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April 25, 1989

Prepared by
Massachusetts Department of Public Health


Office of Health Assessment
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Public Health Service
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

I. Summary

The National Priority List (NPL) site, Wells G and H, is located about 10 miles north of Boston,Massachusetts. Woburn Municipal Wells G and H were used from 1964 to 1979 to supplementWoburn drinking water supplies. The ground water extracted from Wells G and H was found tobe contaminated with volatile organic compounds in 1979. The predominant ground watercontaminants are trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene and1,1,1-trichloroethane. Five contaminated properties located on-site are known contributors to theground water contamination. Ground water and both surface and subsurface soil contaminationon-site is extensive and results from: liquid-waste spills on the ground, sludge disposal, buriedand surface disposal of 55-gallon drums, and leaking tanks. Based on a 30-day aquifer test,Municipal Wells G and H were found to intercept, either entirely or partially, ground water frombeneath these five contaminated properties. Wells G and H have not been used since 1979. Asresidences and industries are located both on-site and nearby, a potential exists for humanexposure to contaminants by: (1) inhalation of fugitive dusts and vapors from surface soils,industrial use of contaminated well water, and migration of vapors from contaminated shallowground water to the inside of buildings; 2) dermal contact with contaminated surface soils atWildwood Conservation Corporation, New England Plastics Corporation, and Olympia NomineeTrust Corporation, sludge at Wildwood Conservation Corporation, and contaminated industrialwell water at New England Plastics Corporation and John J. Riley Tannery; and 3) ingestion offugitive dusts, surface soils, and, possibly, contaminated fish and contaminated industrial wellwater. In addition, contaminated sediments also pose a potential exposure source should directcontact occur. Based upon the information reviewed to date, we conclude that this site is ofpublic health concern.

II. Background

A. Site Description

The Wells G and H Site is located within the City of Woburn, in Middlesex County,approximately ten miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. Based on the NUS Corporation'sRemedial Investigation (RI) (1986) and Planning Research Corporation's Wetlands Assessment(1986), the 450-acre site is bordered by Interstate 95 to the north, Interstate 93 to the east, Cedar Street and SalemStreet to the south, and Wildwood Avenue to the west (refer to Appendix A, Figure 1). ThisHealth Assessment covers this area. The Aberjona River flows from north to south through thecenter of the site. Besides the river and associated wetlands, the site includes commercial andindustrial parks. Surface water runoff from the site is directed through conduits and drainageditches toward the Aberjona River and its tributaries. A residential development and severalother residences are located within the defined perimeter of the site. Outside the site to the east,south and west, residential developments predominate.

Based on the NUS Corporation's RI (1986), this site is located on land which serves as a rechargearea for the aquifer from which the Woburn Municipal Wells G and H drew water. The easternand western site boundaries approximate the upland boundaries of the Wells G and H aquiferrecharge area; however, the northern and southern boundaries do not encompass the entirerecharge area delineated by the Aberjona River watershed. In May 1979, the MassachusettsDepartment of Environmental Quality Engineering (DEQE) detected trichloroethylene,trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, chloroform, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, andtrichlorotrifluoroethane at levels up to 400 micrograms per liter (ug/l) in ground water samplesfrom Wells G and H. This aquifer was used as a source of municipal drinking waterintermittently from 1964 until both wells were shut down on May 21, 1979. In 1980, theMassachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) determined that a higher rate than expected ofchildhood leukemia incidence existed in Woburn. A subsequent hydrogeological and waterquality study and site investigations of facilities in the area indicated the source(s) ofcontamination to be within one square mile of Wells G and H. The U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) placed this site on the NPL on December 21, 1982.

Five properties within the site have been determined to contain soil contamination and tocontribute to the ground water contamination. These properties are:

1. UniFirst Corporation - formerly a dry cleaning facility when under the ownership of InterstateUniform Service Corporation (IUSC) (1966-1983). From 1977-1982, a 5,000-gallonabove-ground tank was used to store the dry-cleaning agent tetrachloroethylene. IUSC reported a100-gallon spill on the concrete floor within the facility to the DEQE in 1979. IUSC cleaned upthe spill themselves. In 1988 Ebasco Services Inc. reported the recovery of less than two liters ofa dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) from a monitoring well installed near the location ofthe removed storage tank. The liquid contained 19,000,000 ug/l of tetrachloroethylene.

2. Cryovac Division of W.R. Grace and Co. - a food wrapping manufacturer since 1961. W.R.Grace and Co. utilized degreasing agents such as trichloroethylene at its facility. W.R. Grace andCo. made use of a pit behind the plant for waste disposal, and discharged waste into the city'ssewer system. In accordance with an EPA Administrative Order, the pit was excavated and six55-gallon drums of liquid waste and contaminated soil were removed to a ResourceConservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA)-approved disposal facility in June, 1983.

3. New England Plastics Corporation - a manufacturer of solid vinyl siding and various otherplastic products. Prospect Tool and Die Company is also located within the same building. InDecember 1986, water from an industrial well which tapped the bedrock aquifer was found to becontaminated with various volatile organic compounds mostly tetrachloroethylene andtrichloroethylene. The EPA included the New England Plastics Corporation property in aSupplemental RI for the site. In 1988, effluent from the New England Plastics Corporation wasfound to enter the Aberjona River via a drainage ditch.

4. Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation - an undeveloped parcel of land and a leased truckingterminal. The Hemingway Transport Co., which owned the property since 1980, had fourunderground storage tanks at the trucking terminal facility. Following transfer of propertyownership to the Juniper Development Group in May 1983, a 6,280-gallon gasoline tank wasfound to be leaking, and was removed in July 1983. It is unknown when the tanks were installedand when the gasoline tank began leaking. Two new diesel fuel tanks were installed in 1983. Nogasoline is currently stored on-site. The suspected gasoline contamination at this property aswell as another one at the Weyerhaueser Lumberyard are being addressed by the MassachusettsDEQE. In March 1985, the property was sold to the current owners, Olympia Nominee TrustCorporation. In 1970, 200 to 500 five-gallon containers of arsenic trioxide were discovered onthe undeveloped portion of the property. The containers were removed shortly after discovery. In September 1971, a drum was found on the current Olympia Nominee Trust Corporationproperty near the intersection of Wildwood Avenue and Olympia Avenue. The DPH determinedthe drum to contain arsenic. In September 1985, the EPA found ten rusted 55-gallon drums and apile of pesticide caps on the western side of the property near the railroad tracks. In accordancewith an EPA Administrative Order, Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation had the drums, caps,and associated contaminated soil removed to a RCRA-approved landfill in December 1985.

5. Wildwood Conservation Corporation - an undeveloped parcel of land accessed by an unpavedroad. John J. Riley sold the land to Beatrice Foods, Inc., in 1978, then rebought the property in1983. He established the property as the Wildwood Conservation Corporation in 1985. Varioustrails leading from two neighboring facilities, Whitney Barrel Company and Murphy Waste OilCompany, to the property existed during the period 1966-1983. On the property, extensivecontamination consisting of sludge, discolored soils, trash, 55-gallon drums, paint cans anddebris piles has been documented. Following the additional discovery of high levels ofcontaminants in the soil and in the ground water, the EPA issued an Administrative Order inDecember 1985, requiring the property to be fenced and guarded to prevent unauthorized entry. John J. Riley Tannery has an industrial water supply well on the property.

For the location of these properties within the Wells G and H site refer to Appendix A, Figure 2. Besides ground water and soil contamination within this site, surface water and sedimentcontamination were found in the portion of the Aberjona River and its tributaries located withinthe site. To date, hydrogeological and soil RIs have been completed as well as a finalSupplemental RI, draft Feasibility Study, final Endangerment Assessment, final WetlandsAssessment, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) aquifer test.

B. Site Visit

On August 23, 1988, a site visit was conducted by Louise House - a Region I Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) representative, Barbara Newman - the EPA SiteManager for Wells G and H, and Eileen Furlong - representing the DPH. Particular informationobtained was incorporated into the text of the Health Assessment including information onrecreational land use within and bordering the site, accessibility to the contaminated properties(children observed, fencing, bridges leading to contaminated property), and the uses ofcontaminated industrial well water (at the New England Plastics Corporation and the John J.Riley Tannery). In addition, the existence of other studies was discovered which addressedconcerns described within the text (indoor air monitoring, 100-year floodplain boundaries, andsoil and additional ground water monitoring at the UniFirst Corporation). The results of thesestudies have been or will be incorporated into the Health Assessment as they become available.

III. Environmental Contamination and Physical Hazards

Extensive sampling and analyses for contamination have been conducted for this site during theperiod 1983 to 1988. Ground water is the most extensively monitored medium followed by soil. Surface water, sediment, and air quality have also been monitored. At various properties withinthe site, appropriate samples from drainage ditches, excavated disposal pits, contents of55-gallon drums, drainage pipes, sludge, soil near manhole covers, and sewage from a piperunning through the site have been analyzed. Media from the five known contaminatedproperties were analyzed on an irregular basis and to various extents by different investigators. The most commonly monitored analytes were volatile organic compounds, followed by`semi-volatile' compounds or acid/base/neutral extractable organic compounds. Pesticides,PCBs, dioxins, and inorganic compounds were analyzed for on a less frequent basis.

A. On-site Contamination

Extensive soil and ground water contamination exists at this site. Concentration values given inTable I are for the most prevalent or toxic compounds detected. Most of the data presented wereobtained from 1985 to 1988 by various investigators. Some information was available for thetime period 1983-1984, and all data for New England Plastics Corporation were obtained during1987 and 1988.

    1. Ambient Air

Air contamination by volatile organic compounds was not detected unless soil was disturbed,such as during pit excavation or monitoring well installation.

    2. Ground water

Most ground water information was obtained during 1985 sampling rounds by the EPA RI Teamand by consultants for the owners of the contaminated properties. Substantial additional groundwater data were obtained during the Supplemental RI in 1987 and 1988. Five major areas ofground water contamination have been identified within the site. Originating from beneath theW.R. Grace and Company property, a plume of contaminants characterized by high levels oftrichloroethylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene extends southwestward toward Wells G and H. Another plume originates from beneath the UniFirst Corporation facility and extendssouth-southwest towards Wells G and H. This plume has been found to contain mostlytetrachloroethylene. In addition, DNAPL consisting primarily of tetrachloroethylene (1.9%) wasrecovered from the shallow bedrock aquifer immediately beneath the UniFirst Corporationfacility.

Ground water contamination beneath the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation and WeyerhaueserLumberyard contains components unique to gasoline contamination. In addition, arsenic, leadand chlordane have been detected in Olympia Nominee Trust Corp. ground water. Arsenic andlead were detected in ground water obtained from two monitoring wells. One well was located inthe area near a disposal site of 55-gallon drums and contaminated soil, and contained 550 to 574ug/l of arsenic and 188 to 224 ug/l of lead (unfiltered samples). A ground water sample obtainedfrom the same monitoring well four months later and filtered with a 0.45 micrometer filterresulted in arsenic levels of 13.3 to 20.1 ug/l and lead levels less than 2 ug/l. The othermonitoring well was located in the northern section of the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporationproperty and contained arsenic at 258 ug/l in an unfiltered ground water sample. The chlordanewas detected in an area near the disposal site of 55-gallon drums, where associated contaminatedsoil contained high levels of chlordane and Aroclor-1260. Chlordane was detected in groundwater in 1987 although the drums and contaminated soil were removed in 1985.

Ground water contamination beneath the Wildwood Conservation Corporation property is mostlytrichloroethylene with localized high concentrations of tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane,trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, chloroform and xylene. In 1981, water from the John J. RileyTannery production well located on the Wildwood Conservation Corporation property wasdetermined to contain >300 ug/l of both trichloroethylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene and100-200 ug/l of 1,1,1-trichloroethane. In April 1985, a water sample from this same wellcontained 220 ug/l of trichloroethylene, 26 ug/l of 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 28 ug/l oftrans-1,2-dichloroethylene and 12 ug/l of tetrachloroethylene.

Ground water beneath the New England Plastics Corporation property is less contaminated thanthe other areas but does have elevated tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene levels. Two ofthree bedrock industrial wells on this property monitored in December 1987 revealedcontamination characterized by 65 to 270 ug/l of tetrachloroethylene, 14 to 52 ug/l oftrichloroethylene, 3 to 17 ug/l of 1,1,1-trichloroethane and none detected to 9 ug/l oftrans-1,2-dichloroethylene. Ground water from the three shallow overburden monitoring wellscontained 9 to 96 ug/l of tetrachloroethylene, 27 to 41 ug/l of trichloroethylene, none detected to26 ug/l of 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and 1 to 6 ug/l of trans-1,2-dichloroethylene. In severalmonitoring wells located west of the Boston and Maine Railroad tracks, levels greater than 100ug/l of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (BEHP) were detected.

Monitoring of ground water from Wells G and H during two rounds of sampling in 1979 forvolatile organic compounds and inorganic compounds indicated contamination with chloroform(`none detected'-11.8 ug/l), trichloroethylene (63.0-267.4 ug/l), tetrachloroethylene (9.0-28.0ug/l), 1,1,1-trichloroethane (`none detected'-2.1 ug/l), dichloroethylene (`none detected'-28.0ug/l), arsenic (1.5-2.0 ug/l), and lead (`none detected'). No information on contaminant levelsprior to 1979 exists. Subsequent analyses of Wells G and H water in 1980, 1981, 1985 and 1986indicated the presence of trichloroethylene (52-21 ug/l), tetrachloroethylene (`none detected'-270ug/l) and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (11-53 ug/l). No information was available for the otherchemicals.

    3. Surface Water and Sediments

Aberjona River surface water samples were analyzed in 1984 and 1985, and, then with samplesfrom its tributaries, again in 1987. Low levels of volatile organic compounds, includingtrichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, were detected. BEHP was detected in two of eightsamples during the September 1987 sampling round. The highest level of BEHP was detectednear the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation property.

The Aberjona River and its tributaries were sampled for sediment contamination in 1987. Additional inorganic compound sediment monitoring was performed in June 1988. Sedimentcontamination occurred more in the Aberjona River than in its tributaries (except one tributarynear the railroad tracks and running into the western branch of the Aberjona River), andconsisted of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), BEHP, arsenic and lead.

    4. Soil

Soil sampling was conducted on an irregular basis. Four consulting firms along with theSupplemental RI team monitored the soil from various properties at various times. The areas andyears sampled are: central area (1987), New England Plastics Corporation (1987), OlympiaNominee Trust Corporation (1985, 1987), W.R. Grace and Co. (1983, 1985, 1987), UniFirstCorp. (1986, 1987), and Wildwood Conservation Corp. (1983, 1984, 1987).

Near Wells G and H at the Rifle Range, a small oil spill area was identified by the visualappearance of the soil. A horizontal surface soil composite from this spill revealed the presenceof chlordane and lead. Surface soil (<6 inch depth) monitoring at the New England PlasticsCorporation resulted in the detection of PAHs, Aroclor-1260, BEHP, trichloroethylene, andtetrachloroethylene.

At Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation, the highest levels of surface soil contamination weremeasured in the undeveloped portion of the property near a disposal area of 55-gallon drums andpesticide caps. The contaminated soil contained mostly chlordane and Aroclor-1260 as well astrichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, PAHs and BEHP. The contaminated soil, drums and capswere removed in 1985. Subsequent surface and subsurface soil monitoring in 1987 revealed lowlevels of soil contaminants, namely PAHs and arsenic. Liquid from a drum found on theproperty in September 1971 was determined by the DPH to contain 1000 milligrams per liter(mg/l) of arsenic.

Monitoring of soil at W.R. Grace and Co. revealed low levels of contaminants in an excavationpit that contained 55-gallon drums of liquid waste and sludge, and in trenches excavated tointercept drainage ditches and pipes. Very little surface soil contamination is apparent.

The UniFirst Corporation consultants conducted soil monitoring for select volatile organiccompounds. Most samples were composites of soils taken from two to three foot depth ranges. Low levels of tetrachloroethylene were detected.

The Wildwood Conservation Corporation property contains substantial soil contamination. Surface soil samples contained mostly PAHs, chlordane, Aroclor-1254, Aroclor-1260, and lesseramounts of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), BEHP, trichloroethylene,tetrachloroethylene, arsenic and lead. Higher levels of the volatile organic compounds,trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, were detected in subsurface soil samples. Substantialsurface disposal of sludge occurs on this property. The sludge samples contained lead, arsenic,BEHP, DDT, chlordane, PAHs, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene.

B. Off-Site Contamination

A limited amount of data for off-site contamination is available. Table II contains contaminationvalues for off-site samples as well as on-site samples obtained near the boundaries of the site. Each value given represents only one to three sampling locations. Sampling rounds for thevarious media were conducted as follows: ground water (1984, 1985, 1987), surface water(1984, 1985, 1987), and sediments (1984, 1987). No off-site soil or air monitoring has beenperformed.

Very little ground water contamination has been detected in samples obtained north of the site(<10 ug/l of trichloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene). Ground water from the only monitoringwell located south of the site and adjacent to the Aberjona River is contaminated by volatileorganic compounds, especially trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (6-42 ug/l), trichloroethylene (47-140ug/l), tetrachloroethylene (52-55 ug/l), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (21-42 ug/l). The twomonitoring wells located south of the site but upland relative to the Aberjona River containedlittle or no organic contamination. Surface water, both north and south of the site, contained lowlevels of volatile organic compounds (<20 ug/l total volatile organic compounds). Sedimentssouth of the site contained more phthalates, PAHs, lead and arsenic than sediments north of thesite.

C. Physical Hazards

Most contaminated property within this site is fenced to discourage unauthorized entry. Duringthe site visit, specific properties were examined at their peripheries, except for Wells G and Hand the Rifle Range which were accessed; hence, the presence of physical hazards was difficultto determine. Below is a list of physical hazards of potential concern.

Potential concerns:

John J. Riley Tannery two chromium lagoons
hide piles
Wildwood Conservation Corporation rusted 55-gallon drums
debris piles
Aberjona Auto Parts old cars and car parts

IV. Demographics of Population at Risk

A. Populations at Risk

The 1980 U.S. Census indicated 36,636 individuals live within the City of Woburn. Thepopulation size decreased by 2.1% during the period 1970 to 1980. More information will beobtained from the ongoing adverse health outcomes study being conducted in Woburn by theDPH on behalf of ATSDR.

B. Land Use

The site includes numerous existing light industrial and manufacturing facilities, as well as onesmall residential development and several isolated residences. Some nonresidential propertiesare fenced to limit unauthorized access. The Wildwood Conservation Corporation property isfenced on three sides with barb wire on top of the fence. The side parallel to the Aberjona Riveris not fenced. A guard walks along the fence every four hours. Bordering the site to the east,south and west are extensive residential developments. Substantial development of land isoccurring near the site, especially for residences just south of the site. Within the site, some ofthe upland industrial properties could be converted to residential use in the future.

A greenhouse for flower cultivation is located adjacent to the western boundary of the site. Residential gardens were evident during the site visit near the entrance to the rifle range and alsojust off-site to the south at the corner of Washington Street and Cedar Street. Also, adjacent to,but outside the boundary of, the site to the west is a pond which receives drainage from theWildwood Industrial Park located on the western section of the site. Children have beenobserved playing in the pond. Fishing at the pond is known to occur. Children are known to dirtbike in the undeveloped portion of Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation. A youth was observedduring the site visit at the Rifle Range near the small patch of contaminated soil. A trapper isknown to set wet traps in the Aberjona River.

V. Evaluation

A. Data Needs and Evaluation

    1. Environmental Media
      a. Sampling Strategy

An extensive amount of environmental monitoring data is available for the Wells G and H sitefor the period 1983-1987. Monitoring was done during several investigations working at varioustimes and areas within the site. Properties sampled were chosen following site investigations,historical reviews of land use, and an indication of local ground water contamination. Selectionof properties to monitor was also based on whether ground water contamination originating fromthe property could impact Wells G and H drinking water; thus, the John J. Riley Tannery andother properties were dismissed although these properties lie within the site boundaries. TheEPA eliminated the John J. Riley Tannery from the site, because the pumping of the tannery'snumber two production well (located on the Wildwood Conservation Corporation property) actsas a ground water divide blocking the diversion of ground water from the tannery to Wells G andH during operation of the municipal wells. The exact positions of subsurface soil and groundwater sampling were selected based mostly on the visual appearance of soil, the results of soilgas analyses for volatile organic compounds, and, to a lesser degree, the results of magnetometersurveys and known locations of 55-gallon drums, tanks, spills, ditches and pits. In addition,monitoring well installation sites were selected based on information obtained from previouslyinstalled wells (ground water flow direction and contaminant levels). Surface soil samplinglocations were selected based on the visual appearance of soil and known locations of surfacedisposal of 55-gallon drums, spills, sludge and sewer manholes.

Air sampling and analysis for volatile organic compounds were conducted during wellinstallations and any pit or trench excavations, using an HNu photoionization detector or aCentury organic vapor analyzer. Surface water and sediment sampling locations were chosen inareas of likely contamination, that is, in areas where stream flow was low and sediments mightaccumulate, in tributaries, and matched to surface water samples.

Field screening of soil, surface water, sediment and groundwater samples using a Centuryorganic vapor analyzer or photovac 10A10 chromatograph was often done to select samples forfurther laboratory monitoring. The use of these instruments (HNu photoionization detector,Century organic vapor analyzer, and photovac 10A10 chromatograph) for field studies hasinherent limitations. Generally, these instruments are not universal detectors but detect onlyselect volatile organic compounds, are not very sensitive, and naturally occurring environmentalconstituents and certain climactic conditions interfere with the instruments' operations. The HNuphotoionization detector cannot be used to discern individual contaminants, but measures totalvolatile compounds with ionization potentials within a narrow energy band. By using theseinstruments to determine which environmental samples to monitor, samples may be disregardedwhich contain nonvolatile contaminants, volatile contaminants not selected by these instruments,and levels of contaminants below the sensitivity limit of the instrument. At this time, thesescreening methods are state-of-the-art for selecting samples to monitor and are generallyadequate for this site where the major contaminants are volatile organic compounds; however,these screening methods are not appropriate where arsenic contamination occurs if the arsenic isnot associated with elevated levels of volatile organic compounds. Arsenic contamination mayhave occurred in the early 1970's when numerous containers containing arsenic were found onthe present-day Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation property.

    b. Data Completeness
      1. Soil

Most soil samples were obtained during soil boring or well installation; thus, the samples aresubsurface soil samples. Surface soil samples were usually a composite of soil from the 0-2 footdepth range. Only six known samples were obtained at depths less than six inches. Compositesmay overestimate or underestimate the actual level of contamination at the surface. Sampling ofsoils at a 1 or 2 centimeter (cm) depth (<1 inch) better represent actual surface soil contaminantlevels, and is preferred by ATSDR for the purpose of determining the potential for humanexposure. Little or no surface soil information was available for UniFirst Corporation, thetrucking facility at Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation, the eastern portion of the New EnglandPlastics Corporation property, nor in the wetlands bordering the Aberjona River wheresedimentation of surface runoff particulates is likely to occur. Surface soil contamination (<1inch) is not fully characterized for Wildwood Conservation Corporation, the western portion ofNew England Plastics Corporation, the undeveloped section of Olympia Nominee TrustCorporation and the central area near Wells G and H. The inorganic contents are unknown of the55-gallon drums and associated soils discovered on the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporationproperty in 1985. Sludge is present on the soil surface of the Wildwood ConservationCorporation property, and has been adequately characterized for the purposes of the HealthAssessment.

    2. Ground water

An extensive amount of ground water monitoring data, especially of volatile organic compounds,is available for the site. Prior to 1985, only information for select volatile organic compounds isavailable. Lesser amounts of semi-volatile or extractable organic and inorganic compoundmonitoring have been done. Isolated incidences of elevated levels of ground watercontamination by phthalates, arsenic and lead have been found, but have not been fullycharacterized. Monitoring wells found to contain elevated levels of phthalates in ground watersamples were monitored once for semi-volatile organic compounds; therefore, although thesamples may have been contaminated with plasticizers during sampling, it is not a certainty. These monitoring wells should be sampled again. Only one thorough round of ground watermonitoring has been performed for the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation and New EnglandPlastics Corporation. During one monitoring round, ground water from one monitoring welllocated at Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation was filtered prior to analysis. No split unfilteredsample was analyzed for this sampling time. At UniFirst Corporation, DNAPL has been foundbeneath the facility. A study prepared by UniFirst Corporation's consultant, ERT ResourceEngineering Company, addresses the DNAPL contamination beneath the property. Although, ingeneral, ground water contamination originating at UniFirst Corporation has been well studied,the extent and spatial distribution of the DNAPL is not completely known but would be difficultto accomplish. Generally, several rounds of monitoring are done to fully characterize groundwater contamination. Sufficient ground water monitoring at W.R. Grace and Co. and WildwoodConservation Corporation has been performed.

    3. Surface Water and Sediments

Surface water and sediment sampling of the Aberjona River occurred during three samplingrounds in April, May and June 1985 and, again with its tributaries, in September 1987. Additional sediment sampling occurred in June 1988. Sampling in April and Septemberapproximately correlates with anticipated times of high and low discharge volumes, respectively;however, not enough sampling data and hydrological information are available to determine theinfluence of ground water infiltration on contaminant levels. No information is available on theinfluence of episodic events, such as rainfall, on surface water contaminant levels. Also, only alittle information is available on sediment contamination in the portion of the Aberjona Rivernear areas of substantial surface soil contamination, namely east and south of the WildwoodConservation Corporation property and the undeveloped portion of the Olympia Nominee TrustCorporation property. Whether fishing occurs in the Aberjona River (off-site or on-site) isunknown, but no fish contamination information is available.

    4. Ambient Air

No volatile organic compounds were detected in ambient air, unless the soil was first disturbed. No measurements of ambient air quality based on binding of nonvolatile contaminants toairborne particulates or to less volatile compounds has been done. Areas of surface soilcontamination may contain elevated levels of air contaminants.

    c. Adequacy of Site Characterization

Various areas near and within the site have not been characterized. A review of the historical useof property within the site may reveal which additional properties present an exposure risk. Inaddition, the extent of past contamination in these areas is unknown. Specific areas notcharacterized are:

1. A Site Investigation at the John J. Riley Tannery located in the southwest corner of the site(based on the NUS Corporation's description of the site boundaries in their RI) revealed thepresence of two chromium lagoons and a pile of hides. The contaminants within the lagoons arenot known, and whether the lagoons are leaking contaminants to neighboring soil or water is notknown. However, tanneries utilize a variety of different chemicals including many known to betoxic. See the Section entitled "Sampling Strategy" as to why the EPA did not consider thetannery as part of the site. Although Wells G and H may not have intercepted ground waterwhich originated at the tannery during the period of Wells G and H operation, the fact that (1) thetannery is located within the RI's (1986) defined boundaries, (2) environmental pathways arelikely contaminated (lagoons, contaminated soil, sludge, hides and ground water), and (3)potential human exposure pathways do exist (production well no. one is located at the tannery,workers and trespassers are or could be present) indicate that further attention to the tannery iswarranted.

2. Weyerhaueser Lumberyard is located in the northwest corner of the site. One well located onthe downgradient section of the property has high levels of gasoline constituents in its groundwater. The gasoline contamination originating at the lumberyard is being investigated by DEQE.

3. The presence of contamination in the section of the site west of the Boston and MaineRailroad tracks has not been well studied.

    (a) The wells west of the Boston and Maine Railroad tracks contain the highest levels of groundwater phthalates detected on-site. One ground water sample contained 1,400 ug/1 of BEHPalthough its solubility in water is reported to be 285 ug/l at 250C. This value is probably notvalid; therefore, remonitoring of this well for confirmation is recommended. No soil and littleground water monitoring of this area have been performed.

    (b) Two man-made pools (located outside the site boundaries) drain the Wildwood IndustrialPark (located inside the site boundaries) then to the Aberjona River via an unnamed stream. Children have been observed fishing in one of these ponds. No surface water, sediment, or fishsampling have been done in these ponds.

4. No indoor air quality information is available. Residences and industries located on-site thatmay have elevated levels of indoor air contamination are:

    (a) Residences in the Dewey Avenue development and the building at neighboring WestCummings Park because ground water plumes with high levels of volatile organic contaminationoriginating from W. R. Grace and Co. and UniFirst Corporation properties travel beneath thedevelopment and industrial park. The water table levels beneath these properties are unknownand probably vary appreciably over a short distance as a steep bedrock incline exists in this area.

    (b) UniFirst Corporation and W. R. Grace and Co. facilities because of volatile organiccompound contamination in shallow ground water (<8 feet) beneath these properties.

    (c) John J. Riley Tannery and New England Plastics Corporation because of the use ofproduction wells which draw contaminated water from beneath the Wildwood ConservationCorporation property and New England Plastics Corporation property, respectively. In the finalEndangerment Assessment, a model was used for predicting indoor air contaminant levels fromthe use of industrial well water at both facilities. According to Appendix C of the EndangermentAssessment, the ground water contaminant values used for predicting indoor air levels at theJohn J. Riley Tannery were obtained from the monitoring wells located in the non-source centralarea. The actual monitoring data used are not known. The tannery has two production wells. One well (S46) is reported in the Endangerment Assessment to be located in the central area;however, this well is located on the Wildwood Conservation Corporation property. An aquifertest performed on this well indicated that the well diverts ground water from beneath asubstantial portion of this property. The second production well is located on the tanneryproperty just west of the railroad track and southwest of the Wildwood Conservation Corporationproperty. Whether this well diverts ground water from beneath the Wildwood ConservationCorporation is unknown. Using ground water contamination values from the WildwoodConservation Corporation monitoring wells would result in a more conservative, and, perhaps, amore accurate estimate of indoor air levels.

5. Arsenic contamination has not been adequately characterized at the Olympia Nominee TrustCorporation property and in the area bordering the property to the south and southeast, includingthe Aberjona River and associated wetlands and the area immediately adjacent to Well H. Thepresent-day Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation was the site of known arsenic disposal duringthe early 1970's. The quantity of arsenic present in the 200 to 500 five-gallon containersdiscovered in 1970 and containing arsenic trioxide is unknown. If the drums discovered in 1985contained arsenic is unknown, because no inorganic compound monitoring were done of thedrum contents or associated soils; however, ground water samples from nearby shallowmonitoring wells contained elevated levels of arsenic. Also unknown is whether the containersruptured or leaked. The exact locations of disposal of the arsenic-containing five-galloncontainers and 55-gallon drum are unknown. The selection of samples to monitor was based, atleast in part, on the results of soil gas analyses for select volatile organic compounds; therefore,the selection for arsenic containing samples was not optimal. The highest on-site ground water(in two samples) and soil (in one sample) arsenic levels were present at this property. Asubsequent ground water sample which was filtered prior to analysis had much lower arseniclevels; however, no split unfiltered sample was monitored for comparison. Because drinkingwater from domestic wells is often not treated to remove turbidity, ATSDR requires unfilteredsamples to determine health implication. In addition, high ground water arsenic levels weredetected in one monitoring well (elevated at both depths sampled) located just south of OlympiaNominee Trust Corporation in the wetlands adjacent to the Aberjona River. Elevated groundwater arsenic levels were detected in a monitoring well located between Wells G and H. Sediment contamination in the portion of the Aberjona River located just down stream ofOlympia Nominee Trust Corporation and immediately adjacent to Well H contained high levelsof arsenic (>3,000 mg/kg). The wetlands located on the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporationproperty and south of the property and west of Well H have not been sampled for arseniccontamination.

6. Past exposure to contaminants in Wells G and H drinking water is known to have occurred(1979 data), but has not been fully characterized. Whether retrospective exposure quantitationfor Wells G and H drinking water for the period 1964 to 1979 is feasible is uncertain, but thepossibility might exist.

7. The portion of the Aberjona River watershed supplying water to the Wells G and H Sitesubstantially extends past the northern boundary of the site. Landfills, dumps and industries arecommon in this area. For this portion of the watershed, contamination to the ground water andthe Aberjona River or its tributaries from contaminated lagoons, ditches, leachates and so forthhas been documented. From a historical perspective, surface water contamination originatingfrom this area is of more concern, because it would travel to the site faster than would groundwater contamination. Except for the IndustriPlex NPL Site, the extent that this upgradientoff-site source contributed to on-site contamination, especially during operation of Wells G andH, is unknown. The properties contaminated in this area and the extent of contamination areunknown.

8. Besides off-site data needs already mentioned, off-site soil and wetland monitoring have notbeen performed.

In general, contamination in some areas of the site is well characterized, and in other areas iseither partially or not characterized.

    2. Land Use and Demographics

Recreational use of the land on-site and off-site has not been defined, except that fishing in adrainage pond to the west of the site has been observed, dirt bike riding occurs on theundeveloped portion of the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation property, and trapping in theAberjona River is done by an individual. What is caught in the traps and whether it is consumedis unknown. Fishing in the Aberjona River within or near the site as well as any otherrecreational use of the river must be defined to determine potential exposure. Because manyresidences border the Aberjona River wetlands to the south, it is likely the river is used especiallyby children for recreational purposes such as fishing, wading and tadpoling. The extent ofgardening or any other agricultural activity near the site or in the portions of Woburn receivingdrinking water from Wells G and H during the period 1964-1979 is unknown, but residentialgardens are known to exist at and near the site. Whether private residential and industrial wells(except the three on-site industrial wells) intercept the contaminated ground water is alsounknown.

To fully assess the public health significance, the permanent and transient (e.g., worker andstudent) population sizes are needed for the site and within one-quarter mile of the site, as is thenumber that received Wells G and H drinking water from 1964 to 1979. This information will beobtained by the DPH as a result of the ongoing adverse health outcomes study. In addition, theage and sex distribution, and the socioeconomic, occupational, and ethnic makeup will help toidentify potentially high risk subpopulation groups (e.g., children, pregnant women, elderlypersons, and people with compromised immune systems).

    3. Quality Control and Quality Assurance

Numerous investigators monitored different locations of the site at various times. Mostenvironmental data considered here have passed the EPA's Contract Laboratory Program (CLP)Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) guidelines. Data gathered by consultants forthe owners of the contaminated properties passed the CLP QA/QC guidelines or else a limitedQC review. The remaining studies, mostly performed as RIs on behalf of the EPA, passed theCLP QA/QC guidelines.

The conclusions presented in this Health Assessment are based on the data reviewed. Thevalidity of these conclusions is dependent on the quality of the data provided.

B. Environmental Pathways

Because the Wells G and H Site is complicated with regards to contaminants present at variousproperties and the influence of hydrogeology at the site, this section is divided into three parts tofacilitate understanding of the environmental pathways.

    1. Transport Mechanisms for Various Contaminants

Many chemicals were detected on-site, therefore only the chemicals identified as contaminants ofconcern are considered here. These chemicals were chosen based on prevalence, toxicity, andaccessibility for human contact. Because of the variety of chemicals, the environmentalpathways of each chemical were considered separately.

Aroclor-1254 and Aroclor-1260 are highly chlorinated (54% and 60%, respectively) mixtures ofpolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs, especially when highly chlorinated, tend to be poorlysoluble in water. PCBs absorb strongly to sediments, soils, as well as atmospheric and watercolumn particulates. Leaching from soil does not readily occur unless the soil also containsorganic contaminants. Dissolved PCBs can volatilize from surface waters as indicated bymoderate vapor pressures. PCBs tend to be stable in the various environmental media. TheAroclor bioconcentration factors in aquatic species have been found to range from 26,000 to660,000. Because the Aroclors are actually mixtures of various PCB compounds, the differingtendencies of these compounds to cycle through the environment and to degrade meritsconsideration.

Arsenic in soil is usually in an insoluble form and adsorbed to soil components, especially toclay. Reduction and methylation by soil microorganisms can lead to volatile forms of arsenicbeing released to the atmosphere (e.g., arsine or methyl arsine), and various transformationprocesses result in soluble forms being released to ground water (e.g., sodium arsenite andarsenic acid). In surface water, arsenic is transformed by many processes. In ground water,arsenic may travel with ground water flow, become volatilized, change oxidation statesdepending on water and soil conditions, and become bound to clays and organic matter orcomplexed with iron or aluminum. Arsenic may bioconcentrate in algae and lower invertebrates,but does not become appreciably biomagnified. Under certain conditions, plants accumulatearsenic by root uptake.

BEHP tends to strongly bind to organic and inorganic components of soils and sediments. BEHPoccurs more in surface water than in ground water. Volatilization from water to air is probablynegligible because of its low vapor pressure. Studies indicate a degradation half-life of about 14days under aerobic conditions in freshwater-laden soils. Anaerobic degradation is much slowerthan aerobic degradation. BEHP tends to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms, even though it canbe degraded or metabolized by microorganisms, invertebrates and fish.

Chlordane, a pesticide, is applied into subsurface soils. Chlordane binds tightly to soils andsediments, and leaches very slowly. It persists in the environment because of its resistance tochemical and microbial degradation. The half-life of chlordane in soil was determined to be fouryears (EPA, 1987). Chlordane has the potential to bioaccumulate in fish.

Chloroform present in surface waters readily volatilizes into the atmosphere. In soil, chloroformeither volatilizes into the atmosphere or leaches to ground water. Atmospheric chloroform existsmostly in the vapor phase. Chloroform does not readily adsorb to sediments, soils orparticulates. In ground water, chloroform tends to persist as chemical or microbial degradationprocesses are very slow. Chloroform does not generally bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms.

Trans-1,2-dichloroethylene: Environmental fate information has mostly been estimated based onthe behavior of similar compounds in the environment. Trans-1,2-dichloroethylene is expectedto readily volatilize into the air, and once there to degrade rapidly. In addition,trans-1,2-dichloroethylene is expected to leach rapidly to ground water. In some ground waters,bacterial flora biograde 1,2-dichloroethylenes to vinyl chloride. Bioaccumulation factors inplants and animals are expected to be low.

DDT and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD) tend to bind to soils and sediments, and may betransported in air or water in this form. Volatilization from water can occur but does not readilyoccur in soils. In soils, DDT biodegradation is slow under aerobic conditions but rapid underanaerobic conditions resulting in the formation of DDD. DDD is more readily biograded thanDDT. DDT and DDD can be taken up by crops and bioaccumulated in aquatic organisms andlivestock.

Lead tends to bind to soils and organic matter thus reducing its water solubility. In acid soils,lead tends to be present in the hydroxide or hydroxyphosphate form, and, in calcareous soils,tends to be present as a carbonate. Lead in the soluble form can be taken up by plants; however,it is usually in the insoluble form.

PAHs (carcinogenic only): Carcinogenic PAHs detected on-site are benz(a)anthracene,benzo(b)fluoranthene, chrysene, benzo(k)flouranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, dibenz(a,h)anthraceneand indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene. As a group, PAHs occur following both natural and anthropogeniccombustion processes, although man-made sources contribute the most PAHs environmentally. High levels of PAHs also typically occur at waste sites. PAHs are not readily soluble in waterand tend to accumulate in soils and sediments; however, the presence of other chemicals, such asat a waste site, can increase the leaching of PAHs from soils. Biodegradation is slow and may befurther retarded by the presence of other waste chemicals, such as at hazardous waste sites, thatadversely affect the microbes present. Metabolism of PAHs by fish and other aquatic organismsmay result in metabolic products more toxic than the original PAH itself.

Tetrachloroethylene volatilizes readily to the atmosphere from surface water and soil. In air,tetrachloroethylene has a relatively long half-life. Tetrachloroethylene in soil also tends to leachto ground water. In ground water, tetrachloroethylene persists because chemical microbialdegradation is slow; however, degradation to trichloroethylene, dichloroethylene and vinylchloride has been reported. Bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms is not expected to beappreciable.

1,1,1-Trichloroethane volatilizes readily from soil and surface water, and tends to leach from soilto ground water. In air, 1,1,1-trichloroethane degrades slowly. Bioaccumulation is not expectedto be appreciable.

Trichloroethylene readily volatilizes to the atmosphere from both soil and surface waters. In theatmosphere, trichloroethylene tends to be short-lived. In addition, trichloroethylene in soil tendsto leach to ground water. In ground water, under certain conditions, degradation todichloroethylene and vinyl chloride has been reported. Trichloroethylene does not appreciablybioaccumulate in aquatic organisms, except, perhaps, if exposure duration is long.

Vinyl chloride in the atmosphere is short-lived. In soil, vinyl chloride will either volatilize to theatmosphere or leach to ground water. In surface water, vinyl chloride is mostly removed byvolatilization, but, in waters high in humic materials (photosensitizers), photodegradation may bemarked. Vinyl chloride tends not to readily bioaccumulate to any extent in aquatic organisms.

Xylenes volatilize readily from surface water to the atmosphere, and once there degrade rapidly. Xylenes bind moderately to soils and leach slowly to ground water. Xylenes in soil and surfacewater are readily biodegraded, but tend to persist in ground water.

    2. Hydrogeology of the Site
    a. Geology of the Site

Wells G and H are located in the Aberjona River watershed (drainage basin). A bedrock valleywith a south to north axis underlies the site. The valley walls within the site slope gradually tothe west but are very steep to the east. In areas, fractures (troughs) exist in the bedrock, probablycaused by weathering. The unconsolidated material (overburden) overlying the bedrock ischaracteristic of glacial activities. In upland areas, till overlies the bedrock and occurs by directdeposit from glacial contact. In the valley, the overburden tends to be stratified gravel, sand, siltand clay, as would occur by selective deposition from glacial outwash. Alluvial deposits (peat,organic silt) associated with the Aberjona River system overlie the lower elevation of the valley. The depth to bedrock varies from about 135 feet in the valley to surface levels in parts of thehighlands.

    b. Hydrology of the Site

The Aberjona River flows through the site roughly following the bedrock valley axis. Thedirection of flow is from north to south as the land within the valley floor grades very gentlytowards the south. Wetlands surround the entire stretch of the river within the site boundaries. Within the site, the Aberjona River increases in discharge volume as it travels to the south,because of the presence of tributaries which intercept the river within the site and because ofinfiltration of ground water. Within the site, the Aberjona River's 100-year floodplainencompasses most of the undeveloped properties present including the Wildwood ConservationCorporation and Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation properties.

Overburden and bedrock aquifers exist at the site and are hydraulically connected to each other. Depth to ground water tends to be shallow throughout the site mostly within 10 feet of groundsurface, but ranges from surface level at the river and wetlands to about 20 feet below groundsurface level in some portions of the highlands. The direction of ground water flow within thevalley is also from north to south. From the highlands, overburden ground water flows towardthe river and toward the south. For example, ground water from the northeast highland flowswesterly becoming more southerly as it approaches the valley floor. Information on the rechargeboundaries for the Wells G and H aquifer are presented in the next section.

    c. Wells G and H

A 30-day aquifer test was performed by the USGS on Wells G and H from December 1985 toJanuary 1986 to determine from beneath which contaminated properties can Wells G and Hdivert water. Although results from this test provide useful information, several factorsinfluenced these results. First, pumping was done under one set of conditions (each well waspumped at a given rate, below normal precipitation, with a low water table, and the ground wasfrozen). In addition, the John J. Riley Tannery production well located on the WildwoodConservation Corporation property was pumped intermittently during this aquifer test. Thepumping rate and schedule of the industrial well during this test are unknown. The effect of thiswell on Wells G and H under a variety of conditions is unknown. A second John J. RileyTannery production well is located on the tannery property. The influence of this well and notpumping either well on Wells G and H are unknown. The effect of these two wells on diversionof ground water to Wells G and H is not expected to vary dramatically under different pumpingschedules and rates and hydrogeologic characteristics. According to report of the USGS aquifertest of Wells G and H, the ground water divide for the production well and municipal wells existswithin the Wildwood Conservation Corporation; therefore, the shifting of the divide within thisproperty could effect the extent contaminated water is captured by either type well. Finally, theeffect of the Wells G and H pumping on the extreme western part of the site could not bedetermined as not enough monitoring wells were located west of the railroad tracks.

Generally, the area of influence of Wells G and H is dynamic, that is it would change dependingupon the pumping rate and duration, the John J. Riley Tannery production well pumpingschedule, and hydrological characteristics of the site at a given time. This aquifer test wasperformed at a time of low water and below normal precipitation; therefore, the area of influencewould probably encompass an area larger than that at a time of normal precipitation and watertable levels.

During this aquifer test, Wells G and H diverted overburden ground water from beneath muchof the contaminated land on-site. Ground water, as characterized by contaminant plumesoriginating from UniFirst Corporation and W.R. Grace and Co., travels from these upland areastowards Wells G and H where it would intercept the area of influence. The area of influence wasoblong in shape with the long axis parallel to the Aberjona River Valley. The area encompasseda region just south of Olympia Avenue extending downgradient to just south of Salem Street, andeastward to the bedrock incline located just east of the wells. The area of influence stretchedwest of the railroad tracks, and intercepted ground water beneath Olympia Nominee TrustCorporation and the northern portion of the Wildwood Conservation Corporation property. Ground water beneath the remaining southern portion of Wildwood Conservation Corporationwas diverted by the John J. Riley Tannery production well or traveled off-site to the south. TheNew England Plastics Corporation industrial well would probably not affect the Wells G and H'sarea of influence as it is a low-yielding bedrock well. New England Plastics Corporationoverburden ground water travels west and south where it would encounter the area of influenceor travel off-site to the south.

Wells G and H also diverted ground water from infiltrating the Aberjona River and its associatedwetlands. The wells also diverted surface water from the river and wetlands by inducedinfiltration. The Aberjona River's discharge volume decreased and the wetlands dried up withina few hours from the start of the test. To what extent this diversion of water from the river andwetlands would happen at times of average water table levels is unknown.

The ground water recharge areas (refer to Appendix A, Figure 3) for the Wells G and H aquiferencompass the highland areas located on-site as well as the portion of the Aberjona Riverwatershed area extending substantially north and upgradient of the site, and include AberjonaRiver surface water derived from surface runoff and ground water infiltration occurring north ofthe site.

    3. Environmental Pathways at Contaminated Properties

The predominate contaminated media within the Wells G and H site, as determined from theextent of contamination, are soil and ground water and, to a lesser degree, surface water andsediment. Information about contamination of air, fish, game animals, consumable wild plants,crops and livestock are not available. The pathways of contaminant migration are dealt with byproperty containing contamination.

W. R. Grace and Company:
Soil: At present little known soil contamination exists on this property. Six drums that wereoriginally buried in 1974 were excavated in 1983 and found to contain high levels of volatileorganic compounds such as trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, ando-xylene. At that time, the excavation pit had water which was more contaminated than the soil. Similarly, water from trenches excavated in 1985 contained more contamination than did thesoil. Soils are probably not an environmental pathway of concern.

Ground water: Ground water contamination beneath the property contained high levels oftrichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride, dichloroethylene, xylenes, and BEHP. Levels of contamination have dropped during the period 1985 to 1987 probably by ground waterflow away from the property and to some extent through degradation. A plume of contaminationoriginates at this property and exists downgradient to the southwest to Wells G and H. Watertable levels change from 2.4 feet beneath ground level to the north and east to 20.0 feet to thesouth and west. The contaminant plume follows ground water flow towards Wells G and H tothe southwest.

Indoor Air: Because ground water levels are shallow and extensive ground water contaminationoccurs here, elevated levels of volatile organic compounds may exist in the air inside the facility,but this has not been documented.

Ambient Air: Much of the property grounds are paved; thus, ambient air contamination is notexpected to be substantial, except, perhaps, during remediation (ground water treatment) or soilexcavation activities.

Other media: On this property surface soil contamination was not appreciably evident. Whetherconsumable plants and animals are present on this property is unknown; however, because theproperty is developed for industrial purposes, their presence is unlikely.

In summary, the environmental pathways of concern for this property are ground water and,perhaps, indoor air.

Wildwood Conservation Corporation: The Wildwood Conservation Corporation property is anundeveloped parcel of land that contains extensive surface soil, sludge and ground watercontamination.

Soil: Surface sludge contains high levels of lead, DDT, chlordane, arsenic, tetrachloroethylene,and PAHs. Surface soil contamination was usually assessed on composites of the first two feetof soil; however, soil composites do not adequately represent actual surface soil contaminationlevels present. These soils contained elevated levels of chlordane, PAHs, Aroclor-1254,Aroclor-1260, arsenic and lead. Ground cover on this property is extensive, but less so in thewinter and early spring. Transport of contaminants by generation of fugitive dusts probably isnot of concern; however, transport by surface runoff may be substantial in winter and earlyspring.

Surface water and Sediments: Because the Aberjona River's 100-year floodplain includes mostof this property, extensive flooding may release contaminants bound to soil or in solution, whichmay be transported off-property and off-site, especially to the Aberjona River and associatedwetlands. If sediments or surface water of the wetlands on this property are contaminated isunknown, because no sampling has been done in this marshy area. Immediately downstream ofthis property in one location in the Aberjona River, seven sediment samples were monitored forinorganic compounds and results showed an elevation in arsenic levels (113-4,650 mg/kg;median of 442 mg/kg).

Ambient Air: Volatile organic compounds or contaminated fugitive dusts may originate from thesludge and contaminated soil located on this property. Because this property is highly vegetated,the likelihood of excessive amounts of fugitive dusts or volatile organic compounds is low. Levels may be higher in winter and early spring when groundcover is diminished. Ambient aircontamination could be elevated during remediation activities, such as, soil excavation andremoval or ground water treatment.

Ground water: Soil levels of volatile organic compounds such as trichloroethylene andtetrachloroethylene are higher at depths of 2-4 feet than at 0-2 feet. Because the water tableelevation beneath this property is shallow and is located only 2 to 8.7 feet beneath the surface,leaching of contaminants to ground water occurs. Ground water contamination is extensive andconsists mostly of trichloroethylene with localized areas of high concentrations of xylenes,1,1,1-trichloroethane, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, chloroform, vinyl chlorideand chlordane. Levels of lead were also found to be elevated. The John J. Riley Tannery has aproduction well located on this property. Following an aquifer test, the well was determined todraw water from beneath this contaminated property, and, from 1981 data, it is known to containelevated levels of trichloroethylene, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene and 1,1,1-trichloroethane. Another production well is located at the tannery facility immediately southwest of theWildwood Conservation Corporation property. Whether this well would divert contaminatedground water from the Wildwood Conservation Corporation is unknown. If the production welllocated on Wildwood Conservation Corporation were turned off, the above-described diversionmight occur. Contamination levels for this well were not available.

Indoor Air: The industrial well water is stored in vessels or drums inside the tannery, and anyvolatile organic compounds present in the water can volatilize into the indoor air of the tannery. The concentration of volatile organics present in the indoor air is unknown. In the EndangermentAssessment, a model is used to predict the concentration of volatile organic compoundsoriginating from the well water and volatilizing to the indoor air. The data used was from limited monitoring of the industrial wells (data not given) or from monitoring wells located in the lesscontaminated central (non-source) area, and not located in the more contaminated WildwoodConservation Corporation property; therefore, the real values may be higher than the predictedvalues. Compounds which may be present in the indoor air of the tannery aretrans-1,2-dichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and trichloroethylene.

Other media: Because this property is located in an undeveloped area, fish, game animals andwild plants are likely to be present; however, whether wildlife is contaminated on this propertyhas not been determined.

In summary, the environmental pathways of concern for this property are soil and sludge, groundwater, and, perhaps, ambient (volatile organic compounds and fugitive dusts) and indoor (volatileorganic compounds) air.

New England Plastics Corporation: Surface soils and ground water are contaminated on thisproperty.

Soil: Composites of the first 6 inches of soil were found to contain BEHP, Aroclor-1254, lead,PAHs, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene. Soil composites do not adequately representactual contaminant concentrations present in surface soil. Whether the two volatile organiccompounds increase in concentration at greater depths beneath the surface soil samples isunknown, but is highly probable. The groundcover over this property has not been characterized;therefore, transport of contamination by surface runoff following rainfall or snowmelt, possiblegeneration of contaminated fugitive dusts, and volatilization of the volatile organic compoundsshould be considered. In addition, soil contaminants may be transported attached to the clothingor shoes of workers at the facility, off-site and into the workers' homes.

Ground water: The water table beneath the property occurs at 10.5 to 14 feet. The percolation ofrainwater through the soil and into the ground water results in the infiltration of volatile organiccompounds into the ground water. Ground water contamination by tetrachloroethylene andtrichloroethylene occur in both the overburden and bedrock aquifers. Three low-yieldingindustrial, bedrock water wells exist on this property and are known from 1987 data to containtetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene and 1,1,1-trichloroethane.

Indoor Air: Open troughs are present in the facility and contain constantly flowing water whichoriginates from the industrial wells; therefore, volatilization of organic compounds from thewater is possible. Based on the modelling done in the Endangerment Assessment, thecompounds potentially present and their average and maximum indoor air concentrations,respectively, are: trans-1,2-dichloroethylene [not applicable and 2.2x10-4 milligrams per metercubed (mg/m3)], tetrachloroethylene (6.8x10-4 and 5.2x10-3 mg/m3), 1,1,1-trichloroethane(1.1x10-4 and 3.6x10-4 mg/m3), and trichloroethylene (2.6x10-4 and 1.1x10-3 mg/m3).

Ambient Air: Ambient air may contain contaminated fugitive dusts and volatile organiccompounds, especially during remediation or soil excavation events.

Other media: Discharge of contaminated process effluent into a drainage ditch and ultimatedischarge into the Aberjona River was discovered in 1988. The characterization of the sedimentand surface water contamination at this drainage ditch is unknown. Because this property is thelocation of an industrial facility, it is unlikely that consumable game animals and wild plants arepresent.

In summary, the environmental pathways of concern for this property are soils, ground water,and, perhaps, indoor air, ambient air, sediment and surface water.

UniFirst Corporation:
Soil: Little soil contamination has been detected on this property (less than 200 ug/kg of acetoneor tetrachloroethylene within 6 feet of the surface); therefore, soil is probably not anenvironmental pathway of concern here.

Ground water: The facility is situated on property characterized by a shallow overburden withbedrock close to the surface. Contamination, predominately by tetrachloroethylene, occurs in thebedrock ground water beneath the facility. In 1988, approximately two liters of DNAPLcontaining 1.9% tetrachloroethylene was removed from the surface of the bedrock aquifer in thisarea. Six to 21 feet below ground level and in the bedrock aquifer, tetrachloroethylene wasdetected at 840,000 ug/l, above its solubility of 150,000 ug/l at 25oC. In addition, other volatileorganic compounds such as trichloroethylene (63,000 ug/l), dichloroethylene (76,000 ug/l),1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,700 ug/l) and xylenes (2,900 ug/l) were detected. A contaminant plumeoriginating from this source in the highlands exists in the overburden and bedrock aquifersdowngradient towards Wells G and H to the south, and also in the bedrock aquifer to thesoutheast and downward following a fracture plane in the bedrock. Because bedrock fracturescan be quite convoluted particularly in deep bedrock, the direction of ground water flow, thuscontaminant migration, is difficult to determine. The bedrock aquifer is highly contaminated, butappreciable contamination also occurs in the overburden aquifer.

Indoor Air: The extent of contamination in the air of the facility due to volatilization ofcontaminants from the shallow ground water is unknown.

Ambient Air: No contaminated media is in contact with ambient air; therefore, ambient air isprobably not an environmental pathway of concern. During remediation activities at thisproperty, particularly ground water treatment, volatile organic compounds may be released intothe air.

Other media: No surface water or sediment are present at this property. Because the property isan industrial facility, it is unlikely that edible game animals or wild plants are present.

In summary, the environmental pathways of concern at this property are ground water and,perhaps, indoor air.

Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation:
Ground water: Contaminated soil containing mostly chlordane and Aroclor-1260, associateddrums and caps were removed in 1985; however, in 1987, near this disposal area, 1.2 ug/l ofchlordane was detected in ground water screened at 4-9 feet. Ground water monitoring in 1987showed contamination by trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, xylenes, arsenic and lead. (Note: The filtered data were not used, because many domestic wells do not have treatmentconditions present which would remove turbidity.) The depth to the water table was measured at2.3 to 7 feet.

Soil: Soil monitoring in 1987, following the removal of drums and associated contaminated soilin 1985, revealed little additional contamination, except for some PAHs and arseniccontamination.

Surface water and sediments: Because the Aberjona River's 100-year floodplain includes muchof this property, contaminants bound to particulates or in solution could be transportedoff-property during flooding events. In fact, sediment samples from a portion of the AberjonaRiver located within the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation property contained some of thehighest PAH and BEHP levels detected in on-site sediment samples, and, just south anddownstream of the property, arsenic contamination of the sediment was very high.

Ambient air: Fugitive dusts originating from this property may be contaminated with PAHs andarsenic. The property is heavily vegetated, thus reducing the likelihood of fugitive dustgeneration, except, perhaps, during the winter and spring; however, dirt bike riding on thisproperty is known to occur and would favor the localized generation of dusts. Soil excavationand remediation events, such as ground water treatment, would increase ambient aircontamination.

Other media: Because a portion of this property is undeveloped land located within and near awetland area, game fish, game animals and wild plants may be present. The extent ofcontamination of wildlife on this property is unknown.

In summary, the environmental pathways of concern for this property are soils, sediments,ground water and ambient air.

Central Area Near Wells G and H: Together with the description of the environmental pathwaysfrom the Aberjona River and its tributaries, this description defines the environmental pathwaysfor the portion of the site not comprised of one of the five contaminated properties.

Ground water: A 30-day aquifer test for Wells G and H by the USGS indicated that wells G andH can divert ground water from much of the known contaminated property at the Wells G and HSite, although that diversion would vary depending on hydrological characteristics of the site atthe time as well as other factors. Wells G and H can also draw water downward from theAberjona River wetlands which could influence ground water quality if surface water iscontaminated. Wells G and H operation could influence surface water contaminant levels,especially the portion present due to ground water infiltration. In addition, overburdencontaminant plumes originating from UniFirst Corporation and W.R. Grace and Company extendto Wells G and H even without the wells pumping. The contaminant plumes travel beneath anarea which contains residences (Dewey Avenue area) and an industrial complex (WestCummings Park). The water table levels beneath these properties are variable as a steep bedrockincline is present, but a portion of the area has a shallow water table (<10 feet). Whether organicvapors migrate from the ground water to these buildings is unknown, but may occur especially inearly spring when the water table tends to be elevated and buildings are still enclosed and heated.

Soil: A small, apparent oil spill on soil in the central area near Wells G and H was found tocontain chlordane and lead. Whether the wetlands bordering the Aberjona River arecontaminated is unknown; however, as this area is within the 100-year floodplain boundaries,transportation of contaminants to this area may have occurred. For example, the sedimentswithin the Aberjona River lying just south of Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation property andadjacent to Well H contain high levels of arsenic. In addition, ground water contamination byarsenic underlying this wetland area is also high. As a result of these two observations, it appearspossible that the neighboring wetlands may also be contaminated.

Other media: If the wetlands are contaminated, game animals and edible wild plants may becontaminated.

Ambient Air: Ambient air is probably not appreciably contaminated unless from fugitive dustsoriginating from Wildwood Conservation Corporation or Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation(unlikely except, perhaps, during winter and early spring and during soil excavation and remedialevents), or from volatile organic compounds discharging from ground water into the AberjonaRiver or accompanying wetlands.

In summary, the environmental pathways of concern for this section of the site are ground waterduring Wells G and H use (1964 to 1979, and possibly in the future), and soil.

Aberjona River and Its Tributaries:
Surface water: Surface water contamination of the Aberjona River and its tributaries includeslow levels of volatile organic compounds such as trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene and1,1,1-trichloroethane. 1,1,1-Trichloroethane exists in both upstream and downstream locations atabout the same levels. The levels present of the remaining volatile organic compounds vary bylocation. Contamination occurs probably from infiltration of ground water and surface runofffollowing snowmelt or precipitation. The effect of episodic surface runoff events on contaminantlevels has not been fully examined.

Ambient air: These contaminants readily volatilize to the atmosphere, where tetrachloroethyleneand 1,1,1-trichloroethane can persist for long periods.

Sediments: Sediments from the Aberjona River contained high levels of compounds that tend tobe relatively water insoluble and nonvolatile, namely arsenic, lead, BEHP, PAHs and, to a lesserextent, DDD. Levels are somewhat higher just downstream of the site than on-site or upstream. Arsenic is an exception. The highest arsenic levels were detected immediately downstream fromthe Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation and the Wildwood Conservation Corporationproperties. The higher levels at the downstream location possibly result from surface runoff ofcontaminated soils on-site and the flushing action of the river itself. Contamination of fish orother aquatic animals and plants by any of these compounds is of potential concern, particularlyby PAHs, BEHP and DDD. Consumption of these organisms, if contaminated, could result incontaminated terrestrial animals. If any of the river's tributaries are intermittent such thatsediments become dry either along the banks or in the channel itself is unknown; however, ifsediments become dry, fugitive dusts could occur. In addition, sediment contamination serves asa potential source of future surface water contamination either by dissolution into water orresuspension of contaminated particulates.

In summary, the environmental pathways of concern for the Aberjona River and its tributaries aresurface water, sediments, fish, and ambient air (volatile compounds are more likely than fugitivedusts).

C. Human Exposure Pathways

Actual historical and potential human exposure pathways to contaminants in the various media atthe Wells G and H Site are presented below and are summarized in Table III. The human exposure pathways are dealt with by contaminated property because each property isunique.

Remediation events such as soil excavation and removal as well as ground water pumpingand treatment could increase the likelihood of the exposures discussed below, especially toremediation workers.

W.R. Grace and Company: Workers are present on this property. As no water well is located onthe property, human exposure to the contaminated ground water beneath the property is not likelyat this time; however, should a drinking water well be installed in the future and ground watercontamination is still present, human exposure would occur. Inhalation of volatile organicvapors originating from the shallow ground water, if present in the indoor air of the facility,would occur. As the presence of these vapors has not been defined, the likelihood of humanexposure cannot be determined but is of potential concern. Because surface soil and probablyambient air do not appear to be contaminated on this property, human exposure to soilcontaminants is not a concern here, except during soil excavation and remediation activities. Contaminated surface water, sediment, edible plants and edible animals are probably not humanexposure concerns, because these environmental pathways are not generally present on thisproperty.

Wildwood Conservation Corporation: Dermal absorption and ingestion of contaminated soilsand sludges could occur. In addition, inhalation and ingestion of contaminated dusts andinhalation of volatilized contaminants originating from the soils and sludges could occur,especially during soil excavation and remediation activities. The potential for exposure by thesepathways is reduced as the property is both fenced and guarded; however, the property is fencedon only three sides and is accessible from the Aberjona River side. Because this property ispartially located in wetlands, ingestion and dermal absorption of contaminated sediments andsurface water may be human exposure concerns; however, not enough information is available todetermine if these exposure pathways are of concern. Similarly, insufficient information isavailable regarding the presence of contaminated game animals or wild plants to determine ifingestion of edible wildlife is a human exposure concern.

As a water well located on this property traps contaminated ground water for use at the John J.Riley Tannery, exposure to workers within the facility may occur by dermal absorption andingestion of contaminants following contact with the water, and, especially, inhalation of vaporsoriginating from the well water. Exposure is possible because open vats are used to soak hides inaqueous solutions containing well water and open vessels are used to store the well water withinthe facility. The extent of air contamination within the facility due to volatilization ofwater-borne contaminants is unknown; however, exposure to vapors by inhalation and towater-bound contaminants by dermal absorption is likely.

New England Plastics Corporation: Human exposure to soil contaminants by dermal absorptionor ingestion is likely as workers are present on this property, and the area containingcontaminated soil is not fenced. Similarly, exposure to contaminated fugitive dusts by inhalationor ingestion, and to volatile contaminants by inhalation may occur. Exposure of the workers'families to soil contaminants by ingestion or dermal absorption may occur if soil is transportedhome. Young children playing on the floors of the homes are particularly apt to be exposed, assoil attached to shoes may be deposited on the floors. Because the property is not fenced,children may access the property; however, whether children live near this property is not known. Ingestion and dermal absorption of contaminants in process effluent is possible because theeffluent is discharged into a drainage ditch. The extent and type of contamination are unknown. Human ingestion of contaminated wildlife is unlikely because the property is developed andwould support little wildlife.

As a water well draws water from the contaminated bedrock aquifer beneath the property for usewithin the facility, exposure to vapors originating from the well water and to water-bornecontaminants following contact with water could occur by the same pathways as for the John J.Riley Tannery water well described above. Exposure is likely because open troughs of wellwater are used in the manufacturing process.

UniFirst Corporation: As no water well accesses the contaminated ground water beneath thisproperty, exposure to ground water contaminants is unlikely at this time; however, should apotable water supply well be installed in the future, human exposure to ground watercontaminants originating from the DNAPL may occur. Because volatile contaminants maymigrate from the shallow ground water into the facility, exposure to volatile contaminants byinhalation of air within the facility is possible. Even though workers are present within thefacility, the likelihood of exposure is not known because indoor air has not been characterized. Human exposure to soil and ambient air are not of concern, because soil contaminants are notappreciably present and ambient air is not in contact with any contaminated media. Humaningestion of contaminated wildlife is unlikely, because the property is developed and wouldsupport little wildlife.

Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation: Human exposure to ground water contaminants beneaththe property is unlikely as no water well accesses the ground water, but should a water supplywell be installed in the future, human exposure to ground water contaminants would occur. Exposure to soil contaminants by dermal absorption or ingestion may occur. Exposure tocontaminated sediments is less likely unless the overlying water dries as during periods of lowwater table and precipitation or during Wells G and H operation. Ingestion or dermal absorptionof contaminants in the Aberjona River could occur, although the contaminants are present at lowlevels and tend to be volatile. Inhalation of volatile contaminants originating from the AberjonaRiver, and inhalation and ingestion of contaminated dusts originating from soil (mostly duringsoil excavation activities and dirt bike riding) and sediments may occur. Ingestion of any ediblewildlife may be possible, because the property is undeveloped; however, insufficient informationis available to determine if human exposure to property contaminants might occur by this route. The portion of the property characterized as contaminated is undeveloped. The property isaccessible to children who dirt bike here and to the trucking terminal workers as a bridge crossesthe Aberjona River connecting the two portions of the Olympia Nominee Trust Corporationproperty. The property is not fenced. The extent of contamination on the trucking terminalportion of the property has not been characterized sufficiently to determine human exposurepotential, but is being addressed by the DEQE.

Central Area Near Wells G and H: Human exposure to soil contaminants in this area may occurby ingestion and dermal absorption as the contaminated soil is not capped or fenced; however,the area of known contaminated soil is very small. Inhalation or ingestion of contaminatedfugitive dusts from the soil may also occur. Because not enough information is availableregarding the presence of contaminated wildlife in this area, whether ingestion of edible plants oranimals is a human exposure route of concern is unknown. Because residences including theDewey Avenue residential development, which contains children, are located nearby, thelikelihood of exposure is appreciable. In fact, a youth was observed near the contaminated soilduring the site visit. Whether active wells downgradient of the contaminant plume leaving thesite are present is unknown; however, if present, exposure by the pathways described abovecould occur.

Exposure to ground water contaminants is known to have occurred through use of two municipalwells accessing the contaminated overburden aquifer in this area on the basis of 1979 data, thelast year the wells were used as a municipal water source. Exposure to ground watercontaminants during the remaining years of Wells G and H operation (1963 to 1978) is notcharacterized, but is considered likely. Based on the results of a water distribution modeldescribed by Murphy (1986), exposure to Wells G and H water is expected to have occurredthroughout most of the City of Woburn particularly in east Woburn. This area of east Woburnwas predicted to have received up to 3,000 days of exposure during the years 1964 to 1979 basedon the water distribution model and the number of days the wells were pumped. The exposurepathways of concern are ingestion, dermal absorption, and inhalation of contaminated vaporsgenerated during processes such as showering and washing dishes or clothes. Present exposureto ground water contaminants from this area does not occur as Wells G and H have not been usedsince May 1979, but could occur again if this aquifer is used as a potable water source and theground water contaminants are still present.

If contaminated vapors migrate from nearby ground water contaminant plumes to Dewey Streetresidences or the West Cummings Park complex, exposure to contaminants by inhalation mayoccur. Although the presence of vapors inside these buildings has not been determined, thepresence of children and other permanent residents in the dwellings as well as a workerpopulation at the West Cummings Park complex make the potential for exposure of concern.

Aberjona River and Its Tributaries: Human exposure to contaminants in the surface water of theAberjona River and its tributaries could occur by ingestion or dermal absorption. In addition,inhalation of volatile contaminants originating from the contaminated surface water is possible. Exposure to sediment contaminants is less likely unless the overlying water dries and thesediments become accessible. Sediment contaminants may be found in fish and other aquaticlife; therefore, ingestion of aquatic life or consumption of terrestrial animals which feed onaquatic life is also of potential concern. Fish and other aquatic life (both plants and animals)contamination has not been characterized. Also, whether fishing occurs in the Aberjona River isnot known, but fishing by youths has been observed in a man-made drainage pond located justwest of the site. A trapper is known to set wet traps in the Aberjona River; however, if the catchis consumed is unknown. Within the site, the Aberjona River is accessible by traversing throughthe wetlands east of the river, although the abundance of vegetation in the wetlands would act todiscourage access. The river is accessible to individuals downstream of the site wherecontaminants have been detected.

VI. Public Health Implications

The Public Health Implications Section of this Health Assessment is presented in two parts. PartA defines the contaminants of concern for each contaminated area within the site that are atconcentrations likely to be of human health concern, and what those risks might be. Part Breviews the available epidemiological studies for the City of Woburn.

A. Potential Toxic Effects of Contaminants

Because each contaminated area within the site is unique with regards to contaminants present,exposure pathways and target populations, each area will be assessed individually for potentialhuman health effects.

W.R. Grace and Company: Workers are present at the facility. The lack of indoor air monitoringprecludes a judgement of the human health threat present at the property; however, vinylchloride, trichloroethylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene are present at very high levels in theshallow ground water beneath the property, and may serve as a source of vapor contaminantswithin the facility. Future use of the ground water at this property at the present level ofcontamination for potable water supplies would result in exposure to vinyl chloride,trichloroethylene, and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene at levels of public health concern. Vinylchloride is a known human carcinogen, and the two other compounds are probable humancarcinogens. Occupational exposure to trichloroethylene has been reported to result inhepatotoxicity. Occupational exposure to vinyl chloride has resulted in liver cancer (particularlyangiosarcoma), genotoxicity (chromosomal aberrations of peripheral lymphocytes),developmental toxicity in both sexes, and many other target organ effects.

Wildwood Conservation Corporation: Surface soil contamination and sludge present on thisproperty contains levels of tetrachloroethylene, PAHs, chlordane, Aroclor-1254, Aroclor-1260,DDT, arsenic and lead which constitute a threat to human health following ingestion or dermalabsorption of the contaminants.

Tetrachloroethylene is a probable human carcinogen and by the inhalation and oral routes isneurotoxic, hepatotoxic and renal toxic. PCBs, such as Aroclor-1254 and Aroclor-1260, increasethe hepatotoxic effects of tetrachloroethylene by increasing metabolism to its epoxide.

The PCBs themselves are probable human carcinogens. Inhalation or ingestion of PCBs canresult in chloracne and porphyria. Oral ingestion of cooking oil containing PCBs, as in theYusho incident occurring in Japan and a similar incident in Taiwan, has resulted in delayeddevelopment, deformed nails and discolored skin in infants born to exposed mothers (Miller,1985; Rogan et al., 1988). In the Taiwan incident, the children of exposed mothers were alsoshorter and lighter than children of mothers who were not exposed, and had psychologicaldevelopmental delays as determined from standard psychological tests (Rogan et al., 1988). Theextent of in utero exposure compared to exposure due to contaminated breast milk is unknown. From the Yusho incident, preliminary data indicates a relationship between exposure toPCB-laden cooking oil and a significant increase in liver cancers in males (Ikeda et al., 1986). The more potently toxic polychlorinated dibenzofurans are known to have been contaminants ofthe PCBs in both incidents.

Lead levels in the sludge are as high as 10,000 mg/kg. This level has been reported byresearchers to be sufficient to increase lead levels in children living near a soil contaminationsource, even when direct ingestion of the contaminated soil did not occur. Lead is aneurotoxicant. Arsenic and other toxic metals are known to increase the neurotoxic effects oflead (e.g., aggressive behavior and intellectual abilities) in children.

Arsenic may be a human carcinogen, although the available epidemiological studies cannotdetermine arsenic's human carcinogenicity. Increases in skin, bladder, liver and lung cancersmay be associated with arsenic ingestion, and lung and liver cancer may be associated witharsenic inhalation; however, the available evidence is preliminary at best. Smoking and arsenicinhalation had a synergistic effect on lung cancer mortality in smelter workers. Evidenceindicates arsenic inhibits one or more DNA replication or repair enzymes; thus, supporting theview that arsenic acts as a promoter, rather than as an initiator, of lung cancer. Dermal contactwith arsenic dusts can cause local inflammation and vesiculation. Chronic inhalation of arsenicat levels >0.2 mg/m3 has been reported to cause hoarseness, irritated mucous membranes, andperforation of the nasal septum. Chronic oral ingestion of arsenic can result in hepatic cirrhosiswith resultant portal hypertension.

PAHs are present as a mix of compounds including the probable human carcinogensbenzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene,dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, and indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene. PAHs have been demonstrated to becarcinogenic by dermal contact, inhalation, and oral exposures.

Chlordane is also a probable human carcinogen. Dermal and inhalation exposures have lead toblood disorders such as anemia and acute leukemias in humans. Central nervous system toxicitycan occur following ingestion of chlordane. Another pesticide, DDT, is present at high levels inthe sludge. DDT is a probable human carcinogen. Any other synergistic or antagonistic effects,other than the above-mentioned effects, following exposure to this group of chemicals arecurrently unknown.

Because monitoring of ambient air for contaminated fugitive dusts and volatile contaminants wasnot performed at this property, human health hazards resulting from inhalation of contaminantscannot be assessed. However, as extensive soil contamination is present on this property,airborne contamination may occur.

Exposure to soil contaminants at this site is reduced because the property is fenced on three sidesand on the fourth side access is somewhat restricted by the presence of the Aberjona River andheavy vegetation, and also, the property is guarded. The property is accessible on the fourth sideto adventurous individuals willing to cross the wetlands or enter the Aberjona River by wading orcanoe. Past exposure to contaminants on this undeveloped property, by trespassers, seems likely. Access to this property as during remediation activities could result in a serious health threatfrom these soil contaminants, especially if soil excavation or removal activities were done.

An industrial water well located on this property supplies water to the John J. Riley Tannery. The limited amount of monitoring of the water from this well indicates trichloroethylene,tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene at levels likely toconstitute a human health threat. Ground water levels of contaminants beneath WildwoodConservation Corporation are elevated, and the industrial well may also contain chloroform,vinyl chloride, chlordane and lead at levels sufficient to be toxic. Both chloroform and1,1,1-trichlorethane are probable human carcinogens. Ingestion of chloroform can causehepatitis and nephrosis. Inhalation of chloroform at 2 to 205 parts per million (ppm) for 1 to 4years has been reported to cause hepatomegaly and hepatitis. Ethanol and food deprivationincreases chloroform's hepatic metabolism and toxicity; therefore, alcoholics are at increasedrisk. The other chemicals have been discussed previously. A human health threat is possible asopen vats and vessels are used during the tanning process. Monitoring data for indoor air qualityfollowing volatilization of these water-borne contaminants is not available, but has beenpredicted using a model in the Endangerment Assessment. Although the predictions are notestimates that are conservative for health risk purposes (ground water contamination data wereobtained from the less contaminated non-source area rather than from the WildwoodConservation Corporation area), tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene may be present in theindoor air at levels to be of health concern. Future use of the ground water at this property forpotable purposes would result in exposure to trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene,1,1,1-trichloroethane, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, chloroform, vinyl chloride, chlordane and leadat levels of public health concern.

New England Plastics Corporation: Workers at New England Plastics Corporation and ProspectTool and Die Company can be exposed to both soil and well water contaminants. Soilcontaminants present at levels likely to pose a health threat are trichloroethylene,tetrachloroethylene, PAHs, Aroclor-1260, and BEHP. BEHP is a probable human carcinogen. The remaining compounds have been reviewed previously. An important consideration is thepossibility for potentiation of trichloroethylene's and tetrachloroethylene's hepatic toxicity byPCBs (Aroclor-1260). In addition, chlordane and PAHs have known toxicities following dermalexposure.

No ambient air monitoring of contaminated fugitive dusts and volatile contaminants is availablefor consideration; however, airborne contaminants probably do occur though to an unknownextent. Should the workers transport some of the contaminated soil home attached to their shoesor clothing, their families (especially young children) may be exposed to toxic chemicals such asthe PCBs and Aroclor-1260. As residences are located nearby, access to the contaminated soil byneighboring children may occur. The contaminated soil poses a health threat to workers at thefacility, their families especially young children, and to neighboring children.

Industrial well water contains appreciable levels of trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene. Because water is used in an open system and indoor air monitoring data are not available,predictions were made on the contribution by the industrial well water to indoor aircontamination in the Endangerment Assessment. Predictions indicate very low levels ofchemicals are expected to be present in the indoor air. This source of exposure does notconstitute a human health concern, except that the workers could be exposed to othercontaminants by other pathways at this property and, hence, this source of contamination wouldcontribute to the overall health impact. Future use of the ground water at this property forpotable supplies would result in exposure to trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene at levels ofpublic health concern.

UniFirst Corporation: Workers are present at the facility. The lack of indoor air monitoring dataat the property precludes a judgement of the human health threat at the property from thispathway. The presence of high concentrations of trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene,trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane in shallow ground water beneath theproperty may serve as a source for vapor contamination within the facility. Future use of theground water at this contaminated area for potable water supply purposes would be of publichealth concern unless remediation removes contaminants to levels below those of concern. Thetoxic effects of these four compounds have been reviewed previously. Based on the limitedamount of soil monitoring data (select volatile organic compounds only), soil contamination doesnot appear to be an appreciable threat to human health.

Olympia Nominee Trust Corporation: As the ground water beneath this property is not accessed(e.g., by a water well) the ground water contamination does not presently pose a threat to humanhealth. Should a well (especially a shallow well) be developed on this property, ground watercontaminants such as trichloroethylene, chlordane, arsenic and lead would constitute a humanhealth threat. In particular, epidemiologic studies of arsenic in drinking water in Taiwan haveassociated arsenic with gangrene occurring from peripheral vascular disease with a 50% mortality (400 to 600 ug/l),myocardial infarction, arterial thickening and death in children (600 ug/l), diarrhea and anorexia(400 ug/l), dermal abnormalities such as hyperkeratoses and hyperpigmentation (>400 ug/l), andskin, bladder, lung and liver cancers (>350 ug/l). Similar studies in the United States (U.S.)suggest that arsenic-associated skin cancer from exposure to arsenic in drinking water may not bea common problem here. In fact, differing characteristics of the exposed Taiwanese populationand exposed U.S. population (e.g., dietary and socioeconomic differences) may account for theobserved differences in arsenic toxicity. As mentioned previously, the possibility that arsenicacts as a promoter of cancer is worthy of note.

Of present known soil contaminants, PAHs and arsenic are at levels likely to pose a health threatfollowing oral and dermal exposures. The toxic effects of these contaminants have beenreviewed previously. Past exposure to these same contaminants plus chlordane, Aroclor-1260,trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene may have occurred. Because no ambient air monitoringwas performed, inhalation exposure to airborne contaminants and consequent potential toxiceffects could not be assessed; however, dirt bike riders may be exposed to contaminants inlocally generated dusts at levels sufficient to be of health concern. Accessibility to the soilcontamination by trespassers, especially children, on this undeveloped property occurs. Whetheremployees at the trucking terminal portion of the property are exposed to the above-mentionedsoil contaminants (although a foot bridge connects the two portions of the property) or togasoline constituents in ground water below the trucking terminal is unknown and the potentialpublic health impact cannot currently be assessed.

Central Area Near Wells G and H: Soil contamination information is limited; however, soilmonitoring at the rifle range indicated a level of chlordane likely to pose a threat to humanhealth. The area of soil contamination is very small; however, it is a bare patch of soil in a grassyarea and may be enticing to a child. Although soil contamination is not as marked as at otherproperties, children from the nearby Dewey Avenue development constitute a population likelyto be exposed to contaminants.

The indoor air quality of the Dewey Avenue residences and West Cummings Avenue buildingsare unknown. Vapor originating from the nearby ground water contaminant plumes contain highlevels of the same contaminants as in the W.R. Grace and Company and UniFirst Corporationground water. Because there is no monitoring information available, assessing the human healththreat is currently not possible.

Wells G and H supplied part of the municipal drinking water for the City of Woburn during theperiod 1964 to 1979. Contaminant levels in the drinking water are unknown except for some1979 monitoring data. From this data, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene were found to bepresent at levels likely to pose a risk to human health. Whether other chemicals were present atlevels likely to pose a human health threat is unknown, because monitoring was limited to selectchemicals. Evidence indicates arsenic contamination may have been present on the OlympiaNominee Trust Corporation property during the period of Wells G and H operation. Diversion ofarsenic contaminated ground water by the municipal wells may have occurred during this period;however, the actual levels that were present are unknown and the health impact cannot beassessed. Should this aquifer be used as a drinking water source in the future withoutremediation, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, arsenic and leadare currently present at levels in monitoring wells near Wells G and H that may pose humanhealth concerns. Currently, the ground water contaminants from this area are unlikely to poseany threat to human health; however, many residents of Woburn, especially east Woburnresidents to whom exposure to Wells G and H drinking water was most extensive, have beenexposed to ground water contaminants in the past. Future use of this aquifer for potable watersupplies without methodologies designed to lower contaminant levels would result in exposure tothese ground water contaminants at health compromising levels.

Aberjona River and Its Tributaries: Currently because of the low levels of contaminants present,surface water contamination is unlikely to pose a threat to human health. Sediment contaminantswould pose a threat to human health if direct contact occurred (ingestion or dermal exposure),because of the high levels of PAHs, arsenic, lead and lesser amounts of DDD present in AberjonaRiver sediments both on-site and off-site. This exposure is unlikely unless the sediments becameexposed (e.g., during dry stream bed conditions), or during wading or setting of wet traps. Thehealth threat from fish consumption is currently not known as data concerning fish contaminationlevels and the actual amount of fishing in the Aberjona River are not known. Trapping is knownto occur in the Aberjona River, but whether the trapped animal is consumed or contaminated isunknown; therefore, the risk to human health cannot be assessed.

B. Epidemiological Studies of Woburn

The human health impact of the Woburn environment has been of great concern since the late1970's. A number of investigations have been conducted by the DPH, the Centers for DiseaseControl and Harvard University. The initial health problems suspected of being related toenvironmental exposures are the serious elevations in both total and male childhood leukemiaincidence. For the period 1969-1978, childhood (aged 0-14 years) leukemia incidence wassignificantly elevated for males (9 observed, 3.1 expected), but not for females (3 observed, 2.2expected). The ratio of male to female incidence was three to one. For the area of Woburn nearWells G and H (census tract # 3334), childhood leukemia incidence in males was 12 times higherthan expected (5 observed, 0.4 expected, p<0.001). The remaining census tracts in Woburn didnot have a significant increase in childhood leukemia incidence for either sex. During the period1979-1981, three cases of childhood leukemia were diagnosed in males. Childhood leukemiawas not diagnosed in females during this same period. For the period 1982-1987, six additionalcases of childhood leukemia occurred in Woburn, from which the ratio of male (4 cases) tofemale (2 cases) incidence is two to one. Four of the six cases were diagnosed during the period1982 to 1983. Although the focus of the cancer concerns has been childhood leukemia, kidneycancer mortality is also significantly elevated (Standard Mortality Ratio = 145, 21.3 expectedcases, 31 observed cases, p = 0.05) for the period 1969-1986. No causal link has beenestablished between cancer incidence or mortality and the Woburn environment. This has partlybeen due to the small number of cancer cases as well as difficulty in trying to characterize pastexposures.

The DPH convened a panel of experts from throughout the United States to assist in determiningif a link exists between environmental contamination originating from this site and healthproblems in the vicinity of the site. The panel's strongest recommendations included morestudies of the environment and the development of a system of non-invasive watchfulnessfocused on reproductive outcomes. It was hoped that reproductive outcomes would serve as amore sensitive indicator of an environmental problem, and, in addition, yield sufficient statisticalpower to allow for an environmental association, if warranted.

The ATSDR has recently awarded funds to the State of Massachusetts in support of a proposalwhich was designed to address the concerns of the panel. This investigation began in the fall of1988, and will look at reproductive outcomes both prospectively and retrospectively.

VII. Conclusions and Recommendations

1) Based upon information reviewed, we conclude that this site is of public health concernbecause of the risk to human health resulting from the indicated exposure to hazardoussubstances at concentrations that may result in adverse health effects. As noted in Section V andVI above, human exposure to trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, PAHs, Aroclor-1260, andBEHP is currently occurring via soil contamination for New England Plastics workers andtrespassers, and human exposure to trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethaneand trans-1,2-dichloroethylene is currently occurring via contaminated well water for John J.Riley Tannery workers. Also, human exposure to trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene hasoccurred in the past via contaminated municipal drinking water.

In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and LiabilityAct of 1980, as amended, the Wells G and H Site has been evaluated for appropriate follow-upwith respect to health effects studies. Because adverse health outcomes (childhood leukemia andother cancer types) are suspected of being related to environmental contamination within the Cityof Woburn, ATSDR has awarded to the State of Massachusetts funds to study adversereproductive outcomes in relation to environmental contamination. The study is currently inprocess. Following completion of the study, the Epidemiology and Medicine Branch, Office ofHealth Assessment, ATSDR, will determine if additional follow-up public health actions orstudies are appropriate for this site.

2) Wells G and H supplied supplemental drinking water to Woburn residents during the timeperiod 1964-1979. Computer modelling predicted that an area of east Woburn received as muchas 3,000 days of exposure to this water. Although no data exist of contaminant levels at tapsthroughout the distribution system during this time period, 1979 screening of water from Wells Gand H indicated excessive levels of trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene are present at thesource.

3) Use of ground water at the Wells G and H Site for potable water supply purposes should berestricted by some institutional constraint unless remediation removes contaminant levels belowthose of public health concern.

4) Because of the potential for vapor migration of volatile organic compounds from shallowground water nearby, air quality determinations inside Dewey Street residences, UniFirstCorporation, W. R. Grace and Company and West Cummings Park would be valuable todetermine possible health risks from this exposure.

5) Surface soil contamination at New England Plastics Corporation and Wildwood ConservationCorporation properties is likely to pose health risks because of the presence of workers and theextreme extent of contamination, respectively. Although the Wildwood ConservationCorporation is fenced on three sides and guarded, the property is accessible to adventurousindividuals on the fourth side, and, thus, access should be restricted on this fourth side.

6) The amount of fishing on-site or off-site in the Aberjona River is unknown, but, because thesediments are highly contaminated, fish contaminant levels should be determined. Childrenshould be restricted from using the portions of the Aberjona River containing high sedimentcontamination because direct contact with the sediments may pose a health risk. In addition,fishing by juveniles has been observed in a man-made pond located off-site just west ofWildwood Avenue. This pond as well as another nearby pond serve as drainage ponds for theWildwood Industrial Park located on-site. These ponds drain to the Aberjona River via anunnamed creek. Water, sediment and fish contaminant levels should be determined for these twoponds and if warranted also for the drainage ditches and creek connected to the two ponds todetermine if contamination levels are sufficiently high to be likely to pose a health risk.

7) To determine the full threat to human health that is likely because of contaminants originatingat the Wells G and H Site, additional sampling and monitoring should be conducted for:

    a) Arsenic and lead levels in ground water throughout the site because high levels of both areobserved in ground water at the site, and limited monitoring information is available to evaluatethe risk from this contamination. In particular, arsenic disposal is known to have occurred at theOlympia Nominee Trust Corporation property. Additional soil, ground water, wetland, andsediment monitoring for arsenic is needed at this property and in the area approaching and nearWells G and H.

    b) BEHP levels west of the Boston and Maine railroad tracks, because of high levels of BEHPdetected in several wells in this area. (Whether this contamination originates on-site is unknown;but, although BEHP tends to bind to soil and particulates, it is detected in the ground water nearits solubility limit. Therefore, an area of high levels of BEHP contamination may exist on-sitesuch that a health risk may exist. The presence of BEHP may be due to contamination fromplastics during monitoring; however, each of the affected wells have been monitored only once. Additional monitoring is recommended.)

    c) Surface soil sampling of the first inch of soil to determine better the exposure hazard bydermal contact, fugitive dust generation and surface soil runoff.

    d) Surface soil/sediment sampling in the Aberjona River wetlands, because flooding or surfacewater runoff may have contaminated these areas.

    e) Soil and ground water sampling at New England Plastics Corporation and Olympia NomineeTrust Corporation as only one extensive round of monitoring has been done for both of theseproperties. To help to evaluate the possible change in contaminant levels with time, anotherround of sampling is desirable.

8) The John J. Riley Tannery property contains two chromium waste lagoons and hide piles. Thecontents of the two lagoons, nearby soil contamination, and the potential for human exposure andpossible public health impacts should be determined.

9) Off-site contamination information is limited; therefore, to assess off-site human exposure andpotential public health impact, contaminant levels should be determined for any existingresidential or industrial wells intercepting the ground water contaminant plume exiting the site. The presence of crops and livestock either on-site or nearby should be documented, then thepotential determined for contamination through soils or ground water.

10) Land use and demographic characteristics of the site and surrounding local as well as of thepopulation which received Wells G and H drinking water during the years of well operation(1964-1979) are needed to assess fully the human exposure hazard. As part of the funded healtheffects study, this information will be obtained.

11) The site boundaries do not adequately represent the recharge area of the Wells G and Haquifer. The recharge area encompasses the site, the portion of the Aberjona River watershedupgradient of the site to the north, and a small section downgradient beyond the southernboundary (Salem Street). Because land use upgradient of the site is known to include pastcontamination by industries, dumps and landfills, extending the site beyond the presentboundaries should be considered.

12) Ideally to integrate environmental exposure dose to the results of the adverse health effectsstudy, retrospective information about the exposure to Wells G and H drinking water is needed. As the data is not available, further information on the hydrogeology of the site is needed. Thefeasibility of constructing a retrospective model of contaminant plume transport to Wells G andH will be assessed during the ongoing study on adverse reproductive outcomes. The modelwould utilize migration direction and rate of ground water transport, land use and availableenvironmental monitoring data in the aquifer recharge area to estimate contaminant levels inWells G and H water during the period of municipal wells operation (1964 to 1979). If feasible,development of such a retrospective model is recommended.

13) The draft Feasibility Study for Wells G and H was reviewed. The remedial alternativerequiring no action for source control or management of contaminant migration does notadequately protect human health.

14) This Health Assessment will be modified by amendment should additional pertinentinformation become available.

VIII. Preparers of the Report
Health Effects Reviewer: Suzanne K. Condon, Division of Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Regional Representative: Marilyn DiSirio and Louise House, Region I ATSDR Regional Representatives
Typist: Siu Ling Wong and Maryette Guerra (Massachusetts State ATSDR Administrative Assistant), Division of Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

IX. References

1. NUS Corporation. 1986. Wells G and H Site Remedial Investigation Report. Part I. Woburn, Massachusetts.

2. Planning Research Corporation. 1986. Wells G and H Remedial Investigation. Part II. FinalReport.

3. Ebasco Services Incorporated. 1988. Final Supplemental Remedial Investigation forFeasibility Study Wells G and H Site. Woburn, Massachusetts. December, 1988.

4. Myette, C.F., Olimpio, J.C., and Johnson, D.G. 1987. Area of Influence and Zone ofContribution to Superfund Wells G and H, Woburn, Massachusetts. U.S. Geological Survey,Boston, Massachusetts.

5. Murphy, P.J. 1986. Water Distribution in Woburn, Massachusetts. The EnvironmentalInstitute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Office Research and Standards, MassachusettsDepartment of Environmental Quality Engineering, Publication No. 86-1.

6. EPA. 1985. Health Assessment Document for Trichloroethylene, EPA 600/8-82-006f. U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment,Washington, D.C.

7. Ebasco Services Incorporated. 1988. Final Endangerment Assessment for the Wells G and HSite. Woburn, Massachusetts. December, 1988.

8. Parker, G.S. and Rosen, S.L. 1981. Woburn: Cancer Incidence and Environmental Hazards1969-1978. Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

9. Memorandum from Chronic Diseases Division, Center for Environmental Health to theDirector of the Center for Disease Control. 1981. Regarding, Cancer in Woburn, Massachusetts. EPI-80-37-2. Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.

10. Telles, N.C. 1981. Cancer Mortality in Woburn: A Three Decade Study (1949-1978). Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA

11. Memorandum from Andrew M. Freide, M.D. to John L. Cutler, M.D., Ph.D. 1984. Regarding, Childhood Leukemia, Woburn, MA; An Update, Massachusetts Department of PublicHealth, Boston, MA.

12. Woburn Advisory Panel. 1985. Final Report of the Woburn Advisory Panel to theMassachusetts Department of Public Health.

13. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry, Atlanta, GA; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory.

14. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Aroclor-1260, -1254, -1248,-1242, -1232, -1221, and -1016). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta,GA; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

15. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate. Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; OakRidge National Laboratory.

16. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Chloroform. Agency for Toxic Substancesand Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory.

17. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride. Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; OakRidge National Laboratory.

18. EPA. 1987. Drinking Water Health Advisories for Chlordane, Trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene,Tetrachloroethylene, Xylenes, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Trichloroethylene and Vinyl Chloride. Office of Drinking Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

19. IARC. 1984. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicalsto Humans, Volume 34; Polynuclear Aromatic Compounds, Part 3, Industrial Exposures. International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

20. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Dibenz(a,h)anthracene. Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak RidgeNational Laboratory.

21. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Chrysene. Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

22. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Benzo(a)pyrene. Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory.

23. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Benzo(d)fluoranthene. Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory.

24. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Dibenz(a,h)anthracene. Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory.

25. Ebasco Services Inc. 1988. Draft Feasibility Study Report. Wells G and H Site, Woburn,Massachusetts.

26. ATSDR. 1987. Draft Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene. Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory.

27. Geo Trans, Inc. 1987. Review of EPA Report titled: "Wells G and H Site RemedialInvestigation Report, Part 1, Woburn, Massachusetts." Prepared for: W.R. Grace & Co. July,1987.

28. Lagakos, S.W., Wessen, B.J. and Zelen, M. 1986. An Analysis of Contaminated Well Waterand Health Effects in Woburn, Massachusetts.

29. IARC. 1981. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicalsto Humans. Volume 25: Wood, Leather and Some Associated Industries. International Agencyfor Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

30. MDPH. 1988. Effects of Environmental Exposures on Reproductive Outcomes in Woburn,MA. Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Epidemiology andToxicology.

31. Clapp, D. 1988. Memorandum on Additional Woburn Data, Massachusetts Department ofPublic Health, Division of Health Statistics and Research.

32. Planning Research Corporation. 1986. Wells G and H Wetlands Assessment Final Report.

33. Rogan, W.J., Gladen, B.C., Hung, K.-L., Koong, S.-L., Shih, L.-Y., Taylor, J.S., Wu, Y.-C.,Yang, D., Ragan, N.B. and Hsu, C.-C. 1988. Congenital poisoning by polychlorinated biphenylsand their contaminants in Taiwan. Science 241: 334-336.

34. Ikeda, M., Kuratsune, M., Nakamura, Y. and Hirohata, T. 1986. A cohort study on mortalityof Yusho patients - a preliminary report. Fukuoka Acta Med. 78: 297-300.

35. Miller, J.W. 1985. Congenital PCB poisoning: a reevaluation. Environ. Health Perspect. 60:211-214.

36. ERT, A Resource Engineering Company. 1988. Summary of Investigation, UniFirst Site,Woburn, Massachusettes. Document Number D495-004. Prepared for: UniFirst Corporation,Wilmington, MA. February, 1988.

37. Ebasco Services Incorporated. 1988. Field Operations Plan for Additional Groundwater andSediment Sampling at the Wells G and H Site, Woburn, MA.


The following section was not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. For a hard copy, please contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
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b) inhalation of volatile organic compounds
b) ingestion (less likely)
b) ingestion, especially by children
b) inhalation of volatile contaminants and contaminated fugitive dusts
a) inhalation of volatile contaminants
Source Location Exposure Pathways
Drinking Water 1) 1964-1979: Municipal drinking water source for Woburn residents, especially east Woburn
2) residential wells downgradient - existence unknown
3) future well development and usage
for 1-3:
a) ingestion
b) dermal absorption
c) inhalation of volatilized contaminants (eg. shower, dishwasher)
Industrial Water 1) John J. Riley Tannery and New England Plastics Corporation a) dermal absorption
Surface Water 1) Aberjona River and tributaries, man-made drainage ponds a) dermal absorption
Sediments 1) Aberjona River and tributaries, man-made drainage ponds, drainage ditches for a-c: especially if drainage ditches or tributaries become dry
a) dermal absorption
b) ingestion
Surface Soils 1) Wildwood Conservation Corporation, Olympia Nominee Trust, New England Plastics, Central Area a) dermal absorption
Food 1) Fish from Aberjona River and drainage ponds
2) crops and livestock exposed to ground water or soils
a) ingestion (unknown potential)
a) ingestion (unknown potential)
Air: Indoor 1) Residences, especially in Dewey Ave. development,
2) West Cummings Park buildings, Unifirst Corp., W.R. Grace Co., J. Riley Tannery and New England Plastics Corporation
a) inhalation of indoor contaminants following migration of vapors from ground water into buildings and from contaminated well water (unknown potential)
Air: Ambient 1) Wildwood Conservation Corporation, New England Plastics, Olympia Nominee Trust, Central area
2) Aberjona River
a) ingestion of contaminated fugitive dusts


Figure 1
Figure 1.

Figure 2
Figure 2.

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