CHAPTER ONE: CONDUCTING HEALTH ASSESSMENTS AND CONSULTATIONS
Toms River, Dover Township,
New Jersey, Public Water-Distribution System Model
In the spring of 1995, ATSDR and the New Jersey Department of Health
and Senior Services began to investigate health concerns of the Dover
Township, New Jersey, community. Community members were concerned
about the number of childhood cancer cases and feared that exposure to
environmental contaminants from the area's hazardous waste sites, including
two National Priorities List (Superfund) sites, were related to the elevated
incidence of childhood cancer.
ATSDR is helping state health officials assess whether exposure to
contaminants in the drinking water is associated with increased incidence of
childhood cancer. Because approximately 85% of the Dover Township area
residents obtain their potable water from the water-distribution system, an
analysis of the potential for distribution of contaminants through the water-
distribution system was needed.
ATSDR initiated an exposure assessment approach for use in an
epidemiologic study of childhood leukemia and central nervous system
cancers that occurred from 1979 through 1996 in Dover Township.
private-supply wells. The water-distribution system has 23 municipal wells
distributed at eight points of entry. In 1997, it serviced a population of 92,160.
Because the Dover Township area has been primarily served by a public water
supply that relies solely on groundwater, a water-distribution system model,
integrated with spatial analysis technologies, is being used to reconstruct
historical water-distribution system characteristics and investigate the question
ATSDR has developed a model that simulates the 1998 patterns of the
water-distribution system serving the Dover Township area. This effort, which
is expected to be completed in 2000, will allow the New Jersey health
department to assess the association of the occurrence of childhood cancer with
exposure to each of the sources of potable water entering the distribution
system, including ones known to be historically contaminated.
DOE's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant was put on EPA's NPL in 1994.
Elevated concentrations of trichloroethylene (TCE) and technetium 99 (Tc-99)
in offsite groundwater were first discovered in residential wells in 1988. There
was no earlier off-site groundwater monitoring. After the site was placed on
the NPL, ATSDR explored potential contaminant exposure pathways to off-site
populations and started the public health assessment process.