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EPA Releases Final Report on Air Toxics Near Elm Street Elementary, No Unsafe Levels of Diisocyanates, Benzene, or Other VOCs Detected

Release Date: 12/21/2010
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA155

Chicago (Dec. 21, 2010) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that the final report based on the school air toxics monitoring data from Elm Street Elementary in Wauseon, Ohio, has been posted on the Agency’s website.

Based on the monitoring results, EPA found no concern for risk of health problems from short-term or long-term exposures to diisocyanates, benzene, or other VOCs. Because no concentrations of concern were found, monitoring has been discontinued at the school.

The report is posted on EPA’s website at: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair.

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.

From Sept. 4 through Nov. 9, 2009, a monitor collected air samples near Elm Street Elementary. Diisocyanates and benzene were the pollutants of interest. During the monitoring period, EPA evaluated the concentrations to see if there was an issue with short-term exposures to diisocyanates and VOCs. Once the monitoring was complete, EPA analyzed the results to see if there was a concern from long-term exposures. In order to keep the community informed, EPA posted individual air sample results on the website throughout the monitoring period.

Other schools monitored in EPA Region 5 were Lincoln Elementary School, Warsaw, Ind.; Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, East Chicago, Ind.; Jefferson Elementary School, Gary, Ind.; Pittsboro Elementary School, Pittsboro, Ind.; St. Josaphat School, Chicago, Ill.; Lincoln Park Elementary School, Muskegon, Mich.; Spain Elementary, Detroit, Mich.; Minnesota International Middle Charter School, Minneapolis, Minn.; 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 Whitwell Elementary School, Ironton, Ohio.

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