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EPA releases data for air toxics monitoring at Clariton Education Center in Allegheny County

Release Date: 12/15/2009
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543. smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (December 15, 2009) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released initial data from air toxics monitoring outside the Clairton Educational Center, in Allegheny County, Pa. It is the third school in the county being monitored for air toxics. The other schools are South Allegheny Middle/High School in McKeesport and Sto-Rox Elementary in McKees Rocks whose initial, and updated data, is already available on EPA’s website.

These are three of 63 schools in 22 states nationwide selected by EPA for air toxics monitoring.

The initial data show air toxics at the school are below levels of short-term health concerns. EPA scientists caution against drawing conclusions at this point as the study is designed to determine whether long-term, not short-term, exposure poses health risks to school children and staff. As monitoring continues, EPA will post the data on its schools air toxics website at: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair.

At the Clairton Educational Center, EPA is looking at metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To learn more about these pollutants see http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/pollutants.html These are the pollutants most likely to be of concern at the school, based on the best available information about emissions and sources of pollution in the area. EPA and Allegheny County Health Department have been using air toxics monitors outside the school to collect data since September.

Once monitoring is complete at this school, the full set of results will be analyzed to evaluate the potential for health concerns related to exposure to these pollutants. EPA also will post the analysis on the website once it is complete.

EPA will post the outdoor air monitoring data from all 63 schools from across the country as it becomes available. EPA will use the data from this initiative to help determine next steps, which could include additional monitoring or enforcement action.

Other schools being monitored in the mid-Atlantic Region are Kreutz Creek Elementary, Hallam, Pa.; Riverside Elementary, Reading, Pa.; Central Virginia Training Center, Madison Heights, Va.; Follansbee Middle School, Follansbee, W.Va; Cabell County Career Technology Center, Huntington, W.Va.; and Neale Elementary School, Vienna, W.Va..