Public Health Assessment Public Comment Release
Ward Transformer NPL Site
The Ward Transformer site is an operating transformer recycling facility located on Mount
Herman Road in Raleigh, North Carolina. The facility is in a mostly industrial area close to U.S.
70, I-540, and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The facility has been in operation since
about 1964. Before 1977, when the use of PCBs in transformer oil was discontinued, PCBs
contaminated soils on the site and surface water and stream sediments downstream of the site.
On the basis of the information available about the Ward Transformer site, ATSDR concluded
1. Edible portions of fish from areas downstream of the site have PCBs at levels high
enough to increase the theoretical risk of cancer and adverse noncancer health effects for
people who eat these fish regularly. The State of North Carolina has placed an advisory
against eating carp or catfish from Lake Crabtree or any species of fish from Brier Creek,
Brier Creek Reservoir, Little Brier Creek downstream of Brier Creek Parkway, and the
tributary leading from the Ward Transformer site. The State
of North Carolina also
advises that consumption of fish species other than carp or catfish from Lake Crabtree be
limited to no more than 1 meal per month.
2. Exposure of site workers to PCBs in soil could contribute to an increased theoretical risk
of developing cancer.
3. Exposure to PCBs in sediment and surface water is not a significant contributor to overall
theoretical cancer risk. However, sediments may contribute
to PCB contamination
aquatic food chain. As stated above, consumption of contaminated fish could increase the
risk of cancer and adverse noncancer health effects.
4. The groundwater beneath the site
is not being used
for drinking water and therefore
of public health concern
at this time. However, limited data suggest that the groundwater
by site contaminants. Not enough information exists
whether health effects could be possible if the groundwater was used for drinking.
Because exposure to PCBs in fish and/or soil could increase the risk for cancer or adverse
noncancer health effects if exposure is not reduced and/or prevented, ATSDR classifies the Ward
ATSDR has made the following recommendations about the site:
1. ATSDR recommends that the public follow fish advisories placed by the State of North
2. ATSDR recommends action be taken to minimize exposure of employees at Ward
Transformer to PCBs in soil.
3. ATSDR recommends that action
to reduce the contribution
sediment to the food chain.
4. If groundwater beneath the site is used for drinking water in the future, it should be fully
characterized to determine its impact on public health.