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Air Screening Data for New Orleans Posted

Release Date: 01/20/2006
Contact Information: Eryn Witcher, (202) 564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov

(1/20/06) On Jan. 20, 2006, EPA posted air screening data collected by EPA's Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) airplane in relation to a fire at the Southern Scrap recycling facility near New Orleans, La. The purpose of the flights, conducted on Jan. 13, 2006, was to collect airborne chemical data for subsequent data analysis. This assessment was conducted to generate a broad view of the situation and to provide further input into the overall response action plan.

Chemicals detected during these flights include 1,3-butadiene, and trichlorofluoromethane (Freon 11). The levels of 1,3-butadiene detected were below EPA's Acute Exposure Guidance Levels (AEGLs), and the levels of trichlorofluoromethane detected were below the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) health guidance value for short-term (< 24 hour) exposures.

Since this is a dynamic situation, and this is non-validated data used only for screening purposes, general conclusions about the quality of the air should not be drawn.

More information on ASPECT results: epa.gov/katrina/testresults/air/aspect.html