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Fact Sheet

June 2010

Results of March 2010 Environmental Air Sampling, Buildings 50 and 52, Bannister Federal Complex, 1500 E. Bannister Road, Kansas City, Mo.


At the request of the General Services Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 collected a second series of air samples in and around Buildings 50 and 52 at the Bannister Federal Complex, 1500 E. Bannister Road, in Kansas City, Mo. on
March 26-28, 2010.  The tests were part of a comprehensive sampling plan to determine whether environmental contamination in indoor or outdoor air might pose human health risks to occupants of the two buildings.  Similar tests were conducted in February.

Building 50 houses GSA's Kansas City South Field Office, and Building 52 houses the Bannister Complex Child Development Center. The center is a public child care facility operated by a private contractor on GSA's behalf.  EPA plans to conduct two additional sampling events at these buildings later this year. 


The sampling plan includes three categories of environmental investigation in and around Buildings 50 and 52:

During the March sampling at Buildings 50 and 52, EPA collected 11 indoor air samples, 11 sub-slab samples, three outdoor air samples and one utility tunnel air sample to detect various volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  EPA also collected five indoor air samples, one utility tunnel air sample and three outdoor air samples to detect polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  Results of the PCB sampling will be reported later after the analysis is complete.
The sampling results have been evaluated by EPA's risk assessment team and toxicologists to determine any possible risks to human health that might have been identified.


After careful study and evaluation, EPA scientists determined that the air sampling did not reveal health concerns with indoor air at either of the two buildings. 

This round of sampling involved tests of indoor air, as well as supplemental tests of outdoor air and air samples taken from beneath the concrete floor slabs of both buildings.  Indoor air samples showed no indication of health concerns related to volatile organic compounds.  Results of the related sampling do not indicate migration from beneath the building that would pose health risks.

Sub-slab samples taken from below the two buildings did determine that there were vapors present underneath the buildings.  The testing showed levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) and percholorethylene (PCE) were not a health concern. TCE is a solvent used in various types of adhesives, lubricants, paints, varnishes, paint strippers, pesticides and cleaners; and PCE is a dry cleaning agent.

A summary of the testing results is available online at: www.epa.gov/region07/cleanup/bannister/index.htm


GSA has installed vapor mitigation systems in both buildings.  The systems take vapors that are present below the building and vent them into open air where they dissipate rapidly.  Results from the second round of sampling for VOCs, taken after the systems were installed indicate a decrease in the VOCs found beneath the slab for both buildings.  Additional systems were installed in May to increase the coverage of the mitigation beneath the buildings.

Additionally, EPA will conduct vapor intrusion monitoring at the two buildings two more times this year.  

EPA will begin the soil gas and groundwater monitoring activities in the area surrounding Buildings 50 and 52 in July 2010.  These investigations are a follow-up to the vapor intrusion work previously conducted in the buildings.  It is anticipated it will take several months to complete the field work associated with this portion of the investigation.


Vapors and gases from contaminated groundwater and soil have the potential to seep into indoor spaces and cause health problems. When vapor intrusion occurs, health risks will vary based on the type of chemicals, the levels of chemicals found, the length of exposure and the health of the exposed individuals. Mitigation systems, such as sub-slab depressurization systems, help lower or eliminate the risks that these vapors might enter buildings.

When chemicals build up in indoor air at high levels, some people may experience health effects such as eye and respiratory irritation, headaches and/or nausea. These symptoms are temporary and should go away when the person moves to fresh air.

Usually, health officials are more concerned about low-level chemical exposures over many years. Long-term exposure to some chemicals may raise a person's lifetime risk of developing cancer or other chronic diseases.


 If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:

Dianna Whitaker
Belinda Young
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Toll Free: 1-800-223-0425

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