The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today issued a public health consultation (PHC) for public review and comment on the Colonie Site (formerly National Lead Inc.) in Albany, N.Y. ATSDR concluded that there is no apparent public health hazard for the current exposures.
The document will be available for public review and comment at the William K. Stanford Town Library, 629 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville, N.Y., from Sept. 2 through Oct. 3, 2003.
ATSDR is issuing the PHC in response to community health concerns related to past emissions from the former National Lead Inc., plant (now called the Colonie Site) that may have caused adverse health effects. Issues covered in the PHC include:
—possible health effects from breathing depleted uranium (DU) emissions, contacting DU-contaminated soil when playing and gardening, or eating fruits and vegetables grown in the soil;
—possible health effects from breathing lead emissions, contacting lead-contaminated soil when playing and gardening, or eating fruits and vegetables grown in the soil;
—possible health effects from breathing indoor air containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from contaminated groundwater.
After evaluating the environmental data, ATSDR concluded that past DU emissions from the plant were a public health hazard and may possibly have increased the risk of kidney disease and lung cancer, particularly for smokers who had lived near the plant. The extent to which risk was increased, however, is unknown.
ATSDR also found that there was no public health hazard from VOCs in indoor air, and that contact with the DU-contaminated soil or lead-contaminated soil would not cause people to become sick.
ATSDR recommends that parents concerned about children's exposure to lead in the soil should have their children's blood-lead levels tested by their health care provider.
ATSDR encourages comments on the public health consultation must be made in writing. Mail comments to
Chief, Program Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE (MS E-60)
Atlanta, GA 30333
Comments received during the public comment period will be logged in to ATSDR's administrative record for this health assessment.
Comments received, without the names of individuals who submitted them, and ATSDR's responses to the comments will appear in an appendix to the final public health assessment. Names of those who submit comments, however, will be subject to release for requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
Community members seeking information on the procedures or the content of the public health consultation may contact Aimee Tucker Treffiletti, environmental health scientist, or Dawn O'Connor, health communications specialist, toll free at 1-888-422-8737. Regional Representative Arthur Block also may be contacted in New York at 212-637-4307. Callers should refer to the Colonie Site in Albany, N.Y.