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  1. Under typical exposure scenarios, exposures at the levels found in the NYSDEC monitoring data are unlikely to result in adverse health effects. However, several aldehydes were detected in the NYSDEC monitoring program at levels above health standards. Levels above health comparison values were detected in a majority of the samples collected for formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and propionaldehyde samples. ATSDR considers the health evaluation incomplete because data are limited and may not be representative of long-term exposure concentrations.
  2. Results of the intensive landfill gas source sampling indicate that some data gaps exist in the NYSDEC data. ATSDR considers the lack of ambient air data for hydrogen sulfide to be a significant data gap which needs to be addressed before ATSDR can fully evaluate the public health implications of the site.
  3. New scientific information suggests that standards for PM10 may not be protective of public health. EPA has proposed revisions to standards for particulate matter that include fine particles, those less than 2.5 microns in size. Based on this information, ATSDR concluded that the health evaluation of particulate matter is incomplete because data for fine particles were not available.

    ATSDR classifies the air pathway from Fresh Kills Landfill as an Indeterminate Public Health Hazard pending review of forthcoming data.


  1. Significant data gaps exist regarding ambient air data for hydrogen sulfide and PM2.5 which should be addressed with sampling so that a health evaluation of the site can be completed.
  2. In order to address public health concerns raised by the community and using information about potential exposure developed in working drafts of this Health Consultation, ATSDR proposed a Respiratory Health Investigation for this site. During completion of this document, ATSDR's Division of Health Studies initiated the field work portions of such a study. This work included investigation of potential health effects associated with possible ambient air exposures and associated sampling for ambient offsite hydrogen sulfide and PM2.5. As results and data become available from this study, they will be incorporated into future ATSDR documents regarding Fresh Kills Landfill.
  3. ATSDR should continue to review aldehyde data as made available by NYSDEC and incorporate long-term analysis of the data into the PHA document planned by ATSDR.

This document is part of a series of consultations; future documents will examine any additional data made available to ATSDR. The conclusions and recommendations in this report are based on the data currently available to ATSDR. If additional clarification is necessary, please contact this office at (404) 639-0600 or by writing to the authors at:

ATSDR - Fresh Kills Landfill Site
1600 Clifton Rd. - MS: E-32
Atlanta, GA 30333



Douglas Souzie
Environmental Health Scientist, PRB, DHAC

Susan Moore
Toxicologist, PRB, DHAC

M. C. West
Section Chief, SB, PRB, DHAC

M. C. West for Dan Joe
Branch Chief, PRB, DHAC

Robert C. Williams
Director, DHAC


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  2. ATSDR. Fresh Kills Landfill Health Consultation, Staten island, New York. March 15, 1996.

  3. NYSDEC. Ambient Air Quality Characterization of Fresh Kills Landfill, 1994 Preliminary Report. February 1995.

  4. NYCDOS. Final Scoping Document for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Fresh Kills Landfill. February 10, 1995.

  5. USEPA Region 2. Determination of Landfill Gas Composition and Pollutant Emission Rates at Fresh Kills Landfill. Radian Corporation. EPA 902-R-95-0016. November 1995.

  6. EPA. Mercury and other metals testing at the GSF Energy Inc. Gas recovery plant at the Fresh Kills Landfill. EPA 902-R-97-001. January 1997.

  7. NYCDEP. Staten Island Air Toxics Monitoring Program, Annual Report, March 1994 - February 1995.

  8. U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Public Law 94-171. Washington D.C.

  9. NY City Department of Sanitation. DOS Report - An Update of Activities at Fresh Kills Landfill. February 1996.

  10. NY City Department of Health. Staten Island Cancer Incidence Study. March 1996.

  11. NYSDOH. New York City Department of Sanitation Employees Health Study Summary. October 1996.

  12. USEPA.Screening Procedures for Estimating the Air Quality Impact of Stationary Sources, Revised. USEPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, October 1992.

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  14. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures - 1997.

  15. NYSDEC. New York State Air Guide-1, Guidelines for the Control of Toxic Ambient Air Contaminants. 1991 edition. Division of Air Resources.

  16. ATSDR. Toxicological profile for vinyl chloride. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1995.

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  27. New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Staten Island Air Toxics Monitoring Program. Annual Report March 1994 - February 1995.

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  48. EPA. Fact Sheet, EPA's Proposal on the Particulate Matter Standard. November 29, 1996.

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