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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

WASTE INC. LANDFILL
MICHIGAN CITY, LA PORTE COUNTY, INDIANA


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

The tables in this section list the chemicals of concern. We evaluate these chemicals in thesubsequent sections of this public health assessment and determine whether exposure to them haspublic health significance. ATSDR selects and discusses these chemicals based upon thefollowing factors:

  1. Concentrations of chemicals on and off the site.
  2. Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design.
  3. Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with health assessment comparison values for (1) noncarcinogenic endpoints and (2) carcinogenic endpoints.
  4. Community health concerns.

Comparison values for this public health assessment are contaminant concentrations in specificmedia that are used to select contaminants for further evaluation.

The data tables include the following acronyms:
CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide. CREGs are estimated contaminant concentrations based on a one excess cancer in a million persons exposed over a lifetime. They are calculated from EPA's cancer slope factors.

LTHA

= Lifetime Health Advisory (for drinking water). The LTHA is derived from the Drinking Water Equivalent Levels for noncarcinogens. For noncarcinogenic organic and inorganic compounds, LTHAs are 20% and 10% respectively of the DWEL. For possible carcinogens, the LTHA is divided by an additional factor of 10.

MCL

= Maximum Contaminant Level (for drinking water). MCLs represent contaminant 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, PMCLGs and MCLGs are not.

Memo

= ATSDR Internal Memorandum. National Academy of Science Report. Himco Landfill, Elkhart, Indiana, August 8, 1990.

ppm

= Parts per million

ppb

= Parts per billion

PSMCL

= Proposed Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level.

RMEG

= Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide. RMEGs are media-specific comparison values that are used to select chemicals of concern at hazardous waste sites. They are derived by ATSDR from the refernce 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.

We conducted a search of the EPA TRI for the site and local area by zip code. TRI listed sixfacilities that potentially emit chemicals into the environment, which are in common with theWaste Inc. site. Three of these facilities emit the following chemicals into the air: mixedisomers of xylene, cobalt compounds, and fibrous aluminum oxide. At least one facility showedemissions of either chromium in groundwater, or nickel compounds in the air. Please note thatthese emissions are quite possibly within a facility's emission rate limits.

All chemicals found in sampled media are listed in the tables in the appendices at the end of thispublic health assessment. These tables also include the depth of soil samples, the location of allsamples, and each chemical's sample concentration range. Chemicals of concern are listed intables 1-8 in this section. A chemical is selected as a chemical of concern if: 1) it has nocomparison value and may be toxic to humans at specified levels, or 2) it is a cancer causingagent, or 3) it is found in concentrations higher than its comparison value.

In the data tables that follow under the ON-SITE CONTAMINATION subsection and the OFF-SITE CONTAMINATION subsection, the listed chemical does not mean that it will causeadverse health effects from exposures. Instead, the list indicates which chemicals will beevaluated further in this public health assessment.

The following media and/or areas were sampled during the RI:

    On-Site Subsurface Soil (> or equal to 3 inches)
    On- and Off-Site Groundwater (Rounds I & II)
    Off-Site Storm Water Runoff and Leachate
    Off-Site Surface Water
    Off-Site Stream Sediment

The following media and/or areas were not sampled during the RI:

    On-Site Surface Soil (< 3 inches)
    Off-Site Surface soil (< 3 inches)
    Ambient Air
    On-Site underground storage tank

There is not enough information to evaluate the exposure pathway of the underground storagetank in this public health assessment.

A. On-Site Contamination

Subsurface Soil

Soil sampling was conducted between August and October 1989. Samples were taken at depthsof > 3 inches. Ten investigative soil sample locations and one background soil sample location(WIA141S) were selected (Appendix A, Figure 2).

Semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) were detected at the greatest concentrations insample WIOO31S. Additional SVOCs were detected at the northern portion of the site and theLin-See, Ltd. properties. SVOCs of concern were benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene,benzo(g,h,i)perylene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene, dibenzofuran, 2-methylnaphthalene, 3-nitroaniline, 4-nitrophenol, and phenanthrene. These SVOCs were not detected in thebackground soil sample (WIA14S).

PCBs were found at sample location WIOO3IS. Aroclor 1242 was found at levels above the PCB comparison value.

Inorganic chemicals were also detected in the on-site subsurface soil. Most of these chemicalswere found in the samples taken from the foundry sand (WI0031S, WIF011S, WIF101S,WIE041S, and WIN071S) which contains a suite of inorganic chemicals (cadmium, chromium,copper, iron, lead, manganese, and zinc) that are common constituents of foundry sand. Leadand mercury were the only two inorganic chemicals selected as chemicals of concern.

The chemicals of concern in the on-site subsurface soil are listed in Table 1.

Table 1.

Chemicals of Concern in On-Site Subsurface Soil Sample Results, August/October 1989
ChemicalSample
No.
Sample
Depth
(Feet)
Concentration
Range - ppb
Comparison Value
ppbSource
ORGANIC CHEMICALS
aroclor-1242WI0031S2-44,400100RMEG
benzo(a)anthraceneWII011S
WIIO031S
2-560-1,400-*
benzo(b)fluorantheneWII011S
WIIO031S
2-1098-2,000-*
benzo(g,h,i)peryleneWII011S
WIO031S
2-1053-470-*
benzo(k)fluorantheneWII011S
WIIO031S
2-1098-2,000-*
chryseneWIF101S
WIIO031S
2-465-1,100-*
dibenzofuranWIE041S
WIO031S
2-479-190-*
2-methylnaphthaleneWIM011S
WIH131S
8-3343-670-*
3-nitroanilineWIO031S2-42,000-*
4-nitrophenolWIN071S2-4240-*
phenanthreneWIM011S
WIO031S
2-1051-1,900-*
INORGANIC CHEMICALS
leadWIM011S
WIO031S
2-79,000-624,000-*
mercuryWIM011S
WIO031S
2-10<1,000-8,000-*

* No comparison value available

Groundwater - Monitoring Wells

Shallow Wells

Two sampling rounds (I and II) were collected at the site (Appendix A, Figures 3 & 4). Allsample identification numbers include an ending letter indicating the type of monitoring well: S= shallow, I = intermediate, and D = deep. The samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs,dissolved and total inorganic chemicals, and pesticides/PCBs. The name and location of allchemicals detected are listed in Appendix B.

Four VOCs were detected in the groundwater samples during Rounds I and II (methylenechloride, toluene, 1,1-trichloroethene, and 1,2-dichloroethene). Methylene chloride, a commonlaboratory artifact, was detected in monitoring well number MW2S in the Round I sampling aswell as in the quality control sample. It was probably introduced during laboratory analyses, andwas not present because of site contamination. The remaining three VOCs were not found inconcentrations above their comparison values.

Four SVOCs were detected in groundwater samples during Rounds I and II. The chemicalsdetected were benzoic acid, phenol, 4-methylphenol, and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Nonewere detected at levels above their respective comparison value.

One PCB, aroclor-1254, was detected in monitoring well number MW8S during Round II of thesampling. It was not, however, found in concentrations above the PCB comparison value.

Fourteen total inorganic chemicals were detected in Round I. Round II sampling results showedno inorganic chemicals. These chemicals, for the most part, are considered nontoxic to humans. They can, however, affect the smell and taste of water.

Intermediate Wells

Because all the intermediate monitoring wells were installed after Round I, intermediategroundwater samples were collected only during Round II. Total xylenes and dibenzofuran weredetected in intermediate well MW4I; dibenzofuran was selected as a chemical of concern.

Twenty-one SVOCs were detected in (MW4I) groundwater samples during Round II. Phenanthrene was the only SVOC selected as a chemical of concern.

No total or dissolved inorganic chemicals were detected during the Round I sampling results. InRound II, however, total inorganic chemicals detected were antimony, potassium, sodium,cyanide, and zinc.

Deep Wells

Three VOCs, chloroethane, dibenzofuran, and benzene, were detected in deep well numberMW5D. They were all selected as chemicals of concern. No VOCs were detected in any of theother deep wells on-site.

Two SVOCs, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (MW5D), and diethylphthalate (MW10D) weredetected below their respective comparison value. They were not detected, however, in theRound II sampling.

There were six dissolved inorganic chemicals detected in Rounds I and II. Ten total inorganicchemicals were detected in the deep wells. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium do not havecomparison values, but were not selected as chemicals of concern because they are, in general,considered nontoxic to humans.

Sodium was found at levels of concern in deep well numbers MW1D and MW5D during RoundI, and in MW3D during Round II.

The chemicals of concern in the shallow, intermediate, and deep wells are listed in Table 2.


Table 2.

Chemicals of Concern in On-Site Groundwater, Rounds I & II, May 1990/January 1991
ChemicalSample
No.
Concentration
Range - ppb
Comparison Value
ppbSource
ORGANIC CHEMICALS, ROUND I
benzeneWIMW5D111CREG
chloroethaneWIMW5D47-*
INORGANIC CHEMICALS, ROUND I
sodiumWIMW1D
WIMW6D
WIMW5D
12,600 - 231,00020,000Memo
ORGANIC CHEMICALS, ROUND II
dibenzofuranWIMW4I7-*
2-methylnaphthaleneWIMW4I16-*
phenanthreneWIMW4I22-*
INORGANIC CHEMICALS, ROUND II
antimonyWIMW4I654RMEG
leadWIMW6D6-56915EPA ActionLevel
sodiumWIMW3D
WIMW6I
WIMW4I
466 - 292,00020,000Memo
zincWIMW3D WIMW4I20-7,0702,000LTHA

* No comparison value available

B. Off-Site Contamination

Storm Water Runoff and Leachate

Storm water runoff and leachate samples were collected at four locations (WISW21L,WISW31L, WISW41L, and WISW51L) (Appendix A, Figure 5).

No VOCs, SVOCs, or pesticides/PCBs were detected above their comparison values in any ofthe storm water runoff and leachate samples.

Ten dissolved inorganic chemicals were detected in the storm water runoff and leachate samples.

The analysis of the samples taken from the off-site storm water runoff and leachate showed nochemicals at levels of concern.

Surface Water - Trail Creek

Eight surface water samples were collected in June of 1987 at the following locations along TrailCreek (Appendix A, Figure 6): Sixth Street Bridge, E Street Bridge, Municipal WastewaterTreatment Plant, Trail Creek, and Liberty Trail Bridge.

One SVOC bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, was detected in the surface water samples. It wasslightly above its comparison value; therefore, it was selected as a chemical of concern.

Fifteen inorganic chemicals were detected in the surface water samples. None exceeded theircomparison values and, therefore, were not selected as chemicals of concern.

The chemicals of concern in surface water samples from Trail Creek are listed in Table 3.


Table 3.

Chemicals of Concern Off-Site Surface Water Sample, June 1987
Chemical
Cross
Section
Concentration
Range - ppb
Comparison Value
ppbSource
aluminum2 & 155-434200PSMCL
bis 2-(ethylhexyl)
phthalate
8 & 74-7 3CREG
sodium8 & 214,550-26,30020,000Memo

Stream Sediment - Trail Creek

Eight sediment samples were collected at locations along Trail Creek (Appendix A, Figure 6). Four downstream samples (Sixth Street Bridge, E Street Bridge, the Municipal WastewaterTreatment plant, and Trail Creek), and one sample directly across from the site (storm watertrench), and one sample upstream from the site (Liberty Trail Bridge).

Three VOCs were detected in the stream sediment samples. Only one, 2-butanone, was selectedas a chemical of concern. Twenty SVOCs were also detected in these samples. Benzo(a)pyrene,benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene, 2-methylnaphthalene, and phenanthrene were selected aschemicals of concern. No pesticides/PCBs were detected in the stream sediment samples abovetheir comparison value. Sixteen inorganic chemicals were also detected in the stream sediment samples.

The chemicals of concern in the off-site stream sediment samples are listed in Table 4.


Table 4.

Chemicals of Concern in Off-Site Stream Sediment
ChemicalCross
Section
Concentration
Range - ppb
Comparison Value
ppbSource
ORGANIC CHEMICALS
benzo(a)pyrene3 & 1110-400100CREG
benzo(k)fluoranthene11,000-*
2-butanone1 & 210-17-*
chrysene3 & 1160-540-*
2-methylnaphthalene3 & 1100-540-*
phenanthrene1740-*
INORGANIC CHEMICALS
lead5 & 128-72-*
mercury 1 & 2<1-*

* No comparison value available

Groundwater - Monitoring Wells

The off-site groundwater samples were collected at two locations (MW13, and MW14). Samplelocation MW13 is north of the site, while sample location MW14 is south/southeast of the site.

Shallow Wells

Two SVOCs and 19 inorganic chemicals were detected in the off-site groundwater shallowwells. No SVOCs were found above their comparison value. Only one inorganic chemical,lead, was identified in the sample results.

Intermediate Wells

One SVOC and nine inorganic chemicals were detected in the off-site groundwater intermediatewells. None exceeded their comparison value and, therefore, were not selected as chemicals ofconcern.

Deep Wells

Fifteen inorganic chemicals were detected in the off-site groundwater deep wells. Lead was the only chemical of concern.

The chemicals of concern found in the off-site groundwater samples are listed in Table 5.


Table 5.

hemicals of Concern in Off-Site Groundwater Samples, May 1990/January 1991
ChemicalSample
No.
Concentration
ppb
Comparison Value
ppbSource
leadMW13S56915EPA
Action
Level

Bioconcentration - Fish

The IDEM, in conjunction with the ISDH, conducts fish tissue monitoring of all state-ownedIndiana rivers, streams and lakes. Most samples are tested for a wide range of chemicals. Allsamples are tested for PCBs, pesticides and heavy metals. Fish species monitored specifically inTrail Creek are listed in Table 6. Trail Creek is a tributary of Lake Michigan. Many of the fishspecies found in Trail Creek spend time in Lake Michigan. Therefore, the fish advisory for LakeMichigan applies to any fish taken from Trail Creek.

Fish consumption advisories fall into three categories. A Group 3 advisory indicates that no oneshould eat designated species from named waterways. A Group 2 advisory means that adultmen and women not of child-bearing age should consume no more than 1 meal per weekconsisting of up to ½ pound of flesh of designated species from named waterways. Women ofchild-bearing age and children under the age of 18 should not consume any of the fish listed inGroup 2. Undesignated species in named waterways, and all waterways not listed on theadvisory, receive a Group 1 rating, which means no consumption advisory is in effect.


Table 6.

Trail Creek 1994 Fish Advisory
SPECIESSIZE FISH ADVISORY
Brown Trout
under 23 inches
over 23 inches
Group 2
Group 3
Carp
all
Group 3
Catfish
all
Group 3
Chinook
21-32 inches
over 32 inches
Group 2
Group 3
Coho
over 26
Group 2
Lake Trout
20-23 inches
over 23 inches
Group 2
Group 3

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

The Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) summary for this site was performed byEnvironmental Resources Management-North Central, Inc. (ERM-NC). This summary wasreviewed for information regarding the field data and laboratory data quality.

ERM-NC identified gaps in the data and proposed an additional round of monitoring. No othersignificant QC problems were observed that would affect the quality of the data. All instrumentcalibrations were acceptable and only small quantities of anticipated compounds appeared inblanks. Surrogate recovery criteria were met and matrix spike/matrix spike duplicate resultswere acceptable. The replicate samples showed a high degree of correlation with the primarysample.

The review of analytical results from the two sampling rounds indicate that zinc and methylenechloride were detected in the field blanks for the soil samples at a concentration above the EPAContract Laboratory Program detection limits. Compared to the concentrations of these twochemicals detected in the soil samples, however, the quantity potentially introduced by thesampling procedure, in general, is negligible. It was determined that there was insufficient datato tell whether benzoic acid was naturally-occurring, or whether it was due to site-relatedcontaminants.

All of the chemicals on the target compound list were considered laboratory contaminants withthe exception of benzoic acid. Benzoic acid can be a degradation product of toluene and xylene. This chemical can also be a natural component of soil. Benzoic acid did appear in other cleansamples taken from the site, suggesting that it is a naturally-occurring product and not alaboratory or landfill contaminant.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

The Waste Inc. Landfill site contains two major physical hazards. The first is the fallen sheetmetal fence on the northwest side of the site. Formerly the fence ran continuously from thenorth site boundary to the south site boundary. Approximately 1/3 of this fence has fallen. It isyet connected to the remaining 2/3 of the fence along this portion of the site, which is stillstanding precariously. During the site visit on March 3, 1992, we observed a well used pathalong this fence line, with the fallen fence being used as part of the path.

The second site-related physical hazard is the old landfill office building. It too is made of sheetmetal, which is in varying degrees of deterioration. As the site has partial unrestricted access,the fence and the building pose a physical threat to trespassers, especially children.


PATHWAYS ANALYSES

To determine whether nearby residents are exposed to chemicals migrating from the site,ATSDR evaluates the environmental and human components that lead to human exposure. Thispathways analysis consists of five elements: a source of contamination, transport through anenvironmental medium, a point of exposure, a route of human exposure, and an exposedpopulation.

ATSDR categorizes an exposure pathway as a completed or potential exposure pathway if theexposure pathway cannot be eliminated. Completed pathways require that the five elementsexist and indicate that exposure to a chemical 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 chemicalcould 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.

Table 7 identifies the completed exposure pathways, and Table 8 identifies the potentialexposure pathways. The discussion that follows these two tables incorporates only thosepathways that are important and relevant to the site. We also discuss some of those exposurepathways that have been eliminated.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

Off-Site Groundwater

The groundwater within a 1-mile radius of the site was determined to be a past completedexposure pathway. Individuals were exposed to chemicals through ingestion, inhalation, anddermal contact. All known private well water users have been connected to the Michigan Citymunicipal water supply system. There is a city ordinance in Michigan City prohibiting the crossconnection of private wells and municipal water supplies. Based on the groundwater flowcharacterization of this site, groundwater outside the 1-mile radius of the site is not a potentialpathway.

The ISDH has no means of determining whether individuals are abiding by the city ordinancefor no cross connections of city and private wells. Individuals illegally using private well waterwithin a 1-mile radius of the site are at risk of potential exposure to site related chemicals,through dermal contact, inhalation, and ingestion pathways.

Off-Site Sediment - Trail Creek

Sediments are materials that settle to the bottom of, or are suspended in a liquid. Contaminatedsediments are formed when chemicals bind to soil particles. The flow of water in Trail Creekchanges continuously as it is influenced by the wave and wind action of Lake Michigan. Thiswater action dilutes the sediments found there with fresh water flow. The sediment route ofentry to the human body would be through incidental or accidental ingestion of creek waterand/or absorption of the chemicals through the skin. Swimmers, especially young children,could swallow water containing these sediments. Individuals fishing in these waters could beexposed to the sediments through dermal contact. Fish caught and eaten from this creek mayhave had a great deal of contact with the sediments (see Fish Pathway subsection). It isimportant to note that these chemicals are bound to soil particles reducing the amount of skinand stomach absorption considerably. The amount of sediment ingested during swimming isexpected to be minimal.

Fish Pathway

Monitoring data shows that fish samples taken from Trail Creek contained the followingchemicals in common with the Waste Inc. Landfill: PCBs, mercury, cadmium, chromium, zinc,lead, and copper. PCBs and mercury were the only site-related chemicals monitored in allspecies. Fish advisories will be discussed in the Toxicological Evaluation subsection.

Fish species differ in diet, habitat, growth rate, and physiology. They also accumulate chemicalsat different rates. Carp and catfish generally contain the highest concentrations of contaminants. This is due to their bottom feeding scavenging habits. Certain fish in Trail Creek are quite likelycontaminated with site related chemicals due to the bioacccumulation of contaminants found inthe sediments and surface water.

There is a past, present, and future completed exposure pathway for all individuals eating certainfish species caught in Trail Creek. Fish advisories have been issued for Trail Creek due to thelevels of contaminants found in fish tissue samples. A listing of all fish covered under this fishadvisory can be found in Table 6.

Data gaps exist as tissue monitoring began in 1979, and the landfill has been in operation since 1965.


Table 7.

Completed Exposure Pathways
PATHWAY
NAME
EXPOSURE PATHWAY ELEMENTSTIME
SOURCE ENVIRONMENTAL
MEDIA
POINT OF
EXPOSURE
ROUTE OF
EXPOSURE
EXPOSED
POPULATION
Groundwater
Off-site
Waste Inc.LandfillGroundwaterPrivate wellsIngestion,
inhalation,
Dermal contact
Michigan Cityusers of privatewellsPast
Sediment
Off-site
Waste Inc.
Landfill
SedimentTrail CreekIngestion,
Dermal Contact
Individualsswimming orfishingPast
Present
Future
FishWaste Inc.
Landfill
FishResidenceIngestionIndividuals
eating fish
Past
Present
Future

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

On-Site Subsurface Soil

During the active operation of the Waste Inc. Landfill, all employees were possibly exposedthrough incidental ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact to the chemicals that accumulated inthe soil. This exposure could have occurred in the areas where there was little or no vegetation,or where digging or excavating occurred.

Remedial workers could be exposed to chemicals in the subsurface soil. This exposure would beprimarily through incidental ingestion, dermal contact, and inhalation caused by digging and/or arelease into the air during remediation of chemicals found in depths ranging from 3 inches to 33feet. This exposure can be limited if workers follow the safety and health guidelines for thissite.

On-Site Surface Soil

One surface soil sample was taken during the remedial investigation. This sample, however, wastaken deeper than 3 inches. If the surface soil is contaminated with similar chemicals as thesubsurface soil there is the potential for adverse health effects to occur to nearby residents. Thiswould occur only if the contaminated soil was to blow into their yards. They would be exposedto these contaminants by inhalation, incidental ingestion and possibly by dermal contact. Asnoted in the site visit on March 3, 1992, the site is, for the most part, currently covered withvegetation, thus limiting the amount and possibility of contaminated soil blowing to nearby residents.

On-Site Groundwater

Past, present, and future on-site groundwater is a potential exposure pathway for site remedialworkers. VOCs and other chemicals were found in the leachate and groundwater. This mayhave occurred as the result of percolating rain water carrying dissolved chemicals to the deepersoil and groundwater. Site workers typically work closely with contaminated media. They canbe exposed to site chemicals through inhalation, incidental ingestion, and dermal contact.

On-Site Storm Water

Trespassers and site remedial workers coming into contact with pools of leachate can bepotentially exposed to chemicals which could cause adverse health effects. Future exposure tosite workers could be eliminated if site workers wear appropriate personal protective equipmentand comply with applicable health and safety guidelines.

During heavy rain falls, chemicals from the soil could mix with the standing rain water. Theextent of contamination in the standing water was limited to inorganic chemicals (seeAppendices). Past employees that came into contact with puddles of standing water may havebeen exposed to lead, the only chemical of concern in this medium.

Off-Site Air

Air sampling was not done during the remedial investigation. A number of volatile, and semi-volatile organic chemicals were found in the samples taken from other environmental media. Volatile chemicals are chemicals that are easily released into the atmosphere. Also, a number ofthe chemicals of concern primarily cause adverse health effects through the inhalation route.

Individuals in the near vicinity of environmental media containing these chemicals could then beexposed to them by the inhalation route. Contaminated air may be a past, present, and futureexposure pathway for residents who live near the site.


Table 8.

Potential Exposure Pathways
PATHWAY
NAME
EXPOSURE PATHWAY ELEMENTSTIME
SOURCE ENVIRONMENTAL
MEDIA
POINT OF
EXPOSURE
ROUTE OF
EXPOSURE
EXPOSED
POPULATION
On-siteSubsurface soilWaste Inc.LandfillSubsurface soilLandfillIngestion,
Inhalation,
Dermal contact
Site and remedialworkers,Past
Present
Future
On-site SurfacesoilWaste Inc.LandfillSurface soilLandfill, nearbyresidentsIngestion,InhalationSite and remedialworkers, nearbyresidentsPast PresentFuture
GroundwaterOn-SiteWaste Inc.LandfillGroundwaterOn-site Privatewell and
Monitoringwells
Inhalation,
Dermal con-
tact
Site and remedialworkersPast
Present
Future
Storm WaterWaste Inc.LandfillLeachate poolsLandfillDermal contactTrespassers, siteand remedialworkersPast
Present
Future
Off-Site AirWaste Inc.LandfillAmbient AirNearbyResidenceInhalationNearby Residents Past
Present
Future



PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

In this subsection we will discuss the health effects in persons exposed to specific chemicals,evaluate state and local health databases, if available, and address specific community healthconcerns.

A. Toxicological Evaluation

Introduction

To evaluate health effects, ATSDR has developed a Minimal Risk Level (MRL) for chemicalscommonly found at hazardous waste sites. The MRL is an estimate of daily human exposure toa chemical below which non-cancer, adverse health effects are unlikely to occur. MRLs aredeveloped for each route of exposure, such as ingestion and inhalation, and for the length ofexposure, such as acute (less than 14 days), intermediate (15 to 364 days), and chronic (greaterthat 365 days). ATSDR presents these MRLs in Toxicological Profiles. These chemical-specific profiles provide information on health effects, environmental transport, humanexposure, and regulatory status. In the following discussion, we used ATSDR ToxicologicalProfiles for 2-butanone, lead, mercury, 2-methyl naphthalene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,and PCBs.

2-Butanone (MEK)

The chemical 2-butanone, or methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), is a colorless liquid with a sweet,pleasant, and pungent odor. It is used as a solvent, a fabric coating in artificial leather, a lacquerand varnish. It is also used in paint removers, cements and adhesives.

This chemical is a mild eye and mucous membrane irritant, primary skin irritant, and centralnervous system depressant. Acute exposure irritates the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, Directcontact causes painful irritation and corneal injury. Repeated or prolonged skin contact maylead to dermatitis. (HSDB 7/06/92)

Neither a reference concentration (RfC) or a reference dose (RfD) exist for 2-butanone becauseno thresholds have been demonstrated for the most sensitive effects in humans. EPA (1988) hasderived a chronic oral RfD for 2-butanone of 32 ppb. The RfD is an estimate of daily humanexposure to a chemical for a lifetime below which health effects (non-cancer) are unlikely tooccur. There is not enough human research data to evaluate the ability of this chemical to cause cancer.

This chemical was found in the off-site stream sediment at 17 ppb. An estimated daily ingestiondose was calculated for individuals incidentally ingesting sediment in creek water whileswimming in Trail Creek. Our calculations assume that an adult or child would drink

2 liters and 1 liter everyday for 43 and 12 years, respectively, which is highly unlikely. Basedon these calculations, adverse health effects are not expected to occur at the specified levels.

Lead

Lead is found in the earth's crust as a naturally occurring metal. Due to human activities (use ofleaded gasoline) lead has spread to the air, drinking water, rivers, lakes, oceans, dust, soil, andthus animals and plants. Lead can enter the body through inhalation (lead dust), and ingestion(lead contaminated foods), and only small portions will absorb through the skin. Lead ispartitioned first in the soft tissues (liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles, and heart). Afterseveral weeks, it travels to, and is stored in bone and teeth. Children are more sensitive to theeffects of lead than adults. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Lead).

The lead exposure that occurred and is occurring due to site related contamination could causeaverse health effects. ATSDR has not derived an MRL for lead. Neither a referenceconcentration (RfC) or a reference dose (RfD) exist for lead because no thresholds have beendemonstrated for the most sensitive effects in humans. EPA (1990) has derived a chronic oralRfD for alkyl leads of 1 x 10-7. The RfD is an estimate of daily human exposure to a chemicalfor a lifetime below which health effects (non-cancer) are unlikely to occur. A quantitativeestimate of lead carcinogenic risk from oral and inhalation exposures has not been determined. Quantifying lead's cancer risk involves many uncertainties, some of which may be unique tolead. Age, health, nutritional state, body burden, and exposure duration influence theabsorption, release, and excretion of lead.

Lead was found at 28-72 ppb in the off-site stream sediment. Soil in this area of the UnitedStates typically contains 10,000-300,000 ppb of lead. It is not likely that adverse health effectswould occur from the level of lead found in the contaminated off-site stream samples. Biologictests, such as measuring lead in blood, can determine whether excessive lead exposure isoccurring. Blood-lead levels of the residents within a 1-mile radius of the site have not been taken.

Exposure to lead can also be determined by measuring the amount of a substance in red bloodcells called erythrocyte protoporphyrin. The LaPorte County Health Department has a free leadscreening program for children and adults. Individuals, particularly pregnant women, shouldcontact the LaPorte County Health Department at 219/326-6808 for further details.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

PAHs were determined to be chemicals of concern based on their concentration found in thestream sediment. Most health data concerning PAHs is limited to animal studies. Effects of theblood and blood-forming system, and of the skin, have been reported in humans. There are nohuman studies which determine the health effects from oral exposure to PAHs on reproductiveoutcome, liver, kidney, immunological, neurological, or developmental effects. Animals studiesdo show, however, that certain types of PAHs, such as phenanthrene is not a cancer causingagent, but benzo(a)anthracene and chrysene are. Lung and skin cancer in humans have beenassociated with chronic exposure by inhalation and dermal contact, respectively, to mixtures ofother compounds and PAHs. Due to the lack of specific exposure information and the presenceof other cancer causing agents in these mixtures, it is impossible to determine the contribution ofan individual PAH to the development of cancer.

PAHs are formed during the incomplete burning of oil and gas, garbage, or other organicsubstances. They can be man-made (combustion of fuels for heating and transportation,cigarette smoke, grilled meat) or can occur naturally (forest fires, volcanoes). They are foundthroughout the environment in the air, water, and soil and are normally found as a mixture oftwo or more PAHs. PAHs enter the body through skin absorption, and ingestion, but primarilythrough inhalation. They are stored in fatty tissues of the body (kidneys, liver, spleen adrenalglands, ovaries) and normally excreted in the feces and urine after a few days.

Because of their low solubility PAHs tend to be removed from water by volatilization to theatmosphere, binding to particulate or sediments, or by being accumulated or absorbed by aquaticlife.

Human studies have not yet been done to determine the effects of individual PAHs on health. Extended inhalation of and dermal contact with mixtures of different PAHs (benzo(a)anthracene,benzo(b)fluoranthene, and dibenz(a,h)anthracene), however, have been shown to cause cancer. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

ATSDR has not issued a chronic MRL for the PAHs. The EPA chronic RfD for phenanthrene is.004 mg/kg/day, which we will use as a chronic health value to evaluate health effects other thancancer for all the PAHs as it is less than the ATSDR acute MRL. We estimated the amount ofdaily exposure using the following: 1) site worker - 5 days/week for 43 years, 2) remedialworker - 5 days/week for 4 years, 3) adult trespasser-1 day/week for 43 years, 4) child trespasser- 7 days/week for 12 years.

Benzo(k)fluoranthene - PAH

Benzo(k)fluoranthene was found in the off-site stream sediment at levels below what is typicallyfound in urban soil (26,000 ppb). Upon calculating its estimated daily dose, however, there is aninsignificant increased cancer risk for adults and a low increased cancer risk for children whoswim in Trail Creek and accidentally ingest contaminated sediments in the creek water. Notehowever that this exposure would be through incidental ingestion of sediments in amounts notlikely to occur. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

Benzo(a)pyrene - PAH

Stream sediments contained levels of benzo(a)pyrene at approximately twice the normal urbansoil levels (220 ppb). This PAH is a known animal carcinogen or cancer causing agent. It is,however, only suspected as a carcinogen in humans. Long-term exposure to benzo(a)pyreneaffects the lungs, kidneys, skin, reproductive tract, and the urinary tract. The relative risk,however, of this chemical causing an increase in cancer to individuals exposed to 400 ppb isinsignificant. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

Chrysene - PAH

Chrysene has been determined to be a probable human carcinogen. It was found inconcentrations below its normal level found in urban soil (640 ppb). Adverse health effects arenot expected to occur at the levels found in the off-site stream sediment. (ATSDR ToxicologicalProfile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

Phenanthrene - PAH

We have no means of determining the actual amount of contaminated creek sediment swallowedaccidently by a swimmer in Trail Creek or an individual eating fish caught in Trail Creek. If weassume that an adult or child swims in Trail Creek two days a week, six months out of the year,and drinks 1 liter a day (very unlikely) of the stream water, the estimated amount of ingestedphenanthrene is lower than the EPA's RfD of 0.004 mg/kg/day, meaning the levels of thischemical in the stream sediment are not of health concern. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile forPolycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

Mercury

Mercury exposure may be occurring through contaminated Trail Creek sediments. Mercuryreleased into the environment will stay there for a long time. Some or all released organicmercury will slowly break down to become inorganic mercury. Inorganic mercury can alsochange back to organic mercury with the help of substances produced by microorganisms andvarious chemical processes. There is no chronic reference dose for mercury. Methylmercury, anorganic form of this chemical, is the major form found in fish. We, therefore, used ATSDR'sreference dose for methylmercury to estimate chronic mercury exposure. The brain, kidney, andthe unborn child are the most sensitive to methylmercury exposure. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Mercury)

We assumed that children, women, and men ate 5, 13, and 15 grams of fish per meal,respectively. We evaluated fish consumption rates of one meal per week. Table 9 below showsthe estimated daily doses of methylmercury compared to ATSDR's chronic reference dose(0.0003 ppm).


Table 9.

Comparison of Estimated Exposure Dose to Health Guidelines for Methylmercury
Exposure
Pathway
Health Guideline for Ingestion mg/kg/day
ValueSourceExceeded by
Estimated Exposure
Dose
Fish0.00003Oral RfD male/female
yes
Fish0.00003Oral RfD child
yes

The levels of methylmercury ingested by persons who ate and are eating the chinook and cohospecies of fish caught in Trail Creek, exceeds the health guideline established by ATSDR. SeeTable 6 for the fish advisory. A fish advisory has been issued for Trail Creek, however, due tothe levels of PCBs found in fish tissue samples.

2-Methylnaphthalene

The short- and long-term health effects caused by exposure to 2-methylnaphthalene have not been studied, nor is there any information on the carcinogenicpotential of 2-methylnaphthalene in humans or animals. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for 2-Methylnaphthalene)

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) - (Aroclor 1242)

The long-term effects of human exposure to PCBs have not been fully determined. PCBs mayproduce harmful effects, however, if consumed over a long period of time (ATSDR DraftToxicological Profile for Selected PCBs). The ISDH advises that only limited amounts of PCBcontaminated fish be consumed. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action levels are used asguidelines for developing fish consumption advisories for Indiana waters.

Fish species differ in diet, habitat, growth rate, and physiology. They also accumulate chemicalsat different rates. PCBs tend to be stored in the fat of fish. A substantial amount of fat is locatednear the skin of fish. Because of this, a boneless, skinless fillet should be prepared previous tocooking. This will limit the amount of fat consumed.

Individuals can reduce their risk even more by baking and broiling these skinless fillets so the fatcan drip off while cooking. This method of preparing fish that may be contaminated can reducethe levels of PCBs by approximately 50 percent.

Table 10 shows a comparison of the PCB health guideline and the estimated exposure dose ofPCBs for male and female adults, and children eating fish caught in Trail Creek.

Table 10.

Comparison of Estimated Exposure Dose to Health Guidelines for PCBs
Exposure
Pathway
Health Guideline for Ingestion mg/kg/day
ValueSourceExceeded by
Estimated Exposure
Dose
Fish0.000005Chronic MRL male/femaleyes
Fish0.000005Chronic MRL childyes

As noted in the Table 6 (ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDSsection), a fish advisory has been issued for Trail Creek due to the level of PCBs found in fishtissue samples. A general fish advisory means that women of child-bearing age and preschoolchildren should not eat a particular species of fish. A complete fish advisory means that no oneshould partake of this species of fish.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

Using State health databases, it may be possible to determine whether certain health effectsoccur more often than expected in LaPorte County.

Table 11 contains all of the statistically significant (not due to random chance) cancer deaths inLaporte County. There are 92 counties in the state of Indiana. LaPorte County ranked in thetop 50% for the highest cancer rate in Indiana for 1950-79. There is, however, no knownenvironmental component to these cancers. For example, increases in prostate cancer in whitemales was statistically significant (not due to random chance) for 1950-59 and 1970-79. Prostate cancer has been shown, however, to be stimulated by caffeine and cigarettes, but it isprimarily caused by age. If there was an unknown mechanism, we would expect to see aconsistent increase of any one particular cancer over the 30 years of the cancer data. (EPA, U.S. Cancer Mortality Rates and Trends)


Table 11.

Statistically Significant Deaths Caused by Cancer in LaPorte County

1950-19591960-19691970-1979
White MaleProstate (86)
Rank 2
Soft Tissue-
Sarcoma (9)
Rank 9
All Cancer(984)
Prostate (105)
Kidney (33)
Rank 8
Non-White Male
Prostate (9)
Rank 26
Lymphosarcoma (3)
Rank 40
White FemaleUterus (49)
Rank 14
Lympho-
sarcoma (29)
Rank 21

Non-White FemaleBladder (1)
Rank 35
Soft Tissue-
Sarcoma (1)
Rank 36
Uterus (6)
Lymphosarcoma (2)
Leukemia (3)
Rank 22
* = Actual number of deaths in parenthesis
Rank = LaPorte County's placement by cancer death rates for all cancers in Indiana.

The ISDH Birth Problems Registry is relatively new, thus the information it contains is limited. A review of this data does not indicate significant trends of concerns or problems that may be asa result of site related chemicals.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

  1. Are fish caught in Trail Creek safe to eat?

    Some of the fish caught in Trail Creek are not safe to eat. Fish species differ in diet,habitat, growth rate and physiology. They also accumulate chemicals at different rates. Carp and channel catfish generally contain the highest concentrations of chemicals. TheISDH advises that no amount of Carp, Catfish, or Brown Trout more than 23 incheslong; Chinook that is more than 32 inches long; or Lake Trout more than 23 inches longbe consumed. We also recommend that you broil or bake your fish (boneless, skinlessfillet) to reduce the levels of chemicals you eat. There is a Fish Advisory for fish caughtin Trail Creek. You can obtain a complete listing of all fish that have been placed on afish advisory anywhere fishing licenses are available. A brief listing is located in thispublic health assessment in the HEALTH OUTCOME DATA EVALUATION subsection.

  2. My child plays on the landfill site. Will this affect his health?

    The subsurface soil is contaminated with chemicals which could cause adverse healtheffects in your child. Your child would only come into contact with these chemicals ifthey were to dig approximately 2 feet into the ground. It is important to note, however,that we can only assume that the same chemicals that are found in the subsurface soilmay be present in the surface soil. Low levels of lead have been found in the on-sitesubsurface soil.

    Young children are likely to play in the dirt and/or place dirty fingers or objects in theirmouths. We are aware of the site being partially unrestricted. This, however, does notmake the site public property. We strongly recommend that parents encourage theirchildren not to go on the site for any reason. Not only are there chemicals that couldaffect their health permanently, but there are also physical hazards such as an olddeteriorating building which is very tempting to a youngster.

  3. How does the contaminated groundwater affect the health of the surroundingcommunity? Won't the chemicals seep into the soil?

    The contaminated groundwater should not affect the health of the surroundingcommunity. All residences within a 1-mile radius of the site have been connected to theMichigan City municipal water supply system. There is also a city ordinance prohibitingthe cross connecting of private wells and municipal water pipes.

    It is very unlikely that chemicals found in groundwater would seep back into the soil.

  4. Could airborne chemicals from the site affect the health of the community?

    The site is covered with vegetation for the most part, thus limiting the amount of airbornechemicals. During on-site remediation, however, if the soil is disrupted, airbornechemicals could blow to the nearby residences. If these contaminated soil particlesaccumulate to any depth, they could affect the health of the community.

  5. The intake pipe of the Michigan City Water Works is directly downstream (TrailCreek) from the Waste Inc. Landfill. How does this affect the quality of the watersupplied to Michigan City residents?

    It should not affect the level of water quality supplied to Michigan City residents. Regardless of what the intake pipes bring in, that water is treated when it leaves throughthe supply pipes. This water is tested on a regular basis to insure the water quality isappropriate for human use.

  6. What about the health of people with private wells outside the 1-mile radius of theWaste Inc. Landfill?

    We cannot determine the effects of private well use on individuals outside of the 1-mileradius of the site. When the site was characterized, the extent of groundwatercontamination was limited to the 1-mile radius.

  7. Is there a concern for cancer in the area of the site? Have any cancer studies beendone?

    There is a concern for the cancer rate in Michigan City. After reviewing the cancer ratesfor LaPorte County, any increase in cancer over background in this area is probably dueto random chance. A cancer study by Dr. Isadora Rotkin entitled "Cancer Frequencies atLaPorte Hospital, LaPorte County, Indiana" was published in 1988. This study wasreviewed by experts in the cancer field at the county, state, and federal levels. Theirreview indicated that Dr. Rotkin's study did not provide evidence to conclude that there isan increased risk of cancer in LaPorte County. They also indicated that there is nosignificant increase in cancers associated with or caused by environmental factors in LaPorte County.

  8. Will there be a public meeting held by ATSDR to comment on the Health Assessment?

    Generally, a public meeting is held at the end of the 30-day comment period to give thepublic some time to read the document and formulate questions. At the request of a community member, however, we will have a public meeting once the public healthassessment is written.

  9. Concern about possible lead exposures.

    Under the Children's Lead Prevention program, ISDH will work with the LaPorte CountyHealth Department to initiate a blood lead screening program for area residents,particularly children.


Next Section          Table of Contents

 
PATHWAY
NAME
EXPOSURE PATHWAY ELEMENTSTIME
SOURCEENVIRONMENTAL
MEDIA
POINT OF
EXPOSURE
ROUTE OF
EXPOSURE
EXPOSED
POPULATION
Groundwater
Off-site
Waste Inc.LandfillGroundwaterPrivate wellsIngestion,
inhalation,
Dermal contact
Michigan Cityusers of privatewellsPast
Sediment
Off-site
Waste Inc.
Landfill
SedimentTrail CreekIngestion,
Dermal Contact
Individualsswimming orfishingPast
Present
Future
FishWaste Inc.
Landfill
FishResidenceIngestionIndividuals
eating fish
Past
Present
Future

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

On-Site Subsurface Soil

During the active operation of the Waste Inc. Landfill, all employees were possibly exposedthrough incidental ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact to the chemicals that accumulated inthe soil. This exposure could have occurred in the areas where there was little or no vegetation,or where digging or excavating occurred.

Remedial workers could be exposed to chemicals in the subsurface soil. This exposure would beprimarily through incidental ingestion, dermal contact, and inhalation caused by digging and/or arelease into the air during remediation of chemicals found in depths ranging from 3 inches to 33feet. This exposure can be limited if workers follow the safety and health guidelines for thissite.

On-Site Surface Soil

One surface soil sample was taken during the remedial investigation. This sample, however, wastaken deeper than 3 inches. If the surface soil is contaminated with similar chemicals as thesubsurface soil there is the potential for adverse health effects to occur to nearby residents. Thiswould occur only if the contaminated soil was to blow into their yards. They would be exposedto these contaminants by inhalation, incidental ingestion and possibly by dermal contact. Asnoted in the site visit on March 3, 1992, the site is, for the most part, currently covered withvegetation, thus limiting the amount and possibility of contaminated soil blowing to nearby residents.

On-Site Groundwater

Past, present, and future on-site groundwater is a potential exposure pathway for site remedialworkers. VOCs and other chemicals were found in the leachate and groundwater. This mayhave occurred as the result of percolating rain water carrying dissolved chemicals to the deepersoil and groundwater. Site workers typically work closely with contaminated media. They canbe exposed to site chemicals through inhalation, incidental ingestion, and dermal contact.

On-Site Storm Water

Trespassers and site remedial workers coming into contact with pools of leachate can bepotentially exposed to chemicals which could cause adverse health effects. Future exposure tosite workers could be eliminated if site workers wear appropriate personal protective equipmentand comply with applicable health and safety guidelines.

During heavy rain falls, chemicals from the soil could mix with the standing rain water. Theextent of contamination in the standing water was limited to inorganic chemicals (seeAppendices). Past employees that came into contact with puddles of standing water may havebeen exposed to lead, the only chemical of concern in this medium.

Off-Site Air

Air sampling was not done during the remedial investigation. A number of volatile, and semi-volatile organic chemicals were found in the samples taken from other environmental media. Volatile chemicals are chemicals that are easily released into the atmosphere. Also, a number ofthe chemicals of concern primarily cause adverse health effects through the inhalation route.

Individuals in the near vicinity of environmental media containing these chemicals could then beexposed to them by the inhalation route. Contaminated air may be a past, present, and futureexposure pathway for residents who live near the site.


Table 8. Potential Exposure Pathways

PATHWAY
NAME
EXPOSURE PATHWAY ELEMENTSTIME
SOURCEENVIRONMENTAL
MEDIA
POINT OF
EXPOSURE
ROUTE OF
EXPOSURE
EXPOSED
POPULATION
On-siteSubsurface soilWaste Inc.LandfillSubsurface soilLandfillIngestion,
Inhalation,
Dermal contact
Site and remedialworkers,Past
Present
Future
On-site SurfacesoilWaste Inc.LandfillSurface soilLandfill, nearbyresidentsIngestion,InhalationSite and remedialworkers, nearbyresidentsPast PresentFuture
GroundwaterOn-SiteWaste Inc.LandfillGroundwaterOn-site Privatewell and
Monitoringwells
Inhalation,
Dermal con-
tact
Site and remedialworkersPast
Present
Future
Storm WaterWaste Inc.LandfillLeachate poolsLandfillDermal contactTrespassers, siteand remedialworkersPast
Present
Future
Off-Site AirWaste Inc.LandfillAmbient AirNearbyResidenceInhalationNearby Residents Past
Present
Future



PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

In this subsection we will discuss the health effects in persons exposed to specific chemicals,evaluate state and local health databases, if available, and address specific community healthconcerns.

A. Toxicological Evaluation

Introduction

To evaluate health effects, ATSDR has developed a Minimal Risk Level (MRL) for chemicalscommonly found at hazardous waste sites. The MRL is an estimate of daily human exposure toa chemical below which non-cancer, adverse health effects are unlikely to occur. MRLs aredeveloped for each route of exposure, such as ingestion and inhalation, and for the length ofexposure, such as acute (less than 14 days), intermediate (15 to 364 days), and chronic (greaterthat 365 days). ATSDR presents these MRLs in Toxicological Profiles. These chemical-specific profiles provide information on health effects, environmental transport, humanexposure, and regulatory status. In the following discussion, we used ATSDR ToxicologicalProfiles for 2-butanone, lead, mercury, 2-methyl naphthalene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,and PCBs.

2-Butanone (MEK)

The chemical 2-butanone, or methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), is a colorless liquid with a sweet,pleasant, and pungent odor. It is used as a solvent, a fabric coating in artificial leather, a lacquerand varnish. It is also used in paint removers, cements and adhesives.

This chemical is a mild eye and mucous membrane irritant, primary skin irritant, and centralnervous system depressant. Acute exposure irritates the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, Directcontact causes painful irritation and corneal injury. Repeated or prolonged skin contact maylead to dermatitis. (HSDB 7/06/92)

Neither a reference concentration (RfC) or a reference dose (RfD) exist for 2-butanone becauseno thresholds have been demonstrated for the most sensitive effects in humans. EPA (1988) hasderived a chronic oral RfD for 2-butanone of 32 ppb. The RfD is an estimate of daily humanexposure to a chemical for a lifetime below which health effects (non-cancer) are unlikely tooccur. There is not enough human research data to evaluate the ability of this chemical to cause cancer.

This chemical was found in the off-site stream sediment at 17 ppb. An estimated daily ingestiondose was calculated for individuals incidentally ingesting sediment in creek water whileswimming in Trail Creek. Our calculations assume that an adult or child would drink

2 liters and 1 liter everyday for 43 and 12 years, respectively, which is highly unlikely. Basedon these calculations, adverse health effects are not expected to occur at the specified levels.

Lead

Lead is found in the earth's crust as a naturally occurring metal. Due to human activities (use ofleaded gasoline) lead has spread to the air, drinking water, rivers, lakes, oceans, dust, soil, andthus animals and plants. Lead can enter the body through inhalation (lead dust), and ingestion(lead contaminated foods), and only small portions will absorb through the skin. Lead ispartitioned first in the soft tissues (liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles, and heart). Afterseveral weeks, it travels to, and is stored in bone and teeth. Children are more sensitive to theeffects of lead than adults. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Lead).

The lead exposure that occurred and is occurring due to site related contamination could causeaverse health effects. ATSDR has not derived an MRL for lead. Neither a referenceconcentration (RfC) or a reference dose (RfD) exist for lead because no thresholds have beendemonstrated for the most sensitive effects in humans. EPA (1990) has derived a chronic oralRfD for alkyl leads of 1 x 10-7. The RfD is an estimate of daily human exposure to a chemicalfor a lifetime below which health effects (non-cancer) are unlikely to occur. A quantitativeestimate of lead carcinogenic risk from oral and inhalation exposures has not been determined. Quantifying lead's cancer risk involves many uncertainties, some of which may be unique tolead. Age, health, nutritional state, body burden, and exposure duration influence theabsorption, release, and excretion of lead.

Lead was found at 28-72 ppb in the off-site stream sediment. Soil in this area of the UnitedStates typically contains 10,000-300,000 ppb of lead. It is not likely that adverse health effectswould occur from the level of lead found in the contaminated off-site stream samples. Biologictests, such as measuring lead in blood, can determine whether excessive lead exposure isoccurring. Blood-lead levels of the residents within a 1-mile radius of the site have not been taken.

Exposure to lead can also be determined by measuring the amount of a substance in red bloodcells called erythrocyte protoporphyrin. The LaPorte County Health Department has a free leadscreening program for children and adults. Individuals, particularly pregnant women, shouldcontact the LaPorte County Health Department at 219/326-6808 for further details.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

PAHs were determined to be chemicals of concern based on their concentration found in thestream sediment. Most health data concerning PAHs is limited to animal studies. Effects of theblood and blood-forming system, and of the skin, have been reported in humans. There are nohuman studies which determine the health effects from oral exposure to PAHs on reproductiveoutcome, liver, kidney, immunological, neurological, or developmental effects. Animals studiesdo show, however, that certain types of PAHs, such as phenanthrene is not a cancer causingagent, but benzo(a)anthracene and chrysene are. Lung and skin cancer in humans have beenassociated with chronic exposure by inhalation and dermal contact, respectively, to mixtures ofother compounds and PAHs. Due to the lack of specific exposure information and the presenceof other cancer causing agents in these mixtures, it is impossible to determine the contribution ofan individual PAH to the development of cancer.

PAHs are formed during the incomplete burning of oil and gas, garbage, or other organicsubstances. They can be man-made (combustion of fuels for heating and transportation,cigarette smoke, grilled meat) or can occur naturally (forest fires, volcanoes). They are foundthroughout the environment in the air, water, and soil and are normally found as a mixture oftwo or more PAHs. PAHs enter the body through skin absorption, and ingestion, but primarilythrough inhalation. They are stored in fatty tissues of the body (kidneys, liver, spleen adrenalglands, ovaries) and normally excreted in the feces and urine after a few days.

Because of their low solubility PAHs tend to be removed from water by volatilization to theatmosphere, binding to particulate or sediments, or by being accumulated or absorbed by aquaticlife.

Human studies have not yet been done to determine the effects of individual PAHs on health. Extended inhalation of and dermal contact with mixtures of different PAHs (benzo(a)anthracene,benzo(b)fluoranthene, and dibenz(a,h)anthracene), however, have been shown to cause cancer. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

ATSDR has not issued a chronic MRL for the PAHs. The EPA chronic RfD for phenanthrene is.004 mg/kg/day, which we will use as a chronic health value to evaluate health effects other thancancer for all the PAHs as it is less than the ATSDR acute MRL. We estimated the amount ofdaily exposure using the following: 1) site worker - 5 days/week for 43 years, 2) remedialworker - 5 days/week for 4 years, 3) adult trespasser-1 day/week for 43 years, 4) child trespasser- 7 days/week for 12 years.

Benzo(k)fluoranthene - PAH

Benzo(k)fluoranthene was found in the off-site stream sediment at levels below what is typicallyfound in urban soil (26,000 ppb). Upon calculating its estimated daily dose, however, there is aninsignificant increased cancer risk for adults and a low increased cancer risk for children whoswim in Trail Creek and accidentally ingest contaminated sediments in the creek water. Notehowever that this exposure would be through incidental ingestion of sediments in amounts notlikely to occur. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

Benzo(a)pyrene - PAH

Stream sediments contained levels of benzo(a)pyrene at approximately twice the normal urbansoil levels (220 ppb). This PAH is a known animal carcinogen or cancer causing agent. It is,however, only suspected as a carcinogen in humans. Long-term exposure to benzo(a)pyreneaffects the lungs, kidneys, skin, reproductive tract, and the urinary tract. The relative risk,however, of this chemical causing an increase in cancer to individuals exposed to 400 ppb isinsignificant. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

Chrysene - PAH

Chrysene has been determined to be a probable human carcinogen. It was found inconcentrations below its normal level found in urban soil (640 ppb). Adverse health effects arenot expected to occur at the levels found in the off-site stream sediment. (ATSDR ToxicologicalProfile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

Phenanthrene - PAH

We have no means of determining the actual amount of contaminated creek sediment swallowedaccidently by a swimmer in Trail Creek or an individual eating fish caught in Trail Creek. If weassume that an adult or child swims in Trail Creek two days a week, six months out of the year,and drinks 1 liter a day (very unlikely) of the stream water, the estimated amount of ingestedphenanthrene is lower than the EPA's RfD of 0.004 mg/kg/day, meaning the levels of thischemical in the stream sediment are not of health concern. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile forPolycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

Mercury

Mercury exposure may be occurring through contaminated Trail Creek sediments. Mercuryreleased into the environment will stay there for a long time. Some or all released organicmercury will slowly break down to become inorganic mercury. Inorganic mercury can alsochange back to organic mercury with the help of substances produced by microorganisms andvarious chemical processes. There is no chronic reference dose for mercury. Methylmercury, anorganic form of this chemical, is the major form found in fish. We, therefore, used ATSDR'sreference dose for methylmercury to estimate chronic mercury exposure. The brain, kidney, andthe unborn child are the most sensitive to methylmercury exposure. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Mercury)

We assumed that children, women, and men ate 5, 13, and 15 grams of fish per meal,respectively. We evaluated fish consumption rates of one meal per week. Table 9 below showsthe estimated daily doses of methylmercury compared to ATSDR's chronic reference dose(0.0003 ppm).


Table 9. Comparison of Estimated Exposure Dose to Health
Guidelines for Methylmercury


Exposure
Pathway
Health Guideline for Ingestion mg/kg/day
ValueSourceExceeded by
Estimated Exposure
Dose
Fish0.00003Oral RfD male/female
yes
Fish0.00003Oral RfD child
yes

The levels of methylmercury ingested by persons who ate and are eating the chinook and cohospecies of fish caught in Trail Creek, exceeds the health guideline established by ATSDR. SeeTable 6 for the fish advisory. A fish advisory has been issued for Trail Creek, however, due tothe levels of PCBs found in fish tissue samples.

2-Methylnaphthalene

The short- and long-term health effects caused by exposure to 2-methylnaphthalene have not been studied, nor is there any information on the carcinogenicpotential of 2-methylnaphthalene in humans or animals. (ATSDR Toxicological Profile for 2-Methylnaphthalene)

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) - (Aroclor 1242)

The long-term effects of human exposure to PCBs have not been fully determined. PCBs mayproduce harmful effects, however, if consumed over a long period of time (ATSDR DraftToxicological Profile for Selected PCBs). The ISDH advises that only limited amounts of PCBcontaminated fish be consumed. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action levels are used asguidelines for developing fish consumption advisories for Indiana waters.

Fish species differ in diet, habitat, growth rate, and physiology. They also accumulate chemicalsat different rates. PCBs tend to be stored in the fat of fish. A substantial amount of fat is locatednear the skin of fish. Because of this, a boneless, skinless fillet should be prepared previous tocooking. This will limit the amount of fat consumed.

Individuals can reduce their risk even more by baking and broiling these skinless fillets so the fatcan drip off while cooking. This method of preparing fish that may be contaminated can reducethe levels of PCBs by approximately 50 percent.

Table 10 shows a comparison of the PCB health guideline and the estimated exposure dose ofPCBs for male and female adults, and children eating fish caught in Trail Creek.

Table 10. Comparison of Estimated Exposure Dose to
Health Guidelines for PCBs


Exposure
Pathway
Health Guideline for Ingestion mg/kg/day
ValueSourceExceeded by
Estimated Exposure
Dose
Fish0.000005Chronic MRL male/femaleyes
Fish0.000005Chronic MRL childyes

As noted in the Table 6 (ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDSsection), a fish advisory has been issued for Trail Creek due to the level of PCBs found in fishtissue samples. A general fish advisory means that women of child-bearing age and preschoolchildren should not eat a particular species of fish. A complete fish advisory means that no oneshould partake of this species of fish.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

Using State health databases, it may be possible to determine whether certain health effectsoccur more often than expected in LaPorte County.

Table 11 contains all of the statistically significant (not due to random chance) cancer deaths inLaporte County. There are 92 counties in the state of Indiana. LaPorte County ranked in thetop 50% for the highest cancer rate in Indiana for 1950-79. There is, however, no knownenvironmental component to these cancers. For example, increases in prostate cancer in whitemales was statistically significant (not due to random chance) for 1950-59 and 1970-79. Prostate cancer has been shown, however, to be stimulated by caffeine and cigarettes, but it isprimarily caused by age. If there was an unknown mechanism, we would expect to see aconsistent increase of any one particular cancer over the 30 years of the cancer data. (EPA, U.S. Cancer Mortality Rates and Trends)


Table 11. Statistically Significant Deaths Caused by
Cancer in LaPorte County



1950-19591960-19691970-1979
White MaleProstate (86)
Rank 2
Soft Tissue-
Sarcoma (9)
Rank 9
All Cancer(984)
Prostate (105)
Kidney (33)
Rank 8
Non-White Male
Prostate (9)
Rank 26
Lymphosarcoma (3)
Rank 40
White FemaleUterus (49)
Rank 14
Lympho-
sarcoma (29)
Rank 21

Non-White FemaleBladder (1)
Rank 35
Soft Tissue-
Sarcoma (1)
Rank 36
Uterus (6)
Lymphosarcoma (2)
Leukemia (3)
Rank 22
* = Actual number of deaths in parenthesis
Rank = LaPorte County's placement by cancer death rates for all cancers in Indiana.

The ISDH Birth Problems Registry is relatively new, thus the information it contains is limited. A review of this data does not indicate significant trends of concerns or problems that may be asa result of site related chemicals.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

  1. Are fish caught in Trail Creek safe to eat?

    Some of the fish caught in Trail Creek are not safe to eat. Fish species differ in diet,habitat, growth rate and physiology. They also accumulate chemicals at different rates. Carp and channel catfish generally contain the highest concentrations of chemicals. TheISDH advises that no amount of Carp, Catfish, or Brown Trout more than 23 incheslong; Chinook that is more than 32 inches long; or Lake Trout more than 23 inches longbe consumed. We also recommend that you broil or bake your fish (boneless, skinlessfillet) to reduce the levels of chemicals you eat. There is a Fish Advisory for fish caughtin Trail Creek. You can obtain a complete listing of all fish that have been placed on afish advisory anywhere fishing licenses are available. A brief listing is located in thispublic health assessment in the HEALTH OUTCOME DATA EVALUATION subsection.

  2. My child plays on the landfill site. Will this affect his health?

    The subsurface soil is contaminated with chemicals which could cause adverse healtheffects in your child. Your child would only come into contact with these chemicals ifthey were to dig approximately 2 feet into the ground. It is important to note, however,that we can only assume that the same chemicals that are found in the subsurface soilmay be present in the surface soil. Low levels of lead have been found in the on-sitesubsurface soil.

    Young children are likely to play in the dirt and/or place dirty fingers or objects in theirmouths. We are aware of the site being partially unrestricted. This, however, does notmake the site public property. We strongly recommend that parents encourage theirchildren not to go on the site for any reason. Not only are there chemicals that couldaffect their health permanently, but there are also physical hazards such as an olddeteriorating building which is very tempting to a youngster.

  3. How does the contaminated groundwater affect the health of the surroundingcommunity? Won't the chemicals seep into the soil?

    The contaminated groundwater should not affect the health of the surroundingcommunity. All residences within a 1-mile radius of the site have been connected to theMichigan City municipal water supply system. There is also a city ordinance prohibitingthe cross connecting of private wells and municipal water pipes.

    It is very unlikely that chemicals found in groundwater would seep back into the soil.

  4. Could airborne chemicals from the site affect the health of the community?

    The site is covered with vegetation for the most part, thus limiting the amount of airbornechemicals. During on-site remediation, however, if the soil is disrupted, airbornechemicals could blow to the nearby residences. If these contaminated soil particlesaccumulate to any depth, they could affect the health of the community.

  5. The intake pipe of the Michigan City Water Works is directly downstream (TrailCreek) from the Waste Inc. Landfill. How does this affect the quality of the watersupplied to Michigan City residents?

    It should not affect the level of water quality supplied to Michigan City residents. Regardless of what the intake pipes bring in, that water is treated when it leaves throughthe supply pipes. This water is tested on a regular basis to insure the water quality isappropriate for human use.

  6. What about the health of people with private wells outside the 1-mile radius of theWaste Inc. Landfill?

    We cannot determine the effects of private well use on individuals outside of the 1-mileradius of the site. When the site was characterized, the extent of groundwatercontamination was limited to the 1-mile radius.

  7. Is there a concern for cancer in the area of the site? Have any cancer studies beendone?

    There is a concern for the cancer rate in Michigan City. After reviewing the cancer ratesfor LaPorte County, any increase in cancer over background in this area is probably dueto random chance. A cancer study by Dr. Isadora Rotkin entitled "Cancer Frequencies atLaPorte Hospital, LaPorte County, Indiana" was published in 1988. This study wasreviewed by experts in the cancer field at the county, state, and federal levels. Theirreview indicated that Dr. Rotkin's study did not provide evidence to conclude that there isan increased risk of cancer in LaPorte County. They also indicated that there is nosignificant increase in cancers associated with or caused by environmental factors in LaPorte County.

  8. Will there be a public meeting held by ATSDR to comment on the Health Assessment?

    Generally, a public meeting is held at the end of the 30-day comment period to give thepublic some time to read the document and formulate questions. At the request of a community member, however, we will have a public meeting once the public healthassessment is written.

  9. Concern about possible lead exposures.

    Under the Children's Lead Prevention program, ISDH will work with the LaPorte CountyHealth Department to initiate a blood lead screening program for area residents,particularly children.


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