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Published:March 13th, 2007 05:50 EST
ATSDR Extends Investigation of Air Emissions

ATSDR Extends Investigation of Air Emissions

By SOP newswire

ATLANTA – As part of the air quality investigation of the Marietta Air Emissions Site in Ohio, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has added additional air monitoring stations. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will operate the air monitors and perform the laboratory analyses in the year-long data collection designed to show whether chemical emissions from five facilities in the former Union Carbide industrial complex (Chevron/Phillips, Eramet Marietta, Inc., Eveready, American Municipal Power Ohio, Solvay) may affect human health.

During the week of February 25, 2007, ATSDR began measuring the levels of metals in the air at Harmar Village, in Marietta, Ohio; at Boaz, West Virginia; and at Vienna, West Virginia. The agency selected these new air monitoring locations in populated areas based on two sources of information:

  1. ATSDR predictions of where certain chemicals would move from the facilities based on air dispersion models using weather, terrain, and the amounts of chemicals released into the air; and

  2. Ohio EPA data from two existing rural air monitoring stations.

The facilities provided information to ATSDR about nine chemicals released to the air during 1998-2002 (styrene, toluene, ammonia, chlorobenzene, chloromethane, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, chromium, and manganese). ATSDR air models of these releases indicate that manganese emissions from Eramet Marietta, Inc. were likely to be higher in surrounding communities than ATSDR and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) health-based guidelines for persons who might regularly inhale these emissions for one year or longer. The ATSDR models predicted that manganese emissions from Eveready did not exceed these federal guidelines

According to data from Ohio EPA’s rural air monitoring stations, manganese exposures are higher for residents who live closer to the former Union Carbide facilities. Levels measured at both rural locations are consistent with air levels predicted by the ATSDR air dispersion models.

The USEPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection are providing technical assistance for site development, site security, and quality assurance during the investigation. The Ohio Department of Health, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and the Washington County, the City of Marietta, and the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Departments are also assisting in the investigation.

Members of the news media can request an interview with ATSDR staff by calling the NCEH/ATSDR Office of Communication at 404-498-0070