EPA Releases First Round of Data from its Lower Manhattan Test and Clean Program on Web

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Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the first round of sampling results from its Lower Manhattan Test and Clean program, established to identify the possible presence of contaminants associated with the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. EPA has posted this round of data on its Web site. The Agency is continuing to test residential and commercial spaces and will update the Web site regularly as more data becomes available.

Under the test and clean program, EPA is sampling for four contaminants of potential concern associated with the collapse of the buildings in 2001 -- asbestos, man-made vitreous fibers (MMVF), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and lead. To date, EPA has analyzed 5600 samples collected from 53 residential units and common areas in nine buildings. The analysis found that three samples for asbestos in dust exceeded EPA’s benchmark for asbestos, and 71 dust samples exceeded EPA’s benchmark for lead.

In each unit or common area in which results indicated a level above EPA benchmarks, surveys were conducted to evaluate the source of contamination. In instances in which samples have exceeded a lead benchmark, the surveys have found the presence of lead-based paint. Residents and building owners have been notified about their results, and the Agency is offering to clean all spaces in which levels exceeded our benchmarks.

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