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As part of the ATSDR Child Health Initiative, PADOH evaluated the risks to children and determined that children have an increased potential exposure to site contaminants. Four characteristics of children magnify their exposures to toxicants in the environment: (1) play activities close to the ground, which increase their exposure to toxicants in dust and soil plus toxicants in airborne particulate matter, (2) typical hand-to-mouth behavior, which increases intakes of any toxicants, (3) children on bicycles may cause an increase in airborne particulate matter, and (4) unsupervised younger children lack the knowledge to avoid the jagged drums and other physical hazards, possibly cutting themselves on the sharp edges and/or falling off or through the footbridge.


The Hammermill Scott Run site is a public health hazard for people visiting the site due to physical dangers from drowning (open lagoons) and falling (foot bridge). There is potential risk of exposure to chemicals in drums, but we are unsure of the characteristics of drum contents. Because of their behaviors, children are at increased risk to the drums and their contents. There is no public health risk from hazardous chemicals migrating from the site in surface water and sediment based upon 1988 down stream water and sediment samples. However, if the drums are not removed, the potential for additional and new contamination exists as the drums continue to deteriorate.


PADOH/ATSDR recommends the following actions to be taken for the site. Please note that the interpretation, advice, and recommendations provided are based on the data and information referenced and are situation-specific. Additional information could alter the recommendations/conclusions and PADOH is committed to reviewing new data as it becomes available.

  1. Eliminate the potential chemical and physical exposures. A method of accomplishing this is the removal of the following to an approved waste facility:

    a. All drums and associated contaminated soil

    b. Demolition and other miscellaneous waste

    c. Lagoon sludges

  2. Fill and grade the two lagoons to eliminate the drowning hazard.

  3. Remove the make-shift foot bridge

  4. Sample the apparent leachate seep if it persists following clean up of the drum area.

  5. Since the site is intended for recreational activity and restricted access will be difficult to accomplish, we encourage expeditious implementation of recommendations 1-4 above.

  6. Provide appropriate health education to the residents who reside at the home which had elevated manganese levels in the past. PADOH has provided health education to the homeowner on the health impact of consuming water with the level of manganese seen in his well water.


  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1989. Site Inspection of Hammermill Scott Run.

  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1998. Site Reconnaissance Trip Report Hammermill Scott Run site, Harborcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

  3. Telephone conversation with Tim Sullivan of the Erie Water Company, June 8, 1998.


J.E. Godfrey, P.G.
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Barbara Allerton, MPH, RN
Nursing Services Consultant
Pennsylvania Department of Health


This Health Consultation for the Hammermill Scott Run site was prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)/. It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the health consultation was initiated.

Roberta Erlwein
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR has reviewed this health consultation and concurs with its findings.

Lisa C. Hayes

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