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 Riverside Agricultural Park

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Final Release of Health Consultation Report 

On October 10, 2016, the Federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) accepted a petition from the city of Riverside, CA, to investigate residents' health concerns regarding potential exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from Riverside Agricultural Park (Ag Park). The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) conducted this investigation under a cooperative agreement with ATSDR. 

The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether PCB chemicals from Ag Park in the neighborhood soil could increase health risks among residents. To carry out this investigation, CDPH worked with the City of Riverside, ATSDR, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Riverside Ag Park Off-Site Community Work Group, the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, the Ag Park Family, and individual community members.

CDPH completed the investigation and finalized the health consultation report. The final report was released by ATSDR on September 28, 2020. The report describes CDPH's public health assessment activities, conclusions, and recommendations to protect public health. The report is available in English and Spanish:

  • English
  • Spanish: A copy of the report is available in Spanish. Please contact Beth Saiki to receive a copy of the report by mail or email: or 510-620-5764.

If you have any questions, please contact Beth Saiki, our Health Educator, at or 510-620-5764. 

Conclusions of Health Consultation

The final Health Consultation report for the Riverside Agricultural Park (Ag Park) was released on September 28. 2020. The report describes CDPH's public health assessment activities, conclusions, and recommendations to protect public health. This report contains all the comments received during the public comment period.

CDPH reached two conclusions about the potential health impact of PCB chemicals found in neighborhood surface soil:

Conclusion 1:  Exposures to PCB chemicals in neighborhood surface soil (24 out of 25 residential parcels, Rutland Park, and the right-of-way west of Ag Park) are not expected to harm people's health. 

  • Basis for Conclusion:  PCB levels found in the surface soil are below levels expected to cause cancer or other harmful health effects.

Conclusion 2:  PCB chemicals in surface soil in one residential parcel could have harmed people's health if past exposures lasted for 20 years or more. No current or future exposures to PCBs are expected.

  • Basis for Conclusion: Exposure to the highest level of PCBs found in surface soil at this one residential parcel could increase the cancer risk in children (1 additional cancer in 100,000 people). This level of exposure to PCBs would not result in an increased cancer risk in adults. The estimated increased cancer risks are based on health conservative assumptions (worst case scenario) and the actual risk is likely to be much lower, possibly even zero. The contaminated soil was removed from this residential parcel and the home's interior was professionally cleaned. No current or future exposures to PCBs from Ag Park at this residential parcel are expected.

Recommendations:  Community members who are interested in learning more about PCBs can view a fact sheet in English here and Spanish here. You can find additional information in our Patient Information Packet (see the Resources section below). 

Community Outreach & Education

An important part of CDPH's work at the Riverside Agricultural Park (Ag Park) has been to listen to the community, provide resources, and collect, document, and respond to community health and exposure concerns in relation to our health assessment work.

CDPH visited Ag Park and the surrounding neighborhood on several occasions and met with the City of Riverside, Riverside Ag Park Off-Site Community Work Group, the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, the Ag Park Family, and community members. We also responded to many phone calls and emails from community members with questions regarding health and exposure concerns related to the site.

Below is a list of community outreach and education events that we conducted. For each event, we mailed a letter to 3,000 community members and emailed City Officials to inform them about the event, encourage their participation, and provide an update on our work at Ag Park. We also emailed government stakeholders and community organizations.

1st Community Meeting

On May 9, 2017, CDPH held a community meeting at the Terrace Elementary School. At this meeting, we explained CDPH's role and activities at Riverside Ag Park. Our presentation included:

    • an overview of our investigation
    • the limitations of our work an overview of PCBs, how they can enter the body, and their health effects
    • the difficulty of linking exposures to specific health effects
    • how to reduce overall exposures to PCBs
    • next steps in the investigation process

We encouraged community members to ask questions and share their health and exposure concerns. In addition, we provided educational and resource materials and asked for feedback on outreach and education strategies for the community.

Public Comment on Draft Health Consultation Report

CDPH and ATSDR released a draft of its Health Consultation report on July 25, 2019 and invited the public to comment on the report within a 60-day period.

2nd Community Meeting

On August 15, 2019, CDPH held a community meeting at the Arlanza Community Center to discuss the draft of the Health Consultation report. At this meeting, CDPH explained the conclusions and recommendations of its investigation and invited the public to provide comments during the public comment period.

Community Workshops

In response to requests from the community, CDPH offered two community workshops on how to reduce exposures to toxic substances on October 4, 2017, in English and Spanish, at Terrace Elementary School. These workshops focused on practical ways for families to reduce exposures to harmful chemicals at home, at work, and while pursuing hobbies.

Outreach to Health Care Providers

CDPH conducted outreach to health care providers on the health effects of harmful chemicals. On April 20, 2017, CDPH emailed a letter to 15 clinics and hospitals near Riverside Ag Park. In the letter, we explained our investigation of PCB exposures at Ag Park and community concerns associated with the site. We also provided educational resources such as online training courses on environmental health topics, a patient environmental exposure history form, and a fact sheet on PCBs.


If a community member has health concerns they think may be caused by exposures to PCBs from Ag Park or any harmful chemicals, they should contact their health care provider. To assist with this process, CDPH created a Patient Information Packet for community members to take with them to their health care provider.  To receive this packet by email or mail, please contact Beth Saiki, our health educator, at (510) 620-5764 or

To inform community members about the availability of this packet, we have prepared a letter which can be viewed in English and Spanish.

Site Cleanup 

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has been responsible for the cleanup work at Riverside Ag Park. For more information on DTSC's cleanup work at the site, go to DTSC's Riverside Agricultural Park webpage.

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