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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal, state and local agencies have collected extensive environmental monitoring data from the World Trade Center site and nearby areas in Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. Since September 11, EPA has taken samples of the air, dust, water, river sediments and drinking water and analyzed them for the presence of pollutants that might pose a health risk to response workers at the World Trade Center site and the public. The samples are evaluated against a variety of benchmarks, standards and guidelines established to protect public health under various conditions. EPA is collecting data from 19 fixed air monitors in and around ground zero and is using portable sampling equipment to collect data from a range of locations.
Air: Fixed Monitors in New York and New Jersey:
Asbestos - EPA analyzed 55 samples taken in and around ground zero from October 17 through October 18. An additional sample collected on October 16, previously not reported, was also analyzed. All samples showed results less than 70 structures per millimeter squared, which is the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) standard for allowing children to re-enter school buildings after asbestos removal activities. This brings the total number of air samples collected and analyzed for lower Manhattan to 1008, with 27 samples above the standard.
Eight air samples taken in New Jersey from October 16 through October 18 showed results less than the school re-entry standard. This brings the total number of samples collected and analyzed in New Jersey to 126, with zero above the standard.
Staten Island Landfill:
Air (Asbestos) - Fifty-seven samples were collected from October 16 through October 18. Five exceedances of the AHERA standard were observed. These include map locations 9B (sift area), 9C (sift area), 14 (barge area), 11 (indoor wash station) and 12 (indoor wash station). They occurrences are being investigated further. The remaining samples showed results less than the AHERA standard.
Ambient Air Sampling:
Metals - The results of 10 samples collected on October 15 showed either no detectable levels of metals, or were below applicable EPA action guidelines, OSHA permissible exposure levels and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead.
PM 2.5 - Monitoring for fine particulate matter (particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) was conducted on October 18 at Pace University, the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and the U.S. Coast Guard building located in Battery Park. All 24-hour averages were below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (65 ug/m3) for all stations.
PM 10 - Monitoring for PM 10 was conducted from October 9 to October 14 at Pace University, the Borough of Manhattan Community College, the U.S. Coast Guard building, P.S. 274 in Brooklyn and the Canal Street Post Office. All 24-hour averages were below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (150 ug/m3) for all stations.
PM 10 monitoring was also conducted on October 15 at Pace University, the Borough of Manhattan Community College, the U.S. Coast Guard building and P.S. 274. These 24-hour averages were all below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
U.S. Government Website