03-17-2003, 10:30 AM #1
Who are the good guys, and where are they?
On almost a daily basis, we get more information on different agencies who are either directly inhibiting safe fire department activities, or who are doing nothing to help. Now this ... I thought the EPA was on our side.
Paper: EPA Erred in Ground Zero Air Claim
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Ground Zero tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) in the days immediately after the World Trade Center collapse did not support the agency's own statements the air around the site was safe to breathe, a newspaper reported.
A report by the EPA's Office of Inspector General said the agency reached its conclusion on the safety of the air using a cancer risk level 100 times greater than what it normally considers acceptable for public exposure to toxic contaminants.
The status report, obtained by The Sacramento Bee, supports the views of some doctors and public health advocates who evaluated thousands of firefighters, volunteers, demolition workers and laborers working on the site.
"To say that it's safe, which suggests no risk, we just knew that was wrong," said Jonathan Bennett, a spokesman for the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.
The status report summarizes preliminary conclusions. It is expected to be published in May and a spokesman for the inspector general said the findings could change before publication. The Office of Inspector General is an independent investigative office that reports directly to Congress.
Of 3,500 Ground Zero workers screened nearly a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, more than half continued to suffer from lung, ear, nose and throat problems, according to a study released in January by Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.
About 40,000 workers were involved in the rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts at the site.
The yearlong investigation by the Office of Inspector General will determine whether air pollution monitoring data from the collapse site and surrounding areas supports what the EPA told the public about the health risks.
EPA officials declined comment Friday.
"It is inappropriate for the EPA to be commenting on a document that is not final and that is being done independently," said Lisa Harrison, the agency's press secretary.
The EPA has come under criticism from inside and outside the agency over its public pronouncements on air quality around Ground Zero.
03-17-2003, 11:00 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
The Good Guys and Gals are easy to find. Call 911, and several truckloads will pull up outside your door. I would add that one thing that troubles me is, that as some "good guys" leave the active "truckriding" status behind, and move up in the world, they forget where they came from. I refer to those in Washington DC who claim to be speaking on our behalf, but don't have a clue what we want from Washington. The only person in DC who is NOT out of touch with the field (in my opinion) is Steve Austin (from Delaware) who has always gone out of his way to keep up with what is happening at home. There are many others out there who just push along with some agenda, no matter if it is relevant or not. Oh well, there goes my BP up again. Stay Safe....Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
In memory of
Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
IACOJ Budget Analyst
I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.
03-19-2003, 01:03 AM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
I almost missed this one. Thanks Woodsy.
I attended a conference two weeks ago and an official with New York Occupational Safety and Health was there and spoke of their efforts at Ground Zero. I believe it was discussed that there was no air monitoring or respirator program in place immediately following the collapse and rescue efforts and for the next 48 hours. There were several cases of non-compliance by rescue participants. Fit testing consisted of quantitative and not qualitative testing, due to the sheer numbers involved.
I assume that is why the Feds have allocated $90 million dollars for medical surveillance and future medical problems for the victims and rescuers at Ground Zero.
So, air was safe, according to the EPA. OSHA says that it wasn't because they were requiring respirators that were or were not worn by rescuers at Ground Zero. And because the air was safe, the Federal government is going to spend several million dollars to monitor the effects of this "safe air" on those who were exposed to it.
Strange but true!
Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)
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