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Persistent Organic Pollutants in Dusts That Settled at Indoor and Outdoor Locations in Lower Manhattan After 11 September 2001

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Abstract: The explosion and collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) was a catastrophic event that produced an aerosol impacting many workers, residents and commuters during the first few days after September 11th, 2001. During the initial days that followed, fourteen bulk samples of the settled dust were collected at locations surrounding the epicenter of the disaster. These samples were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants will be described, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and select organo-chlorine pesticides. The Z86-PCBs comprising less than 0.001% by mass of the bulk dusts, indicating that PCBs were of limited significance. Likewise, Chlordanes, Hexachlorobenzene, Heptachlor, 4,4'-DDE, 2,4'-DDT, 4,4'-DDT and Mirex were found at low concentrations in the bulk samples. Conversely, the Z37-PAHs comprised up to nearly 0.04% (0.005 to 0.039%) by mass of the bulk settled dust in the six bulk samples. In addition, twelve bulk samples of the settled dust were collected at indoor locations surrounding the epicenter of the disaster, including one sample from a residence that had been cleansed and was once again occupied. The Z86-PCB concentrations, comprising less than one part per million by mass of the bulk in the two samples analyzed, indicate that PCBs were also of limited significance in the dust that settled at indoor locations. Likewise, Hexachlorobenzene, Heptachlor, 4,4'-DDE, 2,4'-DDT, 4,4'-DDT and Mirex were found at even lower concentrations in the bulk indoor samples. Conversely, Z37-PAHs comprised up to 0.04% (<0.005 to 0.036%) by mass of the impacted bulk indoor dust samples. Analysis of one sample of indoor dusts collected from a vacuum cleaner of a rehabilitated home shows markedly lower PAH concentrations (< 0.0005 mass %), as well as differing relative contributions for individual compounds. In addition to similar concentrations, comparison of PAH concentration patterns shows that dusts that settled indoors are chemically similar to dusts found at outdoor locations and that PAH analyses may be used in identifying dusts of WTC origin at indoor locations, along with ascertaining further needs for cleaning.

This work has been funded in part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It has not undergone agency review and does not represent the views of the US EPA. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement of recommendation for use.
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Citation:Offenberg, J., S. Eisenreich, L. C. Chen, M. D. Cohen, G. Chee, C. Prophete, J. Q. Xiong, C. Quan, X. Lou, M. Zhong, J. Gorczynski, L. M. Yiin, V. Illacqua, C. E. Weisel, and P. J. Lioy. Persistent Organic Pollutants in Dusts That Settled at Indoor and Outdoor Locations in Lower Manhattan After 11 September 2001. Presented at American Chemical Society National Meeting, New York, NY, September 10, 2003.
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Process Modeling Research Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 09/10/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item PM: Research Methods for PM Toxic Compounds Particle Methods Evaluation and Development
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