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EPA Releases Final Report on Air Toxics Near East Elementary, Recommends Additional Monitoring for Manganese in East Liverpool, Ohio

Release Date: 11/09/2010
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA139

Chicago (Nov. 9, 2010) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that the report on air toxics monitoring at East Liverpool Elementary School in East Liverpool, Ohio has been posted on the Agency’s website.

EPA’s analysis of outdoor air quality monitoring conducted at the school indicated manganese levels were elevated at the school. These findings do not indicate an immediate health concern; however, exposure to high levels of manganese over a long period of time can affect the nervous system.

EPA and Ohio EPA have required S.H. Bell, a local materials handling and storage facility, to substantially reduce its emissions. These changes are expected to reduce manganese levels in the air at the school site and in the surrounding community.

In order to ensure that these actions are reducing manganese levels, EPA and Ohio EPA will conduct additional monitoring for manganese in East Liverpool. The agencies will continue working to address the elevated manganese concentrations in the community.

Also today, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released the results of a Health Consultation for the East Liverpool community. That study also examined manganese levels in the air.

EPA will join ATSDR at a public meeting to discuss the agencies’ findings. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, at the East Liverpool Motor Lodge, 2340 Dresden Avenue, East Liverpool, Ohio.

EPA and Ohio EPA monitored the air outside East Elementary from Aug. 12 through Oct. 4, 2009. During the monitoring period, EPA evaluated the concentrations to see if there was an issue with short-term exposures to manganese and other air toxics. Once the monitoring was complete, EPA analyzed the results, along with information on wind speed and direction, to see if there was a concern from long-term exposures. That analysis indicated the need for additional monitoring to further investigate manganese concentrations in the community. All other monitored pollutants were below levels of concern.

The Schools Air Toxics Monitoring Initiative, which monitored outdoor air at 63 schools in 22 states, is designed to help EPA and state environmental agencies understand whether long-term exposure to air toxics poses health concerns for children and staff at the schools.

Other schools monitored in EPA Region 5 were St. Josaphat School, Chicago, Ill.; Abraham Lincoln Elementary, East Chicago, Ind.; Lincoln Elementary School, Warsaw, Ind.; Jefferson Elementary School, Gary, Ind.; Pittsboro Elementary School, Pittsboro, Ind.; Spain Elementary, Detroit, Mich.; Lincoln Park Elementary School, Muskegon, Mich.; Minnesota International Middle Charter School, Minneapolis, Minn.; Elm Street Elementary School, Wauseon, Ohio; Life Skills of Trumbull County and the Academy of Arts and Humanities, Warren, Ohio; The Ohio Valley Educational Service Center and Warren Elementary School, Marietta, Ohio; and Whitwell Elementary School, Ironton, Ohio.

EPA’s report is posted on the School Air Toxics website at http://www.epa.gov/schoolair.

The ATSDR report is available at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/PHA/HCPHA.asp?State=OH
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