New York Times
October 15, 2001
Testing Air Quality
The Air Quality: Contaminants Below Levels for Long-Term Concerns (October 11, 2001)
To the Editor:
Re "Contaminants Below Levels for Long-Term Concerns" (news article, Oct. 11):
Measuring health hazards solely by monitoring contaminants in the air fails to address a larger issue. Certified analysis of dust samples in and around the World Trade Center "hot zone" taken by my organization in mid-September found 2 percent to 5 percent asbestos and alarming amounts of fiberglass and other particulates in many samples.
Clearly, what may constitute permissible levels of asbestos in the air will add up to significant quantities on the ground. In offices, residences, schools and public places, potentially hazardous dust residue will continue to become re-airborne until professionally removed.
We need public disclosure of all government monitoring data for all contaminants; better protective gear and training for workers near the pile; and immediate, professional abatement overseen by the proper authorities.
JOEL R. KUPFERMAN
Exec. Dir., N.Y. Environmental Law and Justice Project
New York, Oct. 11, 2001