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Analysis after 9/11 Finds No Significant Changes for Two Classes of Contaminants in Hudson-Raritan Estuary; Data Will Support Future Research and Monitoring Efforts

Laboratory analysis of samples taken from the Hudson-Raritan Estuary before and after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 indicates no significant change in the concentrations of two classes of contaminants: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (toxic byproducts of burning fuel or other carbon materials) and polychlorinated biphenyls (flame retardants from office furniture and other materials).

This information will be useful to coastal management agencies and public health organizations seeking information on the status of the estuary and its coastal resources after September 11, when these and other contaminants were released into the environment due to the collapse of the Center. It will also support future research and monitoring efforts.

Scientists from National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)’s Mussel Watch Project compared over 20 years of chemical contaminant monitoring data with samples collected in December 2001 and November 2003 to document changes in the concentration of these organic contaminants following the collapse.

A summary of the analysis is in Marine Pollution Bulletin and can be found online at ScienceDirect.

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Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=1240

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