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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) review soil sampling data from the Haven Avenue Lead site and determine if soil lead concentrations pose a public health threat to residents [1].

The site consists of several residences located along Haven Avenue in Ocean City, New Jersey. In November 1995, the Cape May County Health Department (CMCHD) identified a child with an elevated blood lead level living on the 600 block of Haven Avenue. A follow-up investigation by the CMCHD did not detect lead paint in the home. However, soil sampling showed lead concentrations in the child's yard exceeding 5,000 parts per million (ppm) [2]. It was later determined that furnace ash was used as fill material in the neighborhood and was the probable source of the lead contamination in the soil [2].

At the request of EPA, ATSDR provided a Health Consultation for the site in October 1996. In the consultation, ATSDR concluded that lead was present in the soil of the child's yard at levels of health concern, and additional sampling was required to determine the extent of contamination in the neighborhood. It was recommended that sampling be conducted in yards suspected of receiving fill material, and that samples be analyzed for contaminants commonly found in furnace ash [3].

In June 1997, EPA's Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) collected surface and subsurface soil samples from 74 locations on Haven Avenue where areal photographs and previous investigations indicated potential contamination [2]. In addition to residential properties located along Haven Avenue, samples were collected from a primary school and from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Complex [2]. A total of 119 samples were analyzed by X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) screening. Confirmatory analysis using Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP) was completed on 10% of the soil samples [2]. In addition to the lead analysis performed on the soil samples, EPA performed testing for organic and inorganic chemicals. The results of the inorganic and organic chemical analyses did not indicate any contamination other than lead that warranted further investigation [4].

The XRF soil sampling results indicated that lead contamination is present throughout the 600 block of Haven Avenue (see attached map). Surface soil (0-3 inches) levels of lead ranged from non-detect to 5,500 ppm. Lead concentrations in subsurface soil (6-12 inches) were as high as 6,200 ppm. Soil lead levels at the primary school, HUD Complex, and the 200 block of Haven Avenue were < 250 ppm.

The ICP conformational analysis conducted on 10% of the XRF samples showed higher values. For example, sample results using the XRF screening method showed lead at 5,700 ppm for sample number 634-2B. The ICP results for the same sample was 9,980 ppm lead. The results for sample numbers 634-4B and 634-2A were also higher when analyzed via ICP, and increased from 5,500 and 5,100 ppm, respectively, to over 7,000 ppm.

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