EPA Schedules Asbestos Testing in Lower Manhattan

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started scheduling testing for airborne asbestos in residences in lower Manhattan. The deadline for residents to request assistance has been extended 30 days to Oct. 2.

Residents living below Canal, Allen and Pike streets can request testing and cleaning by certified asbestos contractors or they can ask for testing alone under EPA's Lower Manhattan Dust Cleanup Program. To date, 822 people have requested testing and 2,997 have asked for cleaning and testing.

Some dust from the World Trade Center collapse has been shown to contain asbestos and other contaminants. A statement from the agency says, "EPA believes this action-oriented cleanup and testing program will reduce risk of possible long-term exposure and related health effects."

The decision to extend the request deadline was made in response to requests from the public for more time to consider their personal situations. The original deadline was Sept. 3.

Lower Manhattan residents may request assistance via EPA's World Trade Center Web site at www.epa.gov/wtc or by calling EPA's toll-free hotline at (877) 796-5471.

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