The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today…
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
today announced that a seven-month study of toxic air pollution
outside the Mabel Holmes Middle School in Elizabeth, New Jersey did
not find pollution levels of concern. From August 2009 to January
2010, EPA monitored the air for acetaldehyde, benzene, nickel and
other metals, which are toxic air pollutants commonly associated
with industrial facilities, major roadways and other sources. The
air monitoring at the school was part of a national monitoring
program to help EPA and state environmental agencies and the public
understand whether long-term exposure to toxics in the outdoor air
poses health concerns for children and staff at schools. Monitoring
was done at 63 schools in 22 states. To keep the community
informed, EPA posted air sampling results on its website throughout
the monitoring period.
EPA selected the Mabel Holmes Middle School for monitoring based on its proximity to industrial sites, a major airport and a port. Computer models were used to determine which air pollutants might be present at elevated levels in the outdoor air near the school. EPA found that the levels of acetaldehyde, benzene, nickel and other metals were below levels of concern and not as high as suggested by the modeling information available prior to monitoring.
Based on the analysis, EPA has stopped monitoring at this school. EPA continues its work to reduce levels of toxic air pollutants by regulating air pollution from industrial facilities. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is also engaged in a range of programs to reduce air toxics throughout the state.
In addition to Mabel Holmes Middle School, the Paulsboro High School in Paulsboro, New Jersey was included in the monitoring study. The final monitoring report for the Paulsboro High School was issued in June 2011. The sampling results for all 63 schools participating in the study are being posted on the Agency’s website as they become available.
The final report on air toxics monitoring at Mabel Holmes Middle School is now posted on the Agency’s website at: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/schools.html.
Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.