Potential exposure levels and health effects of neighborhood exposure to a municipal incinerator bottom ash landfill

Alan H. Stern, Abdulrehman A. Munshi, Andrew K. Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An investigation was conducted to assess the potential exposure levels and pursuant public health implications of neighborhood exposure to a municipal incinerator bottom ash landfill. This site received ash from a single incinerator without pollution control devices from 1954–1973. Soil was sampled for 10 heavy metals, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodioxin and furan congeners, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Soil concentrations for these substances were converted to estimates of exposure, health effects, and/or cancer risk by the application of a general exposure model and exposure/effect and exposure/risk models for specific substances. The results of soil analysis and modeling indicate that the level of lead detected on the site was considerably above the recommended levels of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and may lead to an elevated blood lead level in exposed children above that currently defining a case of lead poisoning. The potential for health effects resulting from exposure to other substances measured in the soil on this site is considered to be small, and no significant increased cancer risk is expected. Comparison of levels of various substances obtained at this site with levels obtained in fresh bottom ash in other studies suggests that these results may be applicable to exposures from other municipal incinerator bottom ash landfills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Environmental Health
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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