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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ROWE INDUSTRIES GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION
SAG HARBOR, SUFFOLK COUNTY, NEW YORK


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based on the information reviewed, this site currently poses an indeterminate public health hazard. As noted in the pathways analysis section, human exposure to contaminated groundwater has occurred. This past exposure is considered a public health hazard because persons were exposed to contaminants in private drinking water supplies at levels that may result in adverse health effects. There is a potential for further exposure to contaminated groundwater through ingestion, dermal absorption and inhalation. There is a potential for exposure to contaminated soil vapor through vapors entering nearby basements of private residences. There is a potential for exposure to contaminants in off-site surface water and sediments.
  2. Groundwater contamination levels have not significantly decreased on or off-site. This would indicate a source of contamination still exists on the Rowe Industries site.
  3. At the present time, ingestion of contaminated groundwater is not known to be occurring.
  4. The sediments in off-site water bodies are contaminated with low levels of site related organic contaminants.
  5. Local residents have raised health-related questions in the past. We have summarized and addressed those concerns.
  6. Breast cancer incidence rates have been examined for small geographic areas of Nassau and Suffolk Counties for the years 1978-1987. No association was found between breast cancer incidence patterns and contaminated drinking water wells or hazardous waste sites.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Private water supplies that are still in use in the area of the site should continue to be monitored. The public water supply wells in the area are monitored on a regular basis and should continue to be monitored.
  2. Soil gas should be surveyed near private residences adjacent to the site where basements may be impacted by soil gas vapors. If the soil gas survey shows a problem, indoor air samples may need to be collected.
  3. The source areas of groundwater contamination on the Rowe Industries site need to be remediated to prevent further groundwater contamination and the resulting exposures.
  4. During site remedial activities that disturb contaminated soils, air particulate and vapor monitoring should be required to prevent potential inhalation exposure to nearby residents.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP) RECOMMENDATIONS

The data and information developed in the public health assessment for the Rowe Industries Groundwater Contamination site, Sag Harbor, New York, has been reviewed by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendations Panel for appropriate follow-up with respect to health actions. Because of past exposure to contaminated drinking water, the panel determined that follow-up health actions are needed. Specifically, the panel determined that those persons exposed in the past should be added to NYS DOH's registry being developed for VOC exposures from drinking contaminated water. In addition, the panel determined that community health education be performed for the persons who were exposed to contaminants in their drinking water. This action has already been performed by the NYS DOH.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Rowe Industries site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) at and near the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. For those actions already taken at the site, please see the Background section of this Public Health Assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from past, present and future exposure to hazardous substances at or near the site. The NYS DOH and ATSDR will follow-up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented by the ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH are as follows:

  1. The ATSDR and NYS DOH will coordinate with the appropriate environmental agencies to develop plans to implement the recommendations contained in this Public Health Assessment.
  2. The ATSDR will provide an annual follow-up to the PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this Public Health Assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.
  3. The NYS DOH will ensure that appropriate measures be taken during remediation activities to minimize potential exposures to site contaminants for residents living near the site.
  4. The NYS DOH will consider adding persons exposed in the past to VOC contaminated drinking water to their registry being developed for VOC exposures.

The ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan when needed. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determine the need for additional actions at this site.


CERTIFICATION

The Public Health Assessment was prepared by the New York State Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was initiated.

Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR, has reviewed this Public Health Assessment and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR


PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

Geoffrey J. Laccetti
Environmental Health Specialist III
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
New York State Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative
Arthur Block
Regional Services
Office of the Assistant Administrator
ATSDR

ATSDR Technical Project Officer
Greg Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Remedial Programs Branch
ATSDR


REFERENCES

1990 Census CD-ROM File PL17-194. 1990a. Census data by census block. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC. 1991.

1990 Census Standard Tape File 1A. 1990b. Census of Housing and Population. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC. 1991.

1980. Census of Housing and Population, Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. Standard Metropolitan Area. 1980. U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC. 1983.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989a. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethene. ATSDR/TP-89/11. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989b. Toxicological Profile for Toluene. ATSDR/TP-89/23. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990a. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-90/12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990b. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethene. ATSDR/TP-90/13. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990c. Toxicological Profile for Ethylbenzene. ATSDR/TP-90/15. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990d. Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-90/27. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990e. Toxicological Profile for Xylene. ATSDR/TP-90/30. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991a. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991b. Toxicological Profile for Chromium. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991c. Toxicological Profile for Lead. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991d. Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991e. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991f. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc. 1990. Draft Remedial Investigation Report for Rowe Industries Groundwater Contamination Site. Wilton, Connecticut.

Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc. 1992. Revised Draft Remedial Investigation Report for Rowe Industries Groundwater Contamination Site. Wilton, Connecticut.

Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc. 1992. Feasibility Study Preliminary Submittal Rowe Industries Groundwater Contamination Site. Wilton, Connecticut.


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