Preventing Another 9/11 First Responders Tragedy – Irresponsible EPA Corrosive Dust Standards Uncorrected a Decade after WTC

Source: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Press Release, September 8, 2011

Washington, DC — On September 11, 2001, “First Responders” to the World Trade Center conflagration and nearby residents waded into dust so corrosive that it resulted in chemical burns to their respiratory system. These New York City police and firefighters were needlessly sacrificed due to woefully lax U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards which remain in effect but need correction, according to a rulemaking petition filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). …WTC First Responders were subjected to dust so caustic as to cause respiratory disabilities and deaths. Yet, if a similar scenario occurred today, the same results would recur. That is because EPA misapplied the international corrosivity standard and then systematically failed to test and communicate the caustic properties of WTC dust. As a result, the EPA standard is ten times more lax than the presumed safe levels for alkaline corrosives set by the United Nations (UN).

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