Lower Manhattan Dust Samples Still Testing Positive for Harmful Levels of Asbestos

In an ongoing study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, the dust of lower Manhattan is being monitored for asbestos following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The area within 1,500 feet of Ground Zero is being closely monitored for asbestos and other toxin levels.

In a November sampling recently released by the agency, at least three dust samples contained levels of asbestos exceeding federal standards. Any sample testing above federal standards indicates levels of asbestos that pose a risk for exposure to residents and visitors to the area. While three samples may not seem significant, the population density of the area would indicate this to be a dangerous revelation, particularly when considering how many more samples may test positive in the area.

EPA officials estimate that the World Trade Center towers contained as much as 300 tons of asbestos, nearly all of which was released into the air when the towers collapsed following the attacks. Asbestos causes respiratory conditions such as mesothelioma, a disease one 9/11 first responder has already died of and many others may contract in the coming years.

New York City officials have indicated that any positive sample will be dealt with through a professional abatement firm at no cost to residents.

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