Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

RESIN DISPOSAL SITE
JEFFERSON BOROUGH, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

The tables in this section list the contaminants of concern. However, their listing does not imply that a health threat exists. This Public Health Assessment evaluates these contaminants in subsequent sections and determines whether exposure to them has public health significance. PADOH selected these contaminants based upon the following factors: on and off-site concentrations; field and laboratory data quality and sample design; comparison of site-related concentrations with background concentrations; and comparison of site-related concentrations with health assessment comparison values for carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic endpoints. Comparison values for health assessments are contaminant concentrations in specific media that are used to select contaminants for further evaluation. These values include Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs), and other relevant guidelines.

In the data tables which follow under on-site contamination and off-site contamination subsections, the listed contaminant does not mean that it will cause adverse health effects from exposures. Instead, the list indicates which contaminants will be evaluated further in the public health assessment. When selected as a contaminant of concern in one medium, that contaminant will be reported in all media.

The EPA Toxic Chemical Release Inventory database was accessed by the PADOH through the National Library of Medicine's Toxicology Data Network and searched for estimated annual release of toxic chemicals to the environment, from industries within a two-mile radius of the Resin Disposal site, to identify possible facilities that could contribute to air or groundwater contamination near the site. No significant releases which would affect the air or groundwater quality near the site were reported in the 1987 and 1988 databases.

A. On-Site Contamination

Groundwater - Monitoring Wells

An EPA contract laboratory collected groundwater samples from the three hydrogeologic zones at the Resin site to determine the nature of groundwater contamination (Figure 2). Appendix C provides well construction details for all monitoring wells at the PICCO Resin Disposal site.

Three rounds of groundwater samples were collected from the unconsolidated zone. Four monitoring wells (TW#1, TW#9, TW#10, and TW#11) were sampled during round one in June 1988 and analyzed for EPA Target Compound List (TCL) and Target Analyte List (TAL) compounds. (See Appendix D.) Three monitoring wells (TW#1, TW#10 and TW#11) were sampled during round two in August 1988 and analyzed for TCL and TAL compounds. Monitoring well TW#9 was omitted during round two due to the presence of a layer of floating non-aqueous phase product in the well. Sampling and analysis for pesticides and PCBs were omitted in round two since they were not detected in round one. Three monitoring wells (TW#1, TW#10 and TW#11) were sampled during round three in February 1989. This round was also not analyzed for pesticides and PCBs.

Three rounds of groundwater samples were collected from on-site wells from the Pittsburgh Coal aquifer. Five monitoring wells (TW#2, TW#3, TW#4, TW#7 and TW#12) were sampled during round one in June 1988 and analyzed for TCL and TAL compounds. Three monitoring wells (TW#4, TW#7 and TW#12) were sampled in August 1988 during round two and in February 1989 in round three.

One round of groundwater samples was collected from the Deep Bedrock in February 1989 from two monitoring wells (TW#5 and TW#6). These wells were analyzed for TCL and TAL compounds with the exception of pesticides and PCBs. Figure 2 indicates the location of the monitoring wells and Table 1 indicates the concentrations of contaminants of concern.

Table 1. Maximum Contaminant Concentrations in On-site Monitoring Wells (1)

Contaminant Unconsolidated
Zone
µg/L
Pittsburgh
Coal
µg/L
Deep
Bedrock
µg/L
Comparison Value
µg/L Source
Benzene
Styrene
Naphthalene
Lead
230
320
98
9,520
400D
210JD
110,000
223
ND
ND
ND
59
1.21
100
20.0
0
CREG
MCL
LTHA
PMCL

ND - Not detected.
J - Indicates an estimated value which is below the detection limit.
D - Indicates the compound was identified in an analysis at a secondary dilution factor.
µg/L - Microgram per liter.
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide.
PMCL - Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level.
LTHA - Lifetime Health Advisory.
MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level.

Soils

An EPA contractor collected all the soil samples at the Resin Disposal Site. None of the on-site soil samples meet ATSDR's definition of surface soil (0-3 inches). The samples ranged in depth from 0-1 foot to 16 to 20 feet. The soil samples were collected in two phases. During Phase I, thirty on-site soil samples were collected from 12 locations in the area between the landfill and the property boundary from May 27, 1988, to June 6, 1988. These soil samples were collected in order to characterize soils adjacent to the landfill (Figure 3). The primary focus of Phase I soil samples was the soils downslope of the lower landfill dike. Soil sampling locations include boreholes BH-1 through BH-9, BH-22 and shallow soil sample locations HS-1 and HS-2. The Phase I soil sampling program involved the collection of one background shallow sample (HS-1) collected from the upper two feet of soil upslope and north of the landfill, one sample upslope of the landfill (BH-22) and 28 soil samples downslope of the lower landfill dike which included three samples from each of nine borings along the site access road (BH-1 through BH-9) and a shallow soil sample (HS-2) on the east side of the unnamed stream. The ten soil borings were drilled using an 8-inch hollow stem auger. Each boring was advanced to bedrock. Three sets of samples were collected from each of the downslope soil borings in order to characterize the upper, middle and lower zone of the soils. One soil sample was collected from BH-22. The background shallow soil sample collected upslope of the landfill, as well as, three of the 28 soil samples collected below the lower landfill dike, were analyzed for full TCL and TAL compounds plus cyanide and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH). Full TCL includes analysis for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Base/Neutral/Extractable (BNA), and pesticide/PCB analytes. (In the tables of contaminants of concern benzene and styrene are VOCs and naphthalene is a BNA.) The remaining 25 soil samples from below the lower landfill dike, and the soil sample collected from BH-22 above the landfill, were analyzed for specific target compounds known to be associated with the landfill. These 26 soil samples were analyzed for TCL and TPH.

Eight soil samples were collected during the Phase II investigation throughout January 1989. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the extent of soil contamination downslope of the site gate and to determine the extent of non-aqueous phase product in soils downslope of the lower landfill dike. (This non-aqueous phase product was found in groundwater.) Samples from three soil borings (BH-26, BH-27 and BH-30) and two shallow (0 to one foot) hand soil samples (HS-3 and HS-6) were collected from the ground near the site access gate. Two samples were collected from each borehole and one sample only from shallow soil samples. All soil samples collected during the Phase II soils investigation were analyzed for TCL and TPH. Analysis of soil samples for metals during Phase II was eliminated after a discussion of the Phase I results with PADER and U.S. EPA. Maximum soil concentrations from all on-site soil samples (Phase I and Phase II) are presented in Table 2 and Figure 3 indicates the soil sampling locations.

Sediment

Seven on-site sediment samples (including two duplicates) were collected. Five samples (SE-5, SE-6, SE-7, SE7-D and SE-8) were sampled in June 1988 for only TCL and TAL metals and cyanide (Figure 4). Two samples (S-5 and SE-10) were collected in April 1989 and analyzed for TCL. Sample SE-10 was collected for an upslope background sediment sample. Results from contaminants that were selected for further evaluation are presented in Table 2 and sample locations are shown in Figure 4.

Table 2. Maximum Contaminant Concentrations in On-site Subsurface Soils and Sediment (2)

Contaminant Soils
ppm
Sediment
ppm
Comparison Value
ppm Source
Benzene
Styrene
Naphthalene
Lead
0.13
0.61J
110B
23.5
0.004J
ND
22.0
209.0
24
100,000a
NA
NA
CREG
EMEG

a - Child.
ND - Not detected.
B - Indicates the compound was found in the blank as well as the sample.
J - Indicates an estimated value which is below the detection limit.
ppm - Parts per million.
EMEG - Environmental Media Evaluation Guide.
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide.
NA - Not available.

Naphthalene was one of the primary contaminants of the site. The fact that it was found in a blank (uncontaminated sample) indicates that there was contamination in the field operation but at much lower concentrations than the sample.

Surface Water

A total of twelve surface water samples were collected during three rounds of sampling conducted in June 1988, August 1988, and April 1989. The surface water samples (S-5, S-6, S-7 and S-8) were analyzed for full TCL and TAL metals and cyanide in Rounds 1 and 2 and full TCL in Round 3. Results from contaminants that were selected for further evaluation are presented in Table 3 and sample locations are shown in Figure 4.

Air

Ambient air quality sampling was conducted during Phase I on May 25, 1988. Ambient air samples, to be analyzed for VOC, were collected at ten of thirteen monitoring stations. Samples for semi-volatile analysis were collected at the remaining three stations: the background site station number 13, station number 8 on the landfill and at station number 9 near the leachate collection facility.

Each VOC sample was analyzed for the Hazardous Substance List (HSL) compounds and semi-volatile samples were analyzed for naphthalene. Only the VOC sampling station at the leachate oil/water separator (sampling station number 10 - Figure 4A) showed any significant positive results. Though meteorological conditions provided for excellent dispersion, no VOC or BNA, above background, were noted at the sampling locations around the landfill perimeter. Results from contaminants that were selected for further evaluation are presented in Table 3 and sampling locations are shown in Figure 4A.

Table 3. Maximum Contaminant Concentrations in On-site Surface Water and Air (1)

Contaminant Surface Water
µg/L
Surface Water
Comparison Value
Air
ppb
Air
Comparison Value
µg/L Source ppb Source
Benzene
Styrene
Naphthalene
Lead
6
ND
75
11
1.21
100
20.0
0
CREG
MCL
LTHA
PMCL
0.44
0.48
ND
NT
0.1
NA
NA
NA
ICRC

ND - Not detected.
NT - Not tested.
NA - Not available.
µg/L - Microgram per liter.
ppb - Parts per billion.
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide.
LTHA - Lifetime Health Advisory.
PMCL - Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level.
MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level.
ICRC - Inhalation Cancer Risk Concentration.

B. Off-Site Contamination

Groundwater - Monitoring Wells

One of the objectives of the Phase III investigation was to determine the extent of non-aqueous phase floating product in any unknown Pittsburgh Coal mine voids downdip and downgradient of the site. The drilling program for the initially proposed monitoring wells began on January 9, 1990. After installing three downgradient wells off-site (TW#17, TW#18 and TW#19) (well TW#19 was completed on a boring which did not intercept a mine void), it was agreed by Hercules and PADER, based upon the findings of the initial drilling, that one additional well, which intercepted a mine void, would be installed between the three new off-site monitoring wells and the site boundary in order to define the existence of mine voids in the area. This final off-site monitoring well (TW#20) was installed on March 12, 1990. Monitoring well TW#20 was installed at the corner of Riverview Drive and Circle Glenn Drive along the right-of-way of the road. A mine void was encountered in the Pittsburgh Coal during the installation of well TW#20.

No non-aqueous phase product was detected in any of the new wells. Sampling of the off-site monitoring wells took place on March 26, 1990. The groundwater samples collected from the Phase III wells were analyzed for full TCL. Results from contaminants that were selected for further evaluation are presented in Table 4 and sample locations are shown in Figure 2.

Groundwater - Residential Wells

An EPA contractor sampled residential wells during Phase II and Phase III of the Remedial Investigation. Sixteen wells were identified during the site survey, but only ten of the wells could be sampled. This was primarily due to inaccessibility of the well, or in some cases, refusal of the property owner to allow sampling. Appendix B indicates well construction and a water use summary for these wells.

One round of groundwater samples was collected during Phase II on April 6, 1989 from three residential wells (RW#1, RW#2 and RW#3). Residential well samples were analyzed for TCL and TAL metals. During the Phase III investigation, an EPA contractor collected samples from wells No. 4 and No. 5 on December 14, 1989. Samples were collected from all accessible residential wells on Walton Road (residential wells No. 9 through No. 13) on March 13 and 14, 1990. Each well was analyzed for full TCL. Results from contaminants that were selected for further evaluation are presented in Table 4 and sample locations are shown in Figure 5.

Surface Water

An EPA contractor collected a total of twelve surface water samples during three rounds of sampling conducted in June 1988, August 1988, and April 1989. The surface water samples (S-1, S-2, S-3 and S-4) were analyzed for full TCL and TAL metals and cyanide in Rounds 1 and 2 and full TCL in Round 3. Results from contaminants that were selected for further evaluation are presented in Table 4 and sample locations are shown in Figure 4.

Table 4. Maximum Contaminant Concentrations in Off-Site Monitoring Wells, Residential Wells and Surface Water (1)

Contaminant Groundwater
Monitoring
Wellsa
µg/L
Residential
Wells
µg/L
Surface
Water
µg/L
Comparison
µg/L
Value
Source
Benzene
Styrene
Naphthalene
Lead
ND
ND
470
NT
ND
ND
ND
NTb
ND
ND
43
134
1.21
100
20.0
0
CREG
MCL
LTHA
PMCL

a - Groundwater monitoring wells from the Pittsburgh Coal (Phase III).
b - RW#1, RW#2 and RW#3 were sampled for lead and the value was below the instrument detection limit.
ND - Not detected.
NT - Not tested.
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide.
PMCL - Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level.
LTHA - Lifetime Health Advisory.
MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level.

Sub-Surface Soils

An EPA contractor collected ten soil samples during the Phase II investigation throughout January, 1989. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the extent of soil contamination downslope of the site gate and to determine the extent of non-aqueous phase product in soils downslope of the lower landfill dike. Samples from three soil borings (BH-25, BH-28 and BH-29) and two shallow hand-soil samples 0-1 foot (HS-4 and HS-5) were collected from below the site access gate. Two samples were collected from each borehole with an additional duplicate sample from BH-28 and BH-29.

Only one sample was collected from the shallow hand samples. All soil samples collected during the Phase II soils investigation were analyzed for full TCL and TPH. Analysis of soil samples for metals during Phase II was eliminated after a discussion of the Phase I results with PADER and U.S. EPA. Results from contaminants that were selected for further evaluation are presented in Table 5 and sample locations are shown in Figure 3.

Sediment

An EPA contractor collected five off-site sediment samples. Four samples (SE-1, SE-2, SE-3 and SE-4) were sampled in June, 1988 from the unnamed stream and were analyzed for full TCL and TAL metals and cyanide. An additional sample (SE-4a) was taken in April, 1989 to confirm the downstream extent of contamination. This sample was analyzed for TCL only. Results from contaminants that were selected for further evaluation are presented in Table 5 and sample locations are shown in Figure 4.

Table 5. Maximum Contaminant Concentration in Off-Site Sub-Surface Soils and Sediment (1)

Contaminant Soils
mg/kg
Sediment
mg/kg
Comparison Value
ppm Source
Benzene
Styrene
Naphthalene
Lead
ND
0.02JB
0.35J
NT
ND
ND
0.98
26.9
24
100,000a
NA
NA
CREG
EMEG

a - Child.
ppm - Parts per million.
ND - Not detected.
NT - Not tested.
B - Indicates the compound was found in the blank as well as the sample.
J - Indicates an estimated value which is below the detection limit.
NA - Not available.
CREG - Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide.
EMEG - Environmental Media Evaluation Guide.

Seeps

Ten seeps were identified during the remedial investigation. An EPA contractor sampled nine of these seeps during the Phase III investigation and one seep was remediated. The seeps were located in Calamity Hollow along Walton Road and appeared to be flowing from the elevation of the Pittsburgh Coal outcrop (1). Seep samples were first collected in December, 1989. In March of 1990, several of the seeps were resampled for VOC due to missed holding times from the earlier batch of samples. Two seeps which had been dry during the initial Phase III seep sampling, and one seep which had not been previously identified were also sampled during March. All seep samples collected during Phase III were analyzed for TCL. Samples were collected from seep number 2 during both Round 1 and Round 2 of the Phase I investigation. These seep samples were analyzed for full TCL analytes and TAL metals and cyanide. Sample locations are shown in Figure 6. Naphthalene was detected at 19,000D µg/L (D - Indicates the compound was identified in an analysis at a secondary dilution factor) and lead at 8.6 µg/L. No other contaminants of concern were detected.

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

In preparing this Health Assessment, PADOH relies on information provided in the referenced documents and believes that adequate quality assurance and quality control measures were followed regarding chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures and data reporting. All analytical data generated during the Remedial Investigation have undergone a vigorous data review performed in accordance with U.S. EPA protocol. Phase I chemical analyses were performed by Western Analytics, a certified Contract Laboratory Protocol laboratory. Analysis was, in most cases, for full TAL metals and TCL compounds (VOC, BNA and pesticide/PCB) plus cyanide and TPH during the Phase I investigation. After the Phase I field program had been completed, it was agreed, between Hercules, Weston, PADER and U.S. EPA, that the target compounds of concern at the site were from the VOC and BNA groups.

Samples collected during subsequent Phases II and III of the Remedial Investigation were, therefore, analyzed for VOC and BNA only. The same protocol and quality assurance requirements which were used during Phase I were also followed during subsequent phases. Based on the quality assurance review, qualifier codes were placed next to specific sample results on the on-site and off-site contamination tables presented in the "Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards" section. The PADOH believes that the qualifier codes provide an indication of the qualitative and quantitative reliability of the data presented in this Health Assessment. The analyses and conclusions in this Health Assessment are valid only if the referenced information is complete and reliable.


PATHWAYS ANALYSES

To determine whether residents are exposed to contaminants migrating from the site, PADOH and ATSDR evaluate the environmental and human components that lead to human exposure. A pathway consists of five elements: a source of contamination; transport through an environmental medium; a point of exposure; a route of human exposure; and a receptor population.

PADOH and ATSDR identify exposure pathways as completed, potential, or eliminated. Completed pathways have all five elements and indicate that exposure to a contaminant has occurred in the past, is currently occurring or will occur in the future. Potential pathways, however, have at least one of the five elements missing, but it could exist. Potential pathways indicate that exposure to a contaminant could have occurred in the past, could be occurring now, or could occur in the future. Eliminated pathways at least one of the five elements missing and it will never be present. Completed and potential pathways, however, may be eliminated when they are unlikely to be significant.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

There are currently no known completed exposure pathways associated with the site.

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

Groundwater is the primary mechanism through which contaminants can migrate off-site. The primary mechanism for off-site transport of contaminants from the landfill is through direct contact with groundwater from the Pittsburgh Coal aquifer which passes through the site. Groundwater sample results indicate that site-related VOCs have been migrating downslope and south of the landfill. Migration of contaminants most likely will continue for several years due to the slow removal of water from the landfill waste. For this reason, the area of contamination will persist until adequate remediation of the aquifer occurs.

The communities surrounding the site are served by the public water supply. However, according to a Weston water use summary for all residential wells, sixteen private wells in the vicinity of the site are believed to draw groundwater from the Pittsburgh Coal aquifer (Appendix B). Four of these residences were not hooked to the public water supply at the time of the survey (RW#1, RW#4, RW#9 and RW#13) and used their wells as the primary source of water. Three residences (RW#2, RW#5, and RW#12) who are connected to public water also used their wells for indoor use. Ten of the sixteen wells were sampled during the Remedial Investigation and no site-related contaminants were detected.

As indicated in Appendix B most of these wells are quite shallow. Also, there is some uncertainty as to what aquifer they draw water from. However, from a public health perspective these are the residents that could be exposed to site-related contaminants if off site migration continues. Likewise, any new construction of homes and associated private wells would be at risk in this area downgradient of the site.

Table 6. Potential Exposure Pathways

PATHWAY TIME SOURCE MEDIA AND
TRANSPORT
POINT OF
EXPOSURE
ROUTE OF
EXPOSURE
EXPOSED
POPULATION
Private
Wells
Future Resin
Disposal
Groundwater Tap Ingestion Less Than 50

Table 1 indicates that each of the three aquifers on-site were contaminated with lead. The presence of lead in off-site residential wells has not been fully characterized. Metals were only tested in one round of sampling in Phase II on April 6, 1989 for three residential wells (RW #1, RW #2 and RW #3). Lead levels were below the reporting limit for those wells. However, the presence of high lead levels on-site indicates that lead is a potential public health problem.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

A. Toxicologic Evaluation

Introduction

In the Public Health Implications section, we will discuss the health effects in persons exposed to specific contaminants, evaluate state and local health databases and address specific community health concerns.

The U.S. EPA developed Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for drinking water. Primary MCLs are federal drinking water standards declared under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Generally an MCL for a toxic chemical represents the allowable lifetime exposure to the contaminant for a 70-kg adult who is assumed to ingest two liters of water per day. In addition to health factors, an MCL is required by law to reflect the technological and economic feasibility of removing the contaminant from the water supply. The limit set must be feasible given the best available technology and treatment techniques.

To evaluate health effects, either a Minimum Risk Level (MRL) for contaminants developed by ATSDR or Reference Dose (RfD) developed by EPA has been used. The MRL is an estimate of daily human exposure to a contaminant below which non-cancer, adverse health effects are unlikely to occur. EPA's RfD is an estimate of the highest daily exposure to a contaminant that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. In the following discussion, we are addressing the chemicals which are of public health concern. These are benzene, styrene, naphthalene and lead.

Presently, no off-site residential wells have been contaminated by any one of these chemicals. Therefore, no exposure to chemicals is taking place. However, this may not be true in the future if contaminants move off-site through groundwater into residential wells or if new wells are drilled in the contaminated aquifer.

Benzene

As stated above there is no exposure to this chemical taking place. However, potential for future exposure exists through ingestion, inhalation and skin contact.

Following exposure to benzene, several factors determine whether harmful effects will occur. These factors include the amount, route, and the length of time of exposure. Exposure through inhalation to lower levels of benzene (700-3000 ppm) can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches. In most cases, these effects will cease once exposure ends and fresh air is obtained. The health effects that may result from eating or drinking foods (oral exposure) containing lower levels of benzene are not known. However, animal studies indicate that oral exposure to benzene can damage the blood and the immune system and may also cause lymphoma, a type of leukemia (9).

The Department of Health and Human Services, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the EPA have determined that benzene is a known human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause cancer of the tissues that form white blood cells (leukemia). Furthermore, exposure to benzene has been associated with genetic changes.

ATSDR could not develop a MRL from the known animal and human toxicity studies because the data were insufficient. Also, EPA has not developed a RfD. There are no MRLs or RfD available to provide guidance on the safe level of exposure to benzene. Therefore, for persons who may be exposed in the future by drinking contaminated well water, we cannot determine for certain whether non-cancer health effects would occur at drinking water contamination levels of 400 µg/L (the level on-site). However, we know that the amount of benzene exposure from drinking 2 liters (or 66 ounces) of water each day would be approximately 100 times lower than the level that is known to cause non-cancer effects in animals (9). As for cancer effects, a lifetime exposure to 400 µg/L in drinking water is suspected of increasing the risk of getting leukemia.

Styrene

There is no clear evidence that styrene causes cancer in humans. However, IARC has classified this chemical as a possible human carcinogen. Also, EPA has identified this chemical as a carcinogen (10).

Styrene was not detected in residential well water and therefore would not cause harmful health effects through this route of exposure. However, the maximum concentration of styrene on-site in the Pittsburgh Coal aquifer is estimated to be 210 µg/L and in the unconsolidated zone it was 320 µg/L. These levels exceed U.S. EPA's MCL of 100 µg/L. EPA's RfD for this chemical is 0.2 mg/kg/day. This level is equivalent to 7 mg/L (7000 µg/L) for a 70-Kg adult consuming 2 liters of contaminated water per day and 2 mg/L (2000 µg/L) for a 10 Kg child consuming 1 liter of contaminated water per day. Therefore, persons who may be exposed in the future, by drinking contaminated well water at the highest level in the on-site groundwater (0.32 mg/L), are not likely to experience any non-cancer health problems.

Naphthalene

Hemolytic anemia, a condition involving the breakdown of red blood cells, is the primary health concern for humans exposed to naphthalene for either short or long periods of time. A relationship appears to exist between inherited glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) deficiency and susceptibility to naphthalene-induced hemolysis (11). G6PDH deficiency occurs in 10% of American Black males and fewer Black females. It is also seen in low frequency among persons whose origin is from the Mediterranean basin, such as Italians, Greeks, Arabs and Sephardic Jews (11).

Infants appear to be particularly sensitive to the hemolytic effects of naphthalene. These represent populations at greatest risk from exposure to naphthalene. Other effects commonly found include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney damage, jaundice and liver damage. These effects can occur from either breathing or eating naphthalene. Cataracts might also occur in persons breathing naphthalene (12). Although there is some information about the effects that occur in humans from breathing or ingesting naphthalene, the levels at which these effects occur are not known (12).

There are several medical reports of babies dressed in clothing that had been stored in naphthalene mothballs who developed liver problems and hemolytic anemia. These effects have only been reported in cases where persons used too many mothballs.

Naphthalene is present in low concentrations in on-site soils, sediments, surface water and air, and in off-site sediment and soils. Naphthalene was not detected in residential wells. However, it was detected off-site in the groundwater of the Pittsburgh Coal aquifer at a maximum concentration of 19,000 µg/L. However, the maximum on-site concentration was 110,000 µg/L. EPA's oral reference dose for naphthalene is 4 µg/kg/day and its Lifetime Health Advisory is 20 µg/L. Therefore, significant migration of contaminated groundwater into residential wells may result in an adverse health effect.

Lead

For infants and young children, lead exposure can cause a decrease in intelligence quotient (IQ) scores, slow their growth, and cause hearing problems (13). These effects can last as children get older and interfere with successful performance in school. It is possible that these children could be classified as learning disabled.

Lead exposure is especially dangerous for unborn children because they can be harmed during fetal development, or pregnancy. Pregnant women exposed to lead can pass lead to unborn children, causing premature birth, low birth weight, and miscarriages.

Exposure to high levels of lead can damage the brain and kidneys of adults and children. Lead exposure also can increase blood pressure in men, but it is unknown whether this effect can occur in women. Also, a couple may have trouble having children if the man is exposed to high levels of lead. This exposure may affect his sperm or damage other parts of the male reproductive system. While lead had not been shown to cause cancer in humans, animal studies have shown that lifetime lead can cause cancer in rodents.

There is no present indication that off-site residential wells are contaminated with lead. Three residential wells were tested for lead and their lead testing results were below the method detection limit. While additional off-site residential well testing should be done to better characterize lead levels, it is very unlikely that adverse health effects as described would be currently possible. However, if lead migrated off-site, this could present a public health hazard. The current Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for lead is zero.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

Only a few residents (less than 50) live downgradient of the site and use private wells. No site-related contaminants were found in these wells; however, not all the wells were tested for lead. There were no community concerns associated with morbidity or mortality so no health outcome databases were evaluated.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

We have addressed the community concerns about health as follows:

  1. Is my health currently at risk as a result of exposure to contaminants in my residential well?

    No site-related VOCs have ever been detected in residential wells. Trace amounts of common laboratory contaminants were found in three wells. These suspected laboratory contaminants would not present a public health problem.

    Only three shallow wells were tested for lead (RW#1, RW#2 and RW#3). The location and description of these wells is provided in Appendix B. These wells were not contaminated above the detection level of 5 µg/L. However, on-site wells are contaminated with lead at concentrations that would be of public health concern. If an off-site well is being used for potable water, lead testing should be done. The Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level (PMCL) for lead is zero.


  2. Are residents exposed to hazardous levels of site contaminants in air?

    No. While VOCs were detected on-site at very low levels, they were only detected near the oil/water separator. Though meteorological conditions during air testing provided for excellent dispersion, no VOC or BNA, above background, were noted at the sampling locations around the landfill perimeter. Therefore, off-site exposure to site contaminants in air is unlikely and would not result in adverse health effects.


Next Section     Table of Contents

  
 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #