April 6, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOTE: documentation for article quotes
available upon request
PRECAUTIONS ADVISED FOR
released Health Consultation from the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services'
Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) advises that
precautions be taken at Goodyear Elementary School in Glynn County "until
the results from additional soil analyses have been evaluated."
Although the report,
prepared by the Glynn County Board of Health (GCHD) and the Georgia Dept. of
Human Resources Division of Public Health (GDPH) under a cooperative
agreement with ATSDR, states that "The limited data available do not
indicate that humans are being or have been exposed to levels of
contamination that would be expected to cause adverse health effects,"
Goodyear Elementary School is nevertheless categorized as "an Indeterminate
Public Health Hazard because there are insufficient data to determine
whether the site has had an adverse impact on human health." Three other
sites tested, Burroughs-Mollette Elementary School, Risley Middle School,
and Edo-Miller Park, were all found to present no apparent public health
In addressing Goodyear
Elementary, the report states that "GDPH and GCHD recommend that:
1. Additional limited
evaluation of surface and subsurface soil ... be conducted to determine the
vertical and horizontal extent of contamination.
2. ... the new soil
cap's placement and design should be evaluated by a Professional Engineer.
3. Until the results
from additional soil analyses have been evaluated, the following
precautionary measures should be put into place ....: (1) maintain
substantial ground cover to minimize exposures to children and workers, and
(2) implement a Health and Safety Plan to protect on-site workers performing
activities related to excavation, lawn maintenance, and utility repairs."
The health consultation is
based on soil sampling done in October of 2002 by the Skidaway Institute of
Oceanography, funded by the Glynn County School Board and the Glynn
Environmental Coalition (GEC). Daniel Parshley, GEC Project Manager, said
of the consultation, “Community partnerships can and do work when everyone
works towards a common goal of clean schools. Previous testing found that
soil on the Goodyear Elementary school was acutely toxic, but did not
identify where or what chemicals were the problem. A partnership was formed
with the Glynn County Health Department, Board of Education, and the GEC to
identify the problem areas and the chemicals causing the toxicity. Once we
found the problem areas, the Board of Education took quick action to cover
the area with soil. We are looking forward to implementing a permanent
solution for the Goodyear Elementary School. We are proud that our
organization and County, State, and Federal Agencies were able to form a
partnership to investigate and resolve our toxic schoolyard problem.”
Mr. Parshley added that
anyone wanting to see the full 49-page consultation report could do so at
the Coalition's offices at 4472-C New Jesup Hwy (Hwy 341) in Brunswick. "We
maintain an extensive library of government reports and other materials
available to the public," stated Parshley. "One of our purposes is to make
this information accessible to our local community. I'd only ask that
people call ahead, if they can, to 466-0934, to be sure that someone is in
the office to help them when they stop by."