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PADOH has concluded, based upon the information reviewed, that the site poses a public health hazard because available data indicate the public water supply and private wells have been contaminated with TCE and lead. People have been exposed to contaminants at levels that may result in adverse health effects. Current exposures are below levels of health concern. However, future exposures to contaminants at levels of public health concern are possible if remediation plans (on-site groundwater pumping and treating) are not implemented or are unsuccessful.

The hydrogeological setting is complex, making the source of contamination for some of the EBWS production wells difficult to define. A water quality study was completed in 1993. An air stripper was added to public supply well #7. Levels of contaminants in the public water supply are now at or near zero.

Private wells were not sampled sufficiently in early site investigations to address levels of contamination or number of persons on private water supplies. The water quality study completed in 1993 identified some private wells that had low levels of contamination. EPA provided information to the people on the contamination and how to reduce exposure.


Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Continue to monitor contaminated private wells to be sure that contaminant levels do not increase to levels of public health concern.
  2. Implement institutional controls, if possible, to prevent installation of drinking water wells in contaminated aquifers.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Continue with plans to further remediate on-site groundwater if the submitted proposal is adequate.
  2. Maintain the air stripper on public supply well #7. Continue to monitor the water as required.
  3. Investigate other possible sources of contamination, if necessary, to ensure the future safety of the public water supply and private wells.
  4. Collect surface soil samples (0-3 inches) both on-site and around the perimeter of the site.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP)

The information and data developed in the public health assessment for the Rodale Manufacturing site, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, have been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. The Panel determined that the site be reevaluated after the results of the well survey and sampling of private wells are available. Those results are needed to determine if health professions education or further follow-up health investigations are needed. In addition, the Panel determined that the need for community health education should be evaluated once the results of the private well survey and sampling are available.


The public health action plan (PHAP) for the Rodale Manufacturing site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or other governmental agencies at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of PADOH and ATSDR to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented.

Public Health Actions Taken

An air stripper has been placed on EBWS public supply well #7. The contaminant levels in the treated public water supply are now at or near zero.

A water quality study for a 3-mile radius of the site is complete. Contaminated private wells were identified, and EPA provided the people with information on the contamination and how to reduce exposure. The results of the survey and EPA activities will be provided to HARP.

EPA is currently reviewing a proposal to further remediate on-site groundwater. If approved, Square D will have a pump and treat system on site by fall of 1994.

Public Health Actions Planned

EPA has indicated that they plan to take the following actions related to the recommendations in the public health assessment.

EPA will address, if possible, the need to restrict the installation of wells in areas of contamination.

EPA is investigating possible other sources of contamination.

EPA will address soil contamination with respect to direct contact to any people when the RI/FS is conducted in 1995.

PADOH and ATSDR will review information gathered during the RI/FS investigation and evaluate that information to determine if any exposures exist that are of public health concern. Results of that evaluation should be available in 1995.


Thomas Hartman
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Kandiah Sivarajah, Ph.D.
State Toxicologist and Project Director
Pennsylvania Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative:

Charles Walters
Public Health Advisor
Office of the Assistant Administrator

ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Gail Godfrey
Technical Project Officer
Remedial Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


The Rodale Manufacturing Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was begun.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment, and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams, PE, DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


  1. Site Inspection of Rodale Manufacturing Company, NUS Corporation Superfund Division, November 15, 1989.
  2. Site History and Laboratory Results for the Rodale Manufacturing Site, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Geo-Environmental Consultants, Inc., October 23, 1991.
  3. Telephone Conversation with Tom Stoneback, Vice President of Rodale Press, October 23, 1991.
  4. Preliminary Assessment for Rodale Manufacturing Company, Inc., Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources, Bureau of Waste Management, 1988.
  5. Summary of General Population Characteristics 1990, Census of Population and Housing, 1990; Summary Tape File 1A, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, June 1991.
  6. 1990 Municipal Population, Pennsylvania, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, January 1991.
  7. Public Schools, Elementary Enrollments, 1990-1991; Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1991.
  8. Public Schools, Secondary Enrollments, 1990-1991, High School Graduate, 1989-1990; Pennsylvania.
  9. Directory of Pennsylvania Hospitals, State Health Data Center, Pennsylvania Department of Health, December 1990.
  10. Nursing Home Directory, State Health Data Center, Pennsylvania Department of Health, December 1990.
  11. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethene, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia, October 1992.
  12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Lead, June 1990.
  13. Pennsylvania Vital Statistics File, State Health Data Center, Pennsylvania Department of Health, 1991.
  14. Bailor, J.C. III, Ederer F. Significance Factors for the Ratio of a Poison Variable to its Expectation. Biometrics; 20: 639-643, 1964.
  15. Pennsylvania Industrial Directory, Department of Commerce, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (Multiple volumes used.)


APPENDIX A. On-Site Well Information

This Appendix was not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. To obtain a hard copy of the document, please contact:

    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
    Attn: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch,
    MS E-56
    1600 Clifton Road NE,
    Atlanta, Georgia 30333


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