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This site poses no apparent public health hazard (CATEGORY D) because of the following reasons: past human exposure to contaminated media was evaluated and that estimated exposure dose did not exceed an ATSDR chronic MRL; data are available for all environmental media to which humans may have been exposed, and only groundwater is contaminated off site where exposure may occur; and no community-specific health complaints indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health (7). Specific conclusions drawn from questions posed in the "Purpose and Health Issues" section of this document follow:

  1. Do the current environmental media sampling data indicate that residents are being exposed to levels of contamination at which adverse health effects may occur?

No, all of the data which has been gathered to investigate off-site contamination do NOT indicate that humans are being exposed to levels of contamination where adverse health effects may occur. Of the contaminants present in samples from private wells, none existed at high enough levels to exceed health guidelines or cause a significant level of increased cancer risk.

  1. If so, what are potential health effects and what can be done to prevent further exposure?

At this time, no potential health effects are expected to occur due to exposure in the past to groundwater at residences near this site. Should levels of groundwater contamination increase in the future, however, a potential exists that adverse health effects could occur. Possible effects would vary, depending upon levels and specific contaminants, so we are not listing any possible effects. The best way to prevent further exposure is to determine what is migrating toward private wells and to offer alternate water to residents whose wells are in imminent danger of contamination.

  1. Does contamination at this site present a long-term risk to residents in the vicinity of the landfill?

At this time, not enough data have been gathered to determine the full potential for the water supply of residents near the landfill to become contaminated. To best determine this potential, the source of contamination in the single private well has to be located. Thus far, whether the Clark Road MSWL or another source contributed to contamination in the residential well has not been clearly determined.


ATSDR recognizes that the unique vulnerabilities of infants and children demand special emphasis in communities faced with contamination of their water, soil, air, or food. Children are at a greater risk than are adults from certain kinds of exposures to hazardous substances emitted from waste sites and emergency events. Children are more likely to be exposed because they play outdoors and because they often bring food into contaminated areas. They are more likely to come into contact with dust, soil, and heavy vapors close to the ground. Also, they receive higher doses of chemical exposure because of lower body weights. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages.

We did not identify any current or future exposure situations at this site that would result in adverse health effects for children. All estimates for exposure doses and comparison values were considered for both children and adults specifically (Table 5).


Planned Public Health Actions

  • GDPH will continue to review off-site environmental data collected in the vicinity of the landfill.

  • GDPH will continue to inform residents near the site about the health-related aspects of the landfill.


  • To insure that residents are not exposed to contaminants present in the single impacted private well, EPD should continue to recommend that this water source not be used for consumption or any other use where humans may come into contact with the water.

  • Because other private wells could be impacted by groundwater contamination, EPD should continue to require monitoring of private wells in the area at least yearly until the area is remediated.

  • Because the source of contamination is unclear and private wells could be contaminated in the future, EPD should continue to require that the extent of off-site groundwater contamination is sufficiently delineated, and the risk posed to the private wells by contaminants present in on-site groundwater should be determined.


This Clarke Road Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Georgia Department of Human Resources under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was begun.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment and concurs with the findings.

Lisa C. Hayes


  1. Personal Communication. Mr. Billy Hopper, Burke County Board of Commisioners, Waynesboro, Georgia, September 1, 1998.

  2. Laboratory Report. Private Well Sampling, Burke County Municipal Solid Waste Landfill, Tribble and Richardson Inc., May 12, 1997.

  3. Laboratory Report. Private Well Sampling,Burke County Municipal Solid Waste Landfill, Tribble and Richardson Inc., January 22, 1999.

  4. Site Visit and Consultation. Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health, September 1, 1998.

  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride, Update, 1999.

  6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene, Update, 1997.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1992.

  8. EPA. EPA Region III Risk-based Concentration Table - October 1998 Update. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region III.1998.

  9. Hill RN. Current EPA perspectives on animal selection and extrapolation. in (Roloff MV et al, eds) Human Risk Assessment. The Role of Animal Selection and Extrapolation. London: Taylor and Francis. 1987.

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

  11. Paustenbach DJ. A survey of health risk assessment. in (Paustenbach DJ, ed) The Risk Assessment of Environmental Hazards. A Textbook of Case Studies. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 1989.

  12. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health Guidelines Comparison Values, 03/31/99.


Georgia Department of Human Resources
Division of Public Health
Toxics and Health Hazards Consultation Section

Scott Harris, Toxicologist

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Gail Godfrey, Environmental Health Scientist

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Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

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