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Fact Sheet

June 2010

Results of EPA's Second Round of Sampling for PCBs, Buildings 50 and 52, Bannister Federal Complex, 1500 E. Bannister Road, Kansas City, Mo.


At the request of the General Services Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 collected a second series of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) samples in and around Buildings 50 and 52 at the Bannister Federal Complex, 1500 E. Bannister Road, in Kansas City, Mo. on March 26-28, 2010. The samples did not reveal health concerns related to PCBs at the two buildings. EPA conducted similar tests in February.

Building 50 houses GSA's Kansas City South Field Office, and Building 52 houses the Bannister Complex Child Development Center. The center is a public child care facility operated by a private contractor on GSA's behalf. EPA plans to conduct two additional sampling events at these buildings later this year.


During the March sampling event, EPA collected indoor air samples and air samples taken from beneath the concrete floor slabs at both buildings. The results include tests for 209 forms of PCBs. The sampling results have been evaluated by EPA's risk assessment team and toxicologists to determine any possible risks to human health that might have been identified.

PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were domestically manufactured from 1929 until their manufacture was banned in 1979. PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer and hydraulic equipment; as plasticizers in paints, plastics and rubber products; in pigments, dyes and carbonless copy paper; and many other industrial applications.


After careful study and evaluation, EPA scientists determined that the air sampling did not reveal health concerns related to PCBs with indoor air at either of the two buildings.

A summary of the testing results is available online at: www.epa.gov/region07/cleanup/bannister/index.htm


GSA has installed vapor mitigation systems in both buildings.  The systems take vapors that are present below the building and vent them into open air where they dissipate rapidly. Results from the second round of sampling for VOCs, taken after the systems were installed indicate a decrease in the VOCs found beneath the slab for both buildings. Additional systems were installed in May to increase the coverage of the mitigation beneath the buildings.

Additionally, EPA will conduct vapor intrusion monitoring at the two buildings two more times this year.  

EPA will begin the soil gas and groundwater monitoring activities in the area surrounding Buildings 50 and 52 in late June and July 2010. These investigations are a follow-up to the vapor intrusion work previously conducted in the buildings. It is anticipated it will take several months to complete the field work associated with this portion of the investigation.


Vapors and gases from contaminated groundwater and soil have the potential to seep into indoor spaces and cause health problems. When vapor intrusion occurs, health risks will vary based on the type of chemicals, the levels of chemicals found, the length of exposure and the health of the exposed individuals. Mitigation systems, such as sub-slab depressurization systems, help lower or eliminate the risks that these vapors might enter buildings.

When chemicals build up in indoor air at high levels, some people may experience health effects such as eye and respiratory irritation, headaches and/or nausea. These symptoms are temporary and should go away when the person moves to fresh air.

Usually, health officials are more concerned about low-level chemical exposures over many years. Long-term exposure to some chemicals may raise a person's lifetime risk of developing cancer or other chronic diseases.


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:

Dianna Whitaker
Belinda Young
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Toll Free: 1-800-223-0425

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