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HP8 Emerging Agents, Detection, and Emergency Response
(628) Role of Risk Assessment in Remediating Indoor Environments Impacted by the Collapse of the World Trade Center.
Nace, C.1, Maddaloni, M.1, LaPosta, D.1, Callahan, K.1, 1 United States Environmental Protection Agency, New York, NY, USA
ABSTRACT- The World Trade Center (WTC) was subjected to a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 which resulted in the collapse of both 110-story towers and multiple buildings located within the WTC complex. The collapse of the towers resulted in a large dust cloud moving across lower Manhattan and subsequent fires, which burned for several months, resulted in deposition of combustion by-products over the same area. Due to the force associated with the dispersal of the dust cloud, the length of time the fires burned, and the amount of dust disturbance during the removal of WTC-related debris from the site, the indoor environments of buildings in lower Manhattan were potentially impacted by WTC-related contaminants from the settled dust and fire-related particulate matter. Monitoring was initiated following the collapse the WTC to characterize the physical and chemical properties of the settled dust and ambient air. The data were evaluated to identify contaminants that presented a potential long-term health threat. This list of contaminants related to the WTC disaster included asbestos, lead, dioxin, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, fibrous glass, and crystalline silica. Risk assessment methodologies were employed to develop health-based remediation benchmarks for indoor environments. A program was initiated to remediate the residential indoor environments that were potentially impacted by WTC-related dust and particulate matter. The program had three objectives (1) to evaluate cleaning methods for attaining the remediation goals, (2) establish background concentrations for the identified contaminants, and (3) implement a remediation program to clean the indoor environments of residential dwellings. The program was successful in identifying a cleaning method that was able to reduce contaminant concentrations to health-based benchmarks, developing background concentrations, and in testing or cleaning and testing over 4,000 apartments in lower Manhattan. Risk assessment methodologies were an instrumental tool in designing the comprehensive cleanup program used to protect public health in response to a terrorist attack. The response to the WTC disaster provides a case study to evaluate the usefulness of different methods to be better prepared to respond to future attacks or disasters.
Key words: Risk assessment, World Trade Center, Asbestos, Indoor environments
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