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Initial Area Air Samples Show No Contaminants, But More Testing Is Needed

Bill Rinehart
Brad Miller of Environmental Services shows off a cannister used to collect air samples.

Air quality testing in central Hamilton County has not turned up any volatile organic compounds, but testing will continue. The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency conducted tests at 20 different locations on Monday and Tuesday in response to complaints.

Interim Director Brad Miller says that air monitoring will continue for the next month. "The other thing we're going to do is to take 24-hour samples. The normal air toxics monitoring that we do, we take a 24-hour sample. So to be consistent with that, we've located two places in the community where we're going to try to take 24-hour samples when the meteorological conditions are appropriate."

He told Hamilton County commissioners they collected samples from Winton Place, Winton Hills, Winton Terrace, Spring Grove Village, St. Bernard and Elmwood Place.

Miller says they want to take measurements when wind is blowing into the neighborhoods. "The next four or five days doesn't look favorable, but we'll continue to monitor that. We'll put it out for a 24-hour period, send it off to a lab and get it analyzed. We'd like to collect about four samples in each of those communities over the next month."

Since 1991, Miller says there's been "a lot of monitoring" in the area. He says a study by the EPA in the late 1990s "found the emissions to be similar to other urban areas."

"When we get some of this canister data, we'll have a toxicologist review that data to make sure that it's within the acceptable risk levels."

Miller says this week's sampling doesn't mean there aren't volatile organic compounds in the air, just that they haven't been detected. The instruments used by Hamilton County Environmental Services measure down to parts per billion.