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The Sharon Steel slag disposal area is a public health hazard because of physical hazards that include alkaline surface water bodies on the site and the slumping or sliding potential of parts of the slag piles. The site also provides easy access for fishing the Shenango River. These hazards may be avoided if local residents stay off the site and obey "Do Not Eat" fish advisories issued by PADEP.



  1. Post additional signs on the perimeter of the site and at the ponds to discourage trespassing or restrict access to dangerous areas.
  2. Post signs or restrict access to the alkaline ponds to prevent people from playing in or near the water.
  3. Remove the slag pile from the site to prevent injury to people who may be in the path of a sudden debris slide.
  4. Post "No Dumping" signs along the river where garbage is accumulating. PADOH has made the local authorities aware of this problem.
  5. Raise awareness of the "Do Not Eat" advisories for carp along the Shenango River. Although the "Do Not Eat" advisory is not associated with this site, evidence of fishing exists. The referenced fact sheet provides fish advisory information to children and their parents.

Public Health Actions

PADOH provided the attached fact sheet to nearby residents. The local school district, local municipalities, and Mercer County State Health Center are supportive of efforts to advise parents and, along with PADEP, have commented on the fact sheet and helped with its distribution. This fact sheet is expected to help curb trespassing until the Environmental Protection Agency is able to consider how site access can be better controlled.

PADOH made local authorities aware of the trash deposition problem suggested they consider posting signs.

Because PADEP accompanied us on our site visit, they are aware of the fishing on that part of the river and that signs about the fish advisory could help prevent exposure.


  1. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, open files, Meadville Regional Office.

  2. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 1993 and 1994. Groundwater Sampling Results, Acid Slag Area, Sharon Steel Corporation, Farrell, Pennsylvania.

  3. Pennsylvania Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey, 1981. Atlas of Preliminary Geologic Quadrangle Maps of Pennsylvania.

  4. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 1996. Letter of July 25 from Governor Tom Ridge to Carol Browner, EPA Administrator.

  5. Material Safety Data Sheet, 1991. Genium Publishing Corporation, Schenectady, N.Y.

  6. Toxicology of the Eye, 1986. National Library of Medicine, Hazardous Substances Database, quoted from Grant.

  7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1996. Site Review and Update, Westinghouse Electric (Sharon Plant) Sharon, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. CERCLIS No. PAD 005000575.


J.E. Godfrey, M.S., M.Ed., P.G.
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Barbara Allerton, M.P.H., R.N.
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Alice Hoffman, M.H.A.
Pennsylvania Department of Health


This Sharon Steel Slag Pile Site Health Consultation 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 health consultation was begun.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)

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

Richard E. Gillig

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Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

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