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Air Monitoring in Lower Manhattan

DEP monitored the ambient outdoor air for asbestos following the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster. This effort augmented ambient air asbestos sampling performed by the EPA and other state and city agencies. There is currently no outdoor ambient standard for asbestos. The US and NYC standard for asbestos in community and residential buildings is 0.01 fibers/cubic centimeter (f/cc) in indoor air. An indoor area which has had asbestos detected and then removed must show that air samples are at or below the 0.01 f/cc standard before the indoor area can be re-occupied. Although the ambient outdoor air was monitored, DEP used the indoor air standard as a way to characterize the levels of asbestos in the air.

Since the measurement protocol used, phase contrast microscopy (PCM), counts fibers, DEP also conducted an additional analysis for all samples that were above 0.01 f/cc. This measurement protocol is called transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and counts the number of asbestos fibers in the sample. EPA reported their data in TEMs, and provides a good explanation of the interpretation of the standard that uses this methodology on their website.

Lower Manhattan Sampling Locations  Third Place and Battery Place - waterside Third Place and Battery Place - waterside River Terrace and Vesey Street Vesey and West Broadway River Terrace Park area between Park Place and Warren Street River Terrace Park between Park Place and Warren Rector Place by the park West of Third Place (South Cove Apartment) Third Place and Battery Place - waterside South End Avenue and Thames Street West Thames Street - along waterfront Albany and Greenwich West Street and Albany South End Avenue and Albany Street Cedar and Broadway Trinity Place and Thames Street Washington and Cedar Street Gateway Plaza Park Area Liberty and Broadway Liberty and Church Street Liberty Street and South End Avenue Church and Dey Fulton between Church and Broadway Fulton and Church Street Vesey between Church and Greenwich Street Vesey and West Street Barclay and West Broadway River Terrace and Vesey Street Park Place and Church Street Park Place and Greenwich Street Broadway and Murray Street Murray between Church and Broadway Murray and Church Street Murray and Greenwich Street North End Avenue and Park Place West River Terrace and Park Place West West Street and Warren Street Warren Street and North End Avenue Greenwich and Chambers Street Chambers and North End Avenue River Terrace and Chambers Street Duane Street and Trimble Place Broadway and Worth Street West.Broadway and Worth Street EPA has also recently published the results of two studies related to the WTC disaster: The Toxicological Effects of Fine Particulate Matter Derived from the Destruction of the World Trade Center, and The Exposure and Human Health Evaluation of Airborne Pollution from the World Trade Center Disaster. To read both reports, please click here.

Results indicate that, as expected, asbestos was present in some of the debris at the site and in areas very close to the site. Between September 28, 2001 and August 3, 2002, the vast majority of air sampling results outside the security zone were below the standards for asbestos in indoor air.

To view the air monitoring results, click on a sampling location on the map or table below. (Links will open in a new browser window)

Sampling Site Location
1 West.Broadway and Worth Street 20 Vesey between Church and West Broadway
2 Broadway and Worth Street 20A Vesey and West Broadway
3 Duane Street and Trimble Place 21 Fulton and Church Street
4 River Terrace and Chambers Street 22 Fulton between Church and Broadway
5 Chambers and North End Avenue 23 Church and Dey
6 Greenwich and Chambers Street 24 Liberty Street and South End Avenue
6A West end of Warren Street 25 Liberty and Church Street
7 Warren Street and North End Avenue 26 Liberty and Broadway
8 West Street and Warren Street 27 Gateway Plaza Park Area
8A River Terrace Park area between
Park Place and Warren Street
28 Washington and Cedar Street
9 River Terrace and Park Place West 29 Trinity Place and Thames Street
10 North End Avenue and Park Place West 30 Cedar and Broadway
11 Murray and Greenwich Street 31 South End Avenue and Albany Street
12 Murray and Church Street 32 West Street and Albany
13 Murray between Church and Broadway 33 Albany and Greenwich
14 Broadway and Murray Street 33A Rector Place by the park
15 Park Place and Greenwich Street 34 West Thames Street - along waterfront
16 Park Place and Church Street 35 South End Avenue and Thames Street
17 River Terrace and Vesey Street 36 Third Place and Battery Place - waterside
17A North End Avenue and Vesey Street 37 West of Third Place (South Cove Apartment)
18 Barclay and West Broadway 38 Centre and Chambers Street *
19 Vesey and West Street 39 Spruce and Gold Street *

* NOTE: This data was inadvertently omitted from the original posting. It was subsequently posted on 11/20/06.

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School Monitoring Data

DEP worked with the involved City agencies, including the Board of Education, to provide air monitoring in and around the schools near the World Trade Center disaster site. DEP collected 8 hour ambient air samples that were analyzed for asbestos at four locations. These locations were outside of the main entrances to: Stuyvesant High School, IS/PS 89, PS 234 and the High School of Economics and Finance. DEP began sampling on October 4, 2001, and completed sampling on June 30, 2002. From October 4th through October 18th, DEP only did a TEM analysis if the PCM concentration was above 0.01 fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc). During this period of time, there was only one reading above 0.01 f/cc. The TEM result was below the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) standard of 70 structures per square millimeter (s/sqmm). As of October 19, 2002, DEP began conducting a TEM analysis on all samples to provide a direct comparison to the AHERA standard. Between October 19 and June 30, 2002, all samples were well below the AHERA standard of 70 s/sqmm.

School Monitoring Data

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Additonal Information