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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Releases Health Consultation for Salisbury, NC, Groundwater Site

Rowan County, Salisbury, North Carolina

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Chemicals found in the groundwater of the Milford Hills and Milford Terrace subdivisions in Salisbury, NC, do not appear to come from nearby industrial facilities, nor are they expected to be at levels that cause health concerns, says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in a health consultation released today for public comment.

The health consultation addresses the migration of groundwater contaminants from current and former industrial facilities into the Milford Hills or Milford Terrace communities northwest of Salisbury. ATSDR scientists investigated the possible contamination of private wells and potential adverse health effects in residents who used that water.  To do this, ATSDR evaluated private residential drinking water well data and compared it to groundwater data for a cluster of industrial properties.

Based on this evaluation, ATSDR reached the following conclusions:

  • Contaminants detected in private wells in the subdivisions appear unrelated to groundwater contaminants detected at the facilities because the groundwater at the industrial properties does not move toward Milford Hills or Milford Terrace. .
  • Private, non-industrial off-site drinking water wells contain contaminants (including PCE) at low levels. Because the levels are low, these contaminants are not expected to have caused adverse health effects in the past, nor in the present among Milford Hills/Milford Terrace residents.
  • No future health risks are expected from the groundwater at the industrial facilities of interest. Residents of only 3 homes are known to be drinking water from private wells, and these wells have not shown signs of contamination from the industrial facilities. Workers at the facilities are not drinking on-site groundwater.

ATSDR recommends

  • continuing investigation of the potential source of PCE in the Milford Hills area,
  • continuing periodic sampling of three private wells used by residents of Milford Terrace,
  • permanently sealing any unused contaminated private well, and  
  • installing additional deep monitoring wells to evaluate whether contamination is migrating off-site at depth.

To read the health consultation, go to

A copy of the public health assessment is also available at Rowan County Library, 201 W. Fisher St., Salisbury, NC 28144.

ATSDR will accept public comments on the document through February 22, 2012.

Comments on the health consultation must be made in writing. Comments received during the public comment period (without the names of persons who submitted them) and ATSDR’s responses to them will appear in an appendix to the final health consultation. Names of those who submit comments will be subject to release in answer to requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Send comments to:, or mail to:

ATSDR Records Center
Attn: Rolanda Morrison
re: Millsboro Water Contamination Site
4770 Buford Highway, NE (MS F-09)
Atlanta, Georgia 30341

For more information about the health consultation, community members can contact Rob Robinson, Environmental Health Scientist, in Atlanta at or 770-488-3334 or by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO. 

Members of the news media can request an interview by calling the NCEH/ATSDR Office of Communication at 770-488-0700.


ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S., Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects due to exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

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Related News Releases For Rowan County, Salisbury, North Carolina


ATSDR Releases Health Consultation for Salisbury, NC Groundwater Site
Release Date: Monday, August 13, 2012
Chemicals found in the groundwater of the Milford Hills and Milford Terrace neighborhoods in Salisbury, NC, are not at levels to cause health concerns, says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in a final health consultation released today.

ATSDR Releases Report on Health Impact of Asphalt Plants in Salisbury, NC
Release Date: Thursday, February 22, 2007
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) evaluated air surrounding two asphalt facilities in Salisbury, N.C; the agency concluded that during a four month period in 2001 the air generally did not pose a health hazard. However, some levels of particles released from the facilities were above regulatory standards and could have caused respiratory irritation to asthmatics and other sensitive individuals.

ATSDR To Present Cancer Assessment in Salisbury, N.C.
Release Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will host a public availability session on March 27 to present the findings of cancer incidence for the Salisbury, N.C., area.

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