A health consultation released in February
hydrogen sulfide emissions from the Four Hills
2003 reviewed environmental sampling data
Landfill site to be an indeterminate public health
collected from the site, where tannery waste
might be present, to identify current public
Studies by ATSDR and others show that
health risk associated with exposure to chemical
respiratory problems can occur in persons
to hydrogen sulfide. Study results are
were tested for inorganic and semivolatile
inconsistent as to whether a relationship exists
compounds. The levels
of PAHs, arsenic, and
between exposure and adverse birth effects.
other compounds in soil are classified as no
Therefore, we cannot determine with any degree
apparent public health hazard because those
of certainty whether the exposures at the site are
levels are within background concentrations.
related to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Lead levels in the soil on-site are a public health
An exposure investigation collects information on
hazard to children who might live on-site.
specific human exposures through biologic sampling,
Four Hills Landfill--A health consultation
personal monitoring, related environmental assess-
released in February 2003 evaluates the potential
ment, and exposure-dose reconstruction. Since 1990,
health impact associated with inhalation exposure
ATSDR staff members have conducted four exposure
to landfill gases (particularly hydrogen sulfide
investigations in New Hampshire, including the fol-
and volatile organic compounds) that are being
released from the Four Hills Landfill in Nashua
Pelham Lead Exposure Investigation--From
while this facility is being closed out. This
August through October 1999, NH DHHS
consultation has been prepared in response to
conducted an exposure investigation for the
local residents' health concerns about exposure
residents of 14 homes with elevated lead
to these gases. This document was prepared by
concentrations in drinking water in the Hobbs
the New Hampshire Bureau of Environmental
Road-Balcom Road area of Pelham. The
and Occupational Health (BEOH) through its
part of an investigation of the Gendron Junkyard
Landfill operations began at Four Hills in 1971.
site, where EPA found elevated concentrations of
Today, many sections of the site have been
polychlorinated biphenyls and lead in waste piles.
capped and are no longer in use, but several other
All participants with nonoccupational exposures
waste management activities continue at Four
to lead had blood-lead levels below the level of
Hills. These operations include a solid waste
concern for childhood lead poisoning prevention
baling facility, a landfill gas-to-energy facility,
as determined by the Centers for Disease Control
recycling facilities, and a yard waste compactor.
and Prevention. Participants with occupational
The active landfill operation at Four Hills accepts
exposures to lead had blood-lead levels below
residential and commercial waste generated in the
the level of concern as determined by the
city of Nashua.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Levels of toluene and total xylenes appear to be
Health. Fifty of the 65 eligible residents (77%)
well below their respective comparison values.
participated in the exposure investigation.
Even with current ambient air monitoring data,
Health Education and Community Activities
it is unlikely that these chemicals will be found
New Hampshire has been a participant in ATSDR's
above their comparison values. Therefore, BEOH
considers exposures to toluene and total xylene
this program, NH DHHS has received funding
emissions from the Four Hills Landfill site to be
no apparent public health hazard.
and technical assistance for the development of
community education and activities associated
Adequate ambient air monitoring data for
with human exposure to hazardous substances in
hydrogen sulfide are not available. BEOH
the environment. In the last 2 years, more than
unable to assess past, present, or future health
40 educational materials were developed in support
risks. Therefore, BEOH considers exposures to
of 20 environmental health education seminars,