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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans on conducting a removal action to addresslong-term health threats associated with environmental contamination at the 5th and ClevelandIncinerator site in Jacksonville, Florida. EPA has requested that the Agency for Toxic Substancesand Disease Registry (ATSDR) assess the immediate health threat at the site to determine ifadditional steps are required to protect public health prior to the removal action [1]. The EPA hasprovided ATSDR with sampling data collected during a Remedial Investigation (RI) conductedfrom March to September 2000. The RI was conducted to determine the extent of contaminationfrom the past operation of a municipal incinerator at the site. The 5th and Cleveland Incinerator siteis one of three sites that encompass the "Jacksonville Ash Sites." The other two are the Lonnie C.Miller Park and the Forest Street Incinerator [2].

From 1943 to 1969, the 5th and Cleveland site housed a municipal incinerator. Ash waste generatedfrom the incinerator now covers approximately 36 acres, including most of the original 9 acreincinerator site [2]. The ash deposits are typically less than 2 feet thick, but ash deposits on theoriginal site and Emmett Reed Park areas east, south, and west contain deposits up to 4 feet thick[2]. The site now includes a park, school, playground, basketball courts, and a baseball field. Thesurrounding community is primarily residential and commercial. The City placed one foot of cleanfill over ash waste at the John E. Ford Elementary School located southeast of the site [2].

In December 1996, ATSDR, prepared a Health Consultation for the site assessing limited soilsampling data. ATSDR reviewed results from 14 samples collected from the site and concluded thatlead was present in the soil at "levels of health concern," and that additional characterization of thecontamination was required.

On March 15, 2001, ATSDR accompanied EPA on a tour of the site. Signs were posted in the areawarning the public about lead contamination, and information was provided on measures to reduceexposure. Shredded tires were placed in playground areas to prevent direct contact with the ash-contaminated soil.

The EPA conducted an RI at the site from March to September 2000. As part of the RI for the 5thand Cleveland site, soil, and groundwater samples were collected. Samples were analyzed for anumber of contaminants including metals, dioxin, and other organic constituents. A total of 267 soilborings and 7 groundwater monitoring well samples were collected as part of the RI. The populationsurrounding the community is served by a public water distribution system. It is not known if there are any private wells in the area that are being used a s a potable water source [3].

Sampling Results


Soil samples collected from the site and surrounding community showed extensive lead contamination associated with ash waste (see figures 6-5, 6-6, and 6-7). Lead was detected in the surface and subsurface soils at maximum concentrations exceeding 2,000 mg/kg. EPA established a soil lead screening value of 400 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) for the site. The combined area where surficial lead contamination exceeded 400 mg/kg is approximately 54 acres.

The EPA performed screening analysis for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin toxicity equivalency (2,3,7,8-TCDD TEQ) on soil samples collected from the site. All of the dioxin results were below the EPA action level of 1 nanogram per kilogram (ng/kg) TCDD TEQ.


Lead concentrations were below the EPA screening value of 0.015 milligrams per liter (mg/l) in thegroundwater monitoring wells. Subsurface soil samples collected from 1 foot below the visible ashdid not show lead concentrations above the EPA screening value of 400 mg/kg indicating thatsignificant leaching is not occurring at the site.

Blood Lead Screening

The Duval County Health Department has offered free blood lead screening for area residents. Thepurpose of the screening is to identify individuals, particularly children 12 months to 6 years of age,exceeding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline of 10 micrograms perdeciliter (ug/dl). If the CDC guidelines are exceeded, specific health followup actions are initiated.Test results to date have shown few blood lead levels exceeding the CDC guidelines. Blood leadlevels among those tested were found to be at or below the established mean concentrations forDuval County and the U.S. [4]. In the few cases where the CDC guidelines were exceeded, a survey of the household revealed a potential source of exposure such as lead-based paint [4].


The operation of the 5th and Cleveland incinerator resulted in significant ash waste on site and in thesurrounding community. Sampling was conducted to measure lead and other metals that canconcentrate in ash. Dioxin and other complex organic compounds were also sampled since they canbe present as a by-products of incinerated organic material. The health threat posed by thesecontaminants is dependent on the concentration, the amount of ash/soil ingested or inhaled, and thesusceptibility of the population exposed. The most significant route of exposure to contaminatedash/soil at this site is from incidental ingestion. Since metals and dioxin are non-volatile, theinhalation route is of less concern and is limited to dust that may be swallowed following inhalation.

The population living in the area are served by a public water distribution system. It is not known ifthere are any private wells in the area that used as a potable water source. However, thegroundwater at the site does not appear to be a concern since sampling has not shown any significantcontamination in the soil below the ash line, nor has there been any significant leaching into thewater table.


The RI indicated wide spread lead contamination in ash-contaminated surface and subsurface soilson site and in the surrounding community. The EPA has established a lead screening value of 400mg/kg for high contact areas. This value is often used as a screening tool for residential areas wherefrequent contact with the soil can occur, and where there is not a sufficient vegetative cover. Thisvalue is designed to protect the most sensitive members of the population. EPA has a screening levelof 1000 mg/kg for low contact areas such as commercial or industrial properties. Lead was detectedin the surface soil at this site exceeding 2,000 mg/kg. Lead at these concentrations in the soil couldresult in elevated blood lead levels, particularly in children who are more likely to ingest largeramounts of contaminated soil while playing. Children in the 0-to-6 year age group are mostsusceptible since their developing nervous systems are particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of lead.

Some measures have been taken to reduce exposure to lead-contaminated soil at this site. Forexample, ground cover (shredded tires) have been placed in playground areas, clean fill has beenplaced at the John E. Ford Elementary School, and signs have been posted. In addition, voluntaryblood lead testing has been offered to area residents. However, the wide spread contamination,particularly in residential areas around the site poses a concern. The EPA plans on conducting acleanup action at the site. However, some exposure to lead may occur or be occurring prior to thecleanup action.

Although blood lead screening of residents in the area has not shown significant elevations amongthose tested, the testing has been available on a volunteer basis, and it is not clear that all thechildren residing in contaminated areas have been tested. In addition, low test results do not ensureexposures will not occur in the future. Residential areas surrounding the former incinerator are ofparticular concern since these areas are likely to have children in the susceptible age range (0-to-6years) who may have frequent contact with the contaminated soil. It would be prudent to implementsome additional measures, particularly in high concentration areas (greater than 1,000 mg/kg) untilthe EPA removal action is completed. Covering areas of contamination can help to reduce exposuresin the community along with continued blood lead screening and health education.


The potential threat posed by the dioxin is dependant on the concentration and the extent of humanexposure. EPA established an action level for dioxin of 1 ug/kg [2]. None of the soil samplescollected from site during the Remedial Investigation exceeded the EPA screening value. Thescreening value itself it designed to protect people exposed in a residential setting over a life time.The exposure assumptions (e.g. soil ingestion amounts) used to derive the 1 ug/kg value areconservative and are likely to overestimate the actual exposures that may occur.

Child Health Initiative

ATSDR considers the unique susceptibility of children in the evaluation of all hazardous waste sites.Children may have higher levels of exposure since they are more likely to inhale and ingestcontaminated soil. Infants and toddlers are also more susceptible to the adverse effects of somecontaminants which must be considered when assessing exposure to environmental contaminants.Since children are particularly susceptible to the deleterious effects of lead, a major contaminant atthis site, recommendations were provided at this site to ensure that children are protected from exposure.


Based on information provided, ATSDR concludes the following:

  1. Lead concentrations have been detected in ash waste at the 5th and Cleveland site and surrounding areas at levels that pose a public health hazard if children frequently come in contact with the contaminated soil/ash.

  2. Dioxin levels measured at the site are below levels of health concern.

  3. Interim measures are required prior to future EPA removal actions at the site to protect children from exposure to lead


  1. Continue with plans to remediate lead-contaminated soils and ash at the site and surrounding areas.

  2. Restrict access or place protective barrier (e.g. wood chips) over high lead concentration areas (greater than 1,000 mg/kg) until final remediation is initiated.

  3. Maintain the vegetative cover or place protective barrier in areas (greater than 400 mg/kg) where children may come in frequent contact with the soil. Such areas would include playgrounds and swing sets.

  4. Continue conducting blood lead screening targeting children 12 months to 6 years of age residing in areas of high lead contamination.

  5. Continue with health education activities that focus on personal hygiene and other measures to reduce lead exposure.


  1. EPA request for health consultation for the Jacksonville Ash Sites, January, 2001

  2. Remedial Investigation Report for the Jacksonville Ash Site, CH2M Hill, Inc., November2000.

  3. Telephone conversation with EPA Region IV OSC on November 19, 2001

  4. Telephone conversation with Duval County Health Official on March 15, 2001.


Depth in Ash map
Figure 6-5. Depth in Ash map

Surficial Soil Lead Results
Figure 6-6. Surficial Soil Lead Results

Subsurface Soil Lead Results
Figure 6-7. Subsurface Soil Lead Results

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