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Title: Reevaluation of 1999 Health-Based Environmental Screening Levels (HBESLs) for Chemical Warfare Agents

Abstract

This report evaluates whether new information and updated scientific models require that changes be made to previously published health-based environmental soil screening levels (HBESLs) and associated environmental fate/breakdown information for chemical warfare agents (USACHPPM 1999). Specifically, the present evaluation describes and compares changes that have been made since 1999 to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) risk assessment models, EPA exposure assumptions, as well as to specific chemical warfare agent parameters (e.g., toxicity values). Comparison was made between screening value estimates recalculated with current assumptions and earlier health-based environmental screening levels presented in 1999. The chemical warfare agents evaluated include the G-series and VX nerve agents and the vesicants sulfur mustard (agent HD) and Lewisite (agent L). In addition, key degradation products of these agents were also evaluated. Study findings indicate that the combined effect of updates and/or changes to EPA risk models, EPA default exposure parameters, and certain chemical warfare agent toxicity criteria does not result in significant alteration to the USACHPPM (1999) health-based environmental screening level estimates for the G-series and VX nerve agents or the vesicant agents HD and L. Given that EPA's final position on separate Tier 1 screening levels for indoor and outdoor worker screening assessmentsmore » has not yet been released as of May 2007, the study authors find that the 1999 screening level estimates (see Table ES.1) are still appropriate and protective for screening residential as well as nonresidential sites. As such, risk management decisions made on the basis of USACHPPM (1999) recommendations do not require reconsideration. While the 1999 HBESL values are appropriate for continued use as general screening criteria, the updated '2007' estimates (presented below) that follow the new EPA protocols currently under development are also protective. When EPA finalizes and documents a position on the matter of indoor and outdoor worker screening assessments, site-specific risk assessments should make use of modified models and criteria. Screening values such as those presented in this report may be used to assess soil or other porous media to determine whether chemical warfare agent contamination is present as part of initial site investigations (whether due to intentional or accidental releases) and to determine whether weather/decontamination has adequately mitigated the presence of agent residual to below levels of concern. However, despite the availability of scientifically supported health-based criteria, there are significant resources needs that should be considered during sample planning. In particular, few analytical laboratories are likely to be able to meet these screening levels. Analyses will take time and usually have limited confidence at these concentrations. Therefore, and particularly for the more volatile agents, soil/destructive samples of porous media should be limited and instead enhanced with headspace monitoring and presence-absence wipe sampling.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Work for Others (WFO)
OSTI Identifier:
943531
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2007/080
400403209; TRN: US200902%%554
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; AVAILABILITY; BRASSICA; CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS; CONTAMINATION; EVALUATION; INDOORS; MANAGEMENT; MONITORING; NERVES; OUTDOORS; PLANNING; RECOMMENDATIONS; RISK ASSESSMENT; SAMPLING; SOILS; SULFUR; TOXICITY; US EPA; Chemical Warfare Agents

Citation Formats

Watson, Annetta Paule, and Dolislager, Fredrick G. Reevaluation of 1999 Health-Based Environmental Screening Levels (HBESLs) for Chemical Warfare Agents. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/943531.
Watson, Annetta Paule, & Dolislager, Fredrick G. Reevaluation of 1999 Health-Based Environmental Screening Levels (HBESLs) for Chemical Warfare Agents. United States. doi:10.2172/943531.
Watson, Annetta Paule, and Dolislager, Fredrick G. Tue . "Reevaluation of 1999 Health-Based Environmental Screening Levels (HBESLs) for Chemical Warfare Agents". United States. doi:10.2172/943531. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/943531.
@article{osti_943531,
title = {Reevaluation of 1999 Health-Based Environmental Screening Levels (HBESLs) for Chemical Warfare Agents},
author = {Watson, Annetta Paule and Dolislager, Fredrick G},
abstractNote = {This report evaluates whether new information and updated scientific models require that changes be made to previously published health-based environmental soil screening levels (HBESLs) and associated environmental fate/breakdown information for chemical warfare agents (USACHPPM 1999). Specifically, the present evaluation describes and compares changes that have been made since 1999 to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) risk assessment models, EPA exposure assumptions, as well as to specific chemical warfare agent parameters (e.g., toxicity values). Comparison was made between screening value estimates recalculated with current assumptions and earlier health-based environmental screening levels presented in 1999. The chemical warfare agents evaluated include the G-series and VX nerve agents and the vesicants sulfur mustard (agent HD) and Lewisite (agent L). In addition, key degradation products of these agents were also evaluated. Study findings indicate that the combined effect of updates and/or changes to EPA risk models, EPA default exposure parameters, and certain chemical warfare agent toxicity criteria does not result in significant alteration to the USACHPPM (1999) health-based environmental screening level estimates for the G-series and VX nerve agents or the vesicant agents HD and L. Given that EPA's final position on separate Tier 1 screening levels for indoor and outdoor worker screening assessments has not yet been released as of May 2007, the study authors find that the 1999 screening level estimates (see Table ES.1) are still appropriate and protective for screening residential as well as nonresidential sites. As such, risk management decisions made on the basis of USACHPPM (1999) recommendations do not require reconsideration. While the 1999 HBESL values are appropriate for continued use as general screening criteria, the updated '2007' estimates (presented below) that follow the new EPA protocols currently under development are also protective. When EPA finalizes and documents a position on the matter of indoor and outdoor worker screening assessments, site-specific risk assessments should make use of modified models and criteria. Screening values such as those presented in this report may be used to assess soil or other porous media to determine whether chemical warfare agent contamination is present as part of initial site investigations (whether due to intentional or accidental releases) and to determine whether weather/decontamination has adequately mitigated the presence of agent residual to below levels of concern. However, despite the availability of scientifically supported health-based criteria, there are significant resources needs that should be considered during sample planning. In particular, few analytical laboratories are likely to be able to meet these screening levels. Analyses will take time and usually have limited confidence at these concentrations. Therefore, and particularly for the more volatile agents, soil/destructive samples of porous media should be limited and instead enhanced with headspace monitoring and presence-absence wipe sampling.},
doi = {10.2172/943531},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The purpose of this contract was to explore and demonstrate the application of technology based on the Light Addressable Potentiometric Sensor (LAPS) to detection and verification problems for bio-chemical warfare agents. The principal analytical method employed was microphysiometry, by which perturbations of cell physiology are detected using the LAPS. The work was done in three principal segments. First, silicon microtechnology was used to design and fabricate sensor chips and microfluidic components suitable for the project. Second, a systems-engineering effort designed and assembled a prototype high-performance microphysiometer. Third, a biological effort employed a wide variety of cellular and ligand-receptor model systemsmore » to validate the generality of the method and the performance of the prototype instrument.« less
  • The purpose of this contract was to explore and demonstrate the application of technology based on the Light Addressable Potentiometric Sensor (LAPS) to detection and verification problems for bio-chemical warfare agents. The principal analytical method employed was microphysiometry, by which perturbations of cell physiology are detected using the LAPS. The work was done in three principal segments. First, silicon microtechnology was used to design and fabricate sensor chips and microfluidic components suitable for the project. Second, a systems-engineering effort designed and assembled a prototype high-performance microphysiometer. Third, a biological effort employed a wide variety of cellular and ligand-receptor model systemsmore » to validate the generality of the method and the performance of the prototype instrument.« less
  • The U.S. Army Edgewood Research, Development and Engineering Center, the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground Support Activity, Directorate of Safety, Health and the Environment and SciTech Services Inc., an independent contractor, have developed an approach for screening environmental samples for the presence of chemical warfare agents. Since 1918, the Edgewood area of Aberdeen Proving Ground has been a research and testing ground for toxic agent compounds. Since these materials are considered highly toxic, screening for their presence in environmental samples is necessary for safe shipment to contract laboratories for testing by EPA guidelines. The screening ensures worker safety and maintainsmore » U.S. Army standards for transportation of materials potentially contaminated with chemical warfare agents. This paper describes the screening methodology.« less
  • A procedure was developed and tested for recharging Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) cylinders in an atmosphere contaminated with chemical agent simulant at concentrations which would produce casualties if actual agent were used. With the exception of a rack for storing the cylinders before and after recharging, all items used are currently available commercially or through off-the-shelf DOD supply sources. Cylinders were successfully recharged without contamination in the presence of chemical agent simulant in the compressor area as well as in the cylinder filling area. Inexperienced personnel easily learned and successfully followed the recharging procedures even though they were burdened bymore » protective clothing and equipment. Chemical agents, SCBA, Firefighting, Self-contained breathing apparatus.« less