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Recognizing Hazards and How People May Be Exposed to Contaminants by Jennifer Williams Alaska Tribal Waste and Response Assistance Program Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "Recognizing Hazards and How People May Be Exposed to Contaminants by Jennifer Williams Alaska Tribal Waste and Response Assistance Program Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 Recognizing Hazards and How People May Be Exposed to Contaminants by Jennifer Williams Alaska Tribal Waste and Response Assistance Program Coordinator Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals 907-250-3826

2 Outcome Participants will be able to: Identify hazardous substances. Identify products and materials that may contain hazardous substances. Identify how people may be exposed to contaminants. Locate resources to identify health risks associated with the hazardous substances.

3 Hazardous Substances Lead Mercury Cadmium Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Petroleum Products Solvents Ethylene Glycol Acids, Ammonia, Sodium Hydroxide

4 Lead: Where is it? Lead Acid Batteries TV screens and computer monitors Other electronicsPaint WeightsAmmunition Lead solderLead pipes Building demolition with lead-based paint Vehicle: wheel weights, battery cables Hazardous during use, in open dump, or when burned?

5 Mercury: Where is it? Batteries Thermometers Fluorescent Lights Necklaces Thermostat Switches and Probes Switches and Relays Children’s light up shoes Barometer and Blood Pressure Gauges Hazardous during use, in open dump, or when burned?

6 Tilt Switch from a Thermostat Thermostat (c) 2010 Theodore Gray, Tilt type of mercury switch which conducts electricity and used in many appliances.

7 Mercury Tilt Switch Thermostat contains two switches (one tilts when too hot, other when too cold) Mercury Tilt Switch Thermostat with glass ampule containing mercury (tips left or right for contact) (c) 2010 Theodore Gray,


9 Light Switch (tilts a chamber, where mercury tips onto or off a pair of electrical contacts) (c) 2010 Theodore Gray, Tilt Switch Example

10 Chest freezers and refrigerators manufactured prior to 2000, may have a mercury tilt switch incorporated in the light socket and relays.

11 Tilt switches are ideal for monitoring and control devices and applications. They are used in familiar products such as clothes irons, kitchen appliances, cell phones, alarms, and washing machines. They are used in mining operations, test and lab equipment, heavy equipment, industrial, marine, and medical equipment.

12 Float switches monitor liquid levels and are most frequently used in sump pumps. They are also found in bilge pumps, boilers, sewage treatment plants, and pumping stations.

13 (c) 2010 Theodore Gray, Thermostat Probes or flame sensors consist of a bulb attached to a gas-control valve by a tube containing mercury (used to prevent gas from flowing when the pilot light of the appliance is off). Used in older gas-fired appliances: clothes dryers, space heaters, water heaters, stoves, and furnaces.

14 Relay - the mercury makes and breaks electrical contacts (this relay was meant to switch industrial three-phase power) Blood Pressure Monitor contains at least a cubic inch of mercury (c) 2010 Theodore Gray,

15 Metal Halide Bulbs (c) 2010 Theodore Gray, Metal halide lamps are the brightest light available and are found in several HID applications.

16 High Pressure SodiumMetal Vapor Lamps

17 Fluorescent Lamps

18 Alternatives to older model fluorescent lamps are labeled as low-mercury lamps and often can be recognized by their green end caps or green lettering. Fluorescent, HID (high intensity discharge) lamps such as Mercury Vapor, High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide, and Neon all contain mercury in a metallic as well as vapor form.

19 Fever Thermometer (c) 2010 Theodore Gray, Barometers

20 Hood and trunk convenience light switches (a sealed metal pellet)

21 Anti-lock Braking System G- Force sensor module (two or three mercury switch capsules) don’t attempt to remove mercury switch capsules from sensor module

22 Since the late 1990s North American battery manufacturers have reduced mercury content in batteries by 95%. The use of mercury in alkaline batteries has been eliminated except for button cells.

23 Nickel-cadmium (NiCad) Batteries Slick colored papers and magazines Tires Cigarettes Electronics Plastics Cadmium: Where is it? Hazardous during use, in open dump, or when burned?

24 Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) : Where are they? Capacitors Old TVs & Refrigerators Electrical Transformers Electrical Equipment Old Fluorescent Lighting Fixtures Electrical Appliances w/ PCB Capacitors Hydraulic Fluids Hazardous during use, in open dump, or when burned?

25 Native Village of Venetie PCB Transformers

26 Native Village of Venetie PCB Transformers


28 Electrical ballasts to power fluorescent light fixtures manufactured prior to and during 1979 contain PCBs. New Ballast Old Ballast

29 Petroleum Products KeroseneCrude Oil Jet FuelGasoline Range OilTanks/Spills Home Heating Oil Diesel Fuel Used Oil (DO NOT MIX WITH SOLVENTS) Hazardous during use, in open dump, or when burned?

30 Vehicle & Machine Waste Parts-cleaner Petroleum-based products, solvents


32 Oil-based Paints solvents (ethylene, toluene, PAHs) heavy metals (cadmium, chromium) flammable (potentially explosive) Paint Thinner, Turpentine petroleum-based solvents acetone, toluene, xylene, mineral spirits, methyl ethyl ketone, methylene chloride Solvent-contaminated rags Other Waste with Hazardous Substances

33 Refrigerator Manufactured Prior to 1995

34 Ethylene Glycol: Where is it? Ethylene glycol is used to make antifreeze and de-icing solutions for ATVs, snow machines, cars, airplanes, and boats Hazardous during use, in open dump, or when burned? Hydraulic brake fluid Also found in inks used in stamp pads, ballpoint pens, and print shops

35 Unknowns Many villages have metal drums and 5-gallon buckets with unknown liquid contents. These drums generally contain waste-oil, glycol, solvents or a combination of unknowns. These drums require testing by trained individuals to be properly labeled and handled prior to removal.

36 Other Waste with Hazardous Substances Clinical Waste: EPA’s Guide to Hazardous Waste Management at Tribal Health Care Clinics Honey Buckets / Disposable Diapers Ash Construction and Demolition Debris Pesticides PBDEs - Flame Retardant Chemicals

37 Common cleaning products such as bleach, disinfectants, and other common household cleaners contain solvents, acids, and other ingredients that can harm you. Bleach (calcium & sodium hypochlorite) Ammonia Do Not Mix Bleach and Ammonia Do Not Mix Bleach and Acids (vinegar, some glass cleaners, dish detergents, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners) Common Cleaning Products

38 Household Hazardous Wastes Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients…such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides that contain potentially hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them. Doesn’t Include Wastes From Businesses, Government, or Schools.

39 Hazardous Waste Management Varies Depending on Who Generates the Waste HHW exempt from RCRA regulations & RCRA liability Household Businesses that generate less than 100 kg (220 lbs) or 55 gal of hazardous wastes per month Is exempt from most of RCRA, but some regulations apply Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) Businesses whose generation is between 100 kg (220lbs) and 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) per month Must comply with RCRA, Subtitle C Small Quantity Generator (SQG)

40 Hazardous Waste Management Varies Depending on Who Generates the Waste For more information on regulation of Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste, and Household Hazardous Waste contact: Ted Jacobson, RurAL CAP 865-7363 Doug Huntman, ADEC, 269-7642 Terry Berger, Mat-Su Borough, 746-2826

41 How Are People Exposed to Contaminants? Environmental Health: The theory and practice of assessing, correcting, controlling, and preventing those factors in the environment that can potentially adversely affect the health of present and future generations. Understanding how the environment influences the development and progression of human disease. Understanding the impact of environmental contaminants on human health.

42 Exposure Pathway 1. Source 2. Way to Travel 3. Point of Exposure 4. Route of exposure 5. Receptor population, people exposed

43 Sources of Exposure Dump (what is being dumped that could be transported by water or other media to a point of exposure or immediately become the route of exposure)  Car, boat, ATV batteries  Button-cell batteries, fluorescent lights  Old drums  Transformers, light ballasts  Electronics Burning at the dump, home, or school (what is being burned that could be transported to a point of exposure or immediately become the route of exposure)  Plastics (PVC pipes, vinyl, toys, binders)  Electronics

44 Media - Transport Mechanisms Air Water Surface Water Soil Ground Water Sediment Biota - Animal and Plant Life

45 Air Transport PCBs, dioxins, and heavy metals such as mercury and lead can all travel long distances and locally.

46 Contaminated Groundwater Pollutants can seep into groundwater, making it unusable and no longer safe to drink. Ground water can be polluted by seepage through landfills, septic tanks, and leaky fuel tanks.

47 Soil to Water Transport

48 Soil-gas Vapor Intrusion Volatile chemicals in contaminated soil or ground water may allow gas to migrate through subsurface soils affecting the indoor air quality of areas buildings. Most common are fuel-related.

49 Water Transport through Wetlands Beachwood Historical Alliance

50 Sediment Transport Sediment resuspension. PCBs, dioxins, and many heavy metals do not dissolve well in water, therefore, absorb onto sediments or organic particles that are suspended in water.

51 Soil / Dust Transport

52 Biota - Animals Bioconcentrate Contaminants  Chemical is taken up directly from air, water, and soil, stored in various tissues and organs in body  Chemicals build-up over time Dioxins (TCDD), PCBs, & DDT accumulate in fatty tissue Cadmium accumulates in kidneys and livers (cigarette smoking)

53 Biomagnification From: Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami website Higher concentrations in organisms at higher levels in the food chain.

54 Different Chemicals Move Differently in the Environment Some are VOLATILE - go into air  Benzene, gasoline vapors, solvents Some DISSOLVE IN WATER, move with water  Sugar, salt Some HATE WATER, would rather stay in soil  Oil, DDT, PCBs Some break down quickly in environment; others don’t

55 Points of Exposure Places where people can come in contact with the contaminant of concern Dump  Solvents, old drums  PCB transformers, light ballasts Burning at the dump, home, or school  Plastics (PVC pipes, vinyl, toys, binders)  Electronics  Magazines, colored paper  Electronics Creek, river, well water Home, school, playground, hang-out areas Subsistence food

56 Routes of Exposure Respiratory Tract / Lungs - Breathing, Inhalation  most important route for toxic substances  most fragile  easiest and fastest means of exposure Digestive Tract - Eating, Hand/Mouth Activity  Vulnerable to compounds that can be easily absorbed and taken into the body cells.  Usually occurs accidentally or unknowingly Skin - Dermal Absorption  Most common path of toxic exposure  Organic solvents absorbed easily

57 Other Routes of Exposure Eye - The eye is a common point of contact for toxic substances. Acidic and basic compounds are the most common types of exposure that do damage. Injections  Intravenous injections (into veins, arteries - materials entering the circulatory system can be detoxified in the liver or excreted through the kidneys)  Intramuscular injections (into the muscle)  Intra peritoneal injections (into the abdominal cavity)  Intradermal injections (into the skin)  Subcutaneous injections (under the skin)

58 Example: Lead Inhalation Pathway?  YES, if trash is burned and contains lead  DECREASE exposure by removing objects that contain a lot of lead (lead- acid batteries, computer monitors)  DECREASE exposure by burning when wind is blowing away from people

59 Often stuck onto particles (dust on hands transferred to food, drink) Lead-shot becomes transport and meat becomes point of exposure (not biomagnified) Drinking water (lead pipes source, groundwater not likely) Children sucking on toys with lead in paint Lead paint (buildings from FUDS sites, old BIA schools) Fumes from melted lead (casting bullets, fishing weights) Dust from indoor shooting ranges Lead Exposure

60 Vinyl Chloride: Where is it? Vinyl Chloride is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Variety of plastic products: PVC Pipe Wire Records Shoes Clothes Packaging material Shrink Wrap #3 Plastics Cable coatings

61 Example: Dioxins How Are They Formed? Burning materials made with polyvinyl chloride:


63 Example: Dioxins How do we inhale/ingest it?  Transported by  Air  Water (bind to sediment and organic matter)  Soils  Bioaccumulate in food chains  Highly soluble in fat  Transported long distances  Not Biodegradable (persistent)

64 Match the routes of exposure with the correct way for the hazard to enter the body. A. Absorption B. Ingestion C. Inhalation ___ Skin ___ Mouth ___ Eye ___ Intestine ___ Nose

65 People/Population Exposed Small children playing in the dirt Children at school Elders Dump site workers Trash haulers Families near spill site, burn site, dump Everyone in the village

66 Exposure to Toxic Substances Depends On:  Route (the way the person was exposed: breathing, eating, or touching)  Duration (how long the exposure lasted: acute or chronic)  Frequency (how often the exposure occurred)  Concentration (the concentration level of the chemical at the point of exposure)  Population (the person or persons exposed)  Exposure to other toxic substances  Other factors to consider when determining potential exposures to toxic substances include diet, lifestyle choices, and occupation

67 ATSDR Role The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, created in 1980 to provide health-based information for use in cleanup of chemical waste disposal sites mandated by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). ATSDR examines the health effects from exposure to contaminants at NPL and non-NPL sites. Online Training @

68 EPA Role & Other Sources The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is is responsible for a number of activities, including enforcing federal laws designed to protect the human health and the environment. EPA deals with the environmental impacts of exposure to hazardous substances. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

69 Electronic Databases TOXNET - CHEMTREC - Material Safety Data Sheets - Hazardous Substances & Health Effects Database (HAZDAT) - The Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET) -

70 Other Sources of Information Solutions for Hazardous Waste in ANVs (Guide) Solid Waste Health and Environmental Considerations Alaska Contaminants Monitoring Studies Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry: Toxic Substances Portal, ToxFAQs, Profiles HAZ-ED - Activities for understanding Haz Waste

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