cancer rates for community members living near
do not pose a health risk. However, three wells on
the Chrome Crankshaft and J&S Chrome Plating
adjacent properties had levels of nitrate, lead, and
facilities in Bell Gardens.
thallium that exceeded drinking water standards.
The health consultation released in January 2003
One resident owned three wells that had elevated
addressed the question of whether more cases of
levels of nitrate, lead, and thallium. EHIB ex-
cancer were found near the facilities than would
plained the health implications of the elevated
be typically expected. No excess cancer rates were
levels of the chemicals in the wells to the two resi-
found that could be attributed to the facilities. Be-
dents and one property owner whose homes were
cause the ambient air levels in the community near
served by the three wells. EHIB also responded to
the facilities were much lower than those levels
found to cause lung cancer in workers, it is unlikely
National Asbestos Exposure Review Site--The
that cancers among residents were caused by expo-
W.R. Grace and Company Plant in Santa Ana is
sure to these facilities. In addition, the geographic
part of ATSDR's National Asbestos Exposure Re-
pattern of excess cancer is not associated with the
view (NAER) being conducted with other federal,
location of the two facilities.
state, and local environmental and public health
The facilities are not in operation and currently
agencies. NAER is an examination of more than
pose no apparent public health hazard.
200 U.S. sites that received asbestos-contaminated
vermiculite ore mined in Libby, Montana, from the
Pacific Gas and Electric--In August 2001, EHIB
early 1920s until 1990. ATSDR is working closely
was asked by the Lahontan Regional Water
with EPA and state health partners to determine
Quality Control Board to review and provide a
whether a hazard to public health exists at any of
public health interpretation of sampling results for
25 private domestic wells in Hinkley. These wells
From 1972 through 1993, the Santa Ana facility
taminated with chromium by the Pacific Gas and
processed over 400,000 tons of Libby vermiculite.
Recent EPA environmental samples from the site
showed low levels of Libby asbestos in soils in
In a health consultation released in April 2003,
several areas. However, much of the site is paved.
EHIB concluded that levels of total and hexavalent
No vermiculite or vermiculite waste stockpiles are
25 wells did not exceed the drink-
present at the site.
ing water standard for total chromium; however,
one well had levels of nitrate, lead, and mercury
A health consultation released in September 2003
that were above the drinking water standards.
concluded that people who worked at the plant
Consumption of water from this well may pose a
before 1994 were exposed to hazardous levels of
health hazard, particularly to children (from lead
asbestos. People who lived with former workers
probably were exposed to hazardous levels from
fed infants under 6 months of age (from nitrate
fibers carried home on workers' hair and clothing.
Levels of residual Libby asbestos inside the former
EHIB informed Spanish-speaking residents of the
processing areas pose no apparent public health
test results and the health implications
hazard to present or future workers. Outside, much
in well water. EHIB informed the residents that
of the site is paved, so uncovered soil areas con-
their water was not tested for coliform, one of the
taining residual Libby asbestos are limited and do
not appear to pose a health hazard.
a follow-up visit by the San Bernardino County
The health consultation concluded that not enough
public health nurse and a Spanish translator.
data were available to determine whether people
EHIB also reviewed test results from the 25 wells
who lived near the plant in the past were exposed
to hazardous levels of Libby asbestos. Current
ing water standards. The levels of total chromium
community exposure to Libby asbestos from plant
did not exceed the drinking water standard and
emissions or from onsite asbestos-contaminated