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US Starts Program For 9/11 Air Testing In Lower Manhattan January 16, 2007

Posted by notapundit in US News.

WASHINGTON (AP)–U.S. federal authorities began collecting names Tuesday from lower Manhattan residents who want their offices and apartments tested or retested for toxic 9/11 dust.

The Environmental Protection Agency will register commercial and residential spaces in lower Manhattan until March 30. After the registration period closes, the actual testing will begin.

The effort, billed as the final air testing program from the 2001 attacks, has been criticized by some New York lawmakers for not going far enough to ensure public health.

The EPA will specifically test the air and dust in buildings near the World Trade Center site for four contaminants linked to the towers’ debris: asbestos, lead, man-made fibers and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chemicals formed during fires.

The EPA number to register for testing is 1-888-747-7725.

During a previous round of testing and cleaning done in 2002 and 2003, the EPA visited more than 4,000 units in the area.

Two of the leading critics of the EPA’s testing program, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., say the agency hasn’t tested nearly far enough, to parts of Manhattan north of Canal Street as well as Brooklyn.

The lawmakers’ fight with the administration over 9/11 health issues began after the EPA asserted within days of the terrorist attack that the dust from 1.8 million tons of World Trade Center debris posed no public health threat.

In the five years since the attacks, doctors have found thousands of ground zero workers suffered a variety of ailments, primarily lung and gastrointestinal disorders.


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