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Air toxics near Toledo Elementary School are below levels of concern

Release Date: 04/25/2011
Contact Information: Madonna Narvaez, EPA Air Toxics Team, 206-553-2117, narvaez.madonna@epa.gov, Suzanne Skadowski, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-6689, skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov

(Seattle - April 25, 2011) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 today released the final report on analysis of air toxics monitoring data near Toledo Elementary School in Toledo, Oregon. The report is posted at: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair.

EPA and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will present the results and answer questions about the air monitoring report at DEQ’s Georgia-Pacific Toledo community meeting on air quality projects, Thursday, April 28, 2011.

EPA found that concentrations of air toxics measured near the school are below the levels of concern associated with health problems from either short- or long-term exposures. Air toxics measured included acetaldehyde and manganese. EPA also measured Acrolein as part of this study.


Results of a recent short-term laboratory study have raised questions about the consistency and reliability of monitoring results of acrolein. As a result, EPA will not use the acrolein data in evaluating the potential for health concerns from exposure to air toxics in outdoor air as part of the School Air Toxics Monitoring study.

Based on analysis of the monitoring results near Toledo Elementary School, EPA will not continue air toxics monitoring at the school. EPA remains concerned about emissions from sources of air toxics and continues working to reduce those emissions across the country, through national rules and by providing information and suggestions to assist with reductions in local areas.

The School Air Toxics Monitoring Initiative monitored outdoor air at 63 schools in 22 states to help EPA and state environmental agencies understand whether long-term exposures to air toxics pose health concerns for children and staff at the schools.

EPA selected Toledo Elementary School for monitoring because it is located near a paper mill which is a source of air toxics emissions. Computer models were used to determine which air toxics may be present at elevated levels in the outdoor air near the school. These models showed that acetaldehyde, acrolein, and manganese could be present in the air around the school and prompted EPA to test to see if the levels present may be of concern.


From August 29, 2009 through December 3, 2009, a monitor collected air samples near Toledo Elementary School. During the monitoring period, EPA evaluated the air toxics concentrations to see if there were concerns with short-term exposures. After monitoring, EPA analyzed the results to see if there was a concern from long-term exposures. In order to keep the community informed, EPA posted air sample results on the website throughout the monitoring period.

Other schools monitored in EPA Region 10 were: Concord Elementary in Seattle, Washington; St. Helens Elementary School in Longview, Washington; Harriet Tubman School in Portland, Oregon; Lapwai High School on the Nez Perce Reservation in Lapwai, Idaho. Information about monitoring at these schools can be found at
www.epa.gov/schoolair.

For information about the April 28, 2011 Georgia-Pacific Toledo community meeting on air quality projects, go to http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/toxics/schools.htm or contact Marcia Danab, DEQ, 503-229-6488.