Assessing Outdoor Air Near Schools
Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School - Shreveport, LA
Results and Analysis of EPA’s monitoring
EPA selected this school for monitoring because it is located near a food equipment manufacturing facility that is a source of air toxics emissions. Computer models were used to determine which air toxics may be present at elevated levels in the outdoor air near the school. These models showed that hexavalent chromium could be present in the air around the school and prompted EPA to test to see if the levels present may be of concern.
|Primary Findings||Levels of hexavalent chromium in the air at the school are below levels of concern for short-term and long-term exposure.|
|Key Pollutants Monitored||Hexavalent chromium. Inhalation of hexavalent chromium at high levels can damage the respiratory system and cause cancer.|
|Next Steps||EPA will not extend air toxics monitoring at Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School at this time because levels of hexavalent chromium in the air at the school are below levels of concern for long-term exposure to air toxics.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) will continue to oversee industrial facilities in the area through the facility’s air permit and other programs.
Summary of Study Approach and Findings
- A monitor collected air samples from August 29, 2009 through December 15, 2009 at the Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School in Shreveport, LA. Hexavalent chromium 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).
- 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 a nearby source of hexavalent chromium emissions.
- Based on the monitoring results, we found no concern for risk of health problems from short-term exposures to hexavalent chromium.
- Our analysis found that levels of hexavalent chromium in the air at the school are below levels of concern for long-term exposure.
- The analysis indicates that hexavalent chromium concentrations in the air near the school are not influenced by a nearby food equipment manufacturing facility.
- The concentrations of hexavalent chromium measured at the school are lower than those suggested by the information that helped identify this school for monitoring.
- The process to identify schools for monitoring relied on emissions estimates and other information. Ambient air monitoring at the school allowed measurement of what was actually in the air.
- The most recently available chromium emissions estimates for the nearby facility from the 2008 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) arelower than the estimates used to identify this school for monitoring.
- Because the analysis shows monitored concentrations of hexavalent chromium levels to be below levels of concern, EPA will not extend air toxics monitoring at Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School.
- 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 hexavalent chromium concentrations and information on hexavalent chromium
- Measured wind direction and wind speed at the school
- Information about nearby sources of hexavalent chromium emissions
Analysis of Measured Hexavalent Chromium Concentrations:
Of the 12 samples collected, hexavalent chromium was not detected in 9 samples and was detected in very small amounts in the other 3 (ranging from 0.010 to 0.033 ng/m3). All these values are well below the long-term cancer-based comparison level of 8.3 ng/m3 and long-term noncancer-based comparison level of 100 ng/m3.
Result: The hexavalent chromium levels for the samples collected were well below the long-term comparison level. The health concern from hexavalent chromium at this site is low.
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 hexavalent chromium.
|What we looked at||What we found|
|We looked at whether the wind data taken on the days we took measurements of hexavalent chromium 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 hexavalent chromium to be somewhat similar to those observed during the entire sampling period.|
|We looked at whether the wind pattern during the sampling period is reflective of the regional wind pattern over the long term.||Although we lack long-term wind data at the monitoring site, the wind pattern at the NWS site during the sampling period is generally similar to the historical long-term wind flow pattern at that same NWS site. Therefore, the 4-month sampling period may be representative of year-round wind patterns.|
Analysis of Information on Nearby Source of Hexavalent Chromium Emissions
|What we looked at||What we found|
|Whether we could determine if the source was operating as usual during the sampling period||Information from the nearby facility indicates that this facility's operations were fluctuating between 50-80% of normal capacity (100%) during the period of sampling. This was slightly below normal due to the downturn in the economy.|
|The concentrations of hexavalent chromium measured at the school are lower than those suggested by the information that helped identify this school for monitoring.|
|The nearby source of hexavalent chromium has a small source air permit issued by the State of Louisiana that includes operating requirements.|
Technical Report for School: Assessing Outdoor Air Near Schools: Eden Gardens Fundamental Elementary School (Shreveport, LA) (PDF) (24pp, 242k). The technical report is geared toward risk assessors, risk managers, and other regulatory agencies.