2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 17 Mar 2005 19:12:18 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] PCB Contamination at Badger AAP (WI)
Submitted by Laura Olah <info@cswab.org>


Thermal Treatment of Painted Metal Objects Causes PCB Contamination at
Badger AAP

Thermal treatment of painted metal objects is the suspected source of
unsafe levels of PCBs in soils at Badger Army Ammunition Plant.  
Following the detection of high levels of PCBs in paint on pipes,
flanges, and other metal objects, CSWAB asked state regulators to
require environmental testing for PCBs at the site of a former
Decontamination Oven ? a facility used to thermally treat metal objects
for explosive contamination.   Resultant particulates and fumes from the
oven were released directly to the open air with no treatment or
emissions controls.  

Recent testing by the Army has detected Aroclor 1254 (a commercial PCB
mixture) in soils at levels as high as 740 ug/kg, exceeding the EPA
Region 9 Residential Preliminary Remedial Goal (PRG) of 220 ug/kg and
"right at" the EPA Region 9 Industrial PRG of 740 ug/kg.  

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) confirmed that
temperatures in the decontamination oven were sufficient to volatize
PCBs and other contaminants.  In a reply to CSWAB, the WDNR wrote: "The
primary PCB Aroclor used in paint was 1254 ? under heating at 450
degrees Fahrenheit it is likely that the Aroclor 1254 did volatize out
of the paint".  

Human exposure to PCBs is a concern because of the wide range of adverse
health effects including skin irritation, reproductive and developmental
effects, immunologic effects, liver damage, and cancer.  The developing
fetus, infants, and children are the population groups most vulnerable
to exposure.  Exposure may impede the development of their brains,
reproductive, immune, and endocrine systems.    In the past, paint
manufacturers used from 5 to 12 percent PCBs in paints as a plasticizer.
 According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, lead, mercury,
cadmium, and chromium were commonly used in paint as pigments and
preservatives and are found in paint on older buildings.  Arsenic was
used as a pigment, a wood preservative, and as an anti-fouling
ingredient.  Barium was used as a pigment and a corrosion inhibitor. 
Old latex paint produced before 1992 may also contain mercury which was
added as a fungicide.

The Army is anxious to start up a new facility but first needs approvals
from the EPA and WDNR.  The new decontamination oven, which is somewhat
smaller than the original, operates on the same principal as the old
facility and has no air emissions controls.  In the meantime, the WDNR
has asked the Army to "set aside" any waste that may be contaminated
with PCBs.  


Laura Olah, Executive Director  
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger  
E12629 Weigands Bay S  
Merrimac, WI 53561  
hone: (608)643-3124  
fax: (608)643-0005  
email: info@cswab.org  
website: www.cswab.org


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
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