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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Environmental Cleanup > Risk-based Closure > Technical Information and Announcements  > Naphthalene Addition to PAH List Naphthalene Addition to PAH List

May 20, 2004

Please add the chemical Naphthalene to the list of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contaminants to be screened for at High-End Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels and Hydrocarbon Oils petroleum sites. The list of PAHs currently screened for by IDEM can be found in Appendix 4 of the RISC Users Guide and Appendix 2 of the RISC Technical Guide.

Naphthalene is found in significant quantities in a variety of petroleum products that are commonly found at petroleum contaminated sites in Indiana. The chemical Naphthalene is much more soluble in water than all the PAHs currently screened for at Petroleum sites. As a result, Naphthalene will leach into the ground water in greater quantities than the other PAHs. Following a release into to environment, this will result in higher levels of Naphthalene in the ground water than other PAHs. The difference in solubility is significant enough that under the current system it is possible to detect levels of PAHs in groundwater below the current closure levels yet still have Naphthalene present at levels high enough to exceed closure levels. This leaves the possibility that exposure can occur under the current screening standards and pose a threat to human health and the environment.

Repeated exposure to Naphthalene may cause respiratory and hematopoetic problems.

As a result, IDEM has added Naphthalene to the list of PAHs to be screened at petroleum contaminated waste sites. Closure numbers for Naphthalene can be found in Appendix 1 of the RISC Technical Guide. Analytical methods for the detection of Naphthalene can be found in Appendix 2 of the RISC Technical Guide.

If you have questions regarding RISC, please see the Contact about RISC webpage