MDCH Finalizes Exposure Investigation Report For Continental Aluminum

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

May 18, 2006

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has finalized an Exposure Investigation Report for an Oakland County aluminum smelter and has found that the site poses no apparent public health hazard.

The report – conducted on Continental Aluminum in New Hudson – discusses analytical results of air sampling conducted in the township in the spring of 2004, the public health implications of those results, and responds to public comments received on the draft report.

Continental Aluminum – a secondary aluminum smelter that has operated in New Hudson for the past eight years – had a public health assessment conducted by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) after odor and health complaints from area residents led to a request from Lyon Township officials. ATSDR decided the most appropriate action was to conduct an Exposure Investigation. MDCH investigates sites of environmental concern for ATSDR under a cooperative agreement.

MDCH conducted the Exposure Investigation from March 1 to May 31, 2004. The Department tested the air for the presence of compounds that can be emitted by secondary aluminum smelters and collected local meteorological data as well. Analytical results showed these compounds to exist in the air but at concentrations well below health-based comparison values. MDCH released the findings for public review and comment on February 25, 2005, and conducted several community meetings to discuss the report. Following a 60-day comment period, MDCH compiled and responded to the comments received.

Digital copies (CDs) of the report and an executive summary are available for reading or printing at the Salem-South Lyon District Library, 9800 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon; the Lyon Township Public Library, 27025 Milford Road, New Hudson; and the Lyon Township offices, 58000 Grand River Avenue, New Hudson. The report and executive summary also are available on the Department website at http://www.michigan.gov/mdch-toxics under the Health Assessments and Related Documents link.

The MDCH Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology conducted the Exposure Investigation for Continental Aluminum under a cooperative agreement with ATSDR. Information concerning the human health effects of exposure to environmental contaminants can be found on the ATSDR web page at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html.