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PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

NUTMEG VALLEY ROAD
WOLCOTT, NEW HAVEN COUNTY, CONNECTICUT


SUMMARY

The Nutmeg Valley Road National Priorities List (NPL) site is an industrialized area located on the border of Waterbury andWolcott, Connecticut. Surface soils at industrial/commercialproperties within the site have been contaminated with heavymetals, volatile organics, and cyanide. Area groundwater hasbeen shown to contain volatile organics and cyanide. Critical tothe public health assessment is the individual consideration of41 businesses and 31 residential properties contained within thissite. A public water system has been extended to areas withinthe site. This system has been accessed by fourteen percent(14%) of the tenants or landowners of "Nutmeg Valley." Allothers draw their drinking water from private wells. Twodifferent populations are considered at this site. Onepopulation consists of residents, the other, the local workforce.

Potential exposure pathways of concern consist of ingestion of contaminated groundwater, inhalation of vapors and aerosols formed by industrial or domestic uses of contaminated groundwater, dermal absorption of contaminated groundwater by hygienic and recreational uses, ingestion and inhalation of contaminated soil particulates, and dermal absorption from contact with contaminated soils and sludges. Levels of volatile organics, heavy metals, and cyanide in residential and industrial wells are of concern. Provision of alternate water supplies should be made available to those properties which have been shown to exceed state "Action Levels". Inactive waste impoundments have produced concentrated areas of soil contamination. Closure of these impoundments should be perused. People within the site need to be informed of site contamination and the potential risk factors associated with exposure.

This site is considered by the Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry (ATSDR) and the Connecticut Department of HealthServices (CT DHS) to be a Public Health Hazard. There isevidence that exposures have occurred, are occurring, or arelikely to occur in the future at concentrations in theenvironment that, upon long-term exposure, can cause adversehealth effects to the receptor population and theseconcentrations exceed Minimal Risk Levels established in theATSDR Toxicological Profiles or Connecticut State "ActionLevels". This public health assessment is an update to the ATSDRPreliminary Health Assessment of May 2, 1988. ATSDR and the CTDHS have developed public health actions which include: 1)conducting environmental health professional education; 2)conducting community health education; and, 3) evaluating theneed for a disease and symptom prevalence study and for furtherinvestigation of individual kidney cancer cases.


BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

In 1989, Nutmeg Valley Road, a component of "Nutmeg Valley", was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). "Nutmeg Valley" is a phrase commonly used to identify a geographic area of contamination, existing near an industrial-zoned segment of the town of Wolcott, Connecticut. "Nutmeg Valley" is the focus of an investigation into the contamination of groundwater around the industrialized area of the Route 69 corridor. "Nutmeg Valley" is predominately an industrial area containing small manufacturing facilities and repair shops. The site has a preliminary site boundary until a Remedial Investigation can more accurately define the scope of contamination. The site contains approximately 155 acres of mixed commercial and residential properties. This area is located on the Waterbury/Wolcott town line where Route 69 crosses the town borders. Topographically, "Nutmeg Valley" is within a small river basin.

In response to several reportedly contaminated wells and inresponse to the hazardous waste inventory conducted by theConnecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP), aninvestigation into the nature, extent, and probable source(s) ofgroundwater contamination in the Wolcott and surrounding areaswas conducted by state and local officials (1979-l981). Duringthis study, 21 of 90 wells sampled were found to containcontaminants over the CT DHS state "Action Levels". Several ofthese wells were located in "Nutmeg Valley." Continuedinvestigation identified numerous potential industrial sources ofgroundwater contamination within "Nutmeg Valley." Maintaininggroundwater quality fit to drink, in such a heavilyindustrialized area, became a critical issue. Further study wascommissioned.

The Chesprocott Health District (CHD) received preventativehealth block grant funds from the State of Connecticut in 1984. These funds specified partial allocation for a water supply studytesting program. Sampling under this block grant contract of1984-l985 confirmed that groundwater contamination still existedin several wells and identified four additional contaminatedwells in "Nutmeg Valley."

The initial investigation started with a 1980 PreliminaryAssessment of Nutmeg Screw Machine Products, Inc., on NutmegValley Road, as conducted by CT DEP, which revealed that disposalof solvent waste occurred at a rate of 15 gallons per day from1966 to about 1980. Disposal at this rate, for 14 years,indicated a total of 54,600 gallons of solvent material may havebeen disposed of on-site.

In 1985, under Technical Directive Document (TDD) Fl-8503-02, theNUS Field Investigation Team (NUS/FIT) was tasked by Region I ofthe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform a siteinspection, sample collection, and in-house analytical screeningof Nutmeg Screw Machine Products, Inc.

Investigation by EPA officials brought forward informationdeveloped in CT DEP Preliminary Assessments which identifiedseveral other industrialized properties within this site aspotential sources which may have contributed to a groundwatercontamination problem in "Nutmeg Valley."

Nutmeg Valley Road in Wolcott, Connecticut was added to theNational Priorities List (NPL) in 1989. Although the site has nodefinite boundary, continued investigation has expanded the"Nutmeg Valley" area to include properties located on WakeleeRoad, Swiss Lane, Venus Drive, Town Line Road, Tosun Road, NutmegValley Road, and the inclusive segment of Route 69. The "site",as this area will be referred to, presently contains the abovementioned roadways. Site boundaries may be modified to includeor exclude identified properties as additional data develops.

For purposes of this report, each property was assigned anidentification number. A detailed description of each propertyand a corresponding map are included in Appendix A.

The northwest corner of "Nutmeg Valley" lies on a hill sloping tothe southeast and is divided from the rest of the site by Route69. The loop created by Town Line Road and Nutmeg Valley Roadcontains wetlands as mapped by the U.S. Geological Survey. MadRiver runs along the southeast side of this valley. The TosunRoad area is on the north side of the "Nutmeg Valley" site andcontains approximately 20 acres of residentially zonedproperties. The residential zone is located on a steep hill witha northwesterly slope. Old Tannery Brook runs along thenorthwest side of Tosun Road. This site contains approximately41 business and 31 residential properties. Historicalinformation shows that years of on-site disposal of chemicalwaste at industrial/commercial properties within the site hasoccurred. Spill reports and complaints have made claim to adegradation of local surface water quality. Wastes identified atindustrial/commercial properties within this site include heavymetals, solvents, paints, cyanide, and oils. Areal photographshave identified historical surface impoundments within this site, six of which are located off Tosun Road. A public water systemhas been extended from Waterbury to service Wakelee Road, VenusDrive, Swiss Lane, Town Line Road, and Nutmeg Valley Road. Tenof the 72 properties (14%) located at this site have been connected to the public water system. Private wells atthese properties have not been abandoned. All other propertyowners draw water from private wells located on their respectiveproperties.

B. Site Visit

On April 25, 1990, a site visit was conducted by Gregory Ulirschfrom ATSDR, Susan Yurasevecz and Brian Toal from the ConnecticutDepartment of Health Services (CT DHS), and representatives fromthe Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP)and the Chesprocott Health District (CHD). Contact with PatrickAccardi, director of the Chesprocott Health District, and CoreyJoseph, of the Wolcott Department of Public Works, wasestablished to assess the nature and extent of groundwater contamination as it would impact the industrial and residentialinhabitants of "Nutmeg Valley" and the surrounding area. Thisinitial site visit led to the identification of 41 industry/business properties and 31 residences located within "NutmegValley." Critical to the public health assessment is the individual consideration of these 72 properties. The town ofWolcott extended the Waterbury public water supply in 1986. However, hook up to the public water supply system has beenestablished for only a small percentage of the area properties.

To thoroughly assess the extent of contamination, a second sitevisit, supplemented with background information on businessproperties (Appendix A), was conducted. This second visit wasinstrumental in identifying current occupants of the site.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

The "Nutmeg Valley" Superfund site is situated on the border ofWolcott (population 14,830) and Waterbury (population 111,630). The approximate 155 acres included within the boundaries of"Nutmeg Valley" rest within a 680 acre parcel of land zoned forindustrial use. Upgradient, and on the western border of thiszone, is the Waterbury Sanitary Landfill.

Southwest of "Nutmeg Valley" is a heavily developed commercialarea in the City of Waterbury consisting of shopping malls,shopping plazas, apartment or condominium complexes, servicebusinesses, and various other commercial entities. Conversationwith William Phelan of the Waterbury Bureau of Water and a guidedtour of Waterbury properties along "Nutmeg Valley," indicatedthat all public and private property on the Waterbury side of"Nutmeg Valley" was supplied with public water from the City ofWaterbury. Data was not obtained to identify when theseproperties first became serviced by the Waterbury public watersystem.

The river valley basin continues directly south and down gradientof "Nutmeg Valley." Flowing through the basin is Mad River. This area is highly residential, containing several condominiumor apartment complexes and many residential homes. This area islocated in the City of Waterbury and is supplied with a publicwater system. Mad River is readily accessible to all residents. Although Mad River was not observed as a site of recreation, itis not known to what extent residents associate themselves withthis water source. Area surface waters are classified B/A, whichmeans that they may not be meeting the water quality criteria fordesignated uses as a potable drinking water supply but have metcriteria for fish and wildlife habitat, recreational use,agriculture, industrial supply, and other uses, includingnavigation. Swimming and fishing could be recreationalactivities performed on or about this site.

Lands southeast, east, northeast, and north of "Nutmeg Valley"are located in the town of Wolcott and consist of rural,residential properties. Ninety eight percent (98%) of Wolcottresidents are supplied water by private wells. Northeast, on theone mile perimeter of "Nutmeg Valley," is the Scoville Reservoir(recreational) and the Frisbee School (elementary).

Located within "Nutmeg Valley" are several acres of residentiallyzoned properties containing 20 single family and 1 multiplefamily homes, all on private wells. These properties have housedfamilies both young and old.

Also within this site are several residences scattered amongstthe industrial businesses. In total, 31 homes have beenidentified.

Though this area is primarily industrial, the site hostsresidential activity as well. Children have grown up on thissite and have routinely explored and scavenged local terrain. Conversations with a resident identified past activities of localchildren playing in an inactive hazardous waste impoundment. Walking or hiking within the site is a common recreationalpastime for residents. Field work by local farmers has been observed along the east bank of Mad River.

Two surface water sources flow through "Nutmeg Valley", TanneryBrook and Mad River. These waters are very close to localindustrial activity, resulting in a heavy and direct impact onwater quality. Industrial areas around Tannery Brook and MadRiver are subject to flooding. The effects of this flooding onthe movement of contaminants through the site is unknown.

Included in the "Nutmeg Valley" community are the approximate 500employees who have been working for businesses located within"Nutmeg Valley." Though sensitive populations may exist, thegeneral working population can be described as working-class menand women of various age.

D. State and Local Health Data

Cancer is a plausible adverse health outcome from exposure to the contaminants identified at this site. John Flannery, Director of the State of Connecticut Tumor Registry, was consulted to investigate the possibility of an increased incidence of cancer occurrences in the vicinity of "Nutmeg Valley." Data were generated to assess the cancer rates for residents of the state of Connecticut, the town of Wolcott, and two census tracts located on the Waterbury side of the Wolcott border (census tracts 3526 and 3511). Data were collected for the period 1984-1988. This time frame was chosen because cancer data prior to 1984 was not represented by census tract and cancer data collected for this time period would be a plausible representation of past exposure and a plausible representation of an appropriate latency period for cancer development from past exposure. Data were collected for the categories of all cancers, testicular, liver, kidney, leukemia, and lung cancer because these cancers types were plausible adverse health effects from exposure to contaminants within this site. These cancer categories were also chosen because these cancer types were most frequently recorded as adverse health effects when considering the combined toxicological data of individual exposures of any one or all the contaminants identified within this site. These data represent the residents of the "Nutmeg Valley" area and may not include a majority of the exposed population, the local work force. Information on the resident status of the work force was not available, creating limitations on the population included in this public health assessment. Results of the data evaluation are discussed in the Health Outcome Data Evaluation subsection of this public health assessment.

Patrick Accardi, Director of the Chesprocott Health District(local health district for "Nutmeg Valley"), was contacted inorder to assess the possible impact exposure to contaminants fromwithin this site may have produced on the health of the publicliving within "Nutmeg Valley." No additional information wasfound as a result of this inquiry.

In an effort to contact the resident population directly, a mailing was sent to all homes located in the proximity of "Nutmeg Valley." This mailing addressed the issues of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the National Priority List (NPL), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and public health concerns. A brief and concise questionnaire (one page) was sent to residents asking questions of health concerns, activity regarding those concerns, and suggestions for action. Results from this activity are described in the Public Health Implications section of this public health assessment.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

In an attempt to identify health concerns of those people livingwithin "Nutmeg Valley," a questionnaire was sent to localresidents which explained CERCLA, NPL Sites, the "Nutmeg Valley"listing and the efforts of ATSDR and CT DHS in assessing theimpact this NPL site may have on public health. A request wasmade to local residents to assist ATSDR and CT DHS in theirefforts by supplying information relative to health concerns andpast activity in dealing with those health concerns.

Of the 51 residents contacted through this mailing, 11 responseswere received. Of those responses, two knew of the NPL listingand expressed concern, two knew of the NPL listing and expressedno concern, three did not know of the listing and expressedconcern, and the remaining three did not know of the listing anddid not express concern. In total, five of the respondents didexpress concerns related to living on or near a hazardous waste site. The percentage of the responses to thisquestionnaire was low (21.5%). The remaining 78.5% of thepopulation did not respond to the questionnaire.

The primary concern expressed by these residents was one of waterquality assurance. People were concerned that they did not knowwhen their drinking water was safe to drink and when it mighthave been contaminated. Ninety-eight percent of the residents inWolcott are supplied water from their private wells. Anecdotalreports indicate that many residents have opted to buy water forthe purpose of drinking and are still using tap water for cookingand bathing.

One respondent had a specific concern regarding adverse healtheffects from living near the hazardous waste site. This concernstemmed from 14 years of exposure to the "Nutmeg Valley" area. Reported changes in taste and compatibility of tap water withother liquids (i.e., milk solidifying in tea water), suggeststhat periodic contamination of well water had been suspectedthroughout the 14 years of residence. A water analysis was neverconducted. Concern was also expressed as to the possibility ofadverse health effects in children who have been known to play inan unrestricted hazardous waste impoundment. The health concernexpressed was one of an unexplainable skin rash diagnosed by aphysician as "dermatographism" (a vascular reaction of the skindue to a physical allergy) in both the parent and the child of afamily living in "Nutmeg Valley."

Another concern expressed in this survey was zoning. Residentshave complained about the amount of industrial activity allowedto take place so close to surface water sources and wetlands. Concern was also expressed regarding the continuing problem ofwater pollution by junked and stripped cars in businesses alongTannery Brook.

Concern was expressed as to the nature and effectiveness ofmonitoring and enforcing the appropriate hazardous waste disposalactivities of the many industrial businesses located in "NutmegValley."

A concern was registered in regard to smelling fumes from anearby auto body shop and the potential adverse health effectsfrom that exposure.

This public health assessment was made available for publiccomment between July 22 and August 22, 1991. The public commentperiod was announced in a legal notice in the WaterburyRepublican newspaper and in a press release. The document wasmade available at the local health department and in the WolcottTown Hall. In addition, over flyers describing the Nutmeg Valleysite were distributed to local citizens and industries during thepublic comment period. During the public comment period, nocomments were received.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

A. On-Site Contamination

To identify possible facilities that could contribute to the air,water, and soil contamination near the Nutmeg Valley Road site,Connecticut Department of Health Services searched the 1987,1988, and 1989 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) for the Town ofWolcott. TRI is developed by the U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) from the chemical release (air, water, and soil)information provided by certain industries. The TRI dataindicated that one on-site facility, Joma, Inc., released 1,1,1-trichloroethane into the ambient air at rate of 8,600, 7,414, and7,414 lbs./year for the years 1987, 1988, and 1989, respectively.

On-site contamination of this approximately 155 acre site iswide-spread. Multiple chemicals at concentrations exceedingacceptable exposure limits have been detected in groundwater in21 of the properties sampled within this site. Of the severalhistorical inspections conducted on properties within this site,eleven of the properties have recorded histories of dumping wastematerials to property grounds within "Nutmeg Valley". Several ofthese have been documented as early as 1945. The extent (volumeand time span) of waste disposal cannot accurately be assessed. Evidence of contamination in both soil and groundwater has beendocumented (refer to Tables 1, 2, and 3).

Compilation of data indicates that groundwater contaminationoccurred at several locations within the site. Contamination isprimarily in the form of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bothchlorinated and non-chlorinated, and heavy metals. The numberand concentration of compounds varies depending upon the samplinglocation and the time of sample. Contamination has beenidentified in both consolidated and bedrock aquifers which supplywater to local wells.

The following tables identify contaminants found in groundwater,soil, and sludge. Most of the sampling activity at this site hasbeen focussed on groundwater quality. Table 1 presents a summaryof data collected from groundwater analyses. Table 1 includesdata from both tap water samples and groundwater from monitoringwells. Table 2 contains data which has been collected fromanalyses of tap water only. Some sampling activity has also beenfocussed on levels of contaminants in surface and subsurfacesoil. This information is presented in Table 3. A limited amount of activity has been focussed on the quality of surfacewater, surface water sediments, aquatic wild life, and airconcentrations (both ambient and indoor). The lack of these datasupports the need for additional monitoring. Data in Table 4contains the analyses of sludge material in the waste impoundmentwhich was accessible by the local children.

Standards or Guidelines listed in these tables represent limitsfor the acceptable concentrations of contaminants in groundwaterdesignated as suitable for human consumption. Section 22a-471 ofthe Connecticut General Statutes grants authority to theCommissioner of Health Services to determine when a contaminantof groundwater creates, or may reasonably be expected to create,an unacceptable risk to the health of persons using such watersfor drinking or other domestic purposes. An "Action Level," as set by the Connecticut Department of Health Services, is the concentration of a chemical substance known to exist ingroundwater intended for human consumption, at or above whichexposure to the contaminated groundwater has been determined tocreate an unacceptable risk to human health. This "ActionLevel," which may be modified as new data become available, is ahealth-based number used by the Commissioner of Health Servicesin making a determination of unacceptable risk.

A major goal in soil remediation by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection is to eliminate actual and potentialsources of pollution to the waters of the state, preventinggroundwater from receiving soil contaminants that would producegroundwater contamination at or above state "Action Levels". State "Action Levels" are listed in the following tables asreference criteria, used for developing cleanup strategies by theCT DEP. These "Action Levels" are based on exposure tocontaminated groundwater and are not "Action Levels" for exposureto contaminated soil.

Table 1.

On-Site Groundwater Contaminants of Concern
Compound Range (ppb) Standard/Guidelines Cancer Class*

Benzene

1.1 - 40

1 ppb (a)

A

Bis-Ethyl Hexyl Phthalate

320

10 ppb (f)

B2

Carbon Tetrachloride

1.0 - 102

5 ppb (a)

B2

Cyanide

440

154 ppb (c)

D

1,2-Dichloroethane

1.0 - 3.3

1 ppb (a)

B2

Iron

2,380-19,000

300 ppb (e)

-

Oil and Grease

34,400

100 ppb (g)

-

Tetrachloroethylene

0.74 - 16.2

5 ppb (a)

B2/C

Total Organic Carbons

6,950 - 56,400

100 ppb (g)

-

Trichloroethylene

0.74 - 320.8

5 ppb (a)

-

ppb = parts per billion

Explanation of Standard/Guidelines:

a) Connecticut Action Level
b) EPA Maximum Contaminant Level
c) EPA Health Advisory; Lifetime-Adult
d) National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulation
e) EPA Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level
f) Adopted from Massachusetts Guidelines
g) Adopted from New York Guidelines

(The guidelines from Massachusetts and New York, as represented in this chart, have been adopted as reference guidelines for this health assessment only, and are not actively imposed by the State of Connecticut)

* EPA cancer classifications are explained in Appendix B


Table 2.

On-Site Groundwater Contaminants of Concern
Tap Water Analyses
Compound Range (ppb) Standard/Guidelines Cancer Class*

Benzene

1.1 - 40

1 ppb (a)

A

Carbon Tetrachloride

120

5 ppb (b)

B2

1,2-Dichloroethane

1.4 - 3.3

1 ppb (a)

B2

Tetrachloroethylene

2.0 - 16.2

5 ppb (a)

B2/C

Trichloroethylene

9.6 - 320.8

5 ppb (a)

-

ppb = parts per billion

Explanation of Standard/Guidelines:

a) Connecticut Action Level
b) EPA Maximum Contaminant Level

* Cancer classifications are explained in Appendix B


Table 3.

On Site Soil Contaminants of Concern
Compound Range (ppb) Standard/Guidelines Cancer Class*

Benzene

105

1 ppb (a)

A

Cadmium

2,250

5 ppb (c)

B1

Chloroform

108

100 ppb (b)

B2

Chromium (total)

25,760

120 ppb (c)

A**

Cyanide

80 - 2,500

154 ppb (c)

D

1,1-Dichloroethane

300-3,794

-

-

1,1-Dichloroethylene

140 - 2,306

7 ppb (b)

C

Ethylbenzene

12 - 1,025

680 ppb (c)

D

Lead

30-37,790

50 ppb (d)

B2

Methylene Chloride

114 - 426

25 ppb (a)

B2

Nickel

60-40,000

150 ppb (c)

A

Tetrachloroethylene

175 - 780

5 ppb (a)

B2/C

1,1,1-Trichloroethane

112 - 31,324

200 ppb (b)

-

Trichloroethylene

177 - 273

5 ppb (a)

-

The majority of sampling data represented in this chart are from analysis of subsurface soil samples taken from the various industrial properties located at this site.

ppb = parts per billion

Explanation of Standard/Guidelines:

a) Connecticut Action Level
b) EPA Maximum Contaminant Level
c) EPA Health Advisory; Lifetime-Adult
d) National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulation
e) EPA Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level
f) Adopted from Massachusetts Guidelines
g) Adopted from New York Guidelines

(The guidelines from Massachusetts and New York, as represented in this chart, have been adopted as reference guidelines for this public health assessment only, and are not actively imposed by the state of Connecticut)

* Cancer classifications are explained in Appendix B
**EPA Proposed Cancer Classification for Chromium +6


Table 4.

On-Site Impoundment Sludge Contaminants of Concern
Compound Level (ppb)

Copper 3,778,000
Cyanide 875,000
Iron 18,000,000
Manganese 331,000
Oil & Grease 2,250,000
Trichloroethylene 1,210
Zinc 1,111,000

ppb = parts per billion

B. Off-Site Contamination

Off-site contamination is also wide-spread. The first indication of a well contamination problem was discovered during a cooperative sampling and testing activity between DEP and CHD during 1978-1979. All of the wells tested were north of the "Nutmeg Valley" area along the Route 69 corridor. As a result of this initial contamination discovery, a thorough investigation of possible well contamination areas was conducted by DEP, DOHS, and CHD during 1980-1981. Only 5 of the 21 contaminated wells identified during this investigation were located on the "Nutmeg Valley" site. Further sampling and testing was carried out by the CHD in 1984. These studies have shown that multiple chemicals at high concentrations have been detected at various locations within the town of Wolcott and exist in addition to the possible migration of contaminants from within the site. Historical practices of disposing waste materials to the ground have been recorded for several businesses located within the area of "Nutmeg Valley." Documented leakage of several underground gasoline tanks was also identified as contributing to the contamination of area groundwater.Contaminants most often identified during these groundwater sampling activities were those of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), both chlorinated and non-chlorinated.

Historical disposing of solvents (particularly tetrachloro-ethylene and trichloroethylene) to the ground behind Kras Toolhas been estimated at 100-150 gallons per year for about tenyears. Disposing at this location was considered the probablesource of contamination of approximately nine of the wells foundto be contaminated north and off-site of "Nutmeg Valley". Anabatement order from CT DEP required removal of contaminated soilfrom this source area. Contamination of another off-site wellwas considered the result of a leaking underground storage tankat an Exxon station on Route 69 at Hillside Drive. This site isalso under the remedial direction of CT DEP. Another source ofoff-site contamination as been linked with the Town and CountryDry Cleaners. This source has been related to three off-sitewells found to be contaminated. The Mobil station on Route 69 atPotuccos Ring Road is still another source of off-sitecontamination which has contributed to the contamination of offsite-wells. Although identification and removal of contaminationsources has been addressed by CT DEP, there is no evidence toshow that remediation of groundwater contaminated by thesesources has been implemented. The following table identifiescontaminants found in groundwater from off-site samplingactivities of private well water supplies.

Table 5.

TABLE 5. Off-Site Groundwater Contaminants of Concern Tap Water Analyses
Compound Range (ppb) Standard/Guidelines Cancer Class*

Benzene

1.0 - 32,000

1 ppb (a)

A

1,2-Dichloroethane

6.9 - 9.6

1 ppb (a)

B2

Methylene Chloride

1.0 - 320

25 ppb (a)

B2

Pentane

50 - 5,400

-

-

Tetrachloroethylene

1.0 - 2,800

5 ppb (a)

B2/C

Trichloroethylene

0.6 - 1,900

5 ppb (b)

-

ppb = parts per billion

Explanation of Standard/Guidelines:

a) Connecticut Action Level
b) EPA Maximum Contaminant Level

*Cancer classifications are explained in Appendix B

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Data generation in the attempt to characterize the scope ofchemical contamination within "Nutmeg Valley" began in 1979 andhas continued to the present (1990). Several sampling agencieshave been involved in the generation of data over these years. Though quality assurance guidelines have been met with thegeneration of many data points (duplicates, blanks, spike samples, calibration), methodologies and laboratorypractices utilized by the varying sampling agencies are notconsistent. In preparing this public health assessment, ATSDRrelies on the information provided in the referenced documentsand assumes that adequate quality assurance and quality controlmeasures were followed with regard to chain of custody,laboratory procedures, and data reporting. The validity of the analysis and conclusions drawn for this public health assessmentare determined in part by the completeness and reliability of thereferenced information.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

In general, housekeeping practices within the site could beimproved. There are limited restrictions to prevent casualpassers by from gaining access to industrial/commercialproperties. Various numbers of used drums, either stacked ortossed about, exist on industrial/commercial properties withinthe site. Discarded bottles, paper, tires, car parts, plastics,etc., can be found at various locations within the site. Unattended vehicles (cars, trucks, vans) can be observed atvarious locations within the site.. Access to these vehicles isnot restricted. The existing fence around an inactive hazardouswaste impoundment is not adequate to prevent access. Childrenliving on and around the "Nutmeg Valley" area, if given theinclination, can have access to the above mentioned hazards.


PATHWAYS ANALYSIS

As discussed in the Site Description and History subsection, manyof the past industrial operations within this site have resultedin soil and groundwater contamination via chemical spills, leaks,and disposal. The majority of contaminants identified in soiland groundwater can be classified as volatile organic compounds(VOCs) and heavy metals. The following subsections discuss theenvironmental and human exposure pathways that exist within thissite.

A. Environmental Pathways (Fate and Transport)

1. Groundwater Pathway

Bedrock underlying "Nutmeg Valley" (Waterbury Gneiss) is part ofa basement complex which forms the core of a partly-preserveddome (the Waterbury Dome). Review of data on aquifercharacteristics in the area suggests bedrock runs close to thesurface of the ground (20 feet) at various locations within thesite.

Surficial material on the site is mapped primarily as flood-plain deposits and is shown to exist up to 40 feet thick. Thesedeposits consist of alluvial silt and sand containing organicmatter. The two aquifers of concern at this site are 1) ashallow stratified drift aquifer in the basin of the river valleyand 2) the underlying bedrock aquifer. The topography of thearea and the shallow nature of unconsolidated materials overlyingbedrock suggest that both ground and surface water travel fromthe exterior areas of the site inward toward Tannery Brook andeventually exit the site in a southerly direction. The exception is on the southeasterly portion of "Nutmeg Valley" where MadRiver runs along the perimeter, intercepting Tannery Brook. Groundwater flow patterns in this area are not as clearly understood as those of the rest of the site.

Several properties within "Nutmeg Valley" are located on a floodplain and as such have been subject to major flooding. Anecdotalreports from local town employees identified two occasions in the1980's when water levels of Mad River rose in excess of twentyfeet. Much of "Nutmeg Valley" is in a wetlands area and as such,migration patterns of contaminants identified in the Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards Sections are difficult to predict. It is not known whether or notcontaminants from various locations within this site havemigrated further down stream. Data from 1985 indicate thatcontaminants have been identified in both consolidated andbedrock aquifers.

2. Soil Pathway

Because of the physical characteristics of the "Nutmeg Valley"site and historical activities associated within the site, manyof the contaminants within the site have a high potential formigration. Surface contamination (as evidenced by soil staining)and soil contamination (as evidenced by historical sampling data)have migrated to the underlying aquifers (as evidenced by groundwater sampling data).

Current sampling data from both groundwater and soil analysessupport the conclusions that 1) contaminants have been identifiedin soils within "Nutmeg Valley", 2) contaminants have beenidentified in both consolidated and bedrock aquifers, and 3)contaminants have been identified in private Drinking watersupplies within the site. The extent of contamination is, however, unknown. Aerial photographs of "Nutmeg Valley" indicatethat as many as 14 waste impoundments may have existed withinthis site during the years 1963-1986. Access to theseimpoundments has not been and is not now adequately restricted. Reports have been made of children actually playing inimpoundment waste material. Tracking contaminated soils fromthese impoundments, back into the household is another exposureroute to consider.

3. Air Pathway

No information has been developed to characterize the potentialfor the air pathway to be a plausible route of exposure. Inhalation of the fumes of volatile organic compounds must beconsidered as we do know that fumes from VOCs can concentrate inconfined air spaces. For this reason, it is important thatinhalation of VOCs be considered a plausible route of exposureand that data be developed to ensure that VOCs do not concentratein the basements of area houses and industrial businesses andthat VOCs are not being emitted into the air of industrialbusinesses using contaminated groundwater for industrial purposes.

It must also be considered that any attempt to move soil orgroundwater within the site, which could contribute to additionalvolatilization of contaminants into the air, would result inanother plausible route of exposure through the air pathway.

4. Foodchain Pathway

There is no information to verify if the agricultural route of exposure would be a plausible pathway to consider within thissite. A farmer was observed cutting hay in a field very nearthis site. It is not known if the hay has been contaminated orwhat the hay is used for. It is not known if this field had beenused for other crops. It is not known if anyone at this site hasused contaminated groundwater to irrigate private vegetablegardens. It is not known if any fish exist in the Mad River orin Tannery Brook and if anyone catches those fish for the purposeof consumption. This additional information is necessary toconfirm the agricultural pathway as a plausible route ofexposure.

B. Human Exposure Pathways

1. Ground Water Pathway

Several contaminated wells have been identified in the "NutmegValley" area. For many wells, historical data do not existeither to identify their depth or to identify the aquifers(consolidated or bedrock) they draw water from.

Evidence has been gathered to conclude that several wells, both industrial and residential, have been contaminated above the"Action Level" for the contaminant identified in Table 2 of theOn-Site Contamination subsection. Eight of the wells tested,which were shown to contain contaminants above the 1985 "ActionLevels," were cause for these properties to be hooked into apublic water system. The public water system of Waterbury wasextended to service the "Nutmeg Valley" area in 1986. Only thoseproperties with contaminant levels above the 1985 "Action Levels"were connected. The nature of industrial activity in this area(the use of process water) allows for continued industrial accessto contaminated groundwater by the industrial propertiesconnected to the public water supply.

It must be known that justification for properties being placedon public water was based on "Action Levels" set during 1985. As additional data developed, several of these "Action Levels" were adjusted to reflect a more conservative protection factor. Wellsnot considered to be contaminated above an "Action Level" in 1985may need to be reevaluated as a potential current route ofexposure.

Wells in the industrial setting have been allowed to operate for purposes of industrial use. It is not known how this water isbeing used and if anyone is at risk from continued exposure. Thepublic needs to be informed of this potential risk to humanhealth.

Thirty-one private residences exist on or about the "NutmegValley" site. The quality of drinking water from these wells isnot known.

2. Soil Pathway

Reports have been made of children actually playing inimpoundment waste material. Children playing in areas ofcontaminated soil is a highly probable route of exposure tocontaminants identified at this site. Tracking contaminated soilsback into the household is another exposure route to consider andwould expose other family members to the contaminated soil.

3. Air Pathway

No information has been developed to characterize the potentialfor the air pathway to be a plausible route of exposure. Sincefumes from volatile organic compounds can concentrate in confinedair spaces and people live or work in these confined air spaces,inhalation of the fumes of volatile organic compounds must beconsidered as a plausible route of exposure. Data must bedeveloped to ensure that VOCs do not concentrate in the basementsof area houses and industrial businesses and that VOCs are notbeing emitted into the air from industrial businesses that areusing contaminated groundwater for industrial purposes.

Inhalation of volatile organic compounds during bathing andshowering with contaminated groundwater and inhalation offugitive dusts by children playing in contaminated dirt are twoadditional exposure pathways which must be considered at thissite.

4. Foodchain Pathways

Exposure to contaminants on this site from local gardeningactivities is a potential route of exposure, however, data doesnot exist to identify that these activities are ongoing.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

As discussed in the Environmental Contamination and Other Hazardsand Pathways Analyses sections, residents near the site whosewells have been contaminated and those employees working forcompanies still using water from contaminated wells, have beenand may still be exposed to benzene, carbon tetrachloride,1,2-dichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene viaingestion of drinking water, dermal contact with water, orinhalation of aerosols and vapors from waters used in the industrial or household environments. Exposure to thecontaminants may also take place when residents or workers in thearea disturb contaminated soil. Children reported to have accessto sludge material from a hazardous waste impoundment may alsohave been exposed to high levels of copper, cyanide, iron,manganese, oil and grease, trichloroethylene, and zinc via dermal absorption of contaminated waste material, inhalation of contaminated soils, or ingestion of contaminated soils orcontaminated sludge.

The most sensitive population to be considered at this site isthe children. The elderly should also be considered at a higherrisk. Smoking and excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages cancontribute to the severity of adverse health effects mentioned inthis assessment. Smokers and heavy drinkers constitute a thirdpopulation at higher risk for adverse health effects fromexposure to site contaminants.

A. Toxicological Implications

Data does not exist to: 1) accurately characterize the amount ofexposure any one person might have been subjected to; 2)accurately characterize the length of time any one person mighthave been exposed; and, 3) conclude how often a person might havebeen exposed or to what contaminants a person might have beenexposed. The following paragraphs explain the types of adversehealth effects which may be possible as a result of exposure tocontaminants at this sight. It can not be concluded that all ofthe effects described in the following paragraphs are expected tooccur as a result of being exposed to contaminants at this site.

Benzene:

Benzene is volatile and lipid-soluble and can be absorbed intothe body following ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. Available data from both animal and human studies indicate thatafter absorption benzene must undergo metabolic transformation toexert its toxic effects. Metabolism of benzene occurs primarilyin the liver; however, the enzymes necessary for metabolism arealso present in the bone marrow, the putative organ of toxicity. The lymphoid system is another target organ of benzene toxicity. It has been demonstrated experimentally that the benzenemetabolites can produce hematotoxic effects and lymphoidsuppression.

In humans, the hematotoxicity of benzene is characterized by pancytopenia (a decrease in various circulating blood cells), a condition that reflects hypoplasia of the bone marrow. Some individuals surviving bone marrow depression have developedmyelogenous leukemia. Benzene may also induce immunosuppressionor sensitization.

In addition to hematotoxicity and immunotoxicity, benzene cancause neurotoxic effects (drowsiness, dizziness, headache,vertigo, delirium, and loss of consciousness). Animal studiesindicate that benzene is not teratogenic, but it has causedincreased incidence of resorption, reduced fetal weight, skeletalvariations, and altered fetal hematopoiesis. Benzene isgenotoxic, causing structural and numeric chromosome aberrations,SCEs, and induction of micronuclei; however, it has rarely beenshown to cause gene mutations. The carcinogenicity of benzene has been demonstrated in rats and mice. Epidemiological studies suggest that long-term low-level exposure to benzene is carcinogenic in humans. Based on such evidence, EPA and IARChave classified benzene as a human carcinogen (leukemogen).

Carbon Tetrachloride:

Carbon tetrachloride can enter the body through the lungs if you breathe air containing CCl4, or through the stomach if youswallow food or water containing CCl4. Liquid CCl4 can also passthrough the skin into the body. CCl4 can leave the body by beingbreathed out through the lungs within a few hours. Some CCl4 inthe body temporarily enters into fat, and this CCl4 is removed bythe lungs more slowly.

Most information on the health effects of CCl4 in humans comesfrom cases where people have been exposed only once or for ashort period of time to relatively high levels of CCl4. Studieshave not been performed on the effects of long-term exposure ofhumans to low levels of CCl4, so the effects of such exposuresare not known.

The most immediate effects of CCl4 toxicity are usually on the brain. Common effects are headache and dizziness, along withnausea and vomiting. These effects usually disappear within aday or two after exposure.

The liver is especially sensitive to CCl4. In mild cases, theliver becomes swollen and tender, and fat tends to build upinside the tissue. In severe cases, many cells may be killed,leading to decreases in liver function. The kidney is alsosensitive to CCl4.

Fortunately, if injuries to the liver and kidney are not toosevere, these effects disappear after exposure stops. This isbecause both organs can repair damaged cells and replace deadtissue, and function is usually nearly normal within a few daysor weeks after exposure.

CCl4 also causes effects on other tissues of the body, but theseare not usually as important as the effects on the liver, kidney,and brain. Limited information from animal studies indicatesthat CCl4 does not cause birth defects but might decrease thesurvival rate of newborn animals. However, this has not beenthoroughly studied.

Studies in animals have shown that CCl4 taken by mouth canincrease the frequency of liver tumors. Studies have not beenperformed to determine if breathing CCl4 causes tumors inanimals, or whether swallowing or breathing CCl4 causes tumors inhumans, but it should be assumed that CCl4 could have theseeffects.

A variety of conditions may predispose certain segments of the population to CCl4 toxicity. Co-ingestion of alcohol, personswith alcoholic cirrhosis, or other liver diseases which havesignificantly diminished the functional reserve of the liver,have a reduced capacity to tolerate CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity. The same is true for CCl4-induced nephrotoxicity in people withsignificant renal dysfunction from other causes. Diabetics mayalso be particularly susceptible to CCl4 poisoning.

Copper:

Copper is an essential metal for the human body. The dailyrequirement of copper has been estimated to be about 2 mg foradult humans. Accidental ingestion of large amounts of coppersalts (15-75 mg copper) causes gastrointestinal disturbances. Systemic effects, especially hemolysis and liver and kidneydamage, have also been reported after ingestion of large amountsof copper salts. There is no proof for a positive correlationbetween copper exposure and cancer. Allergic contact dermatitis caused by copper has been reported and has beentreated successfully with a hydrocortisone ointment.

Cyanide:

Cyanides are readily absorbed following inhalation, oral, anddermal routes of exposure. Inhalation exposure to HCN providesthe most rapid route of entry, resulting in the most rapid onsetof toxic effects. Following absorption, cyanide is distributedthroughout the body.

Cyanide exerts toxic effects by reacting with iron in cytochrome oxidase, the enzyme that catalyzes the terminal step in theelectron transport chain, thereby preventing utilization ofoxygen by cells. Cyanide also has inhibitory effects on Schiffbase intermediates and can bind to other biomolecules. Thesereactions may contribute to cyanide toxicity.

Cyanide is detoxified by normal body functions and is excreted inurine or eliminated in expired air.

Signs of acute poisoning from cyanide include rapid breathing,gasping, tremors, convulsions, and death. The severity andrapidity of the onset of effects depends on route, dose, durationof exposure, and compound administered. Oral exposure to cyanidesalts results in slower gastrointestinal absorption, passage tothe liver, and faster detoxification.

Neurotoxicity may be the most sensitive target organ end pointfor cyanide, with cardiac/respiratory and thyrotoxic effectsreported as well. Neurotoxicity has been observed in humans andanimals following inhalation and ingestion of cyanide. Cardiac/respiratory effects have been found in animals followinginhalation of HCN. Thyrotoxicity has been reported in humans andanimals following inhalation and oral exposure to cyanides.

Exposure of pregnant rats to cyanide-containing diets hasresulted in fetotoxicity. Little information was found thatwould indicate any significant reproductive, mutagenic, orcarcinogenic effects of cyanide in humans.

1,2-Dichloroethane:

1,2-Dichloroethane can enter the body by breathing contaminatedair or by drinking contaminated water. Studies in animals showthat 1,2-dichloroethane can enter the body through the skin.1,2-Dichloroethane can be a harmful chemical. It causes cancerwhen large doses are eaten by laboratory animals. If humans wereto respond the same way as animals, humans who eat or drink highconcentrations of 1,2-dichloroethane for a long time may developcancer. Those people who have their skin exposed to high levelsof 1,2-dichloroethane for a long time may develop benign tumors. Breathing in 1,2-dichloroethane may also possibly cause cancer. The likelihood of this happening increases with increasingexposure to 1,2-dichloroethane as well as other carcinogens, anddepends on how susceptible an individual is to this chemical.

Both humans and animals have died from lung and heart failureafter breathing, eating, or drinking large amounts of1,2-dichloroethane. The lungs, liver, and kidneys are the organs primarily affected in humans and animals exposed to1,2-dichloroethane. Animals exposed to 1,2-dichloroethane arealso not as able to fight infection, but no evidence of this hasbeen reported in humans.

Iron:

Iron is an essential metal for the human body and takes part inoxygen transport and utilization. The daily recommendation foriron in humans is 10-18 mg. Adverse health effects are mostoften associated with iron deficiency. Long-term ingestion ofexcessive amounts of iron has caused hemochromatosis ( depositionof hemosiderin in parenchymal cells), which eventually leads tocirrhosis of the liver.

Manganese:

Manganese is an essential element for the human body. Excessive exposure to manganese has been shown to cause toxic effects inanimals and humans. Manganese is regarded as a metal with arelatively low toxicity. Acute poisoning by manganese in humansis rare. In assessing the health impact of manganese exposure,the effects on the lung and CNS should be considered critical. In humans, nearly all cases of chronic manganese poisoning haveoccurred after prolonged inhalation of large amounts of manganeseoxides. Among all cases of chronic manganese poisoning, therewas only one outbreak which was attributed to the intake ofmanganese dissolved in drinking water. People exposed have shown symptoms of lethargy, increased muscle tonus, andtremor. Mental disturbances were also seen. By retrospectiveextrapolation of data on manganese in water, the concentrationsbefore the onset of disease were estimated to be 20-30 mg/liter.

Oil and Grease:

"Oil and Grease" is a somewhat generic term for identifying mixed petroleum hydrocarbons. The exact mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons varies. Petroleum distillates are fat solvents and alter the function of nerves to produce depression, coma, and sometimes convulsions. The principal manifestations of inhalation poisoning with these agents are pulmonary irritation and central nervous system depression. Chronic, long-term toxicity of petroleum hydrocarbons is dependent upon the nature of the individual constituents.

Tetrachloroethylene:

Tetrachloroethylene is readily absorbed following inhalationexposure. Absorption of tetrachloroethylene following ingestionis also rapid and nearly complete. Peak blood levels oftetrachloroethylene are reached within one hour following oraladministration of the compound in both humans and animals. Incontrast to the extensive absorption of tetrachloroethylenefollowing inhalation or oral exposure, absorption of the chemicalfollowing dermal exposure is poor.

The principal target organs of tetrachloroethylene toxicity arethe CNS, liver, and kidneys. Interpretation of the availabledata is complicated by differences in species, exposureschedules, and end points, but the CNS and liver appear to be themost sensitive targets.

Some epidemiological studies suggest a possible associationbetween chronic tetrachloroethylene exposure and increased cancerrisk, but confounding factors (particularly exposure to otherchemicals) and study limitations make the associationinconclusive.

Various segments of the general population can be exposed tolevels of tetrachloroethylene significantly above normalbackground concentrations. Significantly elevated indoor airlevels of tetrachloroethylene can occur in homes that use watersupplies containing the volatilized chemical. In one home, arunning shower was found to elevate levels of tetra-chloroethylene in bathroom air from 0.5 to 81 mg/m3 within 17minutes; this level is nearly one-third the American Conferenceof Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) time-weightedthreshold limit value (TLV) for workplace air.

Trichloroethylene:

Unlike many of the contaminants listed in this public healthassessment, there is extensive literature defining toxicologicendpoints of trichloroethylene exposure.

Absorption of trichloroethylene following inhalation exposure inhumans is characterized by an initial rate of trichloroethyleneuptake that is quite high. Retention of inhaled trichloro-ethylene is independent of inhaled concentration and has beenmeasured at between 37% and 75% of the amount inhaled. Absorption of trichloroethylene following oral exposure in bothhumans and animals is rapid and extensive. In animal studies, absorption from the gastrointestinal tract has beenmeasured at 91% to 98%, and peak trichloroethylene blood levelsare attained within a matter of hours. Dermal absorption oftrichloroethylene in both humans and animals is poor, but dermalabsorption studies are complicated by the fact that pure liquidtrichloroethylene can act to defat the skin and thereby enhanceits own absorption.

In humans, a relatively small amount of absorbed trichlorethyleneis exhaled through the lungs, while most of the absorbed dose is metabolized and excreted in the urine. There is a longbiological half-life of elimination of trichloroethylene from theadipose tissue.

Inhalation and oral studies indicate that the bone marrow, CNS, liver,and kidney are principal targets of trichloroethylene inanimals and humans. CNS effects are related primarily tonarcosis. Effects on the liver and kidney include enlargementwith hepatic biochemical or histological alterations. Lessadequately characterized effects include indication of impairedheme biosynthesis and other hematological alterations in ratsexposed by inhalation and immunosuppression in orally exposedmice. The use of trichloroethylene as an anesthetic agent hasbeen associated with cardiac arrhythmias.

Inhalation studies with rats and mice indicate thattrichloroethylene is a developmental toxicant. Fetotoxicity isexpressed primarily as skeletal ossification anomalies and othereffects consistent with delayed maturation. Externalhydrocephaly occurred in a small number of rabbits that wereexposed to trichloroethylene by inhalation. The incidence of this anomaly was not significantly increased statistically, but occurrence of the anomaly is noteworthybecause of its rarity. Oral studies with rats and mice showed no trichloroethylene-related effects on fertility or otherindicators of reproductive performance.

The genotoxicity of trichloroethylene has been studied using avariety of assays in both in vivo and in vitro systems. Theavailable data suggest that commercial-grade trichloroethylene isa weakly active mutagen in a number of test systems, includinghumans. Mutagenic responses generally occurred with metabolicactivation only, suggesting the involvement of metabolites oftrichloroethylene. The mutagenic potential of pure trichloro-ethylene is unclear; however, the limited information availablesuggests that trichloroethylene would be a weak mutagen.

Epidemiologic studies do not allow definite conclusionsconcerning the carcinogenic potential of trichloroethylene inhumans due to mixed chemical exposures and other confoundingfactors and study limitations. Chronic inhalation exposure totrichloroethylene produced lung and liver tumors and leukemia inmice and Leydig cell tumors in rats. Chronic oral exposure totrichloroethylene produced increased incidence of hepatocellularcarcinomas in mice and marginally significant increased incidenceof renal adenocarcinomas in rats.

Significantly elevated indoor air levels of trichloroethylene canoccur in homes that use water supplies contaminated withtrichloroethylene as a result of volatilization. In two home(using well water containing a relatively high level of 40 ppmtrichloroethylene), a running shower was found to elevatetrichloroethylene levels in bathroom air from 0.5 to 81 mg/m3 in30 minutes.

Individuals who may be at greater risk from trichloroethyleneexposure include those who consume alcohol and those treated withdisulfiram. Because trichloroethylene is metabolizedpredominantly in the liver, individuals with liver dysfunction orcompromised ability to metabolize trichloroethylene may also beat greater risk from trichloroethylene exposure.

The use of trichloroethylene as an anesthetic has been associatedwith cardiac arrhythmias, and high concentrations of the compoundhave been reported to sensitize the myocardium to circulatorycatecholamines. These effects indicate that individuals withheart conditions may be a greater risk from trichloroethyleneexposure.

Zinc:

Health can be affected when too much zinc is taken into the body through food, water, or dietary supplements. The levels of zincthat produce health effects are usually much higher than theRecommended Dietary Allowances for zinc (RDAs) of 15 mg/day (men)and 12 mg/day (women). If large doses of zinc (10 or 15 timeshigher than the RDA) are taken by mouth even for a short time,stomach and digestion problems might occur. Too much zinc mightalso interfere with the body's immune system and with the body'sability to take in and use other essential minerals such ascopper and iron.

No studies were located regarding adverse systemic effects inhumans or animals following dermal exposure to zinc and itscompounds. However, zinc has been reported to promote thehealing of burns and wounds when topically applied as zinc oxideor calamine lotion. Very little is know about the long-termeffects of breathing zinc dust or fumes. We do not know whetheror not zinc causes cancer or birth defects.

Effects in humans and animals following acute inhalation exposureto zinc compounds are primarily limited to the respiratory tract. Oral exposure to zinc and its compounds in humans and animalsprimarily affects the gastrointestinal system. Zinc also affectsthe hematological and renal systems in both humans and animalsfollowing acute, intermediate or chronic exposures. Hepaticeffects were observed in animal after acute oral exposure. Noadverse hepatic effects were observed in humans afterintermediate exposure.

Intermediate duration of oral administration of zinc to humanshas resulted in decreased serum HDL-cholesterol levels. Althoughthis is not a direct effect on the cardiovascular system, thedecrease in HDL levels may be associated with an increased riskof coronary artery disease.

The ingestion of small amounts of zinc is essential to maintainone's health. However, evidence shows that high level ingestionof zinc presents a potential for gastrointestinal disorders. Following acute, intermediate or chronic ingestion of zinc, theprimary effect in humans or animals is gastrointestinalirritation. No adverse gastrointestinal effects were observedafter inhalation exposure.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

Guided by scientific data which suggests cancer as an adversehealth effect from overexposure to contaminants within the"Nutmeg Valley" site, an evaluation into a possible increase incancer occurrence was conducted in cooperation with the State ofConnecticut Tumor Registry.

It must be noted that the evaluation of cancer occurrence within"Nutmeg Valley" was conducted on the basis of resident status anddid not consider the health outcome data of the majority of thepopulation of "Nutmeg Valley", the local work force. It mustalso be noted that the numbers seen in the review of cancer datawere very small. These numbers were often 0 or 1. Statisticalanalyses of numbers this low do not produce information ofreliable value.

Data were gathered to compare the incidence of cancer in the townof Wolcott and the incidence of cancer in census tracts 3511 and3526 of Waterbury (the two tracts directly south and downgradient from the site), to the incidence of cancer in the Stateof Connecticut. Data were collected for the categories of; allcancers, testicular, liver, kidney, leukemia, and lung cancer. Data were collected for the period of 1984-1988. Data for thiscancer evaluation are presented in the following table.

Table 7.

Incidence Rates and Standard Incidence Ratios (per 10,000 people during 1984-1988)
Site Inc. Rate 95% Confidence SIR 95% 95% Confidence

All Cancers
State

228.48

226.80 - 230.16

1.0

-

Tracts

ND

ND

ND

ND

Wolcott

184.50**

162.58 - 209.38

0.808**

0.71 - 0.91

Testes
State

1.37

1.25 - 1.51

1.0

-

Tracts

2.84

0.71 - 11.35

2.072

-0.80 - 4.94

Wolcott

1.54

0.38 - 6.15

1.12

-0.43 - 2.68

Liver
State

1.70

1.56 - 1.85

1.0

-

Tracts

2.84

0.71 - 11.35

1.67

-0.64 - 3.98

Wolcott

0.77

0.11 - 5.46

0.45

-0.43 - 1.34

Kidney
State

5.39

5.14 - 5.66

1.0

-

Tracts

11.36*

5.68 - 22.71

2.11

0.65 - 3.57

Wolcott

2.31

0.74 - 7.15

0.43

-0.06 - 0.91

Leukemia
State

5.30

5.05 - 5.56

1.0

-

Tracts

5.68

2.13 - 15.13

1.07

0.02 - 2.12

Wolcott

4.61

2.07 - 10.27

0.87

0.17 - 1.57

Lung
State

35.82

35.16 - 36.49

1.0

-

Tracts

68.15*

51.36 - 90.44

1.90*

1.36 - 2.44

Wolcott

33.83

25.17 - 45.45

0.94

0.67 - 1.22

* = Statistically Significantly High
** = Statistically Significantly Low
ND = No Data Available

From the table it appears that the Standard Incidence Ratios for testicular, liver, kidney, and lung cancer are higher in theWaterbury census tracts, as compared with State data, than whatwould be expected. With the exception of lung cancer, thenumbers are not large enough to be of statistical significance. The increase in the incidence rates for both lung and kidneycancer in these tracts are of statistical significance.

Cancer is not one disease but many. Several types of cancer arevery common and quite difficult to link to environmental causes. The fact that personal life style is a primary contributor tolung cancer makes lung cancer a difficult tumor type tocontribute to environmental exposure. Kidney cancer, on theother hand, is not as common and is not as prone to conditions ofpersonal life style. The higher rate of kidney cancer at thissite is noteworthy. To follow the issue further, the threekidney cancer cases in Wolcott and the eight kidney cancer cases in the Waterbury census tracts, were plotted on a map. Seven of the eight kidney cancer cases were located in Waterburycensus tract 3511. A reevaluation of the data to include anindependent analysis and an age adjusted analysis of Waterburycensus tract 3511, strengthens the hypothesis of an elevatedcancer rate within this population. Exactly why there seems tobe more cases of kidney cancer in this geographic area is notknown. Limited data are available to scientifically support orreject the conclusion that these cases are directly related tothe groundwater contamination problem within "Nutmeg Valley." Topologically and hydrogeologically, it appears inconsistent that these cases would be directly related to the groundwater contamination problem. Other risk factors to be considered withan increase in kidney cancer include; chronic analgesic abuse, immunosuppression from organ transplantation, parasiticinfestations, food mycotoxins, and the Hepatitis B virus.

Evaluation of kidney cancer data for a period of five years is insufficient to support a definitive conclusion to the analysesof available data. Evaluation of the eight kidney cancer casesin a population the size of census tract 3511 will also notsupport a definitive conclusion to the analyses of availabledata. The Connecticut Department of Health Services willcontinue to collect relevant data from all available sources toprovide for an understanding and possible explanation for theobserved increase in kidney cancer cases during the five yearperiod of data collection for the Waterbury census tract 3511.

Records concerning the health status and health concerns ofpeople exposed to contaminants in "Nutmeg Valley" werenonexistent. A survey was mailed directly to the population forthe purpose of obtaining additional information. The responsefrom this survey was low (21.5%). Aside from one account of skinsensitization, no other health related concerns were expressed.



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