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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Health Note

Air Date: Week of

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Living on Earth's Diane Toomey reports on the latest EPA testing at the site of the World Trade Center disaster.


CURWOOD: Coming up, how America's thirst for oil influenced U.S. relations with the Taliban. First, this Environmental Health Note with Diane Toomey.

TOOMEY: The Federal Environmental Protection Agency continues to test air and dust samples at 16 locations throughout lower Manhattan. The agency says it found high asbestos readings in dust samples in the first few days after the attack but says they've since subsided. On a recent day, three of fifteen samples showed asbestos levels the EPA called marginally above what is considered a concern for long-term exposure. In areas with these elevated readings, the agency has sent in industrial strength vacuum cleaners equipped with special filters to help in the cleanup. But some area residents and businesses are not reassured. They've hired private firms to do their own testing. One of those companies found high asbestos levels in dust samples taken a few blocks from Ground Zero, but the EPA says this doesn't contradict its data.

The EPA, at the request of a community board, will be testing about a dozen apartments and schools in lower Manhattan for asbestos, as well as dioxin, mercury, lead, and PCB’s. That's this week's Health Update. I'm Diane Toomey.

CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.



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