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EPA releases final report on air toxics monitoring near Whitwell Elementary School

Release Date: 11/08/2011
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon 312-353-6218 cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

For Immediate Release
No. 11-OPA107

Chicago (Nov. 8, 2011) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the report on air toxics monitoring at four schools in the Tri-State area, including Whitwell Elementary in Ironton, Ohio, has been posted on the agency’s website. The other monitored schools include Charles Russell Elementary, Crabbe School and Hatcher School in Ashland, Kentucky.

Based on the monitoring results, EPA found no concern for health problems from exposure to arsenic, benzene and other volatile organic compounds, manganese and other metals, or benzo(a)pyrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Because no concentrations of concern were found, monitoring has been discontinued at these schools.

The report is posted at: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/WhitwellEl.html.

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

From July 30, 2009, through April 2, 2010, a monitor collected air samples near Whitwell Elementary and the other three schools looking mainly for arsenic, benzene, benzo(a)pyrene and manganese were the pollutants of interest.  During the monitoring period, EPA evaluated the concentrations to see if there was a concern over short-term exposure to these pollutants. Once the monitoring was complete, EPA analyzed the results to see if there was a concern over long-term exposure. In order to keep the community informed, EPA posted individual air sample results on its website throughout the monitoring period.

Other schools monitored in the Midwest were

  • Lincoln Elementary School, Warsaw, Indiana;
  • Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, East Chicago, Indiana;
  • Jefferson Elementary School, Gary, Indiana;
  • Pittsboro Elementary School, Pittsboro, Indiana;
  • St. Josaphat School, Chicago, Illinois;
  • Lincoln Park Elementary School, Muskegon, Michigan;
  • Spain Elementary, Detroit, Michigan;
  • Minnesota International Middle Charter School, Minneapolis, Minnesota;
  • East Elementary School, East Liverpool, 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 Elm Street Elementary in Wauseon, Ohio.
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