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  1. The Koppers Site in Newport Delaware is an indeterminate public health hazard. The limited available data do not allow us to determine if people are being, have been, or will be exposed to levels of contamination from this site that would be expected to cause adverse health effects. Preliminary results from soil and sediment sampling and one route of exposure, ingestion, indicate that adverse health effects may be possible. The possibility that a pica child would enter the site or area and consume sediment and soil in amounts sufficient to cause adverse health effects is remote.
  2. Although the area is posted with "No Trespassing" signs, no fence or other barrier exists along the site's northern boundary to prevent access to the site. Therefore, nearby residents, hunters, and other trespassers may be exposed to site contamination.
  3. Children under six with pica who live adjacent to the site, north of the railroad tracks, have the greatest potential for adverse health effects due to exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic, cadmium, and lead. We assumed that such a child would consume 5000 mg (5 grams) soil per day, 20 days a year, for one year, although it is highly unlikely that children of this age would gain access to the site.
  4. Data inadequacies include the following:
    1. Environmental data for surface soil (less than three inches deep), subsurface soil, ground water, surface water, and ambient air do not adequately characterize the extent or amount of site contamination that may exist on or off the site.
    2. Data on the quality of water from the private wells of residents and businesses along Old Airport Road are inadequate.
    3. Adequate data does not exist to ascertain whether or not PAHs or other contaminants exist in surface soils or surface waters in quantities that might volatilize and affect air quality.
    4. Health outcome data has not been obtained; consequently we cannot evaluate possiblecorrelation between adverse health effects and site contaminants.


Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

Appropriate measures should be taken to prevent access to the site and therefore, decrease thepotential for trespasser exposure to site contamination. Other cease/reduce exposurerecommendations cannot be made at this time because the nature and extent of contamination isnot known. Those recommendations contingent on site characterization recommendationsmentioned in section 8.2.

Site Characterizations Recommendations

  1. Surface (0-3") and subsurface soil (>3"), sediment, surface-water, and ground-water samplesshould be taken, both on and off site, to further and more completely characterize the extent ofcontamination. This includes sampling on-site soil, on-site surface waters, on-site ground water,off-site ground water, off-site surface waters, and sediments from the Christina River.
    1. If the data from the above recommended soil or surface water sampling show high levels of volatile contaminants, air monitoring should be performed to determine degree of air contamination.
    2. If the data from ground-water sampling show the presence of contamination at levels of health concern, a well survey (e.g., use, type, depth of well, etc.) should be conducted for all private and public wells adjacent to the site and downgradient of the site.
    3. If sediment samples from the Christina River show high levels of contamination, aquatic biota (e.g., fish) should be sampled to determine possible exposure through the aquatic food chain pathway.
    4. If appropriate measures to prevent unlimited site access are not instituted and if on sitesurface-soil or on site surface-water sampling indicates contamination at levels of concern,terrestrial biota (e.g., dove, rabbits, deer, etc.) should be sampled and studied for evaluation ofthe potential food-chain pathway.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and LiabilityAct (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, the Koppers Co., Inc. site in Newport, Delaware has beenevaluated to determine the need for follow-up health activities. However, at this time data areinsufficient to characterize the extent of human exposure, therefore only potential exposurepathways can be identified. Potential exposure pathways include ingestion and dermal contactwith surface soil and sediments; ingestion, dermal contact, and inhalation of private well water;inhalation of contaminated vapors; and ingestion of terrestrial and aquatic organisms.

No follow-up health activities are proposed at this time for the following reasons:

  1. Although local citizens reported nausea, burning throat and watery eyes associated with odors from the site in 1978, no recent health concerns have been reported to local or state health officials.
  2. Past, present, and future human exposures to contaminants at levels of public health concern cannot be determined due to insufficient environmental data.
  3. An evaluation of the potential for site related adverse health effects cannot be conducted untiladditional characterization is completed. This includes characterization of on-site soil, on-sitesurface waters, on-site groundwater, off-site groundwater, off-site surface waters, and sedimentsfrom the Christina River.


The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) is to ensure that this preliminary publichealth assessment not only identifies public health hazards but also provides a plan of actiondesigned to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure tohazardous substances in the environment.

ATSDR will collaborate with appropriate federal, state, and local agencies to pursue theimplementation of the recommendations outlined in this preliminary public health assessment. Due to insufficient data needed to characterize human exposure at this site, no further publichealth actions can be identified at this time.

ATSDR will evaluate this PHAP annually unless additional information warrants more frequentevaluation.


M. S. Hanson
Research Assistant
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Health and Safety Research Division

Dennis B. Miller
Environmental Scientist
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Health and Safety Research Division

ATSDR Regional Representative

Paul Racette
ATSDR Regional Representative


This Koppers Company, Inc. Site Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Oak RidgeNational Laboratory under a contract with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry(ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the timethe public health assessment was begun.

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

Robert C. Williams, P.E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


  1. Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Solid Waste Branch. Preliminary Assessment of Koppers Company (ERRIS). 1984.
  2. NUS Corporation Superfund Division. Site Inspection of Koppers Company, TDD Number F3-8411. February 27, 1986.
  3. Karmazyn, J., DuPont Environmental Project Manager, Personal Communication, telephone conversations, August 1991.
  4. Town of Newport, Delaware, "Selected Population and Housing Characteristics", 1990.
  5. Roberts, R., Delaware Fish and Wildlife Department -- New Castle County, August 21, 1991.
  6. Johnston, Richard H. Hydrology of the Columbia (Pleistocene) Deposits of Delaware: An Appraisal of A Regional Water-Table Aquifer. Newark, Delaware, June 1973.
  7. Martin, M. M., and J.M. Denver, United States Department of Interior Geologic Survey. Hydrologic data for the Potomac Formation in New Castle County, Delaware. 1982.
  8. Sundstrom, R.W. and Pickett, T.E. Availability of Groundwater in New Castle County, Newark, Delaware, 1971.
  9. ATSDR. 1989. Draft Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.
  10. ATSDR. 1989. Draft Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.
  11. ATSDR. 1989. Draft Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia.
  12. ATSDR. 1988. Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead. U.S. Department of Health and HumanServices, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta,Georgia.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Site Map

Figure 2
Figure 2. Area Map

Table of Contents The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

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