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A summary of the environmental contamination data collected forthe Mattiace Petrochemical site is presented in Appendix C,Tables 1-7. All environmental data discussed below and in Tables1-7 are referenced from the 1990 Remedial Investigation Reportprepared by Ebasco Service, Inc. The listing of a contaminantdoes not necessarily mean that its presence is a public healthconcern. Contaminants selected for further evaluation areidentified and evaluated in subsequent sections of the publichealth assessment to determine whether exposure to them haspublic health significance. When selected for further evaluationin one medium, that contaminant will be reported in all mediawhere it is detected. These contaminants are selected anddiscussed based upon the following factors:

  1. Concentrations of contaminants on and off the site.
  2. Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design.
  3. Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with background concentrations.
  4. Comparison of on-site and off-site concentrations with public health assessment comparison values for (1) noncarcinogenic endpoints and (2) carcinogenic endpoints. These values include Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs), drinking water standards and other relevant guidelines.
  5. Community health concerns.

A. On-Site Contamination

    Soil Contamination

    Soil is contaminated with numerous volatile and semi-volatileorganic compounds at concentrations which exceed comparisonvalues for public health assessments (Table 1). Soil samplesfrom 0-2 feet were taken from soil borings; no specificshallow surface soil samples (0-3 inches) were taken at thesite. The lack of surface soil samples is a data gap whichreduces the ability to determine potential human exposures tosite contaminants. Slightly elevated levels of cadmium, whencompared to comparison values, were also found in some soilsamples.

    Groundwater Contamination

    Groundwater is contaminated with numerous volatile organics,semi-volatile organics and metals at levels exceeding publichealth assessment comparison values (Table 2). A non-aqueousphase liquid layer is present in four monitoring wells andvaries in thickness between 1/4 and 5 inches. Liquidcontaminants which are present at high concentrations in theground may not dissolve in water and may form a layer ofproduct which floats or sinks in the water column. If thechemicals are lighter than water, they will float on top ofthe groundwater and the layer it forms is referred to as anon-aqueous phase liquid layer. Data from the analysis of thenon-aqueous phase liquid from the well which contained 5inches of product are presented in Table 3. About 45% of thenon-aqueous phase liquid is made up of identifiable volatileorganic compounds.

    Buried Drums

    Samples were taken from soil and drums during the druminvestigation. Drums contained volatile organic compounds andbis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate; the soil samples taken from thearea around the drums also contained these compounds at levelsexceeding comparison values (Table 4).

    Soil Gas Contamination

    No soil gas measurements were taken. However, soil sampleswere collected from 18-24 inches deep at 6 locations acrossthe site and the headspace was analyzed for volatile organiccompounds using a hand-held field instrument (HNu). Readingsvaried from 9 to 320 parts per million (ppm). Although thesemeasurements are inadequate for evaluation of public healthimplications from soil gas, the measurements indicate thatcontaminated soil gas may be a concern for the site. Additional sampling using alternative techniques is needed.

    Ambient Air Contamination

    All ambient air volatile organic compound analyses wererejected by a review made by laboratory quality assuranceexperts (QA/QC review). Total suspended particulate sampleswere taken at the site and do not appear to be elevated abovebackground samples taken at the same time at other existingNassau County sampling stations.

B. Off-Site Contamination

    Glen Cove Creek Contamination

    Samples taken from the surface water and sediment of Glen CoveCreek contained low levels of organic compounds. Inorganiccompounds are found at concentrations that are similar tothose found naturally in brackish water. Data from thesurface water samples are presented in Table 6 and data fromthe sediment samples are presented in Table 7. Because of thetidal nature of Glen Cove Creek and because of the presence ofother industries and State-listed inactive hazardous wastesites in the area, the surface water and sedimentcontamination is difficult to attribute solely to the site.

    Soil Contamination

    One soil sample was taken off-site on the driveway leading tothe site. The sample from 0-2 feet contained 0.003 milligramsper kilogram (mg/kg) of 4-methyl-2-pentanone; the subsurfacesoil samples (4-12 feet) contained volatile organic compoundsup to 23 mg/kg and semi-volatiles up to 0.13 mg/kg. In thesame manner as with on-site soil contamination, the lack ofsurface soil samples is a data gap which reduces the abilityto evaluate potential human exposures to site-relatedcontaminants. The presence of contamination in the subsurfacesoil samples indicates the potential for off-site migration ofsite contaminants; however, the data are inadequate todetermine the extent of contamination or the mode oftransport.

    Groundwater Contamination

    Several monitoring wells installed during the RemedialInvestigation are located off-site; however, all of theoff-site monitoring wells were within 300 feet of the site. Because of the close proximity of the monitoring wells and thesimilarity of the compounds and levels of organic compounds inon and off-site wells, Table 2 contains data from all monitoring wells.

C. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

In preparing this public health assessment, NYS DOH relied on theinformation provided in the reference documents and assumed thatadequate quality control measures were followed with regard tochain-of-custody, laboratory procedures and data reporting. Thevalidity of the analysis and the conclusions drawn for thisassessment are determined by the availability and reliability ofthe referenced material.

Valid ambient air data are not available for the site. Ambientair data collected during the Remedial Investigation wererejected by the US EPA Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC)review because incorrect analytical techniques were used.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

The site contains facilities which are in disrepair and present ahazard when access to the site is not restricted. The facilitiesthat present a hazard include buildings, equipment andabove-ground storage tanks.

The above-ground and below-ground storage tanks presented apotential explosion hazard before the US EPA emergency removal ofthe storage tank liquid contents in 1988. Residual sludgeremaining in the tanks, buried drums and heavily contaminatedsoil may present an explosion hazard during remedial activitiesif proper precautions are not taken.

E. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI)

To identify facilities that could contribute to groundwater,soil, or air contamination in the area around the MattiacePetrochemical site and/or create health risks unrelated to thesite, NYS DOH searched the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI)data for 1989. TRI is developed by the US EPA from the chemicalrelease (air, water, soil) information provided by certainindustries.

A search of the 1989 Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI)identified four industrial facilities located within a 2.5 mileradius of the Mattiace Petrochemical site (Figure 3). A summaryof reported TRI air emissions for the four facilities ispresented in Table 5. None of the facilities reports anydischarges to water or soil. Based on TRI data and air emissionsmodeling, results of the screening evaluation indicate thatemissions from two facilities (Photocircuits Corp. and LimcoManufacturing Corp.) could affect ambient air near the MattiacePetrochemical site at levels exceeding a screening criterion of 1microgram per cubic meter (mcg/m3). As presented in Table 5, thescreening criterion is exceeded for reported releases of1,1,1-trichloroethane, and dichloromethane (methylene chloride)from Photocircuits Corp. and for methyl ethyl ketone andtetrachloroethene from Limco Manufacturing Corp. These organicchemicals are contaminants of concern at the Mattiace Petroleumsite and are further evaluated in the Public Health Implicationssection of this public health assessment.


To determine whether nearby residents and persons on-site areexposed to contaminants migrating from the site, an evaluationwas made of the environmental and human components that lead tohuman exposure. The pathways analysis consists of five elements:a source of contamination, transport through an environmentalmedium, a point of exposure, a route of human exposure, and anexposed population.

A completed exposure pathway occurs when the five elements of anexposure pathway link the contaminant source to a receptorpopulation. Should a completed exposure pathway exist in thepast, present, or future, the population is considered exposed. A potential exposure pathway exists when one or more of the fiveelements are missing, or if modeling is performed to replace realsampling data. Potential pathways indicate that exposure to acontaminant could have occurred in the past, could be occurringnow, or could occur in the future. An exposure pathway can beeliminated if at least one of the five elements is missing andwill never be present. The discussion that follows incorporatesonly those pathways that are important and relevant to the site.

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

No completed exposure pathways have been identified for this site.

B. Potential Exposure Pathways


Soil 0-2 feet deep and 2-24 feet deep are contaminated withvolatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. No surface soilsamples (0-3 inches) were taken, therefore evaluation ofpotential exposures is limited. A portion of the site is coveredwith buildings or concrete; however, the majority of the site isunpaved and covered with gravel. Potential human exposures arethrough direct contact or ingestion of soils. An approved safetyand health program should minimize worker exposure to on-sitecontaminants during remediation.

Surface runoff from the site may have transported on-sitecontaminants to off-site areas. The primary path of movement ofsurface-runoff is down the driveway right-of-way to the south ofthe site. Runoff subsequently moves onto Garvies Point Road andinto a storm drain which has an outlet to Glen Cove Creek. Employees of neighboring industries and businesses andtrespassers could come in contact with contaminated soil in thedriveway and adjacent parking areas. Potential human exposuresare through direct contact or ingestion of contaminated soils. However, the pathway is incomplete because no known exposureshave occurred.

The surface and subsurface soil serve as a continuing source ofcontamination to the groundwater.


The on-site and adjacent off-site groundwater is contaminatedwith levels of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, andmetals that exceed comparison values (Table 2). Public watersupply wells are not within the area that could be affected bygroundwater flow from the site. Several industrial wells usedfor non-potable purposes have been identified in the area. Noneare currently used. Contaminated groundwater is likely todischarge to Glen Cove Creek; however, preliminary work by EBASCOServices indicates that the groundwater plume may not havereached the creek at this time. Human exposure pathways areincomplete because no known exposure is occurring.

Glen Cove Creek

Glen Cove Creek contains volatile and semi-volatile organiccompound contamination. The Mattiace site may be contributingcontamination to the creek through migration of contaminatedgroundwater; however, preliminary data indicates that this maynot have occurred to date. If the groundwater plume is notremediated, the groundwater contamination is likely to migrate tothe creek. Runoff from the site into storm drains has probablycontributed contamination to the creek and may be contributingcontamination at the present time.

Although the surface water and sediment samples taken from thecreek were contaminated, it is difficult to determine a specificcause and pattern of the contamination. The tidal nature of thecreek and the numerous potential sources of contamination in thearea make it difficult to evaluate the potential affect of thesite on this creek.

Exposure to site-related contaminants is not likely fromrecreational use of Glen Cove Creek. Recreational use isconcentrated at the Hempstead Harbor end of the creek. The creekis used as an access point for recreational boating and fishingin Hempstead Harbor and Long Island Sound. Some fishing mayoccur in Glen Cove Creek. Volatile organic compounds aretransient in tidal water and sediments and do not bio-accumulatein fish to a large degree, and therefore should not be a concernat the relatively low levels found in surface water. Shellfishing is closed because of bacterial contamination. Swimming and wading in the creek does not occur because of theindustrial nature of the creek and because there are other nearbypublic beachs which are on Hempstead Harbor (Figure 1). However,all recreational uses of the creek may increase if a condominiumproject is completed at Captain's Cove. The sediments in thecreek are a potential concern if they are dredged and placed inan area where they may be available for human contact. Ofparticular concern is if the dredged sediments are placed wherethey can be directly ingested or where vegetables can be grown inthem. The human exposure pathway to creek water and sediments isincomplete because no known exposures have occurred.


The buried drums and surrounding contaminated soil were excavatedand removed and no longer contribute contamination to on-sitesoil and groundwater.

Soil Gas

Groundwater at the site is as close to the surface as 6 feet. Because of the high concentration of volatile organic compoundsin the groundwater, the presence of a non-aqueous phase liquidlayer and the shallow depth to groundwater, contaminated soil gasis a concern. The groundwater plume appears to extend under thecommercial/industrial buildings to the southeast and southwest ofthe site. Soil gas may therefore affect the indoor air qualityin the adjacent commercial/industrial buildings. However,because the adjacent industrial buildings are occupied byindustries that use certain volatile organic compounds, affectson indoor air from site-related contamination will requirecareful evaluation. Because the residential area north of thesite is at the top of a slope rise above the site, soil gas isnot likely to be a concern in residential indoor-air. The humanexposure pathway is incomplete because it is not known whethersoil gas has reached any areas where human exposure is possible.

Ambient Air

No valid data exist to assess the effect(s) that the site has hadon ambient air. When the site was active, large quantities ofvolatile organics were spilled on the soil surface and werereleased to the ambient air during operations at the site. Residual levels of volatile organic compounds in the soils andshallow groundwater may release contamination to the ambient air;however, under existing conditions any affect on ambient air islikely to be diluted to levels below detection limits in off-siteareas. The human exposure pathway is incomplete because it isnot known whether the site has affected ambient air.

Special precautions will be necessary during remedial activitiesto avoid releases to ambient air which may affect off-site areas. Excavation of heavily contaminated soils surrounding undergroundstorage tanks will require frequent air monitoring and immediatecoverage of excavated soil.


A. Toxicological Evaluation

Soil and groundwater at the Mattiace Petrochemical site arecontaminated with numerous organic chemicals (Tables 1 and 2) atlevels of concern for potential human exposure pathways. Amongthe organic chemical contaminants, benzene and vinyl chloride areknown human carcinogens (ATSDR, 1989a, 1989l) and 1,4-dichloro-benzene, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethene, 1,2-dichloro-ethane, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, methylene chloride,1,1,1,2-tetrachloroethane, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene,bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, and isophorone cause cancer inlaboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes(US EPA, 1987; ATSDR, 1989c,e,f,g,h,i,k, 1990b,e). The organiccontaminants listed in Tables 1 and 2 can also produce a varietyof noncarcinogenic toxicities (primarily liver, kidney, nervoussystem and cardiovascular effects) and in the case of benzene,damage to blood-cell forming tissues and the immune system(ATSDR, 1989a,c,e,f,h,i,j,k,l, 1990a,b,f,g,h). Bis(2-ethyl-hexyl)phthalate can also adversely affect the male reproductive system (ATSDR, 1989g).

Metal contaminants of potential concern in groundwater includecadmium, chromium, iron, lead, manganese, and sodium (Table 2). Cadmium has also been found at potential levels of concern inon-site soil samples. Chronic exposure to cadmium can lead tokidney damage and may cause adverse effects on bone, thegastrointestinal tract, liver, blood, and reproduction (ATSDR,1991). The primary toxicities associated with ingestion of largeamounts of chromium are kidney and liver damage, birth defectsand adverse effects on the reproductive system (ATSDR, 1989b). Although iron is an essential nutrient, ingestion of largeamounts can lead to accumulation in the body and tissue damage. Its presence in drinking water, however, is objectionableprimarily due its affect on taste and staining of laundry andplumbing fixtures (WHO, 1984). Chronic exposure to lead ispredominantly associated with neurological and hematologicaleffects (ATSDR, 1990b). At high exposure levels, lead can causekidney damage, gastrointestinal distress, and reproductiveeffects including spontaneous abortion and damage to the malereproductive system. The developing fetus and young children areparticularly sensitive to lead-induced neurological effects, withsymptoms ranging from delayed mental development and behavioraleffects at low blood lead levels to frank ataxia, stupor, comaand convulsions at high blood levels. Lead causes cancer inlaboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes(ATSDR, 1990b). Whether or not lead causes cancer in humans isnot known. Exposure to high manganese concentrations primarilycauses nervous system effects (ATSDR, 1990c). Like iron, elevated levels of manganese in drinking water adversely affectstaste and causes staining of clothes and fixtures. The mainconcern about sodium is its association with high blood pressureand possibly heart disease (WHO, 1984).

Chemicals that cause adverse effects in humans and/or animalsfollowing high level exposure may also increase the risk ofadverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels overlong periods of time. There have been no documented humanexposures to contaminants from the Mattiace Petrochemical site. A brief toxicological evaluation of the potential human exposurepathways of primary concern related to the Mattiace site ispresented below:

  1. Potential inhalation, dermal and ingestion exposure of personscoming in contact with contaminated soil, either on-site oroff-site as a result of surface-runoff.

    Contact with on-site soil is limited since the major portionof the site is covered with gravel. The magnitude of thehealth risk cannot, however, be adequately characterized dueto the lack of data for contaminant levels in surface soil.

    Surface run-off from the site could result in employees ofnearby industries and businesses coming in contact withcontaminated soil. Although the existing data suggest thatthe health risks from this potential exposure pathway areminimal, the sampling data are inadequate to draw conclusionsabout contaminant levels in surface soil run-off from thesite.

  2. Potential inhalation, dermal and ingestion exposure of personsengaged in on-site clean-up activities and nearby residents tocontaminated soil.

    Persons engaged in clean-up (remediation activities) or otheractivities which expose contaminated soil or groundwateron-site could be at increased risk of adverse health effects. Volatile organic contaminants have been detected at highconcentrations in the on-site groundwater which is as close tothe surface as 6 feet. In addition, trichloroethene,tetrachloroethene, and toluene have been detected in theassociated non-aqueous liquid layer at levels (10-12%) whichcould pose a significant health threat to persons engaged inon-site clean-up. Use of proper procedures and protectivegear should minimize the chances of significant exposures. Use of appropriate dust suppression methods and monitoring ofambient air for organic vapors during clean-up would minimizeany low level increased risk to nearby residents.

  3. Potential inhalation exposure to volatile organic compounds inindoor air due to migration of soil vapors into nearbystructures.

    Data are not available to adequately assess this potentialexposure pathway. Volatile organic compounds have beendetected in soil samples at several on-site locations,suggesting the presence of soil gas that could pose a healththreat if nearby buildings are affected. In addition,volatile organic contaminants in on-site and off-sitegroundwater may also serve as a source of soil vapors whichcould affect the indoor air quality in adjacent commercial/industrial buildings. Trichloroethene, tetrachloroethene, andtoluene, for example, have been detected in the on-sitegroundwater and in it's associated non-aqueous liquid layer athigh concentrations (10-12%). These concentrations couldpotentially affect indoor air at levels of health concern fromshort-term as well as long-term exposure.

  4. Potential ingestion, dermal and inhalation exposure tocontaminants in Glen Cove Creek as a result of contaminatedplume migration and subsequent recreational activities.

    Groundwater contaminants could affect Glen Cove Creek. Further contamination of the creek could present a publichealth threat to persons engaged in recreational activitieswhich are more likely if an already started condominiumproject is completed near the creek. The available dataindicate that, at the present levels of contamination,recreational activities in the creek should not be associatedwith any significant increased health risks.

B. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory

The screening evaluation of the Toxic Chemical Release Inventoryidentified two industrial facilities whose emissions of1,1,1-trichloroethane and methylene chloride (PhotocircuitsCorp.) and tetrachloroethene and methyl ethyl ketone (LimcoManufacturing Corp.) could have a significant affect on ambientair quality in the community around the Mattiace Petrochemicalsite (Table 5). As discussed earlier, tetrachloroethene andmethylene chloride are chemicals that cause cancer in laboratoryanimals and may also increase the risk of cancer in humans whoare exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whethertetrachloroethene or methylene chloride cause cancer in humans isunknown. Based on the results of animal studies and the TRIscreening evaluation, we estimate that emissions of tetrachloro-ethene and methylene chloride could pose a moderate and lowincreased risk of cancer, respectively, over a lifetime (70years) of exposure.

Methyl ethyl ketone, tetrachloroethene, methylene chloride and1,1,1-trichloroethane are also known to produce a variety ofnoncarcinogenic toxicities (primarily liver, kidney and nervoussystem effects) at exposure levels at least two orders ofmagnitude greater than those estimated using the TRI screeningmodel. Chemicals that cause effects in humans and/or animalsafter high levels of exposure may also pose a risk to humans whoare exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Althoughthe risks of noncarcinogenic effects aren't completelyunderstood, the existing data suggest that they are low foremissions of methyl ethyl ketone and tetrachloroethene from LimcoManufacturing Corp., and minimal for emissions of methylenechloride and 1,1,1-trichloroethane from the Photocircuits Corp.

C. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

No site-specific health outcome data has been generated for thissite. However, the NYS DOH conducted a study of cancer incidencein the Glen Cove area in response to a public inquiry about aperceived excess of cancer cases and the possible relationship toan industrialized area just north of Glen Cove Creek. The studyarea was zip code 11542, which corresponds closely to theboundaries of the City of Glen Cove. The study used data fromthe New York State Cancer Registry, from the years 1978 - 1987,and compared the observed number of cancers in the study areaagainst the number that would be expected based on standardUpstate New York rates adjusted for age and sex.

This comparison also considered the population density (thenumber of residents per square mile) of the study area sincecancer rates vary between urban and rural areas. The City ofGlen Cove was compared to other areas of the state which are alsomoderately urban (3,000-5,400 persons per square mile).

Both males and females in the study area had lower than expectedincidence of all types of cancer combined, although the resultswere not significantly lower than expected. Within specificanatomical sites of cancer, a statistically significant excess ofmalignant melanoma skin cancer was found among males in the studyarea. In addition, the study found a significantly lowerincidence of both colon cancer in males and breast cancer infemales. No other type of cancer was found to be significantlyhigher or lower in the Glen Cove population.

The report discussed the known risk factors for malignantmelanoma, particularly exposure to sunlight or ultravioletradiation. Other factors, such as light skin pigmentation, alsoappear to be important. The excess of malignant melanoma seen inthe Glen Cove area in males but not females may have been relatedto sunlight exposure, but no specific information on sunlightexposure of cases was available.

D. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

Community health concerns regarding possible exposure tocontaminated drinking water have been addressed in the RemedialInvestigation report and at public meetings. No public orprivate drinking water wells are downgradient of the site. Concern about direct contact with on-site contaminants has beenaddressed by fencing to restrict access to the site and the fencerepair at the collapsed retaining wall. Concern about structurefires and explosions have been largely addressed by the earlierremoval action conducted by US EPA, which removed the remainingliquids from above ground and under ground storage tanks. Adequate health and safety plans and practices will help toaddress potential fire and explosion problems during remediation.

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