Air-quality concerns were focused back on the immediate
area surrounding the World Trade Center blast site Friday as tests showed no
health hazard from the foul-smelling smoke plume that at times this week has
extended as far away as central Suffolk County.
Heavy rains and shifting winds Friday reduced the smoke and burning odors
that had plagued large portions of the metropolitan area this week, and on
Friday officials released the results of air tests conducted Thursday that
showed no evidence of any airborne asbestos or other harmful contaminants
outside of lower Manhattan.
"From a health perspective, there's no reason at all to tell people to
avoid being outside," said Suffolk County Health Commissioner Clare Bradley.
In lower Manhattan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, tapping
emergency cleanup funds under the federal Superfund program, has launched an
elaborate air testing program that includes six new monitoring stations and a
high-tech portable unit that will be parked close to the blast site.
Dust samples taken at the site have shown relatively high levels of
asbestos, a carcinogen.
EPA spokeswoman Bonnie Bellow said Friday that air tests Thursday in two
federal buildings in lower Manhattan - 290 Broadway and 26 Federal Plaza - did
find airborne asbestos, but that none of the samples exceeded one-tenth of the
maximum level allowed in workplaces by the Occupational Safety and Health
"There's nothing at this point that indicates that business can't resume"
in the Wall Street area on Monday as scheduled, she added.
5,000 and counting
Estimated deaths nationally
WORLD TRADE CENTER
111 Bodies recovered
59 Dead identified
184 Official Death Toll
4,300 People injured
THE MISSING AT WORLD TRADE CENTER
4,717 Names on the missing persons list including:
54 Police / Port Authority Officers
157 Airline passengers / crew
126 at the Pentagon
109 Airline passengers / crew
Figures are of 9:30 p.m. last night