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Materials characterization of dusts generated by the collapse of the World Trade Center

January 1, 2009

The major inorganic components of the dusts generated from the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001 were concrete materials, gypsum, and man-made vitreous fibers. These components were likely derived from lightweight Portland cement concrete floors, gypsum wallboard, and spray-on fireproofing and ceiling tiles, respectively. All of the 36 samples collected by the USGS team had these materials as the three major inorganic components of the dust. Components found at minor and trace levels include chrysotile asbestos, lead, crystalline silica, and particles of iron and zinc oxides. Other heavy metals, such as lead, bismuth, copper, molybdenum, chromium, and nickel, were present at much lower levels occurring in a variety of chemical forms. Several of these materials have health implications based on their chemical composition, morphology, and bioaccessibility.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2009
Title Materials characterization of dusts generated by the collapse of the World Trade Center
DOI 10.1021/bk-2006-0919.ch005
Authors Gregory P. Meeker, Stephen J. Sutley, Isabelle Brownfield, Heather Lowers, Amy M. Bern, Gregg A. Swayze, Todd M. Hoefen, Geoffrey S. Plumlee, Roger N. Clark, Carol A. Gent
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70140561
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization