Current levels of exposure at the Elizabeth Copper Mine Site in Strafford, Vt., pose no health effects, indicates the public health assessment conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
ATSDR concludes that current and future levels of exposure at the site pose no harmful health effects. This conclusion is based on the evaluation of available private water wells, soil, dust, surface water, sediment, air and fish sampling data.
In addition, ATSDR concludes that past exposures in one private well posed a public health hazard because sampling data detected elevated concentrations of aluminum, cadmium, copper, manganese and iron. However, this exposure no longer exists as the well has been closed.
The Elizabeth Copper Mine site is located in the towns of Strafford and Thetford in Orange County, Vt. Iron ore and iron sulfate operations began in Elizabeth Mine in 1793 and copper mining began around 1830. Most of the underground copper mining occurred from 1942 until the mine closed in 1958. The site was added to National Priorities List in 2001 because of past activities at the site and the potential for site-related contaminants to affect nearby bodies of water. The site consists of 1,400 acres that contain open pit mines, extensive mine shafts, three piles of mining residue and several buildings.
Community members seeking information about the procedures or the content of the public health assessment may contact ATSDR Environmental Health Scientist Lovyst Luker or Community Involvement Specialist Dawn O'Connor toll-free at 1-888-422-8737. ATSDR Regional Representative Gary Perlman also may be contacted at 617-918-1492.
ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.
Established by Congress in 1980 under the Superfund law, ATSDR conducts public health assessments at each of the sites on the EPA National Priorities List, as well as other sites when petitioned. Headquartered in Atlanta, ATSDR is staffed by more than 400 health professionals including epidemiologists, physicians, toxicologists, engineers and public health educators.