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

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ASARCO INCORPORATED (GLOBE PLANT)
DENVER, DENVER COUNTY, COLORADO


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based on information reviewed, the ASARCO Inc. Globe site is a public health hazard. Thisconclusion is based on the evidence that exposures have occurred, and are occurring tosubstances at concentrations that may cause adverse health effects. Workers were exposed tocadmium, lead and tellurium in indoor air at levels of public health concern. These workers whoare in close contact with surface soils were and may be currently exposed to arsenic cadmiumand lead at levels of public health concern. It is possible that those workers might experiencesome respiratory, mild kidney and blood problems because of exposure to antimony, tellurium,cadmium and lead in air and or in soils.

  2. Nearby residents were and may currently be exposed to arsenic, cadmium and lead in soils, andcadmium and lead in vegetables at levels of public health concern. It is possible that adultsmight experience some respiratory, mild kidney, and blood problems. Children, especially thevery small number who exhibit pica behavior (1-3 years old) might experience mild neurologicalsigns, skin and blood problems because of exposure to arsenic, cadmium, lead and zinc.

  3. It is probable that the city-wide problem of total suspended particulate (TSP) levelsoccasionally exceeding the TSP standard could contribute to the occurrence of respiratoryconditions reported and diagnosed among workers and area residents.

  4. Past exposures to arsenic in air and soils on site, and to cadmium in air both on and off site could result in slightly low or moderate increased risk for cancer.

  5. Potential routes for human exposure include sediments and farm produce. Althoughgroundwater is contaminated, two well use surveys have found no current users of thecontaminated groundwater. In addition, future use of groundwater is precluded by the ASARCOconsent order.

  6. Although vegetable gardens may have been a completed pathway in the past, the State ofColorado and ASARCO have been actively involved in educating the community about usingclean soil and community gardens to avoid any unnecessary exposure now and in the future.

  7. Several community concerns from residents and local officials related to the ASARCO Inc.Globe Plant site have been received. These concerns have been summarized and addressed in thePublic Health Implications section.

  8. Summary information on the private well surveys is needed to determine if there are privatewell users in areas groundwater contamination. Moreover, additional data are needed for theresidential soil sampling currently occurring to evaluate further the public health significance of exposures to residential soils.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Continue to limit access to the site (including the Industrial Drainage Ditch) to prevent human exposure to contaminants in ditch water, sediment, soil, and unused process buildings.

  2. During remedial actions, access to properties should be restricted and residents should beasked not to use their yards.

  3. Dust suppression methods should be used during remedial activities.

Site/Area Characterization Recommendations

  1. Provide summaries of previous private well surveys.

  2. Continue additional soil sampling now occurring in residential areas.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and LiabilityAct of 1980 as amended, ATSDR has evaluated the Globe Plant site for appropriate healthfollow-up activities. The data and information developed in the ASARCO Inc., Globe Plant sitepublic health assessment have been evaluated by the HARP for appropriate follow-up withrespect to health actions. Because workers and nearby residents in the community were and maycurrently be exposed to hazardous substances at levels of public health concern, HARPdetermined that (1) community health education is needed to assist them in understanding theirprobable exposure to contaminants, and (2) health professions education is needed to educate the local professionals in diagnosing, treating and preventing injury or disease due to exposure tohazardous substances. In addition, ATSDR concurs with the CDPHE that medical monitoring ofthe community prior to and after remediation is needed. Moreover, HARP determined thatchildhood respiratory disease concerns (probably exacerbated by the city-wide problem of totalsuspended particulate (TSP) levels occasionally exceeding the TSP standard) should be broughtto the attention of the local health officials. [The CDPHE has acknowledged that representativesof the local health departments have been actively involved in site activities, and have beenprovided with copies of the public health assessment]. When additional data and informationbecome available, ATSDR will reevaluate this site for any additional indicated follow-up.

Public Health Actions

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the ASARCO Inc. Globe Plant site contains adescription of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or local, state, and federal agencies. Thepurpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies publichealth hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse humanhealth effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included, is a commitment on the part of ATSDR and the Colorado Department of Health to follow up on thisplan to ensure that it is implemented.

    The Colorado Department of Health will take the lead, and ATSDR will assist when requested,to (1) provide community health education to help the exposed persons in understanding theirprobable exposure, (2) provide health professions education to assist the local healthprofessionals in diagnosing, treating and preventing injury or disease due to exposure tohazardous substances, (3) conduct medical monitoring of the community prior to and after siteremediation to evaluate health concerns and assess likelihood of linkage to exposure tohazardous substances, and (4) bring the concerns about childhood respiratory disease in thecommunity to the attention of the local health officials. [The CDPHE has acknowledged thatrepresentatives of the local health departments have been actively involved in site activities, and have been provided with copies of the public health assessment].

    The final PHAP will be evaluated annually unless additional information warrants more frequent evaluation.




PREPARERS OF REPORT

Moses M. Kapu, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Laura Barr
Environmental Health Scientist
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Mark Rodriguez, M.PH.
Visiting Scientist
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR Regional Representative

Glenn J. Tucker, Ph.D.
Region VIII
Denver, Colorado


REFERENCES

  1. Colorado Department of Health. Record of Decision. ASARCO Globe Plant Site, Denver,Denver/Adams County, Colorado. February 18, 1993.

  2. TRC Environmental Consultants. Remedial Investigation Report, Globe Plant Site. Denver,Colorado. Joint Study: ASARCO, Inc. and State of Colorado. Volume 1-2. September 20,1988. Finalized Comments included March 12, 1992.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Record of Activity. Phone ConferenceCall with Colorado Department of Health Officials (Jane Mitchell, Celia Vanderloop, NancyStrauss). September 30, 1993.

  4. Colorado Department of Health. Consent Decree. ASARCO Inc., ASARCO Plant Site. Denver, Colorado. Civil Action No. 83-C-2383. May, 1993.

  5. Putnam Environmental Services. A Joint Study by ASARCO Inc. and the State of Colorado. Public Health Evaluation. ASARCO, Inc., Globe Plant, Denver, Colorado. Draft, July, 1989. Finalized April 15, 1992.

  6. TRC Environmental Consultants. Feasibility Study Report: ASARCO Globe Plant, Denver,Colorado. Joint Study: ASARCO, Inc. and the State of Colorado. August, 1990. Finalized May27, 1992.

  7. Colorado Department of Health. Citizen's Summary: ASARCO Globe Plant Settlements. October, 1993.

  8. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Office of Health Assessment. Review ofthe Remedial Investigation Work Plan, ASARCO Globe Plant Smelter, Denver, Colorado. May8, 1986.

  9. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health Consultation: State of ColoradoProposed Cleanup Levels For Cadmium at ASARCO, Inc., Globe Site. Denver, Colorado. December 11, 1992.

  10. JACA Corporation. Environmental Engineers and Consultants: Analysis andAlternatives-Air Emissions Control Study. ASARCO Globe Plant, Denver, DenverCounty/Adams County, Colorado. Prepared for Colorado Department of Health. Final Report. August 6, 1992.

  11. EnviroGroup Limited. Design Investigation Plan, Community Soils and Vegetable GardensOperable Unit. ASARCO Inc., Globe Plant, Denver, Colorado, September 14, 1993.

  12. Colorado Department of Health. Division of Disease Control and EnvironmentalEpidemiology. The Globeville Childhood Metals Study: An Exposure Study. Draft for PublicComment. November 15, 1993.

  13. Colorado Department of Health. Statistical Information, 1990 Census for Globeville (Censustracts 15, 35, 89.52). Department of Local Affairs. Denver, Colorado. October, 1992.

  14. Denver Planning and Community Development. Globeville Neighborhood Plan. Preparedby John Harris, Doug Wheeler, and Globeville Neighborhood Planning Team. 1989.

  15. American Journal of Epidemiology. Cadmium Exposure In a Community near a Smelter. Volume 107, No. 1. pp. 27-35. 1978.

  16. Colorado Cancer Registry. Jack Finch. Response by Colorado Cancer Registry for Requestby Colorado State Attorney General's Office for Review of Cancer Incidence for 1980-83 inCensus tracts surrounding ASARCO Globe Plant, Denver, Colorado. December, 1985.

  17. Colorado Cancer Registry. Jack Finch. Cancer Review for 1980-86 for age-adjusted cancerincidence rates in census tracts (15, 35, 89.52) surrounding the ASARCO Globe Plant, Denver,Colorado. May 2, 1989.

  18. Jarvis, Joe MD. Information on Central Cancer Registry. Denver, Colorado. April 28, 1993.

  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Record of Activity. Phone conversationwith Jane Mitchell, Colorado Department of Health. January 14 and 24, 1994.

  20. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment GuidanceManual. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. Lewis Publications, 1992.

  21. EnviroGroup Limited. Preliminary Long-Term Operation, Maintenance, and MonitoringPlan for Litharge Department and Fugitive Emissions Plant Site Operable Unit. ASARCO Inc.,Globe Plant, Denver, Colorado. October 8, 1993.

  22. Colorado Department of Health. Air Pollution Control Division. ASARCO Globe Plant,Denver, Colorado. Air Monitoring Data tapes (May 1989-September 1991) and summary airdata (ASARCO data through December 1990, and State data through June 1991). Data packagereceived October, 1993.

  23. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Citation and Notifications of Penalty for ASARCO, Inc. Denver, Colorado. December 8, 1988 -June 2, 1989.

  24. Urie Environmental. General Health and Safety Plan. Prepared for ASARCO, Inc., GlobePlant Site, Denver, Colorado. August 12, 1993.

  25. Chemistry and Industrial Hygiene, Inc. Environmental Sampling, Arsenic, Cadmium, LeadExposure Assessment, and Quantitative Health Risk Assessment for Garden Place and SwanseaElementary Schools. Prepared for Environmental Safety Office, Denver Public Schools, Denver,Colorado. August 26, 1991.

  26. Colorado Department of Health. Argo Domestic well Survey of groundwater wells inGlobeville and area surrounding Globe Plant Site, Denver, Colorado. 1985.

  27. Environmental Protection Agency. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI).

  28. United States Bureau of the Census. 1991. Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 1B Extract on CD-Rom (Colorado) [machine readable data files]. Washington, D.C.

  29. United States Bureau of the Census. 1991. TIGER/Line Census Files, 1990 (Colorado). Washington, D.C.

  30. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Emergency and Remedial Response. Hazardous Site Evaluation Division, Site Assessment Branch. Ranking Site Document forASARCO, Inc. (Globe Plant). Region 8. Denver, Denver County, Colorado. September 17, 1992.

  31. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Antimony. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. September, 1992.

  32. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. April, 1993.

  33. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. April, 1993.

  34. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Lead. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. April, 1993.

  35. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Manganese. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. July, 1992.

  36. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Selenium. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. December, 1989.

  37. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Zinc. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. February, 1993.

  38. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. HSDB. Hazardous Substance Database. Micromedex on-line HSDB. 1994.

  39. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Micromedex, Inc. on-line IRIS, 1994.

  40. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Case Studies in EnvironmentalMedicine for Arsenic Toxicity. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. June, 1990.

  41. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Case Studies in EnvironmentalMedicine for Cadmium Toxicity. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. June, 1990.

  42. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Case Studies in EnvironmentalMedicine for Lead Toxicity. ATSDR: Atlanta, Georgia. September, 1992.

  43. Hill, RN. Current EPA Perspectives in Animal Selection and Extrapolation in (Roloff MN etal, eds) Human Risk Assessment: The Role of Animal Selection and Extrapolation. London'sTaylor and Francis. 1987.

  44. Stallones, RA. Epidemiology and Environmental Hazards. In (Gordis L and Libauer CH,eds) Epidemiology and Human Risk Assessment. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.

  45. Paustenbach, DJ. A survey of health risk assessment. In (Pautstenbach DJ, ed) The RiskAssessment of Environmental Hazards. A Textbook of Case Studies. New York: John Wileyand Sons. 1989.

  46. Andor, Mary, et. al. Casarett and Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons. Fourth Edition. Perganon Press, 1986.

  47. Abernathy et. al. Essentiality Versus Toxicity: Some Considerations in the Risk Assessmentof Essential Trace Elements. Hazard Assessment of Chemicals. Vol. 7, Taylor and Francis: Washington, D.C. 1993.

  48. Colorado Department of Health. Contract for Globe Plant Site Medical Monitoring Services. Globe Plant Site, Denver, Colorado. 1994.

  49. Berkow, R (ed) et. al. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 16th Edition. MerckResearch Laboratories: Rahway, N.J., 1992.

  50. Ostro, BD, Lipsett, MJ, et. al. American Journal of Public Health. Asthmatic Responses toAirborne Acid Aerosols. 1991: 81:694-702.

  51. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR: Current Trends Updates TuberculosisElimination-United States. 39 (10); 153-56. March 16, 1990.

  52. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR: Topics in MinorityHealth-Tuberculosis in Minorities-United States. 36 (6); 77-80. February 20, 1987.

  53. Zhang, J, Kyriakos, MB, et. al. Health Status of Diabetic Mexican Americans: Results fromthe Hispanic HANES. Ethnicity and Disease. Volume 1, pp. 273-79. Summer, 1991.

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. #