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Air Toxics Near Young Scholars Academy Below Levels of Concern

Release Date: 04/27/2011
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS –April 27, 2011) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the results of air monitoring data at the Young Scholars Academy found exposures to benzene or other air toxics were below levels of concern.

The final report is being placed on the agency’s website. Because no concentrations of concern were found, monitoring was discontinued at the school. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will continue to oversee industrial facilities and reduce mobile source emissions in the area through implementation of national programs and its own programs.

The school, located in Houston, Texas, was selected because of its close proximity to a mix of industries, cars, trucks, buses and other sources. From September 16 through December 15, 2009, air monitors collected air samples at the school for benzene, 1,3-butadiene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Benzene and 1,3-butadiene are common in the outdoor air in urban areas where many sources are located near one another, particularly mobile sources such as cars and other motor vehicles and off-road machinery. Once the monitoring was complete, EPA analyzed the results to see if there was a concern from short or long-term exposures.

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.

The report is posted on EPA’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/schools.html

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/apr2011.html

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