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EPA to Resample Air at San Jacinto Elementary School

Release Date: 06/14/2011
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – June 14, 2011) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will resample air at San Jacinto Elementary School for 1,3-butadiene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). EPA plans to conduct more air toxics monitoring at the school to better characterize the potential for exposures of concern in the community. Resampling activities are expected to begin during the summer of 2011 and continue for six months.

A monitor collected air samples at the school from September 4, 2009, through January 10, 2010, for 1,3-butadiene, benzene, and other VOCs, as well as benzo(a)pyrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). All individual sample results of 1,3-butadiene were below levels of concern for short-term exposure, however, levels of 1,3-butadiene in the air at the school indicate a potential for concern for long-term, continuous exposure, due primarily to one elevated sample. Levels of all other VOCs, including benzene and levels of benzo(a)pyrene and other PAHs measured at the school, were below levels of concern for both short and long-term exposure.

The school, located in Deer Park, Texas, was selected due to its close proximity to a large petrochemical complex, as well as other industries which are sources of air toxics emissions. The results from the air monitoring at San Jacinto Elementary School are also considered to be indicative of conditions at the nearby Deer Park Junior High School.

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

More information is available 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/jun2011.html

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