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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 41 samples taken in and around ground zero on November 19 and 20. In addition, EPA sampled for asbestos at three additional lower Manhattan locations on November 16 and 17, for a total of 47 samples. 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 2,455, with 28 samples above the standard (27 were collected prior to September 30 and one was collected on October 9).
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 16 and 17 from these locations showed no exceedances of the AHERA re-entry standard.
Staten Island Landfill:
Air (Asbestos) - Twenty-four samples were collected on November 19. All of these samples were below the school re-entry standard.
Air (Particulates) - EPA used portable monitors to collect samples of particulates on November 20 at the Staten Island Landfill. There were significant decreases in the readings.
Dioxin - Ten samples were collected on October 26 and analyzed for dioxin/furans. Two of the samples (Location B - Church & Dey and Location 3A - between World Trade Center buildings 4 & 5) showed results above the level at which EPA would take some type of action to reduce people's exposure. This action guideline is based on a 30-year exposure. However, none of the samples were above the EPA action guideline adjusted to a one-year exposure. These levels do not pose a short-term health affect but should be monitored if they persist for a long period of time.
PCBs - Ten samples were collected on November 6 and analyzed for PCBs. PCBs were not detected in any of the samples.
Silicates - Nine samples were collected on November 12 and analyzed for silicates. Silicates were not detected in any of the samples.
Metals - Nine samples were collected on November 8. Analysis for all metals were either non-detect or below applicable standards, guidelines and permissible levels established by EPA and OSHA. Final analysis of these samples for chromium showed that chromium is not present.
U.S. Government Website