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Water and Sediment Sampling Results Released - Flood Water Data 9/26/05

Release Date: 10/06/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C.-October 6, 2005) EPA, in coordination with Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, collected water and sediment samples from multiple locations across the New Orleans metropolitan area between September 26-30, 2005.

Flood water samples for September 26, 2005 indicated that manganese was detected at concentrations that exceeded ATSDR/CDC health guidance values based on ingestion of the water. EPA and ATSDR/CDC do not feel that manganese levels pose a human health threat as ingestion of flood water should not be occurring unless there is inadvertent ingestion (e.g., from splashing). EPA and ATSDR/CDC recommend avoiding all contact with flood water, where possible, and washing with soap and water should contact with flood water occur. Bacterial contamination consistent with the presence of sewage was also detected. Personal protective equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses, should be worn by emergency responders. See: for specific guidance for workers and returning residents.