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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

SHERWOOD MEDICAL COMPANY
NORFOLK, MADISON COUNTY, NEBRASKA


CONCLUSIONS

  1. ATSDR has determined that the Sherwood Medical Company site currently poses no apparent health hazard because available information indicates that current exposures to site-related contaminants are not expected to cause adverse health effects. However, past exposures to VOC-contaminated groundwater did pose a public health hazard to residents of the Park Mobile Home Court. Residents of the mobile home park who used water from the park's wells before they were shut down were exposed to VOCs, including carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, 1,1-DCE, vinyl chloride, chloroethane, chloromethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1-DCA, 1,1,1-TCA, TCE, and PCE. Exposures were likely from ingesting VOC-contaminated drinking water, from breathing VOCs that volatilized into the air during showering and bathing, and, to a lesser extent, from absorbing VOCs through the skin when showering and bathing.
  2. The owners and employees of two downgradient commercial operations and three government operations were likely exposed to low levels of VOCs by ingesting drinking water from their water supply wells. However, the levels of VOCs found in their wells do not pose a public health hazard.
  3. Employees of the Sherwood Medical plant may have been exposed to VOCs via ingestion of contaminated drinking water before the facility's carbon treatment system was installed. Although VOCs were found in the plant's supply wells at levels of public health concern, the level of contaminants actually present in drinking water consumed by the plant's employees is not known. Plant employees who used and handled chlorinated solvents on the job were also subject to exposure to VOCs, primarily 1,1,1-TCA, through inhalation and skin absorption.
  4. Other persons who might be exposed to VOCs include business owners and employees and residents with private wells near the site that are not currently affected by site contaminants but that could become contaminated in the future. The public health significance of such potential future exposures is unknown.
  5. The community health concerns gathered as part of this public health assessment involve worker exposure. Specific concerns are discussed in the Community Health Concerns section. ATSDR has referred the concerns to the appropriate occupational safety and health agencies.
  6. Health outcome data were not evaluated during preparation of this public health assessment for reasons explained in the Health Outcome Data Evaluation section.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Establish institutional controls to prevent future use of contaminated groundwater for drinking water supplies. The controls should remain in place until remediation or natural processes have reduced contaminant concentrations to below levels of public health concern.
  2. Continue to provide acceptable drinking water to the Park Mobile Home Court and to businesses and government facilities downgradient of the site that have contaminated wells.
  3. Provide on-site remedial workers with adequate protective equipment and training, in accordance with 29 C.F.R. 1910.120, and follow appropriate National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Also, protect persons on and off the site from exposure to any dusts or vapors that may be released during site remediation activities.
  4. Continue to restrict access to the site to prevent unauthorized persons (especially children) from possibly coming into contact with 1) site contaminants during remediation activities, and 2) potential physical hazards such as Sherwood Lake and broken glass near the solid waste disposal bins.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Conduct ambient air sampling for VOCs at the site during the remedial action to ensure that VOCs are not released at levels of public health concern.
  2. Periodically sample private wells near the site that are not currently contaminated, including the residential wells along Sherwood Road, to ensure that VOCs from the site do not impact these wells in the future at levels of health concern.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel Recommendations

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended, requires ATSDR to perform public health actions needed at hazardous waste sites. To determine if public health actions are needed, ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has evaluated the data and information contained in this public health assessment. HARP concurred that community health concerns about worker exposure to hazardous chemicals should be referred to the appropriate government occupational health and safety agencies. In addition, HARP determined that no other follow-up health activities are indicated at this time for the following reasons. First, current exposure of persons to site contaminants is not expected to result in adverse health effects. Second, there are no indications or available information that past exposures have resulted in adverse health effects. Third, many persons who were exposed to site contaminants over the years, primarily residents of the Park Mobile Home Court, have likely moved away and, therefore, cannot be located or contacted. However, ATSDR will reevaluate the site for appropriate follow-up activities if future data or information indicates that human exposure to site contaminants is occurring at levels of public health concern or that past exposure to site contaminants is causing adverse health effects.

Public Health Action Plan

The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan (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 exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

At this time, no public health actions for the site have been identified by the Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP).

ATSDR will collaborate with the appropriate federal, state, and local agencies to pursue the implementation of the recommendations outlined in this public health assessment.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Stephen Richardson
Environmental Health Engineer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

William Greim
Environmental Health Scientist
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

ATSDR Regional Representative:

Denise Jordan-Izaguirre
Senior Regional Representative
EPA Region VII


REFERENCES

  1. Mittelhauser Corporation. Park Mobile Home Court Groundwater Contamination Site, Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Work Plan. February 15, 1991.

  2. Mittelhauser Corporation. Subsurface Exploration Memo, Park Mobile Home Court Groundwater Contamination Site, Norfolk, Nebraska, Volume 1. October 31, 1991.

  3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Hazard Ranking System Package. February 1991.

  4. Sherwood Medical Company. Letter from Michael Thatch, Sherwood Medical, to Max Howie, ATSDR, regarding Comments on Public Health Assessment for the Sherwood Medical Company Site, Norfolk, Nebraska. June 29, 1995

  5. Nebraska Department of Environmental Control. Park Mobile Home Court, Site Investigation, Norfolk, Nebraska. December 29, 1988.

  6. Mittelhauser Corporation. Letter to U.S. EPA Remedial Project Manager for Sherwood Medical Co. site regarding Remedial Investigation Round 3 Sample Results. February 19, 1992.

  7. O'Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc. Final Remedial Investigation Report, Park Mobile Home Court, Groundwater Contamination Site, Norfolk, Nebraska. May 1993.

  8. O'Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc. Public Comment Feasibility Study Report, Park Mobile Home Court, Groundwater Contamination Site, Norfolk, Nebraska. July 1993.

  9. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Record of Decision, Sherwood Medical Company Site, Norfolk, Nebraska. September 1993.

  10. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Chemicals of Potential Concern, Toxicity Assessment and Exposure Assessment for PMHC Baseline Risk Assessment Based on Round One RI/FS Sampling Data. January 1992.

  11. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Draft Baseline Risk Assessment for Park Mobile Home Court Site, Norfolk, Nebraska. October 1992.

  12. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. Atlanta, Georgia: ATSDR, 1992.

  13. Mittelhauser Corporation. Addendum to Park Mobile Home Court Groundwater Contamination Site Removal Action Work Plan. October 1990.

  14. A & L Mid West Laboratories, Inc. Data and QA/QC for Mittelhauser Corporation, Sherwood Medical Project 9/20/89-9/27/89. October 25, 1989.

  15. Mittelhauser Corporation. Technical Memorandum to U.S. EPA, Region VII; Subject: Park Mobile Home Court Groundwater Contamination Site Removal Action Addendum. February 18, 1991.

  16. Ecology and Environment, Inc. Final Report, Expanded Site Investigation, Park Mobile Home Court, Norfolk, Nebraska. December 22, 1988.

  17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Superfund Ground Water Issue: Ground Water Sampling for Metals Analyses. EPA/540/4-89/001. March 1989.

  18. Mittelhauser Corporation. RI/FS Round 4 Groundwater Sample Results: Metals Verification Test Memorandum, Park Mobile Home Court, Groundwater Contamination Site, Norfolk, Nebraska. July 1992.

  19. Ecology and Environment, Inc. Data Summary for Follow-Up Water Sampling at the Park Mobile Home Court Site, Norfolk, Nebraska. May 8, 1989.

  20. Mittelhauser Corporation. Letter to U.S. EPA Remedial Project Manager regarding monthly project status report for May 1991. June 19, 1991.

  21. Mittelhauser Corporation. Engineers Report - Sherwood Medical Water Treatment System. November 2, 1990.

  22. Ecology and Environment, Inc. Trip Report for ESI Follow-up Soil-gas and Water Sampling at the Park Mobile Home Court Site, Norfolk, Nebraska. February 8, 1989.

  23. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Carbon Tetrachloride (Update). Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, May 1994; DHHS publication no. ATSDR/TP-93/02.

  24. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft for Public Comment, Toxicological Profile for Chloroform (Update). Atlanta, Georgia. August 1995.

  25. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethene (Update). Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, May 1994; DHHS publication no. ATSDR/TP-93/07.

  26. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft for Public Comment, Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene (Update). Atlanta, Georgia. August 1995.

  27. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft for Public Comment, Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene (Update). Atlanta, Georgia. August 1995.

  28. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft for Public Comment, Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride (Update). Atlanta, Georgia. August 1995.

  29. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane (Update). Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, August 1995.

  30. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chloroethane. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, December 1989; DHHS publication no. ATSDR/TP-89-07.

  31. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chloromethane. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, December 1990; DHHS publication no. ATSDR/TP-90/07.

  32. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, December 1990; DHHS publication no. ATSDR/TP-90/12.

  33. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethane. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, May 1994; DHHS publication no. ATSDR/TP-93/06.

  34. Nebraska Department of Health, Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Cancer Registry, Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Nebraska: 1989.


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