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Environmental monitoring included analysis of soil, groundwater, surface water, surface run-off, sediment, leachate, and ambient air. The on-site areas sampled included the Waste Pit area and the general landfill area (Figure 2, Appendix A). Chemicals presented in this section will be discussed in further detail in other sections of the public health assessment. Chemicals listed in these Data Tables will not necessarily cause a threat to human health and may be eliminated in other sections of the public health assessment.

Comparison values are used as guides to aid in the determination of the chemicals of concern. A chemical is not automatically included as a chemical of concern if it exceeds the comparison value, because it must also be in an exposure pathway. Comparison values for the chemicals that do not cause cancer are either ATSDR's environmental media evaluation guides (EMEGs) or are calculated by ODH. These calculations used U.S.EPA standard Reference Doses, adult and/or child body weights and ingestion (water and soil) rates. If exposure to a child is not likely to occur, the comparison value will be given only for adults. Cancer Guides are used to assist in the evaluation of the cancer potential for a chemical and use the U.S.EPA cancer slope factors along with the adult body weight and ingestion rates. The comparison values for drinking water are either the U.S. EPA maximum contaminant level or ATSDR EMEGs, which ever is lowest.

A. On-Site Contamination

On-site monitoring included soil samples, surface water, surface run-off, sediment, upwind and downwind ambient air, leachate, and groundwater.


Waste Pit soil samples were from four borings taken in three foot sections down to approximately 70 feet (Figure 3, Appendix A). There were peaks of contamination around 20 feet and 40 feet, with concentrations decreasing above and below these zones. There were also pockets of green sludge and brown waste oil discovered during sampling. There was no physical evidence of hazardous material in the upper 12 feet of garbage and gob. Chemical analysis on the upper 12 feet of soil was only done on Waste Pit boring # 1 (WP #1) and contamination was minimal.

Volatile organic chemicals and semivolatile organic compounds were detected in soil samples below 12 feet from the Waste Pit (Table 1 ). Surface soil samples taken from WP #1 did not show significant contamination with VOCs or semivolatiles. At least half of the VOCs in subsurface samples were present in all four Waste Pit samples (Figure 2, Appendix A). Most of the 23 semivolatiles, which included PAHs (polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons), phthalate esters, and phenols, were present in all four of the Waste Pit soil borings (Table 1 and Figure 2, Appendix A). Samples from WP #1 near the surface (less than 3 feet) contained phenols and PAHs.

Table 1
Chemicals in Waste Pit Soil Borings
Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Chemical Concentration
Value (mg/kg)

1,1,1-Trichloroethane ND-11 63,0001
Benzene 0.006-19 2412
Toluene 0.009-142 140,0003
Ethylbenzene 0.004-303 70,0003
Xylene 0.008-907 1,400,0003

Below 12 feet 0-3 feet

Phenol ND-8.6 0.2 420,0003
4-methylphenol 0.1-11,000 0.4 35,0001
Naphthalene 0.3-5,500 0.9 2,8001
2-methylnaphthalene ND-3,000 1.5 NA
Dibenzofuran ND-5.2 0.9 NA
Phenanthrene 0.2-30 1.8 2,8001
Fluoranthene ND-37 ND 28,0003
Pyrene 0.2-36 ND 21,0003
Benzo(a)pyrene ND-15 ND 1.02

ND = Not Detected
*mg/kg = parts per million (ppm)
1 = Comparison Value Calculated by ODH
2 = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide Calculated by ODH

Metals were also detected in Waste Pit soil samples. Those in Table 2 are significant because they were above prelandfill levels in soil and other media.

Table 2
Metals in Waste Pit Soil Borings Samples
from Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Chemical Concentration
Value (mg/kg)

Arsenic 2.9-75 2101
Barium 49-266 49,0001
Chromium 6.6-276 3,5001
Lead 16-117 NA

*mg/kg = Parts Per Million (ppm)
NA = None Available

Soil samples were also taken in the general landfill area at seven monitoring well locations, south of the Waste Pit (Figure 4, Appendix A). Sample analysis detected VOCs and semivolatiles (Table 3), with most of the chemicals below 5 feet. Chemical concentrations were very low in the surface soil samples. Metals were not in general landfill soil samples above the prelandfill levels. Maximum concentrations of metals were generally lower than Waste Pit samples. Most of the VOCs and semivolatiles in general landfill samples were also found in Waste Pit soil samples. Chemical concentrations were below the comparison values.

Table 3
Chemicals in General Landfill Soil Borings
Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Chemical Concentration
Value (mg/kg)

2-Butanone ND - 2.4 35,0001
1-1,1-Trichloroethane ND - 0.009 63,0001
Benzene ND - 0.08 2412
Tetrachloroethene ND - 0.03 7,0003
Toluene ND - 0.02 140,0003
Ethylbenzene ND - 0.04 70,0003
Xylenes ND - 0.13 1,400,0003

Below 5 feet 0-5 feet

Phenol ND-3.8 ND 420,0003
4-methylphenol ND-16 ND-2.7 35,0001
Naphthalene ND-18 ND-7.5 2,8001
2-methylnaphthalene ND-22 ND-1.3 NA
Dibenzofuran ND-9.6 ND-7.2 NA
Phenanthrene ND-16 ND-14 2,8001
Fluoranthene ND-2.3 ND-0.34 28,0001
Pyrene ND-2.6 ND 21,0001
Benzo(a)pyrene ND-0.2 ND 1.02

ND = Not Detected
*mg/kg = Parts Per Million (ppm)
1 = Comparison Value Calculated by ODH
2 = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide Calculated by ODH

Surface Water and Surface Run-off

Surface water in this region of Ohio may be degraded as a result of past and present coal mining activities. These waters have a lower than normal pH and increased metal concentrations. Normal surface water pH is 6.5-8 and surface water pH at BRL was as low as 3.2.

Samples included surface water and surface discharge or run-off. Surface water run-off was sampled downhill from the Waste Pit area and in the "asbestos area" (southeast of the Waste Pit). Samples taken after storm events in two rounds of sampling did not contain any VOCs.

On-site surface water samples taken from nine sample sites in Kings Run, and Little McMahon Creek downstream with its confluence with Kings run, did not contain any VOCs. Samples from Kings Run were taken at the impoundment outlet, in the stream middle, and at the mouth of the stream did not contain any VOCs.

Metals were slightly above regional background under normal flow conditions, but increased during storm conditions (Versar, Inc., 1989 ). Regional surface water metal concentrations are generally high. The highest metal concentrations were found during storm flow conditions from a sample taken at the mouth of Kings Run (Figure 2) (Table 4).

Table 4
Metal Concentrations in Surface Water Samples
from Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Compound Surface Run-off
Kings Run

Arsenic ND-31 ND-92
Barium ND-496 ND-1,220
Chromium 16-80 ND-219
Lead ND-76 ND-118

ND = Not Detected
*µg/L = Parts Per Billion (ppb)


Sediment samples from five stations along the length of Kings Run contained naphthalene, with concentrations ranging from ND-670 µg/L and phenanthrene from ND-1,110 µg/L. These two chemicals belong to a group of chemicals called polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and are common by-products of coal mining and disposal.

Ambient Air

The ambient air survey consisted of a perimeter survey and an on-site study. Methane was the only chemical detected in the perimeter survey. This is consistent with most sanitary landfills. No other organics were detected in the perimeter survey. Ambient air samples were also taken upwind and downwind of the Waste Pit and suspected asbestos disposal area (Figure 2, Appendix A). Samples taken north and south of the Waste Pit contained low concentration levels of organic chemicals and indicated that air quality was minimally affected (Metcalf and Eddy, 1990). Samples for the determination of asbestos were taken near monitoring well 9A (Figure 4, Appendix A) and the south end of the suspected asbestos area did not detect asbestos.


Three leachate samples were taken from the Waste Pit area seeps, L-1, L-2, and L-5. Seeps L-3 and four were taken from the southern toe of the landfill. Sample L- 3 was a sample of groundwater from a surface, spring-like seep. Samples were taken during wet and dry periods. Two Waste Pit seeps contained VOCs and semivolatile organic compounds. The other seeps did not contain site-related chemicals. The results given in Table 5 represent the highest value for a given chemical in all three rounds of sampling. The chemicals detected in the two Waste Pit seeps were present in both the Waste Pit and general landfill soil samples.

Table 5
Leachate Sampling for On-site Seeps
at Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Compound Sample Site
Concentration (µg/L)*

Volatile Organic Compounds L-1 L-2
2-Butanone 1,500 4,200
2-Hexanone 47 2J
4-Methyl-2-pentanone 10 15
Toluene 2J 38
Ethylbenzene ND 2J
Xylenes (Total) ND 7
Phenol 530 820
4-Methylphenol 2,700 3,000
Benzoic Acid 3,400 560

J = Estimated Value
ND = Not Detected
L-1 and L-2 were Waste Pit seeps
*µg/l = Parts Per Billion (ppb)


Groundwater under BRL is present in at least six different layers that make up two related aquifer systems. The two aquifer systems are shallow (less than 50 feet) and deep (exists from 100-225 feet). The shallow aquifers include the unconsolidated mine waste (gob) and the associated bedrock formations (Waynesburg Coal, Wegee Limestone, and Uniontown Sandstone) that are exposed in the vicinity of the Waste Pit. The deep aquifers include the bedrock layers that occur roughly 100 feet or more deep, below the bottom of the Waste Pit. The shallow aquifers, in part, recharge the deep aquifers. Refer to Appendix B for additional groundwater information. As a result of the site topography, parts of BRL cut through the aquifer layers, which changes the depth to the aquifers. Groundwater data for the shallow aquifers are given in Table 6. These values are the highest concentrations in two rounds of sampling from 16 wells. Figure 5 shows the location of contaminated wells.

Table 6
On-site Groundwater Monitoring Data
for the Gob and Associated Bedrock Aquifers
Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Chemical Concentration

Volatile Organic Compounds

1,1,1-Trichloroethane 4J 2001
Carbon tetrachloride 2J 32
Trichloroethene 3J 51
Benzene 32 51
Toluene 4J 1,0001
Ethylbenzene 80 7001
Total Xylenes 36 10,0001

Metals and Inorganics

Arsenic 77 5-113
Barium 578 2,0001
Cadmium 4.8 51
Chromium 27 80-1753
Lead 19 154

J = Estimated Value
*µg/L = Parts Per Billion (ppb)
1 = U.S.EPA Maximum Contaminant Level
2 = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide Calculated by ODH
3 = Comparison Value Calculated by ODH for Child and Adult
4 = U.S.EPA Action Level

Benzene was the most common VOC detected in groundwater samples and was found in both the shallow and deep aquifer systems. Toluene was also present in the deep aquifer systems. Virtually every compound present in the shallow aquifer system was also in Waste Pit and general landfill soil samples, with the highest levels in soil samples. Toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene were also present in surface leachate.

Barium was the only inorganic compound at elevated levels over background in the shallow aquifers, although cadmium, chromium and lead were most frequently detected. The frequency of metals in groundwater from the site may be due to disposal at the Waste Pit or to regional groundwater degradation from mining activity.

Site-related contaminants were also present in samples of groundwater taken in the deep aquifer system. The values in Table 7 are the highest levels from the deep aquifer (layers) in two rounds of sampling.

Table 7
On-site Groundwater Data for Deep Aquifers
for Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Compound Concentration
Value (µg/L)

Benzene 15 51
2-butanone 24 1,7002
Toluene 12 1,0001
Arsenic 478 5-112
Barium 1,530 2,0001
Cadmium 7.9 51
Chromium 161 80-1754
Lead 190 153

*µg/L = Parts Per Billion (ppb)
1 = U.S.EPA Maximum Contaminant Level
2 = Comparison Value Calculated by ODH
3 = U.S.EPA Action Level

Shallow aquifer samples also contained benzene and toluene. Figure 5 , Appendix A shows the location of contaminated wells at BRL. Benzene and toluene were also found in soil samples from the site, toluene and 2-butanone were found in surface leachate. The metals were significantly elevated. The concentration of these metals was much greater in the deep aquifer system than in the shallow systems.

B. Off-Site Contamination

Off site includes areas north and south of Buckeye Reclamation Landfill beyond landfill borders (Figure 2, Appendix A). Off-site monitoring included surface water, sediment, one leachate seep, groundwater (residential wells), and springs, west and south of the landfill.

Surface Water

Little McMahon and Unnamed Run have been severely impacted by acid mine drainage from past coal mining in the area. Unnamed Run and upstream results from Little McMahon Creek should not be affected by BRL, but may reflect regional degradation of surface waters. Typical of acid mine drainage waters are low pH and increased metal concentrations. The pH of upper Kings Run (north of BRL), Little McMahon Creek, and Unnamed Run ranged 3.2 to 8.2. A pH below 6.5 is low for surface water. In addition, metal concentrations were higher than in on-site surface water (Kings Run and Little McMahon downstream of its confluence with Kings Run). During periods of maximum run-off (storm conditions), concentrations of metals in off-site surface water did not significantly increase.


Sediment samples taken at Kings Run (north of BRL), Little McMahon Creek, and Unnamed Run contained semivolatile organic compounds at very low levels. The presence of semivolatiles in sediment may be related to regional coal mining activities. Metal concentrations did not significantly vary from regional levels.


Off-site surface leachate was sampled at one area west of the site. There were no site-related chemicals found at this seep.


Off-site groundwater samples were collected from eight residential wells in the area of BRL. Well locations in relation to the site are shown in Figure 6, Appendix A. A trace amount (0.11 µg/L) of toluene was present in one sample. Toluene was also found in on-site groundwater and soil samples. The only inorganic compound of concern in off-site residential groundwater was lead at 38 µg/L.

Howard Spring, east of Kings Run and on the north side of Little McMahon Creek, was also sampled. There were no site-related chemicals detected in this spring.

Sampling off site also included two springs along the west slope of the ridge separating Unnamed Run and Kings Run. These springs originate from the shallow or gob aquifer system. Water quality of these springs was degraded with pH as low as 4.0. There were no site-related chemicals detected and metal concentrations were not unusual for coal mine-influenced water.

C. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI)

A review of OEPA's Toxic Chemical Release Inventory information did not indicate any releases of toxic materials that would impact the population around Buckeye Reclamation Landfill.

D. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

In preparing this Public Health Assessment, the Ohio Department of Health and ATSDR relied on the information provided in the referenced documents and assumes that adequate quality assurance and quality control measures were followed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. The validity of the analysis and conclusions drawn for this Public Health Assessment are determined by the availability and reliability of the referenced information.

E. Physical and Other Hazards

The possible physical hazards noted during the second site visit have been eliminated with the closing of the landfill.



This section includes discussions of how chemicals move in the environment and how people can be exposed to the chemicals. For example, chemicals in a landfill can move through the landfill into the groundwater or seep out of the landfill at the surface (leachate). Chemicals in soil can be blown off site by the wind or can be carried away from the site in rain water runoff. A chemical may be in groundwater or soil, but people may not come in contact with the water or dirt. If people are not in contact with the contaminated water or dirt, they will not be exposed to the chemicals.

The environmental pathways at the Buckeye Reclamation Landfill are the movement of chemicals away from the landfill in soil, leachate, surface water runoff, and groundwater. The chemicals in the groundwater and leachate at this site move fairly easily with water and are mobile under the types of conditions found at this site. The site was onced mined for coal which makes it easier for chemicals such as metals and other inorganic chemicals to move into the groundwater from the waste sources. The groundwater at the landfill recharges or empties into the surface water on site. Chemicals at the landfill may move through the soil at the Waste Pit into the groundwater and then into the surface water. The terrain of the site increases the amount of runoff from othe areas of the site into on-site surface water. Surface soil and air are eliminated as exposure pathways at this site due to the minimal amount of contamination found in the soil, and the fact that no chemicals other than methane were detected in air samples. Surface water is also eliminated as an exposure pathway since contaminant levels are not considered to be significant.

The exposure pathways through which persons may be exposed to site-related chemicals from the Buckeye Reclamation Landfill site are leachate and groundwater. The residents in the area surrounding the site use groundwater as a drinking water source. Former workers at the landfill may have come into contact with the leachate at the site.

A. Environmental Pathways

The environmental pathways that are important at BRL are depicted in Figure 7, Appendix A. These associated pathways are soil, surface leachate, surface water, and groundwater.


Buckeye Reclamation Landfill has served as a municipal landfill, mine waste disposal area, and hazardous waste disposal area. Reportedly the disposal of hazardous waste was limited to the Waste Pit, however, site-related chemicals were also found in soil samples from the general landfill area. A portion of the site 200 - 250 yards from the Waste Pit, was until recently, used for disposal of household waste. The past landfilling activities may have disturbed the soil, dispersing soil contaminants. Landfilling involved digging up large volumes of soil to be used as cover, which could bring to the surface contaminated soil.

Mine spoil or gob blankets most of the site to depths of up to 100 feet. The Waste Pit consists of gob, silt and garbage plus a soil cap. Underlying the Waste Pit is virgin soil, clay, and stream sediments. The presence of gob and garbage in the Waste Pit may aid the movement of materials into the groundwater. Coal mine spoil and other materials in the gob may contain iron, manganese, aluminum and other metals increasing background levels in soil.

Contamination in soil at BRL is greatest in the Waste Pit area. From the limited data available, contamination was minimal in surface soils. Chemicals, such as toluene, benzene, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane may have either volatilized from the surface or leached through the soil into the groundwater. Phenols may also have leached through soil into groundwater. Phenols can undergo environmental degradation, but other contaminants and pH changes can slow this process. Ethylbenzene and xylene adsorb to soil particles and do not leach as readily into the groundwater as other VOCs.

The metals in soils at BRL also differ in their chemical properties. Arsenic, barium and lead do not easily move through soil, but attach to soil and can be transported via dust and dirt. Lead, however, can leach from soil under acid conditions, such as those present at BRL. Acid soil conditions also affect the behavior of chromium in soil. The solubility and therefore, the mobility of chromium increases under acid conditions. Acid conditions also enhance the mobility of cadmium in soil. Past mining, general geologic conditions, and mine waste disposal have probably created soil conditions at BRL favorable to movement of lead, cadmium, and chromium from the soil into the groundwater.

Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons as a group, are the least likely to move through the soil into the groundwater. They adsorb to soil particles and can be transported by dust, dirt, and surface run-off. PAHs were present in surface soil samples in the Waste Pit and general landfill areas.

Leachate, Surface Water and Surface Run-off

The steepness of the terrain at BRL increases the surface run-off at the site. Kings Run and the Waste Pit would probably receive most of the run-off. The steep terrain of the site would also enhance the formation of leachate. Surface leachate from two seeps close to the Waste Pit contained site-related chemicals (Table 5). These chemicals were also present in soil samples from the Waste Pit.

The three surface water bodies at BRL have been degraded by acid mine drainage and surface run-off. Kings Run and the northern impoundment are important sources of recharge to groundwater and may be a source of chemicals to groundwater. Surface water on-site contained elevated levels of barium, cadmium, chromium, and lead. The chemical properties of VOCs, phenols, and some metals may enhance their migration from soil into surface water and from there into area groundwater.


In general, there are two aquifer systems at BRL. The first is an on-site shallow zone that consists of the gob material and the associated bedrock formations that are exposed in the vicinity of the Waste Pit (Refer to Appendix B for additional groundwater information). The gob aquifer underlies most of the BRL site. Groundwater in the shallow gob aquifer follows the original topography of the area, moving north to south along the trend of the old Kings Run Valley. Water from the gob and associated bedrock formations discharges as seeps at the south end of the landfill. Groundwater in the gob material can move from the north end of the site to the south end in approximately 2-3 years. Travel time of groundwater may vary due to variations in the thickness, porosity, and permeability of this layer across the site.

The shallow aquifers receive recharge via infiltration from the surface, through seepage from the northern surface impoundment, and also from Kings Run. Recharge of the shallow aquifer from surface water may facilitate the movement of chemicals into the groundwater. Metals can migrate into the groundwater from the surface water. VOCs would tend to volatilize from the surface water into the air.

The shallowest portion of this aquifer is present in gob material. A considerable amount of gob at the site lies below the water table within the saturated zone. Depth to the water table ranges from a minimum of 15 feet at the south end of the landfill to a maximum of 74 feet at the northwest end of the site. The bottom of the Waste Pit lies below the water table and is in contact with the groundwater on site. Gob or mine waste materials saturated with groundwater may enhance chemical migration into the groundwater. Chemicals such as VOCs, some metals, and phenols have the potential to move fairly quickly through soils and gob materials into the aquifers. Because the shallow aquifer recharges the deeper aquifers, chemicals may be transported to the other aquifers. Sections of the landfill cut through at least two of the shallow aquifer layers, which may alter groundwater flow and contaminant migration.

The second aquifer system on site is deeper and consists of the Benwood and Redstone limestones. The Benwood limestone is 70 feet thick and underlies the BRL site at depths of 0-75 feet. Portions of the landfill intersect the Benwood limestone layer in the vicinity of Kings Run, at the Northern Impoundment (near monitoring well 2A, Figure 5, Appendix A), and at the south end of the site (near monitoring well 9A, Figure 5, Appendix A). Groundwater flow is generally towards the south. Groundwater movement through the Benwood Limestone from the north to the south end of the site, would take approximately nine years (Versar, 1989). Recharge to the Benwood aquifer occurs via infiltration through the over-lying gob and garbage cover and through seepage from the surface impoundment to the north. Recharge from the shallow aquifer may facilitate transport of site-related chemicals into the Benwood layer. Water from the Benwood limestone layer discharges as springs east of Kings Run and north of Little McMahon Creek at the south end of the landfill. Howard Spring is 1,300 feet southeast of the site. McCormick spring is also southeast of the site, near the confluence with Little McMahon Creek and Kings Run. This spring was not sampled as part of the RI/FS. However, it is near Howard Spring, which did not appear to be affected by the site. Area residents use Howard Spring as a source of drinking water.

The Redstone Limestone layer is 20 feet thick. It underlies the site at depths of 25 feet at the south end of the site to 245 feet at the northwest end of the site. Groundwater data from the Redstone is inadequate to determine groundwater flow.

Studies by Hobba (1981) and Cifelli and Rauch (1986) have indicated the presence of vertical fracture systems in limestone bedrock overlying abandoned underground coal mines. These are caused by mine collapse with roof rock sinking into the mines. If present at BRL, these would increase the transport of contaminated groundwater from the shallow gob aquifer into the deeper aquifers (Figure 7, Appendix A).

The third aquifer system is off site and consists of unconsolidated clay, sand, and gravel. Recharge to this aquifer is largely through surface water infiltration via Little McMahon Creek and its tributaries, including Kings Run. The aquifer may also recharge Little McMahon Creek. The on-site bedrock water units may also recharge this aquifer, however, the hydrological connection between on-site surface water, groundwater and the alluvial aquifer has not been clearly determined. This aquifer serves as the major source of drinking water for residents near the southern toe of the landfill, along Little McMahon Creek, and in Neffs (2 miles to the southeast). This aquifer ranges from 10 to 60 feet thick with water levels 10 to 50 feet below the surface.

There were 44 private wells and two springs within a 2 mile radius of the site identified during the Remedial Investigation. Those water supplies at risk of contamination are south-southeast of the site. There were no monitoring wells off site to monitor for contaminants or to fully characterize the alluvial aquifer.

B. Human Exposure Pathways

Disposal of hazardous materials at BRL has resulted in the contamination of soils, leachate, and groundwater. There is little opportunity for contact with the soil-related chemicals because soil contamination appears to occur at depths below 12 feet. During the time in which the landfill was still accepting waste the landfill workers may have been exposed to phenols through skin contact to leachate and inhalation. During the second site visit, the gate to the Waste Pit was open and workers indicated that they regularly used the decontamination pad for equipment repairs. It is also possible for on-site trespassers, which includes hunters, motorcyclists, and children to be exposed to phenols in leachate. Table 8 outlines the human exposure pathways present at BRL.

In addition, groundwater from one residential well contained a relatively high concentration level of lead. Those people using water from this well may be exposed to lead through ingestion of the water. The presence of lead in this one sample may not be related to the site, however, it is of public health concern because of possible ongoing exposure.

Table 8
Human Exposure Pathways
Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Chemical Route of Exposure Exposed Population
Ingestion Inhalation Skin

Phenols --- X X 25
4-methylphenol --- X X 25
Lead X --- --- 5

The exposed population is an estimate of the number of people who may have been exposed. Former landfill workers and trespassers may have been exposed to phenols. Lead was found in only one residential well and the exposed population is an estimate of the number of people in the home.

There is no known use for on-site groundwater. There is limited evidence that toluene may have migrated off site. Exposure to humans from groundwater may occur in the future if contaminants migrate off site. The potential human exposure pathways for chemicals in groundwater are outlined in Table 9. The contaminants of concern at this point in time are benzene, lead, and arsenic, because they are present in both the shallow and deep aquifers. Chromium is also a chemical of concern because the concentration in the deep aquifer system exceeds levels of concern. Other VOCs and metals, such as cadmium and chromium, may also move off site at some time in the future. People can be exposed to VOCs in groundwater via direct ingestion of contaminated water, inhalation of chemicals released from water during household use, and skin contact with the water during showering and bathing. Exposure to metals would primarily occur through direct ingestion of water because they are not as easily released from water and nor easily absorbed through the skin.

Table 9
Future Human Exposure Pathways
Buckeye Reclamation Landfill

Chemical Route of Exposure Exposed Population
Ingestion Inhalation Skin

Benzene X X X Unknown
Arsenic X --- --- Unknown
Lead X --- --- Unknown
Chromium X --- --- Unknown


A. Toxicological Evaluation

The following Section discusses the available data about the chemicals that are in human exposure pathways and potential human exposure pathways at the Buckeye Reclamation Landfill. There is often little information about the health effects caused by exposures to the low levels that exist at BRL. Most human exposure studies use information from industrial exposures, where the doses are much higher than expected for environmental exposure dosages. The calculations for estimating doses from exposure to site-related chemicals are shown in Appendix C. Industrial exposure data normally do not include precise information about the exact dose, the purity of the chemicals, their interactions with other substances, and the duration of the exposure. With these limitations, pertinent human data are used in the following Toxicology Section. Animals do not necessarily have the same responses that humans show when exposed to toxic substances. Accordingly, when human information is unavailable, pertinent animal data is incorporated into this section.

Phenolic Compounds

Humans on site may be exposed to phenolic compounds through skin contact with surface leachate. The public has access to these leachate seeps which contained phenol. Surface leachate contained phenol and 4-methylphenol. These phenolic compounds can have similar properties and adverse effects. Phenols are easily absorbed through both intact and broken skin, from the stomach, intestinal tract, uterus, intraperitoneal cavity, and from subcutaneous tissues (the tissues beneath the skin). Phenol vapor is readily absorbed into the pulmonary circulation (Deichmann and Keplinger, 1981 ).

Chronic skin exposure to phenolic compounds under industrial conditions is reported to result in loss of skin color. Exposure in industrial settings usually involves high doses over an extended period of time. Skin discoloration may be preceded by mild redness and itching until the actual loss of color occurs after several months. Recovery may take several months to a year (Deichmann and Keplinger, 1981 ). Phenols applied locally has a corrosive effect. When it is in contact with the eyes it may cause severe damage. Upon contact with skin, it does not cause pain, but causes a whitening, and if not removed, it may cause a burn or systemic (throughout the body) poisoning (Sittig, 1985). While the concentrations of phenols in on-site leachate are well below typical concentrations under industrial conditions, sensitive individuals may experience some of these effects to a lesser degree.


The potential route of exposure to humans from benzene at BRL would be through drinking water supplies. Currently no exposures are known to be occurring. If a person were to drink water containing benzene at levels in on-site groundwater, the estimated dose would exceed safe levels.

Oral exposure of humans to moderate benzene concentrations may result in: dizziness, excitation, and pallor, followed by flushing, weakness, headache, breathlessness, constriction of the chest, and fear of impending death. Visual disturbances and convulsions can occur (Sandmeyer, 1981). These effects are not likely to occur at the concentrations found in on-site groundwater.

Benzene is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a carcinogen. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, has concluded that benzene can cause the development of leukemia in individuals exposed occupationally, because of recent epidemiologic studies and case reports of benzene related blood and chromosomal changes. These bone marrow changes may occur several years after exposure has ceased (Sittig, 1985). Some elevation in cancer risk would likely occur to individuals chronically consuming on-site groundwater at the maximum level.


A potential pathway for human exposure to arsenic at the Buckeye Landfill is through the ingestion of groundwater. Arsenic toxicity varies depending upon its form. The soluble inorganic forms are easily absorbed from the digestive tract and distributed throughout the body. Arsenic is cleared rapidly from the blood and does not strongly accumulate in the body during exposure to low levels. When it remains in the body, it accumulates in the liver, kidney, lung, spleen, aorta, skin, hair, and upper gastrointestinal tract, but with the exception of skin and hair, it is rapidly cleared from these tissues (ATSDR 1989).

Although low levels of oral intake may be beneficial or even essential to animals, higher exposure levels may result in health effects. Some people can ingest up to 150 g/kg/day without noticeable symptoms, however, in more sensitive individuals, doses as low as 20 to 60 µg/kg/day (~1 to 4 mg/day) may result in signs of arsenic toxicity. These signs include: disturbances of the blood and nervous systems, digestive tract irritation, skin and blood vessel injuries, and liver or kidney damage. In most cases of chronic exposure many or all of the signs of arsenic toxicity are found together, indicating that the sensitivity for these various symptoms are fairly similar. The most sensitive effects are the appearance of skin calluses and pigmentation. The lowest level at which these effects appear is above 10 µg/kg/day (~0.7 mg/day in an adult) (ATSDR 1989). If a person were to drink water containing arsenic at levels in on-site groundwater, the estimated dose would exceed safe levels.

In a cancer study, people were classified into three exposure groups on the basis of arsenic levels in their drinking water: low = 0 to 0.29 mg/L, medium = 0.3 to 0.59 mg/L, and high = 0.6 mg/L or higher. This study was consistent with other studies showing that an increased frequency of cancer was found in people exposed to water containing 0.3 mg/L of arsenic or higher. The skin cancer rates in these groups was proportional to the arsenic exposure.


The route of exposure to humans from lead at BRL would be through drinking water supplies. Lead is most dangerous in young children and the unborn. It also may exert its effects even before conception. Pregnant women who have been exposed can pass lead to their unborn children. The effects of lead exposure during pregnancy may include premature birth, low birth weight, or abortion. Young children absorb lead more readily through the digestive tract than do adults and they are also more sensitive to its effects. In young children, lead exposure can decrease intelligence (IQ) scores, slow growth, and cause hearing problems (ATSDR 1990). These effects may continue as they grow older and interfere with their school performance.

Those segments of the population that are at highest risk for the health effects of lead are: preschool-age children, pregnant women and their fetuses, and lead exposed males. Numerous chemicals interact with lead and some nutritional deficiencies may increase the risk of lead effects. Iron deficiency increases lead absorption. Increased uptake of dietary fiber, iron, and thiamine results in lower blood lead levels in occupationally exposed people. A higher calcium intake decreases the amount of lead in the body. Phosphorus and calcium inhibit the body's lead absorption. Children having elevated blood lead levels show lower concentrations of a vitamin D metabolite in their blood (ATSDR 1990). Consumption of maximally contaminated groundwater from the on-site deep aquifer could lead to an increase in blood lead levels. If blood lead levels were to increase to 10 µg/dl or more in children, the more subtle neurological effects of lead exposure are possible.


A potential pathway for human exposure to chromium at the Buckeye Landfill is through the ingestion of groundwater. Chromium is a naturally occurring element that is found in three major forms: chromium (0), chromium (III), and chromium (VI). It is not known which form is found at the Buckeye Reclamation Landfill. Chromium is an essential nutrient in the human diet that helps to maintain the normal metabolism of glucose, cholesterol, and fat. If a person were to be exposed to the maximum level of chromium in on-site groundwater, and it was the chromium (VI) form, the estimated dose would exceed levels of concern.

In animals, the digestive tract is the primary route of chromium entry into the body, however, uptake is relatively low and depends on the valence state of chromium. Chromium (VI) is more easily absorbed than chromium (III). Once absorbed, most chromium (VI) is changed to chromium (III). However, chromium (VI) can cross cell membranes easily, where it forms chromium protein complexes which cannot leave the cell (ATSDR 1989).

In animal studies, hypoactivity was observed in rats given high doses of sodium chromate (VI) (98 mg/kg/day) in their drinking water. These same effects did not occur at lower doses. The highest exposure level at which no adverse effects were observed in chronic studies of rats exposed to chromium (VI) in drinking water was 25 mg/L (2.4 mg/kg/day).

Individuals who convert chromium (VI) to chromium (III) slowly have higher blood levels. These slow reducers might have increased susceptibility to the kidney and liver toxicity of chromium, however, clinical evidence for this is lacking. Chromium interacts with several other substances. Potassium dichromate, given by injection, increased the effects of the kidney poisons: mercuric chloride, citrinin, and hexachloro-1,3-butadiene. Chromium nitrate and mercuric chloride also interact with the transport of substances in the kidneys. Other studies indicate that chromium (VI) can enhance the effects of agents that damage DNA, such as some viruses, zinc, and benzo(a)pyrene (ATSDR 1989).

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

There are no health outcome data available which are specific to this site.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

To date, there is very little community concern associated with the site.

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