Sunday, June 24, 2007

United Press International - NewsTrack - Top News - Report: Ground Zero dust claims misleading

United Press International - NewsTrack - Top News - Report: Ground Zero dust claims misleading:

"Report: Ground Zero dust claims misleading

NEW YORK, June 21 (UPI) -- A preliminary report says federal officials misled New York residents about contamination from the collapse of the World Trade Center.

The Government Accountability Office report says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to disclose that 80 percent of air samples taken to test the safety of 4,000 lower Manhattan apartments were taken after the residences had been professionally decontaminated, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The report said the EPA's claim that only a 'very small' number of air samples revealed unsafe levels of asbestos led residents to underestimate the risk of contamination in their homes. The report said only 295 residents and apartment building owners opted to take advantage of a cleanup program that ended registration in March -- far less than the 20,000 apartments eligible for the program.

'Residents are understandably reluctant to participate in what they consider to be a waste of time,' said Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who led the Senate subcommittee hearing where the report's findings were revealed. She said the report offered 'a very different picture from what the White House would like us to believe.'"

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