PM2.5 General Information

September 25th, 2001

Dear EPA Staff,

I have been unable to reach the Region 2 office for information about the air quality of my home city, New York, and hoped I might ask these questions of you. As a severe asthmatic, learning about the links between pulmonary function and particulate matter, I am understandably seeking more technical information than that being disseminated to the general public by the NYC DOH etc. If any of you have access to this information or have the time to direct me to an accessible source, your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

1. What are the parameters of the hot zone and the warm zone geographically?

2. What are the current particulate matter concentrations being found right now in Manhattan versus outlying areas. How does it compare with previous counts?

3. Does the sampling separately analyze primary versus secondary particulate concentrations of PM in the air? What results have been found?

4. Is anything known about what chemicals are bound to the soot and dust from such sources as the burning jet fuel, smoldering furnishings, plastics, electrical wire, fiberglass etc.?

5. With regard to health issues, does the EPA have any guidelines about recommending such protections as particulate masks when PM is in excess of certain levels? As you know, the use of bronchodilators to relieve asthmatic symptoms just leaves lung tissue open for deeper invasions by more allergens and foreign bodies (PM). The resulting inflammation requires steroids and the cycle just repeats itself.

Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated!


Barbara Rubin

Categories: Letters

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