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Why Should You Care?

Chloroform may be released to the air as a result of its formation in the chlorination of drinking water, wastewater and swimming pools. Other sources include pulp and paper mills, hazardous waste sites, and sanitary landfills. Chloroform does not react quickly in the atmosphere, so there are significant residual levels from emissions around the country. Human exposure to chloroform may occur through drinking water, where chloroform is formed as a result of the chlorination of naturally occurring organic materials found in raw water supplies. Chloroform may also be found in some foods and beverages, largely from the use of tap water during production processes Although most water from domestic wells is not chlorinated prior to use, Chloroform was the most frequently detected Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) in samples from drinking-water supply wells (public and domestic wells) in the United States.

Reportedly, chloroform is also the most frequently detected VOC in a national study of both ground- and surface-water sources of drinking water for community water systems (CWSs). According to the NRDC, at least one sample of about one fourth of the bottled waters bought in California (23 waters, or 22 percent) violated enforceable state limits (either bottled water standards or mandatory warning levels). Chloroform is the most common THM found in tap and bottled water; it is of particular concern because it is listed by EPA as a probable human carcinogen. Twelve waters purchased in California had at least one sample that exceeded the warning level for chloroform set by California under Proposition 65, but they were sold without the required health warning. Chlorine in our water may be a source of increased rates of cancer. For example, "consuming chlorinated drinking water is associated with a 20 to 40% increase in the incidence of colon and rectal cancer, according to the results of a Norwegian study in 1992. Another study done by Harvard University and the Medical College of Wisconsin found that the consumption of chlorinated drinking water accounts for 15% of all rectal cancers and 9% of all bladder cancers in North America. The study also found that people drinking chlorinated water over long periods of time have a 38% increase in their chances of contracting rectal cancer and a 21% increase in the risk of contracting bladder cancer. The dangers from inhaling chlorine can exceed those derived from drinking chlorinated water. The amount of chloroform, the most common trihalomethane in chlorinated water, inhaled or absorbed through the skin during a typical shower may be 6 times higher than that absorbed from chlorinated drinking water. Two studies in 2005 reported changes in chloroform concentrations in the blood as a result of household water use, including showering, bathing, and hand washing of dishes. The concentration of chloroform in the blood increased 2- to 7-fold after showering. A surprising but growing concern is the effect that chlorine and other chemicals have on serotonin levels. Recent research demonstrates that disinfection by-products may play a role in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome. The chlorine emitted from showering and other household water use breaks down into free radicals that can lead to cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Proven and Probable Carcinogens

The US National Toxicology Program's eleventh report on carcinogens implicates Chloroform as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, a designation equivalent to International Agency for Research on Cancer class 2A. The IARC itself classifies chloroform as possibly carcinogenic to humans, a Group 2B designation. It has been most readily associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. One study in 2007found a significantly elevated risk of urinary-bladder cancer associated with high levels of chloroform in drinking water. Overall, cohort and case control studies found a relationship between exposure to chlorinated water and the risk of some types of cancer, particularly of the urinary bladder and rectum and possibly of the colon. Some studies also reported associations between colorectal cancer and overall trihalomethane exposure. Few studies of drinking water exposure attempted to distinguish the risk associated specifically with exposure to chloroform, and none controlled adequately or exposure to other trihalomethanes or other risk factors. However, one study found a significantly elevated risk of urinary-bladder cancer associated with high levels of chloroform in drinking water.

Sources and Occurrence

Chloroform is an organic compound and is one of the four chloromethanes. The colorless, sweet-smelling, dense liquid is a trihalomethane, and is considered somewhat hazardous. Several million tons are produced annually as a precursor to Teflon and refrigerants, but its use for refrigerants is being phased out. In industry, chloroform is produced by heating a mixture of chlorine and either chloromethane or methane. Chloroform is a common solvent in the laboratory because it is relatively unreactive, miscible with most organic liquids, and conveniently volatile. Chloroform is used as a solvent in the pharmaceutical industry and for producing dyes and pesticides. Plant material is commonly extracted with chloroform for pharmaceutical processing. For example, it is used in commerce to extract morphine from poppies. Caution is mandated during its handling in order to minimize unnecessary exposure; safer alternatives, such as dichloromethane, have resulted in a substantial reduction of its use as a solvent. It can be used to bond pieces of acrylic glass or Plexiglas. It is also used for DNA and RNA extractions and is a common solvent used in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to analyze organic molecules. Chloroform was once a widely-used anesthetic after it was first tested in 1847. Its vapor depresses the central nervous system of a patient, allowing a doctor to perform various otherwise painful procedures. In the United States, chloroform began to

replace ether as an anesthetic at the beginning of the 20th century; however, it was quickly abandoned in favor of ether upon discovery of its toxicity, especially its tendency to cause fatal cardiac arrhythmia analogous to what is now termed "sudden sniffer's death". In the atmosphere, at least 90% of the chloroform is of natural origin. In the marine environment, it is produced by seaweeds, algae and a few diatoms.

Pollution History
Chloroform once appeared in toothpastes, cough syrups, ointments, and other pharmaceuticals, but it has been banned as a consumer product in the US since 1976. Cough syrups containing Chloroform can still be legally purchased in pharmacies and supermarkets in the UK. During prolonged storage in the presence of oxygen chloroform converts slowly to phosgene, a poisonous gas used in chemical warfare primarily by the Japanese against the Chinese during World War I Chloroform was used in the past as an extraction solvent for fats, oils, greases, and other products; as a dry cleaning spot remover; in fire extinguishers; as a fumigant; and as an anesthetic. However, chloroform is no longer used in these products.

Drinking Water in US Wells

The practice of treating large amounts of surface and ground water with chlorine for public health reasons began in the United States in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1908, and since has become a standard procedure for community water systems (CWSs) across the Nation. The primary purpose of chlorination of drinking water is to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, especially fatal diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Although chlorination has been used to treat drinking water nationwide for almost100 years, chloroform and other THMs were first identified only in 1974 as being produced during the chlorination process. According to a report by the USGS in 2006, Chloroform and three other trihalomethanes (THMs) are disinfection byproducts commonly produced during the chlorination of water and wastewater. Samples of untreated ground water from drinking-water supply wells (1,096 public and 2,400 domestic wells) were analyzed for THMs and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during19862001, or compiled, as part of the U.S. Geological Surveys National Water-Quality Assessment (NWQA) Program. Potential sources of THMs to both public and domestic wells include the discharge of chlorinated drinking water and wastewater that may be intentional or inadvertent. Intentional discharge includes the use of municipally supplied chlorinated water to irrigate lawns, golf courses, parks, gardens, and other areas; the use of septic systems; or the regulated discharge of chlorinated wastewater to surface waters or ground-water recharge facilities. Inadvertent discharge includes leakage of chlorinated water from swimming pools, spas, or distribution systems for drinking water or wastewater sewers. Statistical analyses indicate that population density, the percentage of urban land, and the number of Superfund hazardous-waste facilities near sampled wells are significantly associated with the probability of detection of chloroform, especially for public wells. Domestic wells may have several other sources of THMs, including the practice of well disinfection through shock chlorination, laundry wastewater containing bleach, and septic system effluent. Although chloroform was detected frequently in samples from public and domestic wells and the other THMs were detected in some samples, no concentrations in samples from either well type exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Maximum Contaminant Level of 80 micrograms per liter for total THMs. Chloroform was detected in public well samples almost twice as frequently (11 percent) as in domestic well samples (5 percent). The other three THMs also were detected

more frequently in public well samples than in domestic well samples. This detection pattern may be attributed to public wells having a higher pumping capacity than domestic wells. The higher capacity wells create a larger capture zone that potentially intercepts more urban and other land uses and associated point and nonpoint sources of contamination than the smaller capacity domestic wells. The largest individual- and population-based case-control study of cancer with evaluations of exposure to by-products of chlorination in drinking water was performed in 1978 in 10 areas of the U.S. These by-products include THMs generated by chlorination, as well as chloroform. A group of 2982 persons with bladder cancer and 5782 control subjects were interviewed in the original study and individual year-by-year profiles of water source and treatment were developed by linking lifetime residential information with historical water utility data from an ancillary survey of 2805 cases and 5258 controls. Risk of bladder cancer increased with intake of beverages made with tap water. The odds ratio for the highest versus the lowest quintile of tap water consumption was 1.43 (95 percent CI 1.23-1.67). The increased risk was largely restricted to persons with at least a 40-year exposure to chlorinated surface water and was not found among long-term users of nonchlorinated ground-water. There was no evidence of confounding by other causes of bladder cancer, including smoking. In particular, women and non-smokers of both sexes, who consumed chlorinated surface water at rates above the median for 60 or more years, had rates of bladder cancer that were more than three times the rates of those who had not consumed treated surface water. The relationship between chlorinated water and serum cholesterol (SC) levels has also been investigated. Significantly higher SC levels were found in females from chlorinated communities.

Fatal oral dose of chloroform may be as low as 10 mL (14.8 g), with death due to respiratory or cardiac arrest. As might be expected for an anesthetic, chloroform vapors depress the central nervous system. It is immediately dangerous to life and health at approximately 500 ppm, according to the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Breathing about 900 ppm for a short time can cause dizziness, fatigue, and headache. Effects noted in humans exposed to chloroform via anesthesia include changes in respiratory rate, cardiac effects, gastrointestinal effects, such as nausea and vomiting, and effects on the liver and kidney. Chloroform is not currently used as a surgical anesthetic.

Animal studies have shown that miscarriages occur in rats and mice that have breathed air containing 30 to 300 ppm of chloroform during pregnancy and also in rats that have ingested chloroform during pregnancy. Offspring of rats and mice that breathed chloroform during pregnancy have a higher incidence of birth defects, and abnormal sperm have been found in male mice that have breathed air containing 400 ppm chloroform for a few days. The effect of chloroform on reproduction in humans is unknown.

Chronic exposure to chloroform by inhalation in humans is associated with effects on the liver, including hepatitis and jaundice, and central nervous system effects, such as depression and irritability. It can damage the liver (where chloroform is metabolized to phosgene) and to the kidneys, and some people develop sores when the skin is immersed in chloroform. Inhalation exposures of animals have also resulted in effects on the kidney. Reproductive effects, such as decreased conception rates, decreased ability to maintain pregnancy, and an increase in the percentage of abnormal sperm were observed in animals exposed to chloroform through inhalation. Chronic oral exposure to chloroform in humans has resulted in effects on the blood, liver, and kidney. Little information is available on the reproductive or developmental effects of chloroform in humans, via any route of exposure. A possible association between certain birth outcomes (e.g., low birth weight, cleft palate) and consumption of contaminated drinking water was reported. However, because multiple contaminants were present, the role of chloroform is unclear.

Diagnosis and Testing

Chloroform can be detected in blood, urine, and body tissues. However, these methods are not very reliable because chloroform is rapidly eliminated from the body, and the tests are not specific for chloroform. Although we can measure the amount of chloroform in the air that you breathe out, and in blood, urine, and body tissues, we have no reliable test to determine how much chloroform you have been exposed to or whether you will experience any harmful health effects. The measurement of chloroform in body fluids and tissues may help to determine if you have come into contact with large amounts of chloroform. However, these tests are useful only a

short time after you are exposed to chloroform because it leaves the body quickly. From blood tests to determine the amount of liver enzymes, we can tell whether the liver has been damaged, but we cannot tell whether the liver damage was caused by chloroform.

First, seek treatment in a hospital for chloroform poisoning. Contaminated clothing should be removed and washed. Clean up spills while wearing breathing apparatus and gloves. Apply a dispersing agent if available; otherwise absorb the spillage using sand and a shovel. Unprotected people should keep a safe distance as chloroform is both powerful and fast-acting. The work atmosphere should not contain more than 10 parts per million of chloroform. Administer supportive treatment and monitor cardiac and respiratory functioning. Respiratory assistance and cardiac defibrillation is often needed. Gastric decontamination is not helpful as chloroform is absorbed rapidly. Treat long-term effects from severe chloroform poisoning. Treat kidney or liver failure with dialysis and replace fluids as needed. Patients may exhibit nerve damage in the form of tremors or shaking in the limbs. This frequently disappears after a few days without any treatment. Studies in people and in animals show that after you breathe air or eat food that has chloroform in it; the chloroform can quickly enter your bloodstream from your lungs or intestines. Inside your body, chloroform is carried by the blood to all parts of your body, such as the fat, liver, and kidneys. Chloroform usually collects in body fat; however, its volatility ensures that it will eventually be removed once the exposure has been removed. Some of the chloroform that enters your body leaves unchanged in the air that you breathe out, and some chloroform in your body is broken down into other chemicals. These chemicals are known as breakdown products or metabolites, and some of them can attach to other chemicals inside the cells of your body and may cause harmful effects if they collect in high enough amounts in your body. Some of the metabolites also leave the body in the air you breathe out. Only a small amount of the breakdown products leaves the body in the urine and stool.

No information is available regarding cancer in humans or animals after inhalation exposure to chloroform. Epidemiologic studies suggest an association between cancer of the large intestine, rectum, and/or bladder and the constituents of chlorinated drinking water, including chloroform. However, there are no epidemiologic studies of water containing only chloroform.

Health Data from Inhalation Exposure


ACGIH TLV--American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygienists' threshold limit value expressed as a time-weighted average; the concentration of a substance to which most workers can be exposed without adverse effects. LC50 (Lethal Concentration50)--A calculated concentration of a chemical in air to which exposure for a specific length of time is expected to cause death in 50% of a defined experimental animal population. NIOSH REL--National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health's recommended exposure limit; NIOSH-recommended exposure limit for an 8- or 10-h time-weighted-average exposure and/or ceiling. OSHA PEL--Occupational Safety and Health Administration's permissible exposure limit expressed as a time-weighted average; the concentration of a substance to which most workers can be exposed without adverse effect averaged over a normal 8-h workday or a 40-h workweek. The Lowest Observed Adverse Effects Level (LOAEL) is from the critical study used as the basis for the CalEPA chronic reference exposure level. Conversion Factors: To convert concentrations in air (at 25C) from ppm to mg/m3: mg/m3 = (ppm) (molecular weight of the compound)/(24.45). For chloroform: 1 ppm = 4.88 mg/m3. To convert concentrations in air from g/m3 to mg/m3: mg/m3 = (g/m3) (1 mg/1,000 g).


Map Distribution

US Groundwater Containing Trihalomethane (inc. Chloroform) High Concentrations Shown in Blue


US Map Showing Chloroform Superfund Sites Emissions and Toxic Release Inventory Sites Nearly 500 Superfund sites emit Chloroform along with nearly 100 Toxic Release Inventory Sites. The greatest emissions are in Tennessee, Louisiana, Washington and Florida. Common industries include pulp and paper mills, food processing and plastics.


Southern States Chloroform Emissions The majority of the highest chloroform emitting sites are located in the South as shown above.


Southern States Showing Chloroform Superfund Sites Emissions and Toxic Release Inventory Sites (Overlain to Kidney And Urinary Cancer Mortality Rates In Females)

Although the data is sparse, there are some sites located in counties which appear to associated with higher kidney and urinary cancer mortality rates in females.


Northwestern States Showing Chloroform Superfund Sites Emissions and Toxic Release Inventory Sites (Overlain to Kidney And Urinary Cancer Mortality Rates In Males) While in the Northwest the county trends generally highlight kidney and urinary cancer mortality rates in males)



California Showing Chloroform Superfund Sites Emissions and Toxic Release Inventory Sites (Overlain to Kidney And Urinary Cancer Mortality Rates In Females)


Casmailia Index Map

CASMALIA, SANTA BARBARA CO, The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site (Site), formerly the Casmalia Resources Hazardous Waste Management Facility, is an approximately 252-acre, inactive commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility located in Santa Barbara County, California. This Site is located 10 miles southwest of the City of Santa Maria, 1.2 miles north of the Town of Casmalia, and four miles from the Pacific Ocean. The town in 1985 had a population of about 175 people which has since dwindled to about 135 in the 2010 census and nearly half were Hispanic or Latino.


Aerial View of Casmalia Disposal Site in 1985

This toxic landfill complex is one of the largest waste sites in the country. Between 1973 and 1989, the Casmalia Disposal Site took in approximately 5.6 billion pounds of waste material from more than 10,000 businesses and government agencies. It includes six landfills, 43 hazardous waste ponds, disposal trenches, injection wells, waste spreading areas, and tank treatment


systems. The Facilitys owner(s)/operator(s) accepted a wide variety of industrial and commercial wastes including but not limited to petroleum wastes, organic chemicals (like Styrene and Butadiene), petroleum solvents, paint sludge, infectious wastes, septic tank pumping, and sewage sludge, pesticides, acids, metals, cyanide, non-liquid polychlorinated biphenyls, and regulated wastes. All ponds were unlined and constructed in native claystone. For the purpose of accelerating evaporation of the content of the ponds, liquids were often sprayed into the air. The county stopped the process in 1985, when it was linked to odors in the community. .

Aerial View of Casmalia Disposal Ponds In addition to odors, residents of Casmalia reported seeing brown clouds emanating from the site on several occasions during the same time when odors were present. When asked about the origin of the brown clouds, former employees confirm that vapor clouds occasionally occurred when trucks unloaded incompatible liquid wastes into the holding ponds.


Facing multiple enforcement actions, the Facilitys owner(s)/operator(s) stopped taking waste material in 1989. In the early 1990s, the owner(s)/operator(s) abandoned efforts to properly close and clean up the Site. In 1992, the State of California asked the U.S. EPA to respond to deteriorating site conditions. At that time, conditions at the Site presented imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment. From 1992 to 1996, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used Superfund authorities to take emergency actions to stabilize the various waste management or treatment facilities on the Site. These actions included installing and operating systems for collecting, treating, and disposing of contaminated subsurface liquids, controlling the flow of storm water, and stabilizing the landfills.The EPA has documented the release and threatened release of many organic and inorganic compounds into the soil, groundwater, and air at the site. Some geologists originally believed that the shallow layer of soil and fractured low-waterbearing rock that overlies the Casmalia Hills had no connection to the deep water of the Santa Maria and San Antonio Water basins, from which the towns of Casmalia, Santa Maria, and Tanglewood draw their water . However, to date, no study has definitively proven that the groundwater present beneath the site is completely disconnected from the Santa Maria and San Antonio Water basins. Although the possibility is remote, it is possible that a continuous chain of fractures below the Casmalia Hills may allow the migration of contaminants to reach the lower water basins/

View of Casmalia Cap above Drainage Lake


The nearest streams to the site are Casmalia Creek, approximately 500 feet west of the site, and an unnamed stream located 750 to 1,000 feet northeast of the site. One mile south of the site, Casmalia Creek drains to join Shuman Creek, which flows west 4 miles into the Pacific Ocean. Another unnamed stream located to the east of the site drains southward and joins Shuman Creek about 2,500 feet north of the town of Casmalia. A man-made pond is about 3,000 feet northwest of the site in the Casmalia Creek valley. The pond is apparently used for agricultural purposes; it has been constructed by placing an earthen dam across an entrenched part of Casmalia Creek. The pond measures approximately 100 feet in diameter and is approximately 6 feet deep. Both Casmalia Creek and Shuman Creek are known to be accessed by recreationists and children. Although the creeks are not commonly known to be popular swimming areas, local residents have said children do occasionally swim or wade in the water. Biological and personal monitoring did not show any significant occupational exposure to benzene, xylene, or methyl chloroform. However, due to the limited scope and short duration of the study, biological and personal monitoring was unable to address long-term health effects such as cancer; rather, it focused on more immediate short-term outcomes, such as pulmonary function, skin conditions, and neurobehavioral symptoms The community members main exposure concern was about the safety of the communitys drinking water. A source for much of these fears was from a resident of nearby Santa Maria, Les Conrad, who published a book on the contamination of the drinking water supply by the facility. In the book, Desperate Measures: The Tragedy of Santa Maria California, he purported to have several water samples taken from various public portals that showed evidence of PCB contamination. Community members who spoke to CDHS believed the assertions in the book that their municipal well has been/is contaminated by chemicals from the site. Because of this fear, many residents drink filtered or bottled water. UNOCAL operates the municipal drinking water well for the town of Casmalia. Residents would like this well tested by someone other than Unocal and tested more frequently to ensure that it is not contaminated. In general, there is a low level of trust of Unocal. Residents stated that this lack of trust has caused some mental stress in the community. Residents also wanted to know if they could be affected by contaminated groundwater via vapor migration from the site. Specific health concerns raised by the community included liver cancer, blood disorders, and other diseases. Liver cancer was cited as a community concern because several cases have occurred in the community. There was also mention that some community members had both contracted and died from blood disorders, but no specifics were forthcoming. Miscarriages, frequent nosebleeds, itching skin, anxiety, non-malignant cysts, migraine headaches, diabetes, and cancer were cited as health effects believed to be attributable to the site. Residents are dismayed that some community members have moved away because of their health concerns.


On the basis of these concerns, both the county and state initiated several studies in the mid-1980s to investigate the impact the facility may be having on the local communities, including the populations of the town of Casmalia, Tanglewood, Orcutt, and Santa Maria. The results of these studies were inconclusive; it could not be determined whether the exposure may have resulted in health effects. CDHS determined that past exposures (1973 1986) to vapors from the site posed a public health hazard for those living in the town of Casmalia, as well as for local ranchers while the landfill was operating. Modeled concentrations, based on air samples taken on site suggest the presence of contaminants in the Casmalia community at levels above health concern. Hydrogen sulfide alone was detected in the community at nearly 1,000 times above the health comparison value. However, because of a lack of relevant data that characterizes the duration of the exposure, it is not possible to determine if adverse health effects would be expected. In 1999, the U.S. EPA estimated total response costs at this Site to be $284 million. To date EPA has settled with over 1,150 Casmalia Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) EPA refers to these as "Cashout" settlements, because under the settlement terms the PRPs pay into an account to finance the work. The remaining parties include the former owners and operators and customers that are referred to as major waste generators. Claiming bankruptcy, the owner ceased closure work and all facility maintenance in 1992. Hunter Resources, the owner/operator settled for a mere $7 million after reportedly making $40 million during the years of operation. These settlements have generated over $110 million in funding for response actions at the Site.


DEL AMO SUPERFUND - Torrance Calif.

Del Amo Site Index Map

The Del Amo site is located in western Los Angeles County, California, between the cities of Torrance and Carson. The site consists of approximately 280 acres, formerly the site of a synthetic rubber manufacturing plant in operation from 1942 until 1972, at which time the facility was sold to a development company and was subsequently dismantled. Most of the 280 acre site has been redeveloped into an industrial park. The area of the site containing the majority of the contamination is called the waste-pit area. This area is currently fenced and covered with a cap, installed from May 1999 to February 2000. Groundwater under the former Del Amo facility and the waste pit area is contaminated with chemicals from the former rubber manufacturing plant. The groundwater contamination is mixed with contamination from the nearby Montrose Superfund site, on the western edge of the Del Amo plume, and from a few


smaller industrial facilities. This PHA provides an overview of the public health hazards posed by contamination in the developed portion of the Del Amo site, the waste-pit area, the groundwater contamination, and possible off-site (community) exposures. In 2004, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) prepared this public health assessment (PHA) under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). In this PHA, CDHS determined that direct and frequent contact with contamination in the waste pit area before it was capped posed a public health hazard to children in the past; however, the increased cancer risk is low. CDHS also determined that the indoor air pathway on the developed portion of the site may pose a public health hazard now and is an indeterminate public health hazard in the future to occupants of a building located over light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL); however, the increased cancer risk is low and noncancer health effects are unlikely. * Available test results of the limited surface and shallow soil sampling in the developed portion of the site detected several chemicals (arsenic, dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane [DDT] and Arochlors/total polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]) of health concern that are not definitely related to the Del Amo site. For long-term workers and occasional workers, these non-site related chemicals pose an insignificant-to-slight increased cancer risk. * CDHS determined that the site may currently pose a long-term public health hazard to occupants of buildings located above soil containing LNAPL. Thus, CDHS concluded that the site may pose a public health hazard now, and that it poses an indeterminate public health hazard in the future. CDHS recommends additional air sampling in buildings located above LNAPL-contaminated soil. *


Del Amo Chloro Benzene Groundwater Plume

On the basis of available data, direct contact with contamination in the waste-pit area posed a public health hazard before the waste pits were capped in 1999/2000, although they were covered with dirt in the 1950s and in the 1980s. However, waste material continued to be seen at the surface, and children reportedly played at the waste pits. The waste-pit material is high in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and VOCs, most prominently naphthalene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzene, and ethylbenzene. Limited surface-soil testing above the waste pits indicates that the soil would not pose a public health hazard. However, if children directly handled the waste material on a frequent basis, it would have posed a public health hazard to children in the past. Estimated exposures related to the contaminated waste-pit material indicate a low increased cancer risk (5.9 in 1,000) for children who played with the


waste on a fairly regular basis. These children also could have experienced noncancer health effects (changes in blood-system components) related to benzene exposure.

Table of Del Amo Groundwater Contamination (by Aquifer and Chemical)


According to EPA, the main contaminant, benzene (which is a light non-aqueous phase liquid, or a smeared LNAPL), has reached the B sand aquifer. The B sand aquifer is directly below the Upper Bellflower (dry) aquifer (the Ashallowest@ aquifer) and above the C sand, Lower Bellflower, Gage, Lynwood, and the Silverado aquifers (the deepest aquifer). The dissolved plume has reached the Lower Bellflower aquifer. The other contaminants are ethylbenzene, naphthalene, chloroform, TCE, PCE, and para-chlorobenzosulfonic acid. Chloroform was frequently found in association with benzene. The Silverado aquifer which is used for drinking water has not been impacted. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) conducted ambient air quality testing and meteorological recording in the City of Torrance from September 29 through October 16, 1996. Chloroform was the only Volatile Organic Compound detected above background. Chloroform was measured in 6 of the 31 samples (0.4 to 1.8 ppb); each of the detections exceeded the basin average (0.23 ppb). Chloroform was also found in samples of indoor air in many of the buildings and in shallow soil gas samples.


Levels of Trihalomethane Contamination (incl. Chloroform) in California Bottled Water Brands


Case Studies

Index Map for Weyerhaeuser Longview


Weyerhaeuser Longview
In 1929, Weyerhaeuser built what was then the world's largest sawmill in Longview, Washington. Weyerhaeuser's pulp mill in Longview, which began production in 1931, sustained the company financially during the Great Depression The pulp mill opened for business at Longview, Washington in 1931. The mill is located near the intersection of Industrial Way and Washington Way, on the shore of the Columbia River about two miles downstream of the Lewis and Clark Bridge. The mill produces a wide range of paper products, including paperboard, corrugating medium, newsprint, and fine papers. Bleached kraft, de-ink, and thermomechanical processes are used to produce these products. The Weyerhaeuser/NORPAC site also includes lumber products manufacturing. The treated process wastewater from the mill is discharged to the Columbia River. From July 2004 through June 2005, the company average production was 2,923 metric tons of paper per day with a maximum production of 4000 tons per day.


WEYERHAEUSER NR CO LONGVIEW On-site Release Estimates (lbs./rep yr.) Chemical 2009 2008 130,40 141,40 Acetaldehyde 0 0 167,50 175,50 Ammonia 0 0 Chlorine Chlorine dioxide Chloroform Cresol (mixed isomers) Dichloromethane Formaldehyde Hydrochloric acid (1995 and after "acid aerosols" only) Lead compounds Manganese compounds Methanol Methyl ethyl ketone Nickel compounds Nitrate compounds Phenol 15,570 2,205 36,120 1,010 18,859 70,000 121 41,100 432,20 0 590 44,000 100,00 16,570 2,305 36,419 1,100 34,859 76,000 125 43,110 722,30 0 430 45,000 77,000

2007 136,50 0 159,90 0 18,541 2,255 38,720 1,500 33,964 54,000 161 50,081 702,70 0 480 45,000 77,000

2006 114,30 0 172,50 0 17,541 2,305 47,020 1,700 32,860 140,00 0 210 47,600 662,20 0 740 44,000 75,000

2005 109,95 6 149,73 6 16,358 2,137 56,020 1,900 31,760 144,00 0 2,500 43,600 661,70 0 1,100 43,000 74,000

2004 550,133 146,032 22,038 2,110 38,387 1,397 104,358 149,377 2,536 44,204 1,866,53 6 1,090 125,522 72,600

2003 485,973 158,871 22,500 2,101 44,062 1,332 28,724 88,211 42,471 252.4 50,747 1,314,85 0 221,836 1,645 388 74,569

2002 450,705 136,848 21,387 1,911 36,804 1,448 24,367 83,563 34,438 230.9 29,929 1,012,97 9 215,860 1,080 356 72,577

2001 425,319 123,272 23,021 1,846 39,534 2,156 27,063 66,686 40,074 249.1 41,192 1,242,85 6 156,697 366 68,906

2000 481,107 144,513 23,120 2,205 43,805 2,709 33,323 75,978 48,407 43,067 1,429,26 3 176,602 406 83,420

1999 475,994 135,895 14,576 639 34,592 3,772 34,807 75,044 47,342 43,949 1,406,14 4 170,618 404 82,725


0 Polycyclic aromatic compounds Styrene Sulfuric acid (1994 and after "acid aerosols" only) Toluene Zinc compounds 120 36,025 49,031 6,566 130 37,035 52,031 5,272 128 36,045 49,030 6,750 50 34,040 48,030 12,900 93 32,943 45,030 11,400 92 32,021 45,464 13,623 96.8 36,646 49,610 5,013 87.2 35,665 43,461 4,517 84.4 32,517 46,661 4,713 92.2 37,408 45,907 5,972 36,050 52,697 18,599

Historical Emissions from Weyerhaeuser Longview Note Chloroform Maximum Emissions in 2005 (highlighted in yellow)


Northwestern States Showing Chloroform Superfund Sites Emissions and Toxic Release Inventory Sites (Overlain to All Malignant Cancer Mortality Rates in Females) (Highest mortalities shown in darker blues)


Cargill- Memphis

35 Cargill Memphis Index Map (#1)

The highly-industrial Presidents Island contains Cargill, a maker of high-fructose corn syrup, animal feed, and corn oil. According to the Sierra Club it is one of the top ten dirtiest plants in terms of emissions in the US. The plant also emits the most Chloroform and is responsible for emitting more than 540,000 pounds of pollutants associated with health risks to reproductive systems, liver and kidney disease, and cancer.

Cargill Memphis ScoreCard Ranking in 2002

Cargill Memphis ScoreCard Cancer Risk Scores in 2002


Cargill Memphis Historical Emissions According to the company website, Cargill did make some environmental improvements in response to the Sierra Club's 2008 Terrible Ten report. Those include reducing emissions by more than 30 percent, installing pollution control equipment, and replacing some hazardous substances used in corn oil production with less harmful ones. The company plans to further reduce emissions by 2013 by installing more pollution control equipment.


Presidents Island Index Map Polluters are shown in Red and Schools in Blue Cargill is not the only polluter on Presidents Island in Tennessee. The Sierra Club claimed "There are 40 to 50 factories on Presidents Island, and many of them emit toxins into the air, ground, and water. There are families that live in the area, and there have long been reports of individuals suffering from various breathing defects and high rates of cancer and heart problems. "It's not just cancer but numerous things, including infant mortality.


Reportedly, "When you look at those infant mortality rates, they're higher in some places than in Third World countries," Proving the connection between contaminants and health problems can indeed be difficult. The Shelby County Health Department had that problem when it did a cancer incidence review in the Cypress Creek area in 2005 in relation to contaminated soil. Nothing was proven showing a connection between the chemical contaminant in that area and cancer. In 2008, a group of former and current Cargill Inc. employees has filed a $3 million federal lawsuit against the Minneapolis, Minn.based company claiming they've been subjected to a hazardous work environment, racial discrimination and retaliation.



New Jersey Chloroform Risk from Air Pollution


Brick Township - NJ

Brick Township NJ Index Map


In 1998, ATSDR investigated concerns about a possible excess of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Brick Township, New Jersey. Phase I of the investigation identified 75 children with possible autism. The prevalence of ASD was found to be 6.7 cases per 1,000 children (95% CI- 5.1-8.7). For the subset of 36 children who met the diagnosis for autistic disorder, the prevalence rate was 4.0 cases per 1,000 children (95% CI = 2.8-5.6). The male to female ratios ranged from 2.2-3.7 for autistic disorder and Pervasive Developmental DisorderNot Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), respectively. About half of the children were found to have an IQ score of less than or equal to 70. Of those children with a known town of birth residence, 66% were born in Brick Township. Seven children were reported to have a brother or sister who also had an ASD. Specific medical conditions were found in 5 of the 60 children. ATSDR found the rates of ASD and autistic disorder in Brick Township were high compared with prevalence rates from previously published studies. Although there are no current prevalence rates from studies based in the U.S., recent studies from outside the U.S. and recent reports from service providers in the U.S. suggest that a conservative estimate for autism is 1-2 cases per 1,000 children. The epidemiologic characteristics of children with ASD in Brick Township, the predominance in males and the high proportion of children with IQ of 70 or less, are comparable to those found in previous studies.


Location of High Trichloromethane Samples ATSDR evaluated the information collected on the Brick Township municipal drinking water supply and found that) Total THM levels in the municipal drinking water supply exceeded 80 parts per billion (ppb) several times during the study period.


However, the locations in the water system where total THM levels were high do not match the locations and timing of the pregnancies of the majority of the autism cases plotted. ATSDR concluded that since there is no clear pattern linking the residences of the cases, during mother's pregnancies, with location and timing of the high THM levels, it appears unlikely that THMs in the municipal drinking water supply were associated with ASD in Brick Township.


New Jersey Map Showing Chloroform Superfund Sites Emissions and Toxic Release Inventory Sites (Overlain to All Malignant Cancer Mortality Rates in Females) (Highest mortalities shown in darker blues)

Massachusetts W.R. Grace Superfund Site - Acton, MA


W. R. Grace Superfund Index Map

The site was the former location of the American Cyanamid Company and the Dewey & Almy Chemical Company. These companies produced sealant products for rubber containers, latex products, plasticizers, resins, and other products. Operations at the W.R.Grace facility included the production of materials used to make concrete, container sealing compounds, latex products, and paper and plastic battery separators. Effluent wastes from these operations flowed into several unlined lagoons (the primary lagoon, secondary lagoon, north lagoon, and emergency lagoon), and solid and hazardous wastes were buried in or placed onto an on-site industrial landfill and several other disposal areas. These other waste sites include battery separator lagoons, the battery separator chip pile, the


boiler lagoon, and the tank car area. In addition, the by-products of some chemical processes were disposed of in the blowdown pit. Since 1973, residents in south Acton have filed complaints about periodic odors and irritants in the air around the W.R. Grace plant.

Acton Groundwater Plume (shown in blue)

In 1978 the Acton Water District (AWD) detected Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in two of its municipal wells (Assabet One and Two), and as a result the AWD closed the two wells. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Organic compounds that evaporate readily into the air. VOCs include substances such as benzene, toluene, methylene chloride, and methyl chloroform. According to the AWD, Assabet One was brought back online with carbon filtration for a few months in 1982. When testing indicated low levels of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) were breaking through the carbon filters, they took this well offline again. In 1983 Assabet One was brought back online with both air stripping and carbon filtration technology in place. By March 1984, Assabet Two had also been


brought back online with this same treatment. At some later date the AWD stopped using carbon filtration at these wells, but it continues to use an air stripper to remove VOCs from the water. In September 1983 the W.R. Grace site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL). Since that time the affected municipal supply wells, associated groundwater plume, and other portions of the site have become the subject of ongoing investigations by the USEPA and the W.R. Grace and Company, Inc.* In 1995 a supplemental Public Health Assessment to determine the extent of indoor air contamination in homes above the groundwater plume was conducted by ATSDR and that summary is excerpted below: The Wells G and H site encompasses two municipal wells located in Woburn, Massachusetts. The water drawn from these wells was used as a municipal water supply for the city of Woburn from 1964 to 1979. A Health Assessment was completed in 1989. This public health assessment addendum focuses on the indoor air monitoring studies conducted at the Wells G and H site since the completion of the Health Assessment in 1989. Three residences and a day care center were sampled to determine the extent of indoor air contamination due to volatilization of contaminants from the groundwater plume into the basements of the residences and the day care center. The sampling was conducted in July 1989, and in April and October 1991. The primary contaminants detected in indoor air were carbon tetrachloride, benzene, 1,2-dichloroethane, trichloroethylene, 1,1dichloroethylene, methylene chloride, and chloroform. Based on the available information, the indoor air in the site vicinity represents no apparent public health hazard. However, the conclusions of this public health addendum do not change the original conclusions of the 1989 Public Health Assessment, which said that the Wells G and H site represents a public health hazard because of the risk to human health resulting from current and past exposure to hazardous substances, in the soil and municipal drinking water respectively, at concentrations that may result in adverse health effects. In 2004, ATSDR reviewed the available data and information for the W.R. Grace site through August 5, 2004, and identified one completed exposure pathway and four potential exposure pathways. The completed pathway is exposure to contaminants from the municipal drinking water supply and the potential pathways of exposure are private well water, surface water, sediment, and vapor intrusion. In addition, ATSDR evaluated the potential for exposure to site related contaminants through fish consumption and considers this pathway to be incomplete. According to the 2005 Remedial Investigation Report, chloroform was the only VOC detected in a private residential irrigation well on School Street.


Persons who were supplied water by the AWDs Assabet One and Two wells between 1970 and 1978 may have previously drank, bathed, and showered with groundwater contaminated with VOCs. There is very limited data for this time period and there is no information regarding quality control and quality assurance (QA/QC) practices for the available data set. However, in an effort to address community concern regarding past exposure to drinking water contaminants in these wells, ATSDR did evaluate the available historical data. ATSDR concludes that past levels of VOCs in the Assabet wells pose an indeterminate public health hazard because of the data limitations and gaps. The final PHA in April 2011came to the same conclusions and stated Recent communications with USEPA indicate that data collected since August 5, 2004 shows no changes in site conditions or contaminant levels.


Massachusetts Map Showing Chloroform Superfund Sites Emissions and Toxic Release Inventory Sites (Overlain to Bladder Cancer Mortality Rates in Females) (Highest mortalities shown in darker blues)


Things to Avoid!
Avoid drinking water with elevated levels of Chloroform or Trihalomethanes. - Use Reverse Osmosis or carbon filters if necessary. Avoid long, hot showers in areas of elevated Chloroform concentrations. Avoid chlorinated tap water during periods of high organic influx or in areas furthest from the water treatment plants. Avoid drinking from wells which have not been tested or those near toxic waste sites. Avoid discharges from wastewater treatment plants or pulp and paper mills. Avoid breathing indoor air near or above toxic release inventory sites.


Finally, lets look at ways you could determine if YOU have been poisoned? The state wont tell you your individual exposure because they generally only report county data. You will have to prepare a personalized toxic exposure profile. Begin by listing the addresses of your current and former long-term residences. Include the address of your mother at the time when she was pregnant with you. Determine the sources of your drinking water (public system or private water wells). Gather the most recent chemical analysis of your water and long term trends. Find out which kinds of organochlorine pesticides and how much has been applied to your areas. Review your distances from hazardous waste sites and their pollution and cleanup histories. Find out where the nearest toxic release sites of air and water pollution are located and determine the directions of spreading. How can you use all of this information? Determining the types and amounts of toxic exposures can aid in chronic disease diagnosis since some chemicals have been associated with certain diseases. It can also help your doctor to better determine treatment options. It can help to anticipate chronic disease symptoms and their stages of progression. It will help your lawyer assign blame and determine liability. Most importantly, it can help you to reduce current exposures to chemicals and to avoid and minimize future environmental exposures. All of this information is available on the internet if you have the time and patience to wade through the multiple data sources. If it seems too much for one person to handle, then register your contact information on our website and we will do the work for you (for a reasonable fee, of course). Humans are the sum total of all that we have been exposed to during our lifetimes. The prevalence of thousands of toxic chemicals in our environment undoubtedly contributes to the pandemic of chronic diseases in our modern society. Only a customized, individual toxic profile can help you to understand and reduce your risks of diseases associated with environmental toxic exposure.


For More Information see websites.


IARC Summaries & Evaluations: Vol. 1 (1972), Vol. 20 (1979), Suppl. 7 (1987), Vol. 73 (1999) International Chemical Safety Card 0027 NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards 0127 National Pollutant Inventory - Chloroform and trichloromethane NIST Standard Reference Database Story on Chloroform from BBC's The Material World (28 July 2005) Sudden Sniffer's Death Syndrome article at Carolinas Poison Center