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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 more than 20 fixed air monitors in and around ground zero and additional monitors in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The Agency is also using portable sampling equipment to collect data from a range of locations.
Air: Fixed Monitors in New York:
Asbestos - EPA analyzed 37 samples taken in and around ground zero from November 12 through November 13. In addition, EPA sampled for asbestos at three recently added lower Manhattan locations on November 11, for a total of 63 samples in this period. All samples showed results less than 70 structures per square millimeter, 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 2,165, with 28 samples above the standard (27 were collected prior to September 30 and one was collected on October 9).
Air: Fixed Monitors in New Jersey:
Asbestos - Five air samples were taken in New Jersey on November 12. All samples showed results less than school re-entry standard. This brings the total number of samples collected and analyzed in New Jersey to 191, with zero above the standard.
Air: Fixed Monitors outside lower Manhattan:
Asbestos - Additional asbestos monitors have been placed at Public School 154 (33 East 135th St., Bronx), Intermediate School 143 (511 W. 182nd St., Manhattan), P.S. 274 (800 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn), P.S. 44 (80 Maple Parkway, Staten Island) and P.S. 199 (3290 48th St., Queens). Asbestos samples collected on November 11 from the Manhattan and Brooklyn stations, as well as one collected on November 10 from the Staten Island station showed no exceedances of the AHERA re-entry standard.
Staten Island Landfill:
Air (Asbestos) - Fifty-seven samples were collected on November 12 and 13. Two of these samples, taken on November 13, showed results above the school re-entry standard. All other 55 samples were below the school re-entry standard.
PM 2.5 - Monitoring for fine particulate matter (particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) was conducted on November 9, 10 and 13th at Pace University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and the Coast Guard building in Battery Park. All 24-hour averages were below the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) of 65 ug/m3 for all stations. These results were also less than 40 ug/m3, a level on the EPA Air Quality Index indicating that air quality is unhealthy for sensitive populations (e.g., those with respiratory illnesses).
U.S. Government Website