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Results of Ongoing Testing Show Air Quality is Safe Near Schools in Beaver and Erie Counties in Pennsylvania
Date:9/17/2009

acceptable range identified by the Environmental Protection Agency," Hanger said. "We took action to verify the air quality because we understand parents' concerns about the health and safety of their children, and we are committed to reducing air pollution to cut the risk of disease and respiratory problems for both children and adults."

USA Today used the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicator, or RSEI, to rank each school relative to one another based upon the pollutants likely to be in the air outside the school. But RSEI is a screening tool developed by the EPA to be used for establishing priorities.

Pollutant concentrations measured through sampling are much more reliable than modeled concentrations.

The EPA generally considers an excess lifetime cancer risk in excess of one in 10,000 (or 10 in 100,000) to be unacceptable.

At each school where DEP conducted air toxics monitoring, the department calculated the excess lifetime cancer risk - that is, the risk over and above the general overall cancer risk of four in 10 - from exposure to the pollutants measured. The excess lifetime cancer risk for all toxic compounds measured was determined to be 0.12 in 10,000 at Midland, 0.82 in 10,000 at Ridgefield, and 0.68 in 10,000 at Iroquois.

The ambient air sampling also was used to calculate the non-cancer health risk associated with the air toxic compounds measured. All three schools had calculated hazard quotients less than 1, which is considered acceptable by the EPA. Detailed reports on DEP's sampling studies can be found on DEP's Web site at the following links: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/aq/default.htm or

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
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