Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | September 10, 2003

EPA: Ground Zero air ok. Reality: "like a chemical factory"

While the EPA was frorced by the NSA to declare Ground Zero safe, the reality was completely different:

The burning ruins of the World Trade Center spewed toxic gases "like a chemical factory" for at least six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks despite government assurances the air was safe, according to a study released on Wednesday.

The gases of toxic metals, acids and organics could penetrate deeply into the lungs of workers at Ground Zero, said the study by scientists at the University of California at Davis and released at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in New York.

Lead study author Thomas Cahill, a professor of physics and engineering, said conditions would have been "brutal" for workers at Ground Zero without respirators and slightly less so for those working or living in adjacent buildings.

"The debris pile acted like a chemical factory," Cahill said. "It cooked together the components and the buildings and their contents, including enormous numbers of computers, and gave off gases of toxic metals, acids and organics for at least six weeks."

The Administration's argument, of course, is that it had to declare Ground Zero based on national security considerations. I'm having a hard time seeing what those considerations might've been.

To prevent a panic? To convince poor saps to clear out the wreckage? To get commerce back up and running in Manhattan?

Are those the reasons they have likely cut short the lives of hundreds or thousands of New Yorkers, and plagued them with a lifetime of respiratory ailments?

Posted September 10, 2003 02:36 PM | Comments (117)


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