News Releases from Region 9
EPA Releases Final Results from Cupertino School Air Monitoring Initiative/ No Unsafe Levels of Hexavalent Chromium Detected
Release Date: 09/01/2010
Contact Information: U.S. EPA Mary Simms, (415) 947-4270
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced final findings from school air monitoring tests conducted at Stevens Creek Elementary School in Cupertino, California. The Agency has found no risk for children or staff at the school from hexavalent chromium, the pollutant monitored at Stevens Creek Elementary School.
Stevens Creek Elementary School was selected for monitoring under the EPA’s School Monitoring Initiative to see if hexavalent chromium (also called chromium VI) is present in elevated levels in the air. The Agency identified hexavalent chromium as a pollutant of potential concern in the area, because recent studies have raised concerns about the potential for elevated levels of hexavalent chromium near some cement plants. Stevens Creek Elementary School is located a little over a mile away from a cement plant.
From June 30 through September 10, 2009, a monitor collected air samples at Stevens Creek Elementary School. Throughout this time, EPA evaluated each sample individually to see if any of them had concentrations of hexavalent chromium that would be a health concern. Results were added to the website as they became available to keep the school and community informed. Once the monitoring was complete, EPA analyzed all the results together to see if there was any reason to be concerned about long-term exposures to hexavalent chromium for children and staff at the school.
The results of the monitoring are far below levels of concern for both short-term and long-term continuous exposures. EPA does not plan to conduct additional air toxics monitoring at this school. The final technical report has been posted on the Agency's website, along with a plain-language summary, at http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/
Because the community remains concerned about emissions from the cement plant, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has agreed to continue studying air pollution levels in Cupertino. At the school, the BAAQMD will continue monitoring for hexavalent chromium for a full year. Their data will be posted on the EPA school monitoring website. The district will also be initiating further studies of air pollution in Cupertino, closer to the cement plant. The district’s study will analyze several pollutants, including mercury. Results from these additional studies will be available at the Air District website (http://www.baaqmd.gov/)
EPA is currently reviewing the air toxics data for three other schools that were monitored for air toxics in Southern California.
For more information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/StevensCre.html