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




From the information reviewed, ATSDR has concluded that the environmental contamination that was previously released from the Caldwell Systems Incorporated site was a public health hazard. That conclusion was reached as a result of evidence that workers, their families, and nearby communities were in the past exposed to site contaminants.

The facility no longer operates; therefore, no further exposures are expected, and the facility is considered to be of no apparent public health hazard.

The extent of the groundwater contamination has not been fully defined; however, it does not appear that the existing level is of public health concern.

Environmental contamination associated with the Caldwell County Landfill is not addressed in this public health assessment.


A. Recommendations and Health Activities (HARP) Statement

ATSDR recommends the following actions be taken at the Caldwell Systems Incorporated petition site:

  1. ATSDR will evaluate the Caldwell County Landfill as public health needs dictate and as resources permit.
  2. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, requires ATSDR to perform public health actions needed at hazardous wastes sites. To determine if additional public health actions are needed, ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has evaluated the data and information developed in the public health assessment of the Caldwell Systems site. The information available indicates that there were probable past exposures to levels of contamination that would be expected to cause adverse health effects. ATSDR has conducted a Symptom-Disease Prevalence Study and Professional Health Education at this site.

B. Public Health Action Plan

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the CSI petition site includes a description of the actions that have been taken by ATSDR at and in the vicinity of the site. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action to ensure the protection of public health. The following are the public health actions that have been implemented by ATSDR:

Actions Undertaken

  1. The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation released a health consultation in May, 1990.
  2. ATSDR issued a public health advisory on July 24, 1990.
  3. The Division of Health Education provided environmental health education to local health care providers in 1990.
  4. The Division of Health Studies conducted a study of area residents and family members of former employees in 1991.
  5. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health examined the health of former CSI employees in 1990 and 1991.
  6. The Study of Symptom and Disease Prevalence conducted by ATSDR's Division of Health Studies also conducted respiratory, immune, and neurologic functions among persons living within 0.9 mile of the incinerator be evaluated using biomarker testing.

Actions Planned

  1. ATSDR will continue evaluate the Caldwell County landfill as public health needs dictate and as resources permit.


Sven E. Rodenbeck, PE
Environmental Engineer Consultant
Remedial Programs Branch

Virginia Lee, MD, MPH
Medical Officer
Federal Programs Branch

Lynelle Phillips
Environmental Health Scientist
Petition Response Branch

Robert Safay
Regional Representative
Region IV


  1. NUS Corporation, Superfund Division. Listing Site Inspection, Caldwell Systems Inc., Lenoir, Caldwell County, North Carolina. October 31, 1990.

  2. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Advisory for Caldwell Systems Inc., Lenoir, Caldwell County, North Carolina. July 25, 1990.

  3. Congressman Cass Ballenger. Letter petitioning ATSDR. June 15, 1990.

  4. Mr. Greer C. Tidwell, Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Letter petitioning ATSDR. July 20, 1990.

  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health Consultation concerning Caldwell Systems Inc. August 20, 1990.

  6. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Memorandum to Jim Kopotic from Dan Thoman concerning Dioxin Results for the Air Dispersion Model-Implicated Areas, Caldwell Systems Inc. March 28, 1991.

  7. Seppalainen M and Antti-Poika M. The Course of Electrophysiological Findings in Patients with Solvent Poisoning. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health 1983;9:15-24.

  8. Massioui FE, et al. Sensory and Cognitive Event Related Potentials in Workers Chronically Exposed to Solvents. Clinical Toxicology 1990;28(2):203-219.

  9. Brackbill RM, Maizlish N, and Fischbach T. Risk of Neuropsychiatric Disability among Painters in the United States. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health 1990;16:182-188.

  10. Axelson O, Hane M, and Hogstedt C. A Case-Referent Study on Neuropsychiatric Disorders among Workers Exposed to Solvents. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health 1976;2:14-20.

  11. Chadwick OFD and Anderson HR. Neuropsychological Consequences of Volatile Substance Abuse: A Review. Human Toxicology 1989;8:307-312.

  12. Ramsey J, Anderson HR, Bloor K, et al. An Introduction to the Practice, Prevalence, and Chemical Toxicology of Volatile Substance Abuse. Human Toxicology 1989;8:261-269.

  13. Olsen J, et al. Low Birthweight, Congenital Malformations, and Spontaneous Abortions among Dry-Cleaning Workers in Scandinavia. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health 1990;16:163-168.

  14. Zielhuis GA. Menstrual Disorders among Dry-Cleaning Workers. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health 1989;15:238.

  15. Wrensch M, et al. Pregnancy Outcomes in Women Potentially Exposed to Solvent-Contaminated Drinking Water in San Jose, California. American Journal of Epidemiology 1990;131:283-300.

  16. Meulenbelt J, de Groot G, and Savelkoul TJF. Two cases of Acute Toluene Intoxication. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 1990;47:417-420.

  17. Bakinson MA and Jones RD. Gassings due to Methylene Chloride, Xylene, Toluene, and Styrene Reported to Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate 1961-80. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 1985;42:184-190.

  18. Bell BP, Franks P, Hildreth N, et al. Methylene Chloride Exposure and Birthweight in Monroe County, New York. Environmental Research 1991;55:31-39.

  19. Hersh JH, Podruch PE, Rogers G, et al. Toluene Embryopathy. Journal of Pediatrics 1985;106:922-927.

  20. Pozzi C, et al. Toxicity in Man due to Stain Removers Containing 1,2-dichloropropane. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 1985;42:770-772.

  21. Garnier R, et al. Tetrahydrofuran Poisoning after Occupational Exposure. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 1989;46:677-678.

  22. Lynge E and Thygesen L. Primary Liver Cancer among Women in Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Work in Denmark. Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health 1990;16:108-112.

  23. Wyman JF, Guard HE, and Coleman WM III. Environmental Chemistry of 1,2-Propanediol Dinitrate: Azeotrope Formation, Photolysis and Biodegradability. Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology 1984;13:647-652.

  24. Trainor DC and Jones RC. Headaches in Explosive Magazine Workers. Archives of Environmental Health 1966;12:231-234.

  25. Parker AC, Di Carlo FJ, and Davidson IWF. Comparative Vasodilator Effects of Nitroglycerin, Pentaerythritol Trinitrate and Biometabolites, and Other Organic Nitrates. European Journal of Pharmacology 1975;31:29-37.

  26. Forman SA, Helmkamp JC, and Bone CM. Cardiac Morbidity and Mortality Associated with Occupational Exposure to 1,2-Propylene Glycol Dinitrate. Journal of Occupational Medicine 1987;29(5):445-450.

  27. Wyman JF, et al. Interspecies Variability in Propylene Glycol Dinitrate-Induced Methemoglobin Formation. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1985;81:203-212.

  28. Stewart RD, et al. Experimental Human Exposure to Propylene Glycol Dinitrate. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1974;30:377-395.

  29. Horvath EP, Ilka RA, Boyd J, et al. Evaluation of the Neurophysiologic Effects of 1,2-Propylene Glycol Dinitrate by Quantitative Ataxia and Oculomotor Function Tests. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 1981;2:365-378.

  30. Bogo V, Hill TA, and Nold J. Motor Performance Effects of Propylene Glycol Dinitrate in the Rat. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 1987;22:17-27.

  31. ATSDR. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethane. Atlanta: ATSDR, December 1989.

  32. Ericsson G and Camner P. Health Effects of Sulfur Oxides and Particulate Matter in Ambient Air. Scandinavian Journal of Work & Environmental Health 1983;9(S3):5-52.

  33. Pope CA. Respiratory Disease Associated with Community Air Pollution and a Steel Mill, Utah Valley. American Journal of Public Health 1989;79(5):623-628.

  34. Schwartz J. Lung Function and Chronic Exposure to Air Pollution: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of NHANES II. Environmental Research 1989;50:309-321.

  35. Stern B, et al. Respiratory Health Effects Associated with Ambient Sulfates and Ozone in Two Rural Canadian Communities. Environmental Research 1989;49:20-39.

  36. Xu X, Dockery DW, and Wang L. Effects of Air Pollution on Adult Pulmonary Function. Archives of Environmental Health 1991;46(4):198-206.

  37. Speizer FE. Assessment of the Epidemiological Data Relating Lung Cancer to Air Pollution. Environmental Health Perspectives 1983;47:33-42.

  38. Lloyd OL, Lloyd MM, Williams FLR, et al. Twinning in Human Populations and in Cattle Exposed to Air Pollution from Incinerators. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 1988;45:556-560.

  39. Gustavsson P. Mortality Among Workers at a Municipal Waste Incinerator. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 1989;15:245-253.

  40. Moore MR, McIntosh MJ, and Bushnell IWR. The Neurotoxicology of Lead. Neurotoxicology 1986;7(2):541-556.

  41. Mushak P, Davis JM, Crocetti AF, et al. Prenatal and Postnatal Effects of Low-Level Lead Exposure: Integrated Summary of a Report to the U.S. Congress on Childhood Lead Poisoning. Environmental Research 1989;50:11-36.

  42. Petit T. Developmental Effects of Lead: Its Mechanism in Intellectual Functioning and Neural Plasticity. Neurotoxicology 1986;7(2):483-496.

  43. Needleman H, et al. The Long-Term Effects of Exposure to Low Doses of Lead in Childhood: An 11-Year Follow-up Report. New England Journal of Medicine 1990;322:83-88.

  44. ATSDR. The Nature and Extent of Lead Poisoning in Children in the United States: A Report to Congress. July 1988.

  45. Duggan MJ and Inskip MJ. Childhood Exposure to Lead in Surface Dust and Soil: A Community Health Problem. Public Health Review 1985;13:1-54.

  46. ATSDR. Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead (Update). October 1991.

  47. Guerra M. Letter to Dr. Ron Levine, North Carolina Department of Human Resources. July 19, 1990.

  48. ATSDR. Study of Symptom and Disease Prevalence; Caldwell Systems Inc. Hazardous Waste Incinerator; Caldwell Conty, North Carolina. Draft for Public Comment, January 1993.

  49. NIOSH. Interim Report: The Caldwell Group: Caldwell Services, Inc., Lenoir, NC; Caldwell Systems Inc., Lenoir, NC; Mitchell Systems Inc., Spruce Pine, NC. HETA 90-240, October 1991.

  50. NIOSH. Health Hazard Evaluation Report: The Caldwell Group, North Carolina. HETA 90-240-2259, October 1992.

Next Section          Table of Contents 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. #