Jump to main content.


Local Navigation


Record of Decision System (RODS)

LANSDOWNE RADIATION SITE

Abstract

Site Name:  LANSDOWNE RADIATION SITE
Address:  105/107 E STRATFORD AVE 
City & State:  LANSDOWNE  PA  19050
County:  DELAWARE
 
EPA ID:  PAD980830921
EPA Region:  03
 
NPL Status:  Deleted from the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R03-86/027
ROD Date:  09/22/1986
Operable Unit(s):  02
 
Media:  AIR SOIL
 
Contaminant:  ACTINIUM, PROTACTINIUM, RADIUM, THORIUM
 
Abstract:  THE LANSDOWNE RADIATION SITE CONSISTS OF TWO ATTACHED RESIDENCES LOCATED AT 105/107 EAST STRATFORD AVENUE, LANSDOWNE, PA. THE BUILDING IS LOCATED IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA, APPROXIMATELY TWO MILES FROM PHILADELPHIA. THE DWELLINGS WERE CONTAMINATED WITH RADIUM AND OTHER RADIONUCLIDES BETWEEN 1924 AND 1944 AS A RESULT OF WORK DONE IN ONE OF THE HOUSES. IN 1924 DR. DICRAN KABAKJIAN, A PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PA, OPENED UP WHAT WAS ESSENTIALLY A FAMILY-RUN BUSINESS TO REFINE RADIUM AND PRODUCE MEDICAL DEVICES IN HIS HOME AT 105 E. STRATFORD AVENUE. AFTER DR. KABAKJIAN'S DEATH IN 1945, FROM CONDITIONS NOT LINKED DIRECTLY TO RADIUM EXPOSURE, THE HOUSE TWICE CHANGED OWNERSHIP; FIRST TO THE TALLANT FAMILY, THEN TO THE KIZIRIAN FAMILY. IN 1963, BASED ON INFORMATION GATHERED FROM PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH INSPECTED THE HOUSE AND FOUND EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS OF RADIATION. A DECONTAMINATION EFFORT IN 1964 CONSISTED OF REMOVING AS MUCH RADIUM AS PRACTICAL BY SANDING, SCRAPING, VACUUMING, AND WASHING THE HOUSE WALLS, FLOORS AND CEILINGS. SOME CONCRETE FLOOR AND WOODEN FLOOR BOARDS WERE ALSO REMOVED. IT IS POSTULATED THAT THE ACID FUMES FROM THE RADIUM PURIFICATION PROCEDURE USED, AS WELL AS SPILLS, CARRIED THE RADIUM CONTAMINATION DEEP INTO THE WOOD AND PLASTER OF THE HOME. AFTER CLEANUP, THE HOUSE RECEIVED EPOXY-BASED PAINT COATINGS TO LIMIT THE OUTWARD MIGRATION OF THE RADIUM THAT REMAINED DEEPLY EMBEDDED IN THE ACTUAL STRUCTURE. IN DECEMBER 1964, FOUR MONTHS AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THE DECONTAMINATION, THE U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE (USPHS), BASING ITS REPORT ON A 16 HOUR-PER-DAY-EXPOSURE, CONCLUDED THE RADIATION DOSE RATE RECEIVED BY THE OCCUPANTS, THE KIZIRIAN FAMILY, WAS JUST ABOVE THE THEN EXISTING GUIDELINES OF 0.5 REM/YR, AND THAT FURTHER DECONTAMINATION OF THE HOUSE WOULD BE IMPRACTICAL. CONTAMINATION AT THE BASHORE FAMILY HOME AT 107 E. STRATFORD AVENUE WAS NOT ADDRESSED. THE FIRST REMEDIAL ACTION AT THIS SITE, INITIATED IN AUGUST 1985, PROVIDED TEMPORARY HOUSING FOR ONE OF THE RESIDENTS. NO FURTHER DECONTAMINATION CAN CURRENTLY BE PERFORMED WITHOUT REMOVING THE STRUCTURAL MEMBERS, WALLS, AND FLOORS. FURNITURE AND APPLIANCES THAT CAN NOT BE DECONTAMINATED ARE PENDING REMEDIAL ACTIONS. THE PRIMARY CONTAMINANT OF CONCERN IS RADIUM WITH ACTINIUM, THORIUM, AND PROTACTINIUM AS SECONDARY CONTAMINANTS.


THE SELECTED REMEDIAL ACTION FOR THIS SECOND OPERABLE UNIT INCLUDES; DISMANTLING OF THE TWIN HOUSE. ALL RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS ABOVE ESTABLISHED PERMISSIBLE LEVELS WILL BE PACKED AND SEALED IN APPROVED CONTAINERS, AND DISPOSED OF AT AN APPROVED OFFSITE DISPOSAL FACILITY; CONTAMINATED SOIL LOCATED IN AND AROUND THE HOUSE WILL BE EXCAVATED AND REMOVED TO ESTABLISHED PERMISSIBLE LEVELS. SOME SOIL IN SURROUNDING LOTS ALONG THE PROPERTY LINES MAY BE REMOVED IF SAMPLING OR MONITORING DURING EXCAVATION SHOWS MIGRATION OF THE RADIUM BEYOND THE ORIGINAL PROPERTY; THE SEWER LATERAL LEADING FROM THE CONTAMINATED HOUSE TO STRATFORD AVENUE WILL BE REMOVED; APPROXIMATELY TWO HUNDRED FEET OF SEWER LINE FROM IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE TO UNION AVENUE WILL BE REPLACED; OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ACTION WILL INCLUDE MAINTENANCE OF THE VACANT PROPERTY LOT. THE CAPITAL COST HAS BEEN ESTIMATED AT $4,000,000-$4,500,000 WITH O&M COSTS REPORTED TO BE "MINIMAL".
 
Remedy:  - THE TWIN HOUSE WILL BE DISMANTLED. ALL RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS ABOVE ESTABLISHED PERMISSIBLE LEVELS WILL BE PACKED AND SEALED IN APPROVED CONTAINERS, AND DISPOSED OF AT AN APPROVED OFFSITE DISPOSAL FACILITY.
- CONTAMINATED SOIL LOCATED IN AND AROUND THE HOUSE WILL BE EXCAVATED AND REMOVED TO ESTABLISHED PERMISSIBLE LEVELS. SOME SOIL IN SURROUNDING LOTS ALONG THE PROPERTY LINES MAY BE REMOVED IF SAMPLING OR MONITORING DURING EXCAVATION SHOWS MIGRATION OF THE RADIUM BEYOND THE ORIGINAL PROPERTY.
- THE SEWER LATERAL LEADING FROM THE CONTAMINATED HOUSE TO STRATFORD AVENUE WILL BE REMOVED.
- APPROXIMATELY TWO HUNDRED FEET OF SEWER LINE FROM IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE TO UNION AVENUE WILL BE REPLACED.
- OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ACTION WILL INCLUDE MAINTENANCE OF THE VACANT PROPERTY LOT.
 
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 26K ]
To download a full-text ROD, right click on the above link and select Save Link As. A full-text ROD is in PDF format. Please note that download time may be extended given the size of the full-text document. File size is noted in kilobytes (K) or megabytes (M) next to the download link.
About Adobe Portable Document Format
 
Return to Search Results    Return to RODS List

OSWER Home | Superfund Home


Jump to main content.