“Comparisons of the Dust/Smoke Particulate that Settled Inside the Surrounding Buildings and Outside on the Streets of Southern New York City after the Collapse of the World Trade “Center”, September 11, 2001″

2004:3: Millette

Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 54:515-528


The collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001, generated large amounts of dust and smoke that settled in the surrounding indoor and outdoor environments in southern Manhattan. Sixteen dust samples were collected from undisturbed locations inside two uncleaned buildings that were adjacent to Ground Zero. These samples were analyzed for morphology, metals, and organic compounds, and the results were compared with the previously reported outdoor WTC dust/smoke results. We also analyzed seven additional dust samples provided by residents in the local neighborhoods.

The morphologic analyses showed that the indoor WTC dust/smoke samples were similar to the outdoor WTC dust/smoke samples in composition and characteristics but with more than 50% mass in the <53um size fraction. This was in contrast to the outdoor samples that contained >50% of mass above >53um. Elemental analyses also showed the similarities, but at lower concentrations. Organic compounds present in the outdoor samples were also detected in the indoor samples. Conversely, the resident-provided convenience dust samples were different from either the WTC indoor or outdoor samples in composition and pH, indicating that they were not WTC-affected locations.

In summary, the indoor dust/smoke was similar in concentration to the outdoor dust/smoke but had a greater percentage of mass <53um in diameter.

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