 showed no contamination at the time ofsampling; March 1988.
Additional sampling of the remaining two KUC supply wells and of other points along thedistribution system was performed by IDEM in May 1988. VOC contamination was detected insample PW-02 and from water taps at operating facilities that use the KUC water system. Specifically, TCE and TCA were detected in the distribution system in a building in Area A (6). This may be attributed to residual VOC contamination from Well A which had been shut downfor three weeks, or possibly a cross-connection problem (10). Samples collected by EPA duringthe RI in March 1988 were only taken from the production wells and were not taken from thewater taps of other KUC water system users. Therefore, the presence of VOC contamination andthe levels detected would not be expected to correlate with the sample results obtained by theIDEM (see Groundwater - Private Wells subsection).
The EPA has collected water samples from active KUC production wells on an ongoing basis. Analysis for VOCs has consistently resulted in levels below the detection limits for thesechemicals. The chemicals of potential concern in the on-site production well system are listed in Table 8.
|EPA Samples March 1988|
|IDEM Samples May 1988|
Surface water samples from Travis Ditch, Kingsbury Creek, and the Kankakee River did notcontain any chemicals of concern.
DCA and TCE were found at levels of possible health concern in sediment samples (see Table 9)collected at the same locations as the surface water samples. The sediment sample from location5D-04B in Travis Ditch just downstream from the Roll Coater facility (Area E) wastewaterdischarge pipe showed much higher levels of contamination relative to other sediment samples.
Groundwater - Monitoring Wells
Carbon tetrachloride was detected, as shown in Table 10, on the south side of Central Road nearArea B. DCA, TCE, and DCE were not detected in the shallow, intermediate, or deepmonitoring wells located west of Travis Ditch, south of its confluence with Kingsbury Creek.
A Well Water Quality Survey was conducted at the Kingsbury Industrial Park Office, arestaurant, and three residences in the Kingsford Heights and Tracy areas in June 1987. Watersamples were collected and analyzed for VOCs by representatives of the IDEM.
The reason for the survey was to determine if operations in the Kingsbury Industrial Park werehaving any impact on the quality of the well water in the immediate area, or contaminating thewater supply lines (Kingsbury Utility Company) servicing the industrial park.
Samples were collected from five locations and included two duplicates. Those samples werecollected from the Kingsbury Industrial Park Office rest room; the rest room in the restaurant;and the outside taps of three residences, and a pressure tank in one of the basements.
In July 1991, the EPA collected samples from two private wells near the FCC study area andtested them for VOCs. One of the two samples was unable to be analyzed. The other residences'sample results indicated that the samples were below the detection limit for the chemicals being tested for.
A comprehensive well survey has not been conducted. There are several offices near KIDP thatrely on their own wells for water. Contamination levels in these wells have not been determined. In addition, it is not known whether there are private residences that are supplied withgroundwater from their own wells, and whether these wells have been impacted by site-relatedcontaminants.
In preparing this public health assessment, the ISDH relies on the information provided in thereferenced documents and assumes that adequate quality assurance and quality control measureswere followed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. Thevalidity of the analysis and conclusions drawn for this public health assessment are determinedby the completeness and reliability of the referenced information.
Many of the buildings on the site appear to be very old, and are still used for business purposes. Several structures have collapsed, and drums were observed in the debris. Five undergroundstorage tanks were seen in Area B. These tanks appeared to be leaking a black tar-like liquid,which was present on the ground next to the tanks. Army bunkers which have been converted tostorage buildings at the Space Leasing facility appear to be very old. Many of the buildings werelocked and did not appear to have been used for some time. There is a concern that thesebuildings may store old munitions and/or other waste materials.
To determine whether nearby residents are exposed to contaminants migrating from the site, TheAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) evaluates the environmental andhuman components that lead to human exposure. This pathways analysis consists of fiveelements: 1) a source of contamination, 2) transport through an environmental medium, 3) apoint of exposure, 4) a route of human exposure, and 5) an exposed population.
ATSDR categorizes an exposure pathway as a completed or potential exposure pathway if theexposure pathway cannot be eliminated. Completed pathways require that the five elements existand indicate that exposure to a contaminant has occurred in the past, is currently occurring, orwill occur in the future. Potential pathways, however, require that at least one of the fiveelements is missing, but could exist. Potential pathways indicate that exposure to a contaminantcould have occurred in the past, could be occurring now, or could occur in the future. Anexposure pathway can be eliminated if at least one of the five elements is missing and will neverbe present. There are no known completed exposure pathways for this site. Table 11 identifiesthe potential exposure pathways. The discussion that follows this table incorporates only thosepathways that are important and relevant to the site. We also discuss some of those exposurepathways that have been eliminated.
On-site Surface Soil
Although the majority of the site is vegetated, the potential for exposure to contaminatedwindblown dust still exists. There is a past, present, and future potential exposure route through incidental ingestion of contaminated dust particles through a lack of personal hygiene, and neglecting to wash vegetables properly before eating.
A hydrogeologic investigation of the site was completed in November of 1988. Based on thisinvestigation, upper and lower aquifers were identified at the site. The upper, unconfined aquiferextends from the top of the water table ranging from 3 to 20 feet below the ground surface to thetop of a silty clay deposit. This unconfined aquifer is approximately 40 to 74 feet in thickness. Underlying this unconfined aquifer is a silty clay aquitard, which is approximately 9 to 17 feet inthickness. The surface of the silty clay aquitard exhibits an elongated depression that runsnorthwest to southeast across the center of the site. A lower aquifer lies between the aquitard and an underlying hard, dense, clayey silt deposit believed to be a basal till.
With one exception, contamination appears to be limited to the shallow and intermediate portionsof the upper aquifer at discrete locations across the project study area. As determined in thehydrogeological investigation, the groundwater is flowing in a south-southwesterly direction,which is consistent with regional flow patterns.
Several VOCs have been detected in on-site groundwater. The direction of the groundwater flowis south-southwest toward Travis Ditch and Kingsbury Creek, which both meet and flow into theKankakee River. The VOCs appear to have migrated downward through the unsaturated zoneinto the groundwater where they are transported through the saturated zone downgradient (south)with the groundwater. Groundwater movement and containment behavior indicate that advectivegroundwater transport is the primary transport mechanism for contaminants in the aquifer ofconcern.
The use of on-site groundwater as a source of potable water is a past, present, and future potential exposure pathway through ingestion for on-site workers.
Monitoring wells on site indicate the groundwater is contaminated. Sampling events ofproduction well water indicate that water was contaminated in the past. In March 1988, one wellfound to be contaminated was removed from production; the two other wells were notcontaminated at that time. Sampling activities conducted two months later detectedcontamination in samples from another production well and from water taps at operatingfacilities that use the KUC water system. Subsequent samples taken from active productionwells have shown no VOC contamination. It is not known whether sampling activities at thewater taps have been conducted recently.
The residential village of Kingsbury lies northwest of the site. King's Court Trailer Park issouthwest of the site and contains about 65 trailers (approximately 260 residents). Anotherresidential area is also west of the site and contains about 15 to 20 homes. These threeresidential areas receive drinking water from the on-site wells of the KUC. Residents of thosethree areas and on-site workers were exposed and are potentially at risk of current and futureexposure to site-related contaminants through ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact.
The residential villages of Tracy and Kingsford Heights are southwest of the site across fromKingsbury Creek. All homes in the village of Tracy use private wells as their water source. Kingsford Heights receives its water from a municipal well supply. Although these communitiesmight seem to be downgradient of the site, Kingsbury Creek and Travis Ditch are between thesite and the communities. Groundwater discharge into this creek and ditch is occurring;therefore, while there is a great potential for these surface waters to become contaminated in thefuture, it is not likely that the contaminant plume will reach residential wells in Tracy ormunicipal wells in Kingsford Heights.
There is no ordinance in the area restricting the construction of private groundwater wells. Residents downgradient from the site would be at risk of future potential exposure to site-relatedcontaminants via ingestion and inhalation if they were to construct and use a private well in the path of the plume.
On- and Off-site Surface Water and Sediment
Surface water samples collected from the on-site discharge lagoon contained organic andinorganic contaminants. VOCs may volatilize or float up into the air in their gaseous state. On-site workers and occasional trespassers may be exposed to contaminated surface water in thedischarge lagoon through inhalation of airborne VOCs. At the time of the writing of this publichealth assessment, no on-site air monitoring had been done, and this is considered a data gap. Another potential route of exposure is incidental ingestion of surface water, which is not likely for workers or trespassers.
Surface water samples from Travis Ditch, Kingsbury Creek, and the Kankakee River did notcontain elevated concentrations of contaminants.
Sediment samples collected from Travis Ditch, Kingsbury Creek and the Kankakee Rivershowed low levels of organic contamination. This suggests that some migration of site-relatedchemicals has occurred through surface water into the sediments. Individuals who participate inrecreational activities in and around these areas have potential pathways of exposure throughincidental ingestion, inhalation through off-gassing of chemicals from contaminated sedimentand surface water, and dermal absorption.
On-site Soil Gas
Soil gas studies revealed contamination by TCE and toluene. The presence of these chemicals inthe underlying soils poses a threat of continuing migration upward and into the air. The gas canconcentrate in enclosed spaces such as basements in buildings.
Some on-site buildings may have gaseous contaminants that have traveled up from the soil. Workers and occasional trespassers who enter on-site buildings may be exposed throughinhalation to gaseous contaminants. However, as no data exist regarding gas levels in buildings,this pathway cannot be evaluated further in this public health assessment. Soil gas sampling is considered a data gap.
On- and Off-site Food chain Entities
During the site visit, five exposed, underground storage tanks were observed on the surface of theground with black tar-like liquid flowing from the tanks. Deer were seen on the site along withevidence of other animals being present in the area. These animals may become exposed tosite-related chemicals through ingestion, dermal absorption, and inhalation. The Fish andWildlife Preserve is in this general area lending to the potential of hunters ingesting animals that are exposed to on-site chemicals.
Likewise, crops are grown off site. Plants can bioaccumulate some contaminants. People whoeat the produce grown on the site may be exposed to contaminants which have bioaccumulated inthe produce.
Foodchain entities are a data gap for this public health assessment. There is no informationregarding contaminant levels in wild game and produce, and the extent of consumption of wildgame and produce is not known.
There are numerous abandoned buildings on the FCC site. Some of these buildings containasbestos in the walls and tiles, etc. The primary route of exposure is through inhalation ofasbestos fibers. The fibers can come from natural outcroppings of asbestos or from the wearingdown of manmade products such as insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, and roof shingles, etc.
Exposure to asbestos fibers would be limited to trespassers and remedial workers who enter these buildings during on-site activities. Inhalation of friable asbestos is a past, present, and future potential exposure pathway.
|EXPOSURE PATHWAY ELEMENTS||TIME|
|Groundwater||FCC||Groundwater||Municipal &residential wells||Ingestion|
|Workers & household users ofKUC production well water;|
Household users of groundwater
|Soil||FCC||Surface soil||FCC site||Incidentalingestion||Future residents |
|Soil gas||FCC||Soil gas escaping intoindoor air||On-site buildings||Inhalation||Workers & Trespassers||Past|
|Sediment &Surface Water||FCC||Sediment & SurfaceWater||Travis Ditch|
|Incidentalingestion||Users of recreational surfacewater, Workers, Trespassers||Past|
|On- & Off-sitewild game &crops||FCC||Crops & wild game||FCC site||Ingestion||Individuals eating wild game thatforaged on site & crops grown onsite||Past|
|Asbestos||FCC||Friable asbestos||FCC site||Inhalation||Workers & trespassers||Past|
In this section, we will discuss the health effects of persons exposed to specific chemicals,evaluate state and local health databases, if available, and address any existing community health concerns.
As noted in the previous section, all pathways of exposure for this site were assessed as past,present, and future potential pathways. In this section, chemicals found in on- and off-sitegroundwater will be discussed for two reasons: 1) groundwater is the most likely pathway to becompleted, and 2) because exposure to site-related contaminants through groundwater is acommunity concern. Asbestos exposure is also discussed as there is a potential for humanexposure as well.
It is important to note that results from private well samples taken in this area were all below the detection limit for the chemicals tested for.
This subsection of the public health assessment assesses the public health implication ofcontaminants that are associated with an exposure pathway that has not been eliminated in thePathways Analyses section.
ATSDR has developed toxicological profiles on several chemicals that have been found at thissite. Excerpts from this toxicological profile are used in the discussion of each chemical. Theseprofiles provide information on health effects, environmental transport, human exposure, andregulatory status.
The discussions that follow contain information on the chemical and the estimated dailyexposure dose for individuals drinking water that is contaminated with the highest level of achemical found during sampling. Please note that this is an assumption only. These estimateddaily doses are compared to the ATSDR derived Minimal Risk Level (MRL) and the EPAderived Reference Dose (RfD) to help predict and determine the types of health effects thatexposure to site-related contaminants could pose. The definitions of MRL and RfD have beenprovided for clarity.
Minimal Risk Level
The Minimal Risk Level, or MRL, is an estimate of daily exposure of a human to a chemical(mg/kg/day) that is likely to be without any risk of non-cancer health effects over a specifiedduration of exposure. MRLs are based on human and animal studies, and are reported as acute (<14 days), intermediate (15-364 days), and chronic (> 365 days).
The Reference Dose, or RfD, is an estimate of a daily exposure (mg/kg/day) to the general public(including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of adverse healtheffects during a lifetime of exposure (chronic RfD) or exposure during a limited time interval(sub-chronic RfD).
Inorganic arsenic has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. The single mostcharacteristic effect of long-term oral exposure to inorganic arsenic is a pattern of skin changes. This includes a darkening of the skin and the appearance of small "corns" or "warts" on thepalms, soles, and torso. While these skin changes are not considered to be a health concern, asmall number of the corns may ultimately develop into skin cancer. Swallowing arsenic has alsobeen reported to increase the risk of cancer in the liver, bladder, kidneys, and lungs.
Despite all the adverse health effects associated with inorganic arsenic exposure, there is someevidence that a small amount of arsenic in the normal diet (10-50 ppb/day) may be beneficial tohuman health. Arsenic was found in the on-site groundwater at 50 ppb. Possible health effectsassociated with the levels of arsenic found here are irritation of the stomach and intestines with symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The estimated daily dose calculation for adult and child residents was 10 times greater than theEPA chronic oral RfD. The RfD is the EPA estimate of the daily exposure to a contaminant thatis unlikely to cause noncancer adverse health effects. There is a moderate risk of increase incancer incidence based on the estimated exposure dose. (11)
Asbestos is the name given to a group of six different minerals that occur naturally in theenvironment. These minerals are made up of fibers that vary in length, and may be straight orcurled. They are resistant to heat and most chemicals. Asbestos can be found naturally in soil and rocks in some areas.
Because of their heat and chemical resistance, asbestos fibers are used in a wide range ofmanmade products, mostly in building materials, friction products, and heat resistant fabrics. Because asbestos fibers may produce adverse health effects in exposed persons, all new uses ofasbestos have been banned in the United States by the EPA.m
The most likely route of exposure for humans is through inhalation of asbestos fibers. Thesefibers can come from natural outcroppings of asbestos or from the wearing down of manmadeproducts such as insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, roof shingles, cement, automotive brakes and clutches, and many others. Low levels of asbestos that are not likely to beharmful to your health can be detected in most any air sample.
If asbestos fibers are inhaled, some of the fibers will be deposited in the air passages and on thecells that make up the lungs. Very few of these fibers move through the lungs into the body. Most fibers are removed from the lungs by being carried away or coughed up in a layer ofmucous to the throat, where they may be swallowed into the stomach.
Individuals who work in areas with high concentrations of asbestos fibers develop a slowbuild-up of scar-like tissue in the lungs and in the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Thisscar-like tissue does not expand and contract, so breathing becomes difficult. This disease is called asbestosis. However, it is not usually of concern to people exposed to low levels ofasbestos.
There are abandoned buildings on One-Line and Two-Line Roads that have friable asbestos. Exposures are limited to trespassers and remedial workers. The cleanup of these buildings havebeen included as part of the ROD. Future actions are being considered by the EPA and theIDEM. (12)
Benzene is a naturally-occurring substance produced by forest fires and is present in many plantsand animals, but it is also a major industrial chemical made from coal and oil. How benzeneaffects health depends on the level and duration of exposure.
Benzene is harmful to the tissues that form blood cells. It is also a cancer causing agent. Leukemia, cancer of the tissues that form white blood cells, has occurred in some workersexposed to benzene for periods of less than 5 years and up to 30 years. In addition, humanstudies indicate that benzene is harmful to the immune system, increasing the chance forinfections, and perhaps lowering the body's defenses against tumors. Human data on adversereproductive outcomes are limited.
Benzene was found in the on-site groundwater at 28 ppb. An estimated daily ingestion dose wascalculated. The value was more than 100,000 times smaller than the level at which adversehealth effects have been observed during human research. There is an insignificant risk for anincrease in cancer based on the estimated exposure dose. (13)
Bis or di(2)ethylhexyl)phthalate, or DEHP, is a manmade chemical that is added to plastics tomake them flexible. DEHP dissolves very slowly in water. DEHP does not evaporate easily, andthus, very little will be present in the air even near sources of production. This chemical canenter the body by contaminated food, water, or air. Almost all of the DEHP that enters the body from food, water, or air is taken up into the blood from the lungs andintestines. Small amounts may also enter the body by skin contact.
Most of what is known about the health effects of DEHP comes from animal studies, especiallystudies of rats and mice. Because DEHP appears to affect rats and mice differently than humansand other animals, using information from animal studies makes it difficult to predict the healtheffects in humans. There have been no studies of workers exposed to DEHP that indicates itcauses cancer in humans.
DEHP was found in the on-site groundwater at 18 ppb. The estimated daily ingestion dose wasmore than 100 times less than the chronic RfD for DEHP. The cancer risk is insignificant basedon the estimated exposure dose. (14)
Carbon tetrachloride is a clear liquid that evaporates very easily. This chemical does not occurnaturally, but has been produced in large quantities to make refrigeration fluid and propellants foraerosol cans. In the past, carbon tetrachloride was widely used as a cleaning fluid in industry and a degreasing agent in spot removers for clothing, furniture, and carpeting.
Carbon tetrachloride does not stick to soil particles. It can remain in groundwater for months before it is broken down into other chemicals.
People who work with carbon tetrachloride are likely to receive the greatest exposure to thecompound. This chemical may enter the body through the lungs if air containing it is inhaled. Itcan also pass through the skin into the body. When an individual drinks water contaminated withcarbon tetrachloride, about 85 to 91% of it can enter the body.
Because carbon tetrachloride is possibly carcinogenic to humans, a Maximum ContaminantLevel Goal of zero has been proposed. Carbon tetrachloride was found in the off-sitegroundwater monitoring well at 15 ppb. An estimated daily exposure dose was calculated. Theresults were 10 times less than the chronic oral RfD. There is no apparent increase in cancer risk based on the estimated exposure dose. (15)
Chromium is a naturally occurring element that is found in soil and in volcanic dust and gases. Chromium compounds produced by the chemical industry are used for chrome plating, themanufacture of pigments, leather tanning, wood treatment, and water treatment.
For most persons, exposure to small amounts of chromium results from breathing air andingesting drinking water and food containing chromium. Because small amounts of chromiumoccur in many foods, most chromium enters the body from dietary intake. Chromium is arequired element in the diet for carbohydrate function and is found in most vitamin supplements. There are three major forms of chromium, which differ in their effects on health. Chromium VIis the form responsible for most adverse health effects. It is irritating. A short-term, high-levelexposure can result in adverse effects at the site of contact such as ulcers of the skin, irritation ofthe nasal mucosa and perforation of the nasal septum, and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. It may also cause adverse effects in the kidney and liver.
Chromium was found in the on-site groundwater at 94 ppb. The estimated exposure dose for thischemical is slightly lower than the chronic oral RfD. There is no available information oncalculated cancer risk for this chemical. (16)
The chemical 1,2-dichloroethane is a manmade liquid that is not found naturally in theenvironment. It can enter the body through the skin, mouth, or by inhalation. Experiments inanimals show that once 1,2-dichloroethane enters the body, it leaves very quickly through urine.
1,2-Dichloroethane was found in the on-site groundwater at 1,700 ppb. The estimated exposuredose was 100 times less than the intermediate MRL. There is a low increased risk of cancerbased on the estimated exposure dose. (17)
Lead is found in the earth's crust as a naturally occurring metal. Because of human activities (useof leaded gasoline), lead has spread to the air, drinking water, rivers, lakes, oceans, dust, soil, and thus animals and plants.
Lead can enter the body through inhalation and ingestion, and only small portions will absorbthrough the skin. 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 lead exposure include possible decrease in memory; weakness in thefingers, wrists, or ankles; and anemia. Children are more sensitive to the effects of lead thanadults. Lead can cause premature birth, smaller babies, decreased intelligent quotient scores (IQ) and reduced post-natal growth.
ATSDR has not derived an MRL for lead. A RfD does not exist for lead because no thresholdshave been demonstrated for the most sensitive effects in humans. The RfD is an estimate ofdaily human exposure to a contaminant for a lifetime below which health effects (non-cancer) areunlikely to occur. A quantitative estimate lead carcinogenic risk from oral and inhalationexposure has not been determined. Quantifying the cancer risk for lead involves manyuncertainties, some of which may be unique to lead. Age, health, nutritional state, body burden, and exposure duration influence the absorption, release, and excretion oflead.
Lead was found in the on-site groundwater at 42 ppb. The estimated exposure dose was morethan 1,000 times less than the Lowest Observed Adverse Affect Level and the cancer effect leveldetermined in animal research for this chemical. (18)
Methylene Chloride is a colorless liquid that has a mild sweet odor, evaporates easily, but doesnot burn easily. It is widely used as an industrial solvent and as a paint stripper. It can be foundin certain aerosol and pesticide products, and is used in the manufacture of photographic film. Itmay be found in some spray paints, automotive cleaners, and other household products. It doesnot appear to occur naturally in the environment.
Although methylene chloride does not dissolve easily in water, small amounts may be found insome drinking water. In water, this chemical is broken down slowly by reactions with otherchemicals or by bacteria.
This chemical can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or by dermal contact. Sincemethylene chloride evaporates rapidly into air, exposure by inhalation or breathing is the mostlikely route of exposure. Unchanged, methylene chloride and its breakdown products areremoved from the body mainly in the air breathed out. Small amounts leave the body through theurine within 48 hours of exposure.
Methylene chloride has not been shown to cause cancer in humans exposed to vapors in theworkplace. No information is available on the carcinogenic effects of this chemical in humansafter oral exposure. It is classified as a probable human carcinogen.
Methylene chloride was found in the on-site groundwater at 1,800 ppb. The estimated exposuredose is more than 100 times less than the chronic oral MRL for methylene chloride. Theestimated cancer risks indicated no apparent increase in the incidence of cancer. (19)
Tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, is a manmade substance that is used for dry cleaning purposes, and for metal degreasing operations. It is also used as a building block in the manufacturing of other chemicals.
The levels of PCE in city or industrial areas, especially around dry cleaner shops, are higher thanin rural areas. The use of products which contain PCE is another means of exposure. Productsthat may contain PCE include water repellents, lubricants, suede protectors, spot removers, andwood cleaners.
PCE was found in the on-site groundwater at 290 ppb. The estimated exposure dose for thischemical was more than 100 times less than the RfD. Based on the estimated exposure dose,there is no apparent increase in cancer risk from exposures to this chemical in groundwater. (20)
1,1,1-Trichloroethane, or TCA, is a colorless manmade chemical which does not occur naturally. It is often used as a solvent to dissolve other substances. It is used in homes in products such asspot cleaners, glues, and aerosol sprays. Regardless of how TCA enters the body, nearly all of it leaves the body through exhaled air.
This chemical was found in the on-site groundwater at 5,200 ppb. An estimated exposure dosewas calculated. The results were 1,000 times lower than the level at which adverse effects areseen in humans. The health effects resulting from long-term human exposure to groundwatercontaining specific levels of TCA are not known. (21)
Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is a manmade chemical that does not occur naturally in theenvironment. It is mainly used as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts.
TCE can easily enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact. This chemical isnot likely to build up in the body. It has caused rashes in some individuals who were exposeddermally. We do not know if this chemical causes cancer or will affect human reproduction.
The health effects resulting from long-term exposure of humans to drinking water containingspecific levels of TCE are not known. TCE was found in the off-site groundwater at 5,200 ppb. Hypersensitive individuals may exhibit certain signs and symptoms upon exposure to TCE atthese levels. These signs and symptoms include irritation of mucous membranes; irritation ofstomach lining resulting nausea and diarrhea; and irritation of the skin resulting in red, dry, andcracked skin. The intermediate MRL for TCE is 100 g/kg/day, which assumes exposure forlonger than 14 days, but less than 1 year. The intermediate MRL is more than 1,000 timesgreater than the estimated exposure dose for this chemical. There is a low increased risk in the incidence of cancers based on the estimated exposure dose. (22)
As discussed in the Health Data subsection, cancer mortality data on LaPorte County, Indiana,and the United States are available by race, gender, and year. The cancer rates of LaPorte Countywere compared to Indiana and U.S. cancer rates by race, gender, and year. The organs that areaffected by these chemicals are the central nervous system, liver, lungs, heart, and kidneys. Thecancer rates for LaPorte County for these organs of concern are comparable to state and U.S.rates for all race-gender groups except for increases in the rate for kidneys in white males (23).
We have addressed each of the community health concerns as follows:
- Will the incinerator be monitored to assure that the PCBs and other toxic materials areremoved?
As part of the requirements of the RCRA and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), anyincinerator used at the site must be monitored to achieve 99.9999% Destruction RemovalEfficiency (DRE) for PCBs and 99.99% DRE for other compounds. These regulations apply toand shall be met at the Fisher-Calo site.
- Will the waste ash from the incinerator be tested and will it be disposed off-site?
Incinerator ash will be tested. A sufficient number of samples will be taken to accuratelycharacterize the contaminants in the ash. Ash which is considered hazardous will be disposed inan off-site hazardous waste landfill. Ash which is non-hazardous will be used to backfillexcavation areas. Non-hazardous waste would not be considered leachable to the groundwater;thus, it would not create groundwater contamination.
- What about the release and subsequent environmental accumulation of dioxins andfurans, especially 2,3,7,8 TCDD?
Dioxin precursors, those compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which mightcombine to form dioxins, were found at low concentrations at the site and at isolated locations. The estimated volume of PCB-containing soil to be incinerated is 1500 cubic yards, which isonly 5% of the estimated quantity of soil to be incinerated. In addition, the incinerator will berequired to meet DREs of 99.9999% for PCBs which assures virtual complete combustion, andtherefore, very minimal formation of dioxins and furans. Studies have shown that chlorine ispreferentially converted to hydrogen chloride (HCL) gas during the incineration process. Emissions of HCL will be monitored to ensure EPA emission standards (under RCRA) are beingmet. All of these factors combined make the possibility of dioxin formation during incineration very low.
- How serious is the potential threat of contaminated groundwater migrating off site?
The remedial investigation has revealed the presence of three groundwater plumes flowingsouth-southwest from on site. The groundwater contamination is confined to the site and has notmigrated off site. Private well samples taken in this area were all below the detection limit forthe chemicals tested for. Remedial actions will be addressing the potential threat of off-sitegroundwater migration. Monitoring will also be conducted to determine the status of the flow.
- What is the potential for fire, explosions, or major hazardous spills occurring at the site?
As discussed under the Site Visit subsection, there are several buildings that are very old anddilapidated. Some of these buildings are still used for business purposes. There were severaldilapidated buildings with drums visible in the debris. Also, several tanks have black tar-likeliquid present on the ground next to the tanks. The contents (if any) of the drums and tanks is notknown. Until data are available characterizing the contents of these containers, the potential for fire is not known. No other potential fire or explosion hazards were identified.
Community Health Concerns Update, February 2, 1995
- The fish hatcheries at the Fish and Wildlife Preserve are downwind from the location ofthe proposed incinerator. What measures will be taken to protect these hatcheries frompotential environmental releases?
As mentioned before, RCRA and TSCA have requirements that any incinerator used at the sitemust be monitored to achieve 99.9999% Destruction Removal Efficiency (DRE) forcontaminants. All emissions will be monitored to ensure EPA emission standards are being met.