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Environmental Assessment

World Trade Center

The Issue
Beyond the immediate tragedy, the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, gave rise to air pollution that caused health concerns.

EPA Action
EPA scientists rapidly mobilized to monitor air quality and understand the health implications of the pollution caused by the buildings' collapse. EPA worked closely with other federal, state, and local public health and environmental authorities and subsequently has released two reports summarizing its findings: a draft report entitled Exposure and Human Health Evaluation of Airborne Pollution from the World Trade Center Disaster and a final report entitled Toxicological Effects of Fine Particulate Matter Derived from the Destruction of the World Trade Center.

EPA also convened an expert technical review panel to identify unmet public health needs and recommend steps to further minimize the risks associated with the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. This panel, which met twelve times between its inception in March 2004 and its dissolution in December 2005, included broad representation from federal health and environmental agencies, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, academia, and the medical community. Information about the panel's recommendations for continued monitoring and clean up and additional information about EPA's response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 can be found at the EPA's World Trade Center Web Site.

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Best Resources

U.S. EPA. Relative Congener Scaling of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans to Estimate Building Fire Contributions in Air, Surface Wipes, and Dust Samples. Joachim D. Pleil and Matthew N. Lorber (ed.), Submitted to: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Indianapolis, IN, 41(21): 7286 -7293, (2007).

U.S. EPA. Exposure and Human Health Evaluation of Airborne Pollution from the World Trade Center Disaster (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-02/002A, 2002.


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