By Elizabeth M. Sloss , J, Henry H. Willis Nicholas Castle

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Extra resources for Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 4: Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines for Structural Collapse Events

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PCBs were used as coolants in transformers before being banned for this use in 1977. However, PCB-containing transformers may still be in use in older buildings (ATSDR, 2001). Sloss et al. (2005) provide health-effects reviews of dioxins and PCBs. These chemicals were selected based on their toxicity and likely presence in the post–structural collapse environment. Volatile Organic Compounds. The largest source of VOCs at a building collapse will most likely be from incomplete combustion of organic materials.

Both OSHA and NIOSH also analyzed air samples for respirable silica. NIOSH results did not detect silica in any air samples collected at and around the collapse site between September 18 and October 4. 2 The Dust Cloud of Tower One, September 11, 2001 the OSHA PEL in 94 exposure samples. These samples were collected at the WTC in work areas with jack hammering, drilling, loading rubble, and breaking or chipping concrete (NIOSH, 2002; OSHA, 2002). It is important to point out that the EPA specifically notes that personal accounts and photographs on September 11 suggest that particulate concentrations could have been as high as hundreds of milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3 ) (National Center for Environmental Assessment, 2002).

These chemicals were selected based on their toxicity and likely presence in the post–structural collapse environment. Volatile Organic Compounds. The largest source of VOCs at a building collapse will most likely be from incomplete combustion of organic materials. VOCs are organic chemicals with high vapor pressures. This property causes these liquids to evaporate readily. Examples of VOCs associated with building materials include benzene, ethylbenzene, styrene, toluene, and xylene. Common uses include adhesives, paints, coatings, and the manufacture of plastics and organic textiles.

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