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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2003 Feb 21;52(7):131-6.

Potential exposures to airborne and settled surface dust in residential areas of lower Manhattan following the collapse of the World Trade Center--New York City, November 4-December 11, 2001.


Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which destroyed the World Trade Center (WTC) in lower Manhattan, the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), with assistance from the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps Readiness Force and the WTC Environmental Assessment Working Group, assessed the composition of outdoor and indoor settled surface and airborne dust in residential areas around the WTC and in comparison areas. This report summarizes the results of the investigation, which found 1) similar levels of airborne total fibers in lower and in upper Manhattan, 2) greater percentage levels of synthetic vitreous fibers (SVF) and mineral components of concrete and building wallboard in settled dust of residential areas in lower Manhattan than in upper Manhattan, and 3) low levels of asbestos in some settled surface dust in lower Manhattan residential areas. Based in part on the results of this investigation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cleaning and sampling residential areas as requested by lower Manhattan residents. In addition, to assess any short- or long-term health effects of smoke, dust, and airborne substances around the WTC site, DOHMH and ATSDR are developing a registry that will track the health of persons who were most highly exposed to these materials.

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