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Context of 'October 25, 2001: New York Official Says ‘No Significant Danger’ near Ground Zero'

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The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) begins monitoring ambient outdoor air for asbestos. (New York City Department of Health 9/12/2001) Couriers transport the air samples to laboratories, which immediately analyze them and obtain results within hours. (Environmental Protection Agency 7/15/2004 pdf file) The samples are tested using the outdated polarized light microscopy (PLM) technology (see September 12, 2001). (Kupferman 2003 pdf file)

Approximately 1,500 concerned downtown New York City residents skeptical of EPA assurances that the city air is safe to breathe meet in a Wall Street hotel lobby with a group of local officials to discuss the issue of air quality. Joel A. Miele Sr., the city’s commissioner of environmental protection, tells the New York Times that the government believes residents’ concerns are unfounded. (Saulny and Revkin 10/6/2001)

Joel A. Miele, Sr., commissioner of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, claims his agency has “bent over backwards to be as conservative as possible in our testing… and there is no significant danger” to anyone’s health. “People are safe, not just at the site, but at the perimeters,” he adds. (Newsday 10/26/2003 pdf file)


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