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More Air Sampling Data Released from Hurricane Katrina-affected Areas in Mississippi and Louisiana

Release Date: 12/23/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / 

     On Dec. 22, 2005, EPA posted additional air quality monitoring data for hurricane impacted areas in Louisiana and Mississippi.  Measurements for most pollutants reported were below EPA's health based screening levels including particulate matter, arsenic, lead, asbestos and volatile organic compounds.  However, levels of acrolein continue to fluctuate between elevated levels and below detection at monitoring locations in Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi and Jefferson Parish in New Orleans, Louisiana.  EPA will continue to monitor these areas.

     Acrolein can enter the air when organic matter such as trees and other plants are burned and when fuels such as gasoline and oil are burned.  At the concentrations measured, temporary irritation of the eyes, nose and throat could have resulted.  While such exposures would not be acceptable on a regular basis extended over weeks at a time, isolated exposures to such concentrations are not believed to be associated with long-term health problems.  

     For more detailed information on EPA's air sampling results, visit the EPA web site at: