Update 3

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)>> Additional Sediment Sampling Data Released>> Contact: Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov>>(Washington, D.C. – September 22, 2005) Biological and chemical data>from sediment samples collected in New Orleans are now available. EPA>and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) collected>the chemical and biological data September 10, 11 and 12.>>Direct frequent contact with sediments containing petroleum>hydrocarbons/fuel oils and E. coli at the levels detected in the samples>may cause adverse health effects. The levels of other chemical>contaminants detected in sediment are not expected to result in adverse>health effects. EPA recommends avoiding all contact with sediment>deposited by the flood water, where possible.>>The sediment sampled consists of residuals deposited by receding>floodwaters, which may include historical sediment from nearby bodies of>water, soil from yards, yard and construction debris, and other>material.>>E. coli was detected in 11 of the samples, which implies presence of>fecal bacteria. While no standards exist for determining human health>risks from E. coli in soil or sediment, people should avoid contact with>sediment in the area. If contact occurs, EPA and the Centers for>Disease Control strongly advise the removal of contaminated clothing and>the use of soap and water, if available, to clean the exposed areas.>>If contact with fuel oil occurs, the National Institute for Occupational>Safety and Health recommends washing with soap and water, flushing of>the eyes, removal of contaminated clothing, and immediate medical>attention if ingestion of fuel oil contaminated media occurs.>Additional information concerning fuel oils may be found on the Agency>for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Agency’s ToxFAQs for fuel>oils: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts75.html>>Data from the September 10 samples are available on EPA’s web site at:>http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/sediments/index.html>>For additional information on EPA’s response to Hurricane Katrina, go>to: http://www.epa.gov/katrina>>For information on LDEQ’s response to Hurricane Katrina, go to:>http://www.deq.state.la.us/