September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Daily Environmental Monitoring Summary; December 15, 2001

Daily Environmental Monitoring Summary

Saturday, December 15, 2001

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.

Results as of 5:00 p.m. on 12/15

Air: Fixed Monitors in New York:

Asbestos - EPA sampled for asbestos at three lower Manhattan locations on December 10. 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 3,380, with 29 samples above the standard (27 of these were collected prior to September 30, one was collected on October 9 and the other on November 27).

Air: Fixed Monitors outside lower Manhattan:

Asbestos - Samples were collected from additional asbestos monitors 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) on December 10. None showed exceedances of the AHERA re-entry standard.

Air: Fixed Monitors in New Jersey:

Asbestos - Four air samples were taken in New Jersey on December 10. All samples showed results less than school re-entry standard. This brings the total number of samples collected and analyzed in New Jersey to 219, with zero above the standard.

Staten Island Landfill:

Air (Asbestos) - Nineteen air samples collected on December 12 were analyzed for asbestos. All were below the school re-entry standard.

Ambient Air Samples:

Dioxin - Twenty-nine samples were collected at various lower Manhattan locations on November 6, 8th and 12th and analyzed for dioxin/furans. Three samples showed results above the level at which EPA would take some type of action to reduce people's exposure based on a 30-year exposure. 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.

Silicates - Thirty-five air samples were collected in lower Manhattan on November 19, 21st, 27th and December 4 and analyzed for silicates. None of the samples detected the presence of silicates.

Metals - A total of nineteen air samples were collected in lower Manhattan on November 27 and December 4. Analysis found all metals at either non-detectable levels or below applicable standards, guidelines or permissible limits established by EPA and OSHA. Final analysis of these samples showed that chromium was not present.

PCBs - Nine air samples were collected in lower Manhattan on November 12 and analyzed for PCBs. PCBs were not detected in any of the samples.

PAHs - A total of 40 samples were collected on November 2, 6th, 19th and 21st and analyzed for PAHs. PAHs were not detected in any of these samples.

Dioxin - EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) has been conducting some specialized monitoring at and around the World Trade Center site since late September. Some of the results of the monitoring, which have been subjected to an extensive quality assurance/quality control process, have been finalized and are now available. Seven air samples were collected over 72-hour periods between November 19 and December 3 and analyzed for dioxin. None of the samples, which were taken on rooftop locations on Park Row and the Borough of Manhattan Community College, had results above EPA's action level based on a 30-year exposure.

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