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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

JASPER CREOSOTING COMPANY INCORPORATED
JASPER, JASPER COUNTY, TEXAS


SUMMARY

The Jasper Creosoting Company (JCC) site, an 11.26 acre site that operated as a wood treatmentfacility from 1946 until 1986, is approximately one mile northeast of downtown Jasper, in JasperCounty, Texas. The site is bounded by an inactive lumberyard to the north and west, a commercialrailway, a swampy area, and Sandy Creek to the east, and a residential neighborhood to the southand west.

Throughout the facility's history, wastewater generated from the wood treatment process has beendischarged directly into an off-site drainage ditch resulting in on-site soil, off-site sediment, andgroundwater contamination. The primary contaminants of concern at the site include polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxin-like compounds, and pentachlorophenol. The site wasproposed to the National Priorities List (NPL) on March 6, 1998.

The Texas Department of Health (TDH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry(ATSDR) evaluated the environmental information available for the site and identified severalexposure situations for evaluation. These exposure situations include possible contact with sitecontaminants in the soil, sediment, and groundwater. A brief review of the evaluation organized byhazard category is presented below. Based on available data we have concluded that due toinsufficient data the JCC NPL site poses an indeterminate public health hazard. In the future,additional data could change the overall conclusion category for the site.

INDETERMINATE PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD

ATSDR concluded that one exposure situation is an indeterminate public health hazard. Additionalinformation is required to adequately assess the magnitude of the health threat associated with thissituation.

  1. Exposure to contaminants in the soil is considered to be an indeterminate public healthhazard due to a lack of information pertaining to possible past exposures and a lack ofinformation pertaining to current site conditions. In the past, soil on the Jasper CreosotingCompany NPL site was found to contain semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides, anddioxin-like compounds. According to available information, the contaminated soil wascontained on-site under a ten foot clay cap and surrounded by a fence; however, details ofthis containment action were not available for our review and soil is washing out from partof this area. Prior to the containment action, workers and other people who may havefrequented the site could have come into contact with contaminated soil. Because of limiteddata we were not able to determine the nature and extent of past or current site conditions,thus, we were not able to evaluate the public health significance of possible exposures. Characterization of current site conditions is warranted since it is not known if the soil that is washing out is part of the ten-foot clay cap or if it is contaminated soil.

NO APPARENT PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD

We concluded that the following exposure situations pose no apparent public health hazard. In thesesituations, people may come into contact with site contaminants; however, certain conditions existthat make it unlikely that exposure to contaminants would be of health concern.

  1. Sediment contamination near the site presents no apparent public health hazard. Based ona limited number of sediment samples it is apparent that site contaminants have beentransported off the site. Although, exposure to contaminated sediment from areas near thesite is possible, based on available data we would not anticipate that any potential exposureswould be of sufficient magnitude (frequency, intensity, and duration) to pose a significantpublic health threat. Further characterization of the sediment contamination is warranted.

NO PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD

TDH and ATSDR have concluded that the following exposure situation does not pose a publichealth hazard because there is no evidence of current or past human exposure to the contaminatedmedia and future exposure to the contaminated media is not likely to occur.

  1. Groundwater poses no public health hazard. Although off-site contamination ofgroundwater has been documented, there is no evidence of current or past human exposureto contaminated groundwater.

BACKGROUND

Site Description

The Jasper Creosoting Company (JCC) site, an 11.26 acre site, is approximately one mile northeastof downtown Jasper, Jasper County, Texas, at 600 North McQueen Street (Figure 1, 2) [1]. Thearea surrounding the site is predominantly pine woodland forest. North and west of the site is aninactive Louisiana-Pacific lumberyard. There is a commercial railway along the eastern border ofthe site and a swampy area immediately east of the railway. The swampy area drains into SandyCreek, a creek used for recreational purposes. South and west of the site is a neighborhoodapparently of low socioeconomic status. There are two active municipal water supply wells withinone mile of the site.

Contamination at the site originates from two sources (Source 1 & 2). Source 1 consisted of acollection of chemical holding tanks in the northeast corner of the site (Figure 3) and Source 2consists of an area where the vessels used to pressure treat the wood once stood. The structures havebeen removed from the site and the areas with contaminated soil have been fenced and posted so as to minimize human contact.

Site History

JCC operated as a wood treatment facility from 1946 until 1986. The main operations consisted oftreatment of railroad ties and utility poles with creosote and pentachlorophenol. The facilitygenerated wastewater from the creosoting process. From 1946 to 1964 the wastewater wasdischarged directly into a drainage ditch running parallel to the eastern edge of the site. From 1964to 1971 the wastewater was discharged to the City of Jasper wastewater treatment facility; however,beginning in 1971, the wastewater was again discharged to the drainage ditch.

In 1981, a fish kill in Sandy Creek was linked to the JCC facility operations. Analysis of streamwater indicated elevated levels of phenol. In March of 1982, the Texas Department of WaterResources (TDWR) ordered JCC to stop discharging to the drainage ditch. In February 1983, theTDWR took a surface water sample from the drainage ditch and measured pentachlorophenol at aconcentration of 15,570 parts per million(ppm). In March 1983, surface water samples taken fromBig Sandy Creek contained detectable levels of wood treatment chemicals.

In March 1986, the Texas Attorney General's Office filed a PLAINTIFF'S ORIGINAL PETITIONin the District Court of Jasper Country against JCC for the unauthorized discharge of storm water tostate waters and for failure to apply for a permit to store, dispose, and treat hazardous wastes [1]. InMarch 1987, samples taken from two hydrologically downgradient monitoring wells containedcreosote free-phase material associated with the JCC facility. The facility was abandoned in 1992.

During the Expanded Site Inspection (ESI) conducted for EPA Region VI in 1993, samples werecollected to evaluate the soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater pathways. These samplesindicated contamination of the soil with chlorophenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),dioxins and dibenzofurans. Sediment samples taken from the drainage ditch were contaminated withdioxins and PAHs. A sediment sample from the confluence of the wetland and Sandy Creek wascontaminated with PAHs. A surface water sample taken from the wetland area showed no signs of contamination consistent with an observed release.

Groundwater samples were taken from one public well, two private wells, and one downgradientmonitoring well (Figure 4). Only the monitoring well indicated the presence of contaminantssuggestive of an observed release. The sample from this well contained volatile organic compounds and PAHs.

In December 1995, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) personnelcollected on-site soil samples and off-site sediment samples from the wetland area and Sandy Creek. The samples were contaminated with chemicals associated with wood treatment. During theDecember 1995 visit to the site, TNRCC and EPA representatives observed unauthorized scrappingof steel from the facility. In 1994, there were reportedly three people still working on site. However, at this time the site is no longer in operation and workers are no longer present on site. The JCC site was proposed to the NPL on March 6, 1998. JCC was added to the final list on July 27, 1998.

Site Visit

Representatives of the Texas Department of Health visited the JCC site on September 22, 1998 accompanied by the TNRCC Superfund Site coordinator. We spent approximately one hour examining the site and several additional hours conducting a windshield survey of the residential area near the site. Additional time was spent talking with residents living near the facility. The JCC site is partially surrounded by a fence and is accessible. The area containing the identified sources of contamination was fenced with a six foot fence, topped with barbed wire, and posted with warning signs approximately every 15 feet. This area is not accessible to the general public. East of the fenced area, a large section of soil had eroded away, exposing a drainage culvert. The eroded area extended from approximately four feet from the fence line to the drainage ditch running parallel to the east property line. Soil at this point in the ditch was stained with a substance that looked like creosote. Similar staining was observed in the area where the drainage ditch runs under the railroad tracks that follow the eastern edge of the JCC site. The railroad track cross ties in this area looked like they had recently been replaced. The wetland area into which the drainage ditch empties is a marshy and wooded area to the east. The nearest occupied residence was adjacent to the west side of the facility separated from the site by a fence. Several other occupied residences are also adjacent to the western side of the site.

Demographics

There are approximately 6,959 people living in Jasper, Texas [2]. The total number of people livingwithin a one-mile radius of the site is estimated to be 1,774 [2]. Approximately 11% of thispopulation consists of children aged 6 years and younger (190 individuals).

Land Use and Natural Resources

General Hydrogeology and Public Water Supply Wells

The city of Jasper draws its water from the Jasper Aquifer. The JCC facility is located within theoutcrop of the Jasper Aquifer. The Jasper Aquifer and its associated geologic formations arecomposed of varying proportions of gravel, sand, silt and clay. The Jasper Aquifer is generallyconsidered to be confined by the Upper Fleming Formation commonly referred to as the Burkevilleconfining system. However, since the Fleming outcrops at the site, the Burkeville is locally erodedaway and absent. The Jasper Aquifer ranges in thickness, where it is not eroded, from as little as 200 feet to about 3,200 feet [1].

There are no drinking water wells within 0.5 miles of the site. Between 0.5 and 1.0-miles, there areeight drinking water wells, of which six are inactive. The depth of these wells ranges from 581 feetto 800 feet. An additional 19 drinking water wells are located from 1.0 to 4.0 miles from the site. These wells range in depth from 22 feet to 640 feet. All of the wells within the four mile radius of the JCC facility draw from the Jasper Aquifer.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

Introduction

Exposure to, or contact with, chemical contaminants drive the ATSDR public health assessmentprocess. The release or disposal of chemical contaminants into the environment does not alwaysresult in exposure or contact. Chemicals only have the potential to cause adverse health effects ifpeople actually come into contact with them. People may be exposed to chemicals by breathing(inhalation), eating or drinking a substance containing the contaminant (ingestion) or by skin(dermal) contact with a substance containing the contaminant.

When people are exposed to chemicals, the exposure does not always result in adverse health effects. The type and severity of health effects that may occur in an individual from contact withcontaminants depend on the toxicologic properties of the contaminants; how much of thecontaminant to which the individual is exposed; how often and/or how long exposure is allowed tooccur; the manner in which the contaminant enters or contacts the body (breathing, eating, drinking,or skin/eye contact); and the number of contaminants to which an individual is exposed(combinations of contaminants). Once exposure occurs, characteristics such as age, sex, nutritionalstatus, genetics, life style, and health status of the exposed individual influence how the individualabsorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and excretes the contaminant. These factors and characteristicsinfluence whether exposure to a contaminant could or would result in adverse health effects.

To assess the potential health risks associated with contaminants at this site we comparedcontaminant concentrations to health assessment comparison (HAC) values. HAC values aremedia-specific contaminant concentrations that are used to screen contaminants for furtherevaluation. Non-cancer HAC values are called environmental media evaluation guides (EMEGs) orreference dose media evaluation guides (RMEGs), and are respectively based on ATSDR's minimalrisk levels (MRLs) or EPA's reference doses (RfDs). MRLs and RfDs are estimates of a dailyhuman exposure to a contaminant that is unlikely to cause adverse non-cancer health effects. Cancer risk evaluation guides (CREGs) are based on EPA's chemical specific cancer slope factorsand an estimated excess lifetime cancer risk of one-in-one-million persons exposed for a lifetime. We used standard assumptions to calculate appropriate HAC values [3].

In some instances, we compare contaminant concentrations in water to EPA's maximumcontaminant levels (MCLs). MCLs are chemical-specific maximum concentrations allowed in waterdelivered to the users of a public water system; they are considered protective of public health over alifetime (70 years) of exposure at an ingestion rate of two liters per day. MCLs may be based onavailable technology and economic feasibility. Although MCLs only apply to public water supplysystems, we often use them to help assess the public health implications of contaminants found in water from other sources.

While exceeding a HAC value does not necessarily mean that a contaminant represents a publichealth threat, it does suggest that the contaminant warrants further consideration. The public healthsignificance of contaminants that exceed HAC values may be assessed by reviewing and integratingrelevant toxicological information with plausible exposure scenarios. Estimated exposures may becompared to reported "No Observable" and "Lowest Observable" Adverse Effects Levels (NOAELs and LOAELs) and to known effect levels in humans, when available.

Environmental Contamination

Soil, sediment, groundwater, and surface water data included in our evaluation of the JCC site werecollected during the EPA's February 1993 Expanded Site Inspection (ESI). In reviewing these data,we relied on the information provided in the referenced documents and assumed that adequateQuality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) measures were followed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting.

The data packages were reviewed and validated by EPA Region 6 according to the USEPA ContractLaboratory Protocol Statement of Work. The TNRCC reviewed the inorganic and organic analysesto ensure accuracy, precision, representativeness, comparability, field custody and completeness. The analyses and conclusions in this Public Health Assessment are valid only if the referencedinformation is valid and complete.

Some of the samples were collected from areas inside the boundaries of the JCC facility whileothers were collected from outside the site boundaries. For the purposes of the public healthassessment the term "on-site" refers to all areas within the 11.26-acre NPL site and the term "off-site" refers to all areas outside the site's boundaries.

Samples were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), semivolatile organiccompounds, volatile organic compounds, and pesticides. Analyses for metals also were conducted,but none were found at concentrations of concern. The maximum detected concentrations for eachcontaminant found in the different environmental media are presented in Tables 1-3 in Appendix C. ATSDR comparison values for each of the contaminants also are listed in the tables. Contaminantswhose concentrations were below ATSDR's comparison values were excluded from furtherconsideration. Inclusion of a contaminant in the tables or the fact that a contaminant exceeds acomparison value does not imply that a contaminant represents a threat to public health but that itwarrants further consideration. A brief toxicological review for each of the primary site contaminants is included in Appendix E.

Pathways Analysis

In this section we evaluated the possible pathways for exposure to contamination at JCC. Weexamined these possible exposure pathways to determine whether people near the site can beexposed to (or come into contact with) contaminants from the site. Exposure pathways consist offive elements: 1) a source of contamination, 2) transport through an environmental medium, 3) apoint of exposure, 4) a plausible manner (route) for the contaminant to get into the body, and 5) anidentifiable, potentially exposed population. Exposure pathways can be completed, potential, oreliminated.

For a person to be exposed to a contaminant, the exposure pathway must be completed. Anexposure pathway is considered completed when all five elements in the pathway are present andexposure has occurred, is occurring, or will plausibly occur in the future. A potential pathway ismissing at least one of the five elements; however, it possibly may become identified as completed inthe future as more data become available or site conditions change. Eliminated pathways aremissing one or more of the five elements and will never be completed. Table 1 summarizes theexposure pathways considered in our evaluation of this site. Contaminants whose concentrations did not exceed ATSDR comparison values were excluded from the pathways analysis.

Table 1.

Exposure Pathways
Pathway Name Contaminants of Concern Source Transport
Media
Point of Exposure Route of Exposure Exposed Population Time Comments
Indeterminate Public Health Hazard Pathway
Soil Semi-VOCs
Dioxin-like
Site operations Soil On-site Ingestion
Dermal Contact
Past workers
Trespassers
Past
Present ?
Data inadequate to assess the extent and magnitude of possible past or present exposures. Soil considered an indeterminate public health hazard because of limited information.
No Apparent Public Health Hazard Pathway
Sediment Semi-VOCs
Dioxin-like
Wastewater discharge Sediment Off-site east of facility Ingestion
Dermal Contact
Local area residents Past
Present
Future
Frequency, intensity, and duration of possible exposures considered inadequate to result in exposure above levels of health concern. Sediment considered to present no apparent public health hazard. Classification based on limited data.
No Public Health Hazard Pathway
Groundwater Semi-VOCs
Zinc
Pentachlorophenol
Infiltration from wastewater discharge Groundwater None Identified None Identified None Identified Future ? We were not able to identify any evidence of past or current human exposure to contaminated groundwater. Groundwater considered to present no public health hazard at this time.


INDETERMINATE PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD

TDH and ATSDR concluded that the following exposure situations pose an indeterminate publichealth hazard. In these situations, more information is required to adequately define the potentialhealth hazard.

Evaluation of Possible Soil Exposure Pathways

Summary: Past exposure to contaminants in soil is considered to be an indeterminate publichealth hazard. Although in the past, on-site workers and trespassers could have come intocontact with contaminants in the soil, based on available information we were not able toevaluate the public health significance of these potential exposures. Contaminated soil appearsto have been contained; however, because of limited information, we could not determine thescope or effectiveness of this containment action.

Four on-site surface soil samples were collected from the site. Two samples (SB-1 and SB-D1) werecollected near the area of the former chemical holding tanks and wood treatment process. Onesample (SB-3) was collected from the middle of the property, and one sample (SB-5) was collectedfrom the southern portion of the property (Figure 4). Semi-volatile organic compounds(benzo(a)pyrene and pentachlorophenol) and dioxins (expressed as 2,3,7,8-TCDD equivalents:Appendix D) were reported at concentrations greater than their respective screening values(Appendix C: Table 1). Pesticides also were found in on-site soil at concentrations greater than theirrespective screening levels; however, the pesticides are not thought to be attributable to the JCCfacility's operations.

Currently the potential for people to contact contaminated soil appears to be minimal. According toEPA personnel, the contaminated soil was buried on the site and capped with 10 feet of clay [4]. The capped area, which we observed during our site visit is fenced and appropriate warning signsare posted along the fence. We did observe that a portion of the capped area appears to be washingout, but we could not determine if contaminated soil is involved in the washout.

Based on available data we could not determine if all the contaminated soil was remediated. Otherthan a personal communication with EPA, we did not have any information pertaining to the actionstaken to contain the contaminated soil. For instance, we were not able to determine if soil from thesouthern portion of the site (SB-5) was involved in this action. Soil from this area containedpentachlorophenol at a concentration greater than its respective CREG value. There is a residenceadjacent to the SB-5 sampling location; however, we estimate (based on a single sample result) thatchronic exposure (everyday for 30 years) to this soil would result in no increased lifetime risk for thedevelopment of cancer.

In the past trespassers and on-site workers may have come into contact with contaminated soil;however, the data needed to evaluate the public health significance of this potential pathway areinsufficient. Although the areas of known contamination are fenced, there was a paucity of datapertaining to general soil contamination at the site. Although available data do not indicate thatpeople are being exposed to levels of contamination that would be expected to cause adverse healtheffects, we could not determine with any degree of certainty whether people could still be exposed tocontaminated soil. Because of the limited nature of the data, we have classified the contaminated soil as an indeterminate public health hazard.

NO APPARENT PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD

ATSDR concluded that the following identified exposure situations do not represent a public healthhazard under current conditions because there is either no evidence that people are coming intocontact with contaminated media or it is unlikely that they are coming into contact withcontaminated media often enough to present a threat to public health.

Evaluation of Possible Sediment Exposure Pathways

Summary: Exposure to sediment from areas near the Jasper Creosoting Company site isconsidered to present no apparent public health hazard. Although some of the chemicalsdetected in off-site sediment exceed health-based screening values and there is some indicationthat people visit these areas, we estimate that any potential exposure to the sediment would be short-term and infrequent.

Surface sediment samples were collected from the eastern drainage ditch (SED-2), from where thedrainage ditch enters the wetland region east of the site (SED-3), from the beginning of the wetlandoutflow ditch (SED-4), from the confluence of the outflow ditch and Sandy Creek (SED-5), andfrom a point upstream from the confluence of the outflow creek and Sandy Creek (SED-6) (Figure4). Sediment samples were analyzed for inorganic compounds, volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, and pesticides. The semi-volatile organic compounds, benzo(a)pyrene,and dioxin (expressed as 2,3,7,8-TCDD equivalents) were detected in sample SED-3 atconcentrations greater than their respective screening values (Appendix C: Table 2).

Individuals who use the wetland area could come into contact with contaminated sediment; however, since the contaminated areas are not areas where people are likely to walk without shoes or boots, we do not consider dermal contact to be an important route of exposure. It also is unlikely that people would regularly ingest sediment from the contaminated area. Thus, any potential exposures would be short-term and infrequent. Because of the infrequent nature of any potential exposures, we would not anticipate the dioxin present in the sediment to present a human health hazard.

The maximum reported concentration of benzo(a)pyrene (7.6 mg/kg) was obtained from a sample collected from where the drainage ditch enters the wetland region. Although this concentration exceeds the CREG for this contaminant, using EPA's cancer potency factor for this contaminant, we estimate that chronic ingestion of the sediment (70 kg adult ingesting 100 milligrams of sediment each day for 30 years) would result in no apparent increased lifetime risk for the development of cancer. Since it is not likely that actual exposures would occur everyday, we consider this estimate to be conservative with respect to protecting public health. Actual risks would be much lower.

NO PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD

TDH and ATSDR have concluded that the following exposure situation does not pose a publichealth hazard because there is no evidence of current or past human exposure to the contaminatedmedia and future exposure to the contaminated media is not likely to occur.

Evaluation of Possible Groundwater Exposure Pathways

Summary: Exposure to site contaminants through groundwater is considered to pose no publichealth hazard. Although off-site contamination of groundwater has been documented, there isno evidence of current or past human exposure to contaminated groundwater; samples drawnfrom wells used for drinking water were not contaminated.

The nearest well to the site is a monitoring well (GW-3) located approximately 250 feet east of thesite (Figure 4). The nearest drinking water supply well to the site is a City of Jasper MunicipalWater Supply well (GW-1) located 0.7 miles southeast and hydraulically downgradient from thesite. There are two residential wells in the vicinity of the site; one is located 1.5 miles to the east andthe other is located approximately 2.5 miles north of the site. Water from the monitoring well(GW-3) was the only groundwater found to contain site contaminants (benzene, semi-volatileorganic compounds, and zinc) at concentrations exceeding their respective HAC values (AppendixC: Table 3). Contaminants were not detected in the other wells. At this time, contaminatedgroundwater at the JCC site does not pose a public health hazard because the water is not used for potable or other purposes.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS / HEALTH OUTCOME DATA

Community Health Concerns Evaluation

As part of the public health assessment process, ATSDR and TDH try to learn what concerns peoplein the area may have about the impact of the site on their health. Consequently, attempts are madeto actively gather information and comments from people who live or work near the site. To collectcommunity health concerns related to the JCC site, we contacted several different agencies andindividuals by telephone. These agencies include the regional offices of both the Texas Departmentof Health (TDH Region 5), the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (Region 10),and the Environmental Protection Agency (Region 6). In addition to state and federal agencies, wecontacted local health department staff and local citizens. We received the following healthconcerns:

1. We have lived across the street from the plant for 48 years and have had difficultybreathing for years. Recent X-rays showed spots on my lungs. Could these problems beattributable to the JCC facility?

Air quality data was not collected during the time that JCC was operating; therefore, TDH does nothave data to evaluate this concern.

2. I have been diagnosed with liver disease and have recently been given tests for liver cancer. Could these illnesses be related to the JCC facility?

There is no documentation indicating that low dosage oral exposure to dioxins causes liver disease in humans. It seems unlikely that the liver disease is related to the JCC facility.

3. A family member died of renal cell carcinoma. Could that cancer be related to the JCC site?

There have been no studies that have linked renal cell carcinoma to any of the chemicals thought to have been used at JCC.

Health Outcome Data Evaluation

Health outcome data (HOD) record certain health conditions that occur in populations. These datacan provide information on the general health of communities living near a hazardous waste site. They also can provide information on patterns of specified health conditions. Some examples ofhealth outcome databases are tumor registries, birth defects registries, and vital statistics. Information from local hospitals and other health care providers also may be used to investigatepatterns of disease in a specific population. TDH and ATSDR look at appropriate and availablehealth outcome data when there is a completed exposure pathway or community concern. Due to a lack of completed exposure pathways, we did not review health outcome data.


CHILD HEALTH INITIATIVE

ATSDR's Child Health Initiative recognizes that the unique vulnerabilities of infants and childrendemand special emphasis in communities faced with contamination of their water, soil, air, or food. Children are at greater risk than adults from certain kinds of exposures to hazardous substancesemitted from waste sites and emergency events. They are more likely to be exposed because theyplay outdoors and they often bring food into contaminated areas. They are shorter than adults,which means they breathe dust, soil, and heavy vapors close to the ground. Children are alsosmaller, resulting in higher doses of chemical exposure per body weight. The developing bodysystems of children can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growthstages. Most importantly, children depend completely on adults for risk identification andmanagement decisions, housing decision, and access to medical care.

ATSDR evaluated the likelihood for children living in the vicinity of the JCC site to be exposed tosite contaminants at levels of health concern. ATSDR identified situations in which children whotrespassed on the site in the past could have been exposed to site-related contaminants in soil. Dueto a paucity of historical data we were not able to adequately assess the potential public healthsignificance of these potential exposures. Currently, children are not likely to be exposed to contaminants in sediments or soils from the JCC site in sufficient quantities to pose a health threat.


CONCLUSIONS

  1. In the past, soil on the Jasper Creosoting Company NPL site was found to contain semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and dioxin-like compounds. According to the EPA,contaminated on-site soil was collected and contained on the site in an area covered with aten-foot clay cap and surrounded by a fence. Details on the nature and extent of thiscontainment were not available for our review. Prior to the containment, on-site workersand other people who may have frequented the site could have come into contact withcontaminated soil; however, because of a paucity of site-specific information we were notable to evaluate the public health significance of these possible exposures. During the sitevisit, we observed a deep wash-out near the fence that raises concerns that soil from thecontainment area is being released. Because of a lack of information about possible pastexposures and because we were not able to determine the scope or effectiveness of the soil containment measures, we have classified the soil as an indeterminate public health hazard.

  2. Based on a limited number of sediment samples, it is apparent that site contaminants (mostnotably benzo(a)pyrene and dioxin) have been transported off the site. Exposure tocontaminated sediment from areas near the site is possible; however, based on the limiteddata available for our review we would not anticipate that any potential exposures would beof sufficient magnitude (frequency, intensity, and duration) to pose a significant publichealth threat. Currently, we consider the sediment to present no apparent public healthhazard.

  3. Although off-site contamination of groundwater has been documented, there is no evidenceof current or past human exposure to contaminated groundwater; samples drawn from wellsused for drinking water were not contaminated. Exposure to site contaminants throughgroundwater is considered to pose no public health hazard at this time. However, migrationof contaminants through the aquifer toward these drinking water wells could contaminatethese wells in the future. If this were to occur, the public health hazard category would change to a potential public health hazard.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

Actions Recommended

  1. A more detailed characterization of current site conditions is warranted. This should include on- and off-site soil samples.

  2. The eroded washout area near the northeastern corner of the site should be evaluated (filled and fixed if necessary) to ensure that contaminated soil is not being unearthed.

  3. A more detailed characterization of the off-site sediment contamination should be initiated.

  4. Additional sampling of on- and off-site groundwater should be done to better characterize the current extent and potential for migration of contamination from the JCC facility.

Actions Planned

  1. EPA/TNRCC plans to further characterize the site by conducting a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS).

  2. TDH will review additional environmental sampling results to more completely assesshuman exposure pathways.

REFERENCES

  1. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission HRS Documentation Record, Volume Iof III for Jasper Creosoting Company, Jasper County Texas, TXD008096240, Prepared incooperation with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, November 1997.

  2. U. S. Bureau of the Census. Census of Population and Housing Summary Tape File 1[machine-readable data files]. The Bureau, Washington, D.C. 1991.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment GuidanceManual. Lewis Publishers; Boca Raton, 1992.

  4. Texas Department of Health. Personal communication between Keith Hutchinson and PatHammack, EPA On-site Coordinator, February 10, 1999.

  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds inSoil, Part 1: ATSDR Interim Guideline. August 1997.

  6. Martin Van den Berg et al. Toxic Equivalency Factors (TEFs) for PCBs, PCDDs, PCDFsfor Humans and Wildlife. Environmental Health Perspectives, 1998;106:775-792.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins, September 1997.

  8. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chlorinated Dibenzofurans, May 1994.

  9. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, August 1995.

  10. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Pentachlorophenol, May 1994.

PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

Matthew Garabedian, M.P.H.
Epidemiologist
Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division

Susan L. Prosperie, M.S., R.S.
Environmental Specialist
Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division

John F. Villanacci, Ph.D.
Co-Director
Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division

Dixie Davis
Administrative Technician I
Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

George Pettigrew, P.E.
Senior Regional Representative
ATSDR - Region 6, Dallas, Texas

ATSDR TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER

Alan W. Yarbrough
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation.


CERTIFICATION

This Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Texas Department of Health under acooperative 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 Health Assessment was initiated.

Alan W. Yarbrough
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR

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

Richard Gillig
Chief, State Programs Section, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


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  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #