The tragedy of the September 11, 2001, collapse of the World Trade
Center (WTC) towers and other buildings in and adjacent to the WTC site
produced a dust cloud that was visible from space and covered much of lower
Manhattan in millimeters to centimeters of extremely fine powdered material.
This material was inhaled and ingested by thousands of people on the day
of the event and for several days afterward. In addition, thousands of
apartments, offices, and public buildings were contaminated by the dust
through a variety of pathways.
This preliminary report seeks to quantitatively define the fine-particle
fraction of WTC dust for the purpose of identifying a diagnostic signature.
The signature could then be used by those working on this and other aspects
of the WTC dust contamination issue in order to identify low levels of
residual WTC dust. The analytical procedures in this report are not intended
to be used as routine methods for analysis of samples; they were developed
to obtain an accurate quantitative determination of the relative abundances
of components in bulk WTC dust.
|Posted January 2005
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*Current address: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Enforcement Investigations Center, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225