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Dusts generated by the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center collapse

Two days after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), the USGS was asked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Public Health Service to conduct a remote sensing and mineralogical characterization study of lower Manhattan around the WTC. This study, conducted in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was requested to rapidly provide emergency response teams with information on the concentrations and distribution of asbestos and other materials in the dusts deposited around lower Manhattan after the September 11 WTC building collapse.

Results of the USGS studies were provided to emergency responders from late September, 2001 into the fall of 2001. Limited studies of the dusts have continued since that time. USGS scientists have contributed four papers summarizing their work to a special volume published in 2005 by the American Chemical Society on the WTC dusts.

More recently, a USGS scientist was asked to participate as a member of the EPA World Trade Center Technical Expert Review Panel. As part of this work, the USGS was asked to help develop analytical methods and standards that would enable the detection and measurement of trace levels of WTC dusts that may remain in lower Manhattan buildings.


More information:

Other publications:

Swayze, G.A., Hoefen, T.M., Sutley, S.J., Clark, R.N., Livo, K.E., Meeker, G.P., Plumlee, G.S., Morath, L.C., and Brownfield, I.K., 2006, Spectroscopic and x-ray diffraction analyses of asbestos in the World Trade Center dust: in Gaffney, J.S., and Marley, N.A., eds., Urban Aerosols and Their Impacts: Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center Tragedy, American Chemical Society Symposium Series 919, Oxford University Press, pp. 40-65.

Clark, R.N., Swayze, G.A., Hoefen, T.M., Green, R.O., Livo, K.E., Meeker, G., Sutley, S., Plumlee, G., Pavri, B., Sarture, C., Boardman, J., Brownfield, I. , Morath, L.C., 2006, Environmental mapping of the World Trade Center area with imaging spectroscopy after the September 11, 2001 attack: in Gaffney, J.S., and Marley, N.A., eds., Urban Aerosols and Their Impacts: Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center Tragedy, American Chemical Society Book Symposium Series 919, Oxford University Press, pp. 66-83.

Meeker, G.P., Sutley, S.J., Brownfield, I.K., Lowers, H.A., Bern, A.M., Swayze, G.A., Hoefen, T.M., Plumlee, G.S., Clark, R.N., Gent, C.A., 2006, Materials characterization of dusts generated by the collapse of the World Trade Center: in Gaffney, J.S., and Marley, N.A., eds., Urban Aerosols and Their Impacts: Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center Tragedy, American Chemical Society Symposium Series 919, Oxford University Press, pp. 84-102.

Plumlee, G.S., Hageman, P.L., Lamothe, P.J., Ziegler, T.L., Meeker, G.P., Theodorakos, P., Brownfield, I., Adams, M., Swayze, G.A., Hoefen, T., Taggart, J.E., Clark, R.N., Wilson, S., and Sutley, S., 2006, Inorganic chemical composition and chemical reactivity of settled dust generated by the World Trade Center building collapse: in Gaffney, J.S., and Marley, N.A., eds., Urban Aerosols and Their Impacts: Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center Tragedy, American Chemical Society Symposium Series 919, Oxford University Press, pp. 238-276.

 
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