Public Health Assessment Public Comment Release
Ward Transformer NPL Site
Potential Exposure Pathways
of local groundwater
for drinking water was identified
in the vicinity
of the site. Three
wells near the site were previously used for drinking water. The well at Ward Transformer
reportedly had been tested yearly before the company was connected to the municipal water
no contaminants were found above drinking water standards. Two other nearby
wells were sampled
in August 1994:
a residential well had
of contaminants, and
well at a former auto shop had detectable petroleum constituents, at levels below drinking water
standards. Therefore, because no evidence exists of actual exposure to harmful levels of
contaminants in these wells, the groundwater pathway is considered incomplete.
ATSDR evaluated monitoring well data collected from the shallow groundwater during the RI.
Data were available from 2 of the 5 monitoring wells installed on and around the Ward
Transformer site. Some contaminants (including PCBs, chlorinated benzenes, pesticides, and
some metals) were detected at levels above drinking water CVs (data not shown). ATSDR
recommends that the groundwater beneath the site not
for drinking unless the water
fully characterized to determine its public health impact.
No measurements of air emissions from the facility are available. Although the burnoff oven on
site has never been permitted
to burn used transformer oil containing PCBs
it is known
that some burning of PCB oil did occur during at least one year, and possibly more, in the past.
This could have released dioxins from the incomplete burning of PCBs.
In the 1997 ESI, sampling of ash from the burnoff oven and in the soil directly underneath the
oven showed high levels of metals, dioxins/furans, and Aroclor 1260. Ash from the burnoff oven
is currently drummed and shipped offsite for disposal, so this pathway is incomplete. Because
the pathway is currently incomplete and because no information exists to allow an evaluation of
potential past exposures, this pathway will not be considered further.
Children's Health Considerations
ATSDR recognizes that infants and children might be more vulnerable than adults to exposures
in communities with contaminated air, water, soil, or food. This potential vulnerability results
from the following factors: 1) children are more likely to play outdoors and bring food into
contaminated areas; 2) children are shorter and therefore more likely to contact dust and soil; 3)
children's small size results in higher doses of chemical exposure per kg of body weight; and 4)
developing body systems can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical
growth stages. Because children depend completely on adults for risk identification and
management decisions, ATSDR
to evaluating their special interests
at the site.