Assessing Outdoor Air Near Schools
East Elementary School - East Liverpool, OH
- Understanding the Monitoring Data
- Initial Sample Results
- Initial Analysis
- Additional Sample Results
- Final Analysis
Initial Results and Analysis of EPA’s monitoring
EPA selected this school for monitoring because it is located near two industrial facilities owned by the same company, S.H. Bell (Stateline and Little England facilities) that handle and store bulk and packaged products, including metals, minerals, and various industrial products. These facilities emit air toxics including manganese. Air monitoring data previously collected by Ohio EPA (OEPA) identified elevated levels of manganese in the air near the facilities.
|Primary Findings||Levels of manganese in outdoor air at the school indicate a potential for levels of health concern for long-term continuous exposure, particularly in areas of the community closer to the sources of emissions than those monitored.|
|Key Pollutants Monitored||Manganese. Inhalation may affect the nervous system if people are exposed to high levels.|
|Next Steps||EPA recommends and will support additional monitoring for manganese in the East Liverpool area to better characterize the potential for manganese exposures of concern in the community and to monitor any changes in airborne manganese concentrations that might be associated with source control activities at both S.H. Bell facilities (Stateline and Little England). Both U.S. EPA and OEPA have taken enforcement actions to address particulate matter emissions from these sources, which will also reduce manganese emissions. It is anticipated that the recent actions taken by OEPA will substantially mitigate risks from manganese in the area. OEPA has conducted air toxics monitoring since 2000 and will continue to monitor to verify that the emissions from both facilities are decreasing.
EPA remains concerned about emissions from sources of air toxics and continues to work to reduce those emissions across the country, through national rules and by providing information and suggestions to assist with reductions in local areas.
Summary of Study Approach and Findings
- A monitor collected air samples from August 12, 2009 through October 4, 2009 at the East Elementary School in East Liverpool, OH. Manganese was the key pollutant of interest.
- We posted individual air sample results on this website throughout the monitoring period to keep your community informed during the monitoring period.
- During the monitoring period, we evaluated the monitored concentrations to see if there was a concern from short-term exposures (e.g., several weeks).
- When the monitoring was complete, we analyzed the results to see if there was a concern from long-term exposures (over a lifetime).
- Also, when the monitoring was complete, we evaluated all the air samples from the on-site monitor. We also evaluated information on wind speed and wind direction from a weather monitor at the school, along with historical weather information and information about nearby sources of manganese emissions.
- We also reviewed monitoring data for manganese that had been collected by OEPA from near the school and at other locations in East Liverpool, including some locations closer to the two industrial sources.
- The analysis indicates that manganese concentrations in the air near the school are influenced by two nearby industrial facilities that handle and store bulk and packaged products, including metals, minerals, and various industrial products.
- The OEPA has conducted monitoring for manganese and other metals at three locations in the East Liverpool community since 2000.
- Recent enforcement activities by OEPA are anticipated to result in additional substantial reductions in manganese particulate matter by November 19, 2010.
- Based on these findings, EPA recommends additional air toxics monitoring in the East Liverpool area to better characterize the potential for exposures of concern in the community and the impact of the anticipated emissions reductions from OEPA enforcement actions.
- Click here for additional information
How We Analyzed the Information We Collected at this School
The analysis considered whether the information collected at the school might raise concerns for the health of children or adults at the school. We looked at the following types of information:
- Measured manganese concentrations and information on manganese.
- Measured wind direction and wind speed at the school.
- Information about nearby sources of manganese emissions.
- Additional monitoring data collected in the area by OEPA.
Analysis of Measured Manganese Concentrations:
1. Calculate the average: We calculated the average of the manganese measurements (shown by the black diamond in the graph below). We compared this average to the long-term comparison level (thick line on the graph below). The long-term comparison level represents a level of manganese in the air that is below levels associated with health concerns, even if someone breathed air containing manganese at that level all day, every day over their lifetime.
Result: The average manganese level for the samples collected was above the long-term comparison level. There is a potential for health concerns from long-term continuous exposure, particularly in areas closer to sources where concentrations are higher.
2. Calculate a range: To account for varying air concentrations of manganese, we calculated a range around the average. We did this by estimating high and low values that the longer-term concentrations might reach using common statistical tools. We compared the highest point in the range (called the “upper bound”) to the long-term comparison level.
Result: The high end of the range is higher than the comparison level. There is a potential for health concerns from long-term continuous exposure, particularly in areas closer to sources where concentrations are higher.
Analysis of Measured Wind Direction and Wind Speed at the School
We took measurements of wind direction and speed every day during the sample period. We took special note of the wind speed and direction on the days we took measurements of manganese.
|What we looked at||What we found|
|We looked at whether the wind data taken on the days we took measurements of manganese are similar or different from the wind patterns during the entire sampling period.||We found the wind patterns taken on the days we took measurements of manganese to be similar to those observed during the entire sampling period.|
|We looked at whether the wind pattern during the sampling period is similar or different from wind patterns over the long term.||We did not collect a full year of wind data at this school. Based on wind data in the general region and the influence on the wind pattern by the Ohio River, we concluded that wind patterns over the sampling period may not be similar to the long-term patterns for the region.|
Analysis of Information on Nearby Source of Manganese Emissions
|What we looked at||What we found|
|Whether we could determine if the sources were operating as usual during the sampling period.||Both S.H. Bell facilities were operating at approximately 50% of normal capacity during the sampling period.|
|The concentrations of manganese measured at the school are consistent with those suggested by the information that helped identify this school for monitoring.|
|The two nearby sources of manganese owned by S.H. Bell have submitted permit applications currently under review by OEPA. Recent enforcement activities by OPEA are anticipated to result in additional substantial reductions in manganese particulate matter by November 19, 2010.|
Technical Report for School: Assessing Outdoor Air Near Schools: East Elementary School (East Liverpool, OH) (PDF) (28pp, 695k). The technical report is geared toward risk assessors, risk managers, and other regulatory agencies.