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EPA Releases Final Report on Air Toxics Near Spain Elementary, No Unsafe Levels of Benzene; 1,3 –Butadiene; or Other VOCs Detected

Release Date: 11/09/2010
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218,

No. 10-OPA137

Chicago (Nov. 9, 2010)-- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that the final report based on the school air toxics monitoring data from Spain Elementary in Detroit, Mich., has been posted on the Agency’s website.

Based on the monitoring results, EPA found no concern for risk of health problems from short-term or long-term exposures to benzene, 1,3-butadiene, or other VOCs. EPA is pleased to share this good news with the school and the community. Because no concentrations of concern were found, monitoring has been discontinued at the school.

The report is posted on EPA’s website at:

The Schools Air Toxics Monitoring Initiative, which monitored outdoor air at 63 schools in 22 states, is designed to help EPA and state environmental agencies understand whether long-term exposure to air toxics poses health concerns for children and staff at the schools.

From Aug. 17 through Oct. 28, 2009, a monitor collected air samples near Spain Elementary. Benzene and 1,3-butadiene were the pollutants of interest. During the monitoring period, EPA evaluated the concentrations to see if there was an issue with short-term exposures to manganese and other air toxics. Once the monitoring was complete, EPA analyzed the results to see if there was a concern from long-term exposures. In order to keep the community informed, EPA posted individual air sample results on the website throughout the monitoring period.

Other schools monitored in EPA Region 5 were Lincoln Elementary School, Warsaw, Ind.; Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, East Chicago, Ind.; Jefferson Elementary School, Gary, Ind.; Pittsboro Elementary School, Pittsboro, Ind.; St. Josaphat School, Chicago, Ill.; Lincoln Park Elementary School, Muskegon, Mich.; Minnesota International Middle Charter School, Minneapolis, Minn.; East Elementary School, East Liverpool, Ohio; Elm Street Elementary School, Wauseon, Ohio; Life Skills of Trumbull County and the Academy of Arts and Humanities, Warren, Ohio; The Ohio Valley Educational Service Center and Warren Elementary School, Marietta, Ohio; and Whitwell Elementary School, Ironton, Ohio.
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