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Fact Sheet

February 2010

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


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 conducted air sampling at the request of the General Services Administration on Feb. 4-7. 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 two buildings located at the Bannister Federal Complex, 1500 E. Bannister Road, in Kansas City, Mo. The buildings are located near the intersection of Bannister Road and Troost Avenue in south Kansas City.

EPA's investigation focused on Building 50, which houses GSA's Kansas City South Field Office, and Building 52, which houses the Bannister Complex Child Development Center. The center is a public child care facility operated by a private contractor on GSA's behalf.


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

EPA Region 7 staff and an EPA-certified contractor collected 12 ambient air samples, 12 sub-slab volatile organic compound (VOC) samples, five sub-slab polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) samples, 10 indoor air PCB samples and two outdoor ambient air samples. (Results of PCB sampling should be available in about a month. Also, a series of soil gas tests is being delayed until warmer weather, when more accurate results can be obtained.)

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.

Additionally, benzene was also found at levels below health concerns. Benzene is widely used in the United States. It ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume.

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


As a precaution, and at EPA's suggestion, GSA has already 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.

EPA will return to the buildings to do additional sampling within the month to ensure the vapor mitigation systems are continuing to work properly. Additionally, EPA has agreed to conduct vapor intrusion monitoring at the two buildings on a quarterly basis through 2010. Further, EPA has agreed to conduct groundwater sampling, soil gas sampling, and soil sampling around the two buildings sometime after the ground has thawed sufficiently for those activities to occur.


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.


EPA will sponsor a Public Availability Session for persons who seek more information about the sampling activity. This event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 25, 2010, at the Evangel Temple Assembly of God, 1414 E. 103rd Street, Kansas City, MO 64131.


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

EPA Region 7 is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in the meeting, please notify the EPA Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, Jonathan Cooper, 1-800-223-0425 or at cooper.jonathan@epa.gov. Speech or hearing impaired individuals should e-mail or call using the local relay service.

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