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The Region II U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has requested that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) evaluate analytical data from residential properties located across the street from the Cornell-Dubilier Electronic Inc. site in South Plainfield, New Jersey, and determine if polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in indoor dust and surface soils are at levels of public health concern [1]. Exposure Investigation and Consultation Branch (EICB) has completed several verbal health consultations regarding on-site PCB contamination and made public health recommendations that have included sampling of residential homes near the site [2,3].

The Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Site is located at 333 Hamilton Boulevard in South Plainfield, Middlesex County, New Jersey. The 25 acre site is bordered by commercial businesses and residences on the south, west and north, and on the southeast, east, and northeast by an unnamed tributary to Bound Brook [2]. It is estimated that 540 persons reside within 0.25 miles of the site; the nearest residence is approximately 200 feet from the site [2].

During the 1950s, Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc. manufactured electronic parts and components, and tested transformer oils. Discarded electronic components were landfilled onsite and transformer oils contaminated with PCBs were reportedly dumped directly onto site soils. The company vacated the site in the early 1960s [2].

The site is currently known as the Hamilton Industrial Park and is occupied by an estimated 15 commercial businesses. Numerous companies have operated at the site as tenants over the years [2]. A paved driveway is used to enter the park; the pavement ends within 100 yards of entering the park. It has been observed that vehicles entering the industrial park during dry conditions create airborne dust [2]. The driveway leads into what was formally a dirt, gravel, and stone roadway that nearly encircles the business structures at the site. The roadway separates the structures from a heavily vegetated vacant field, and was paved by EPA in September 1997 as part of the site stabilization process to mitigate migration of contaminated dust.

On March 24, 1998, ATSDR and EPA Region II held a conference call to discuss indoor dust and surface soil data collected from 16 residential properties and analyzed for PCBs.

The residential properties sampled by EPA were selected using information obtained from air modeling. The indoor dust and surface soil sampling was conducted to evaluate health impacts to area residents from PCB contamination .

In October 1997, EPA Region II collected surface soil samples from 16 residential properties [4]. The soils were analyzed for PCBs. Approximately 20 surface soil samples were collected from each residential property. PCB levels in surface soils ranged from none detected to 22 parts per million (ppm).

In November 1997, EPA Region II collected indoor dust samples from 12 residential properties [5]. The indoor dust samples were analyzed for PCBs. Approximately two to four indoor dust samples were collected from each residential property. PCB levels in indoor dust ranged from none detected to 205 ppm (or 117 micrograms (ug) total PCBs in sample mass).

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