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Air quality during demolition and recovery activities in post-Katrina New Orleans

Authors

  • Raghunathan Ravikrishna,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology–Madras, Chennai, USA
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  • Han-Woong Lee,

    1. Hazardous Substance Research Center–South & Southwest, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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  • Stephen Mbuligwe,

    1. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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  • K. T. Valsaraj,

    1. Gordon A. and Mary Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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  • John H. Pardue

    Corresponding author
    1. Hazardous Substance Research Center–South & Southwest, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
    2. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
    • Hazardous Substance Research Center–South & Southwest, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.
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  • Presented at the 29th Annual Meeting, SETAC North America, Tampa, Florida, USA, November 16–20, 2008.

Abstract

Air samples were collected during demolition and cleanup operations in the Lakeview district of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, in late 2005 during the period immediately after Hurricane Katrina. Three different high-volume air samples were collected around waste collection areas that were created to temporarily hold the debris from the cleanup of residential properties in the area. Particulate concentrations were elevated and included crystalline fibers associated with asbestos. Metal concentrations on particulate matter resembled those measured in sediments deposited by floodwaters with the exception of Ba, which was elevated at all three locations. The highest organic contaminant concentration measured on particulates was the pesticide Ziram (Zinc, bis[diethylcarbamodithioato-S,S′]-, [T-4]-) at 2,200 µg/g of particulate matter during sampling period 2. Ziram is used in latex paint, adhesives, caulking, and wallboard as a preservative. Fungal isolates developed from particulate air samples included species associated with disease including Aspergillus and Penicillium species. These data represent the most comprehensive assessment of demolition activities during the period immediately after Hurricane Katrina. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:1438–1444. © 2010 SETAC

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