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Assessing exposures from potable water contaminated with chlorinated organics and mercury in Winslow Township, Camden County, New Jersey

Tariq Ahmed, PhD, PE, DEE1, Julie R. Petix, MPH2, Jerald Fagliano, MPH, PhD2, and Gregory V. Ulirsch3. (1) New Jersey Dept. of Health and Senior Services, Consumer and Environmental Health Services (CEHS), 3635 Quakerbridge Road, PO Box 369, Trenton, NJ 08625-0369, (609) 584-5367, tariq.ahmed@doh.state.nj.us, (2) Consumer and Environmental Health Services, NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, PO Box 369, Trenton, NJ 08625, (3) Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB), ATSDR, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333

Groundwater contamination was discovered in the Cedar Brook area, Winslow Township, Camden County, New Jersey in 1999. Between 1999 and 2000, 231 private potable wells were tested for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), metals, and inorganics. Sampling results indicated TCE, PCE, and mercury levels as high as 2,060, 600, and 15 ppb, respectively, well above state and federal maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). The New Jersey Spill Fund Program funded the immediate provision of Point of Entry Treatment (POET) systems (consisting of GAC for VOCs and KDF for mercury) for properties with confirmed contamination. Although exposure pathways have been interrupted, residents were potentially exposed to contamination for approximately 15 years. Potential sources of area groundwater contamination are currently being investigated.

The NJDHSS and ATSDR conducted an exposure assessment and evaluated health implications of the contaminants during domestic water use using relevant toxicologic and epidemiologic information available from the scientific literature. Ingestion exposure doses were calculated based upon maximum and average contaminant concentrations and compared with health comparison values. Inhalation exposures to VOCs and mercury during showering were evaluated using the classic McKone model.

Results indicated that TCE, PCE, 1,1,2-TCA, 1,1,2,2-PCA, carbon tetrachloride, mercury, and thallium posed an elevated risk for non-cancer adverse health effects. TCE, PCE, and 1,2-DCA posed the greatest lifetime excess cancer risk for area residents in the past. Recommendations included monitoring the performance of the POET system, the collection of soil gas data to evaluate the vapor intrusion exposures and connecting area residents to a public water supply system.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Environmental Exposures,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS), Trenton, New Jersey and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Atlanta, Georgia
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Environmental Public Health: Exposures, Surveillance & Risk Assessment

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA