EPA Region 5 releases first air monitoring data from four schools in Indiana
Release Date: 10/29/2009
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, email@example.com
For Immediate Release
(Chicago - Oct. 29, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today the first set of air toxics monitoring data from Indiana schools including Abraham Lincoln Elementary in East Chicago, Jefferson Elementary in Gary, Lincoln Elementary in Warsaw, and Pittsboro Elementary in Pittsboro has been posted on the agency's Web site.
The Schools Air Toxics Monitoring Initiative, which is monitoring 63 schools in 22 states, is designed to help EPA and state environmental agencies understand whether long-term exposure to toxics in the outdoor air poses health concerns for children and staff at the schools, as well as residents in the surrounding community.
The data is posted at http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/schools.html .
Based on the best available information about emissions and sources of pollution in the area, the pollutants most likely to be of concern at each school are:
- Abraham Lincoln Elementary: arsenic, benzene, beno[a]pyrene, manganese, and lead.
- Jefferson Elementary: arsenic, benzene, and benzo[a]pyrene.
- Lincoln Elementary: manganese and nickel.
- Pittsboro Elementary: manganese.
Region 5 is currently monitoring air at 15 schools in the region that were selected as part of the initiative. The first results show that levels of the key hazardous air pollutants at these four Indiana schools are below levels of short-term concern. EPA scientists warn against drawing conclusions at this point as the study is designed to determine whether long-term, not short-term, exposure poses health concerns for residents of the community, school children and staff. Once monitoring is complete, the full set of results from all of the schools will be analyzed to evaluate the potential for health concerns related to long-term exposure to these pollutants. EPA will post this analysis to the Web once it is complete.
Outdoor air at each of the schools will be monitored for 60 days, and air-quality monitors will take a minimum of 10 daily samples during the sampling period. EPA will use the information gathered in the initiative to help determine next steps, which could include additional monitoring or enforcement action where appropriate.
Other schools being monitored in EPA Region 5 are Saint Josaphat School, Chicago; Lincoln Park Elementary School, Muskegon, Mich.; Spain Elementary School, Detroit, Mich.; Whitwell Elementary School, Ironton, Mich.; Minnesota International Middle Charter School, Minneapolis, Minn.; Elm Street Elementary School, Wauseon, Ohio; LaCroft 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.