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PCB Sampling at Bannister Federal Complex Buildings 50 and 52 Reveals No Indoor Air Health Concerns

Release Date: 05/17/2010
Contact Information: David Bryan, 913-551-7433, bryan.david@epa.gov


Environmental News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., May 17, 2010) - The second set of results from February air monitoring at a child care center and an adjacent building at the Bannister Federal Complex in Kansas City do not reveal health concerns at the facilities regarding PCBs, EPA Region 7 officials announced today. The results include tests for 209 forms of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in indoor air and from air samples taken from beneath the concrete floor slabs of both buildings.

The first set of samples for the two buildings taken February 4-7 showed no health concerns for volatile organic compounds.

“We are pleased with these PCB results as well as the earlier results for volatile organic compounds, and we are continuing sampling at these two facilities,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “EPA is dedicated to working with other agencies at the Bannister Federal Complex to analyze environmental conditions.”

The protocol for vapor intrusion calls for taking samples over an extended period of time and in different climatic conditions. Following this approach, EPA and its contractors took samples February 4-7 at Buildings 50 and 52. Building 50 houses GSA's Kansas City South Field Office, and Building 52 houses the Bannister Complex Child Development Center, a daycare facility.

Results of sampling for volatile organic compounds were released Feb. 18, however results for PCBs took far longer because of the greater numbers of PCBs analyzed and the analytical procedures involved.

Sampling activities are continuing at the complex. EPA and its contractors did follow-up sampling April 23-25, 2010, for both volatile organic compounds and PCBs. Results of that sampling will be released after full analysis and data review is completed.

The PCB sampling results released today indicate only one sample taken from beneath the concrete floor in Building 50 showed readings slightly above two screening levels. Results of the PCB sampling do not indicate migration from beneath the building that would pose health risks.

PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were domestically manufactured from 1929 until their manufacture was banned in 1979. PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer and hydraulic equipment; as plasticizers in paints, plastics and rubber products; in pigments, dyes, and carbonless copy paper; and many other industrial applications.

A summary of the air sampling results is available at www.epa.gov/region07/cleanup/bannister.

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