Asbestos Concerns after Tornado

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that it will continue to monitor air samples for asbestos in the aftermath of an EF-5 tornado that killed seven people and injured at least 67 others in Parkersburg, Iowa, on May 25.

EPA coordinators report that the monitoring tests, which determine the level of asbestos particles in the air, will be set up at key points in the city of Parkersburg. The monitoring, using sophisticated fixed monitoring systems, will begin on Tuesday, June 10, 2008, and will continue for as long as necessary until it is deemed that the air is free of fibers or below the acceptable levels, reports a press release by the EPA.

On Wednesday, June 11, EPA Region 7 will deploy its Mobile Command Post to Parkersburg. The vehicle is outfitted with equipment necessary to receive and transmit data obtained during the sampling.

Airborne asbestos is often a concern after a tornado or any other natural disaster that destroys buildings and other structures that might contain asbestos. After Hurricane Katrina, high levels of asbestos and other toxins were found in the air in New Orleans and other towns affected by the hurricane.

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