But Philadelphia’s deputy health commissioner, Caroline Johnson, said the windy day helped clear the air of any pollutants that could have affected city residents.
“Based on aggressive sampling of air quality in the region of PES, we found nothing of concern, and we see no evidence that there’s been an impact on the health of the public in Philadelphia,” Johnson said.
By Susan Phillips and Dana Bate
Deputy Health Commissioner Caroline Johnson said Air Management Services has been doing “aggressive” monitoring of chemicals associated with fires and burning fuel.
“They have been doing daily inspections in the community and along the fence line of PES (Philadelphia Energy Solutions), and all of those have been negative,” she said, adding there’s no evidence of any other public health effects.
By Pat Loeb
Dr. Caroline Johnson said Health Department staff have been conducting “very aggressive” air quality monitoring in neighborhoods surrounding Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ Girard Point refinery since Friday morning.
By Vince Lattanzio
Dr. Caroline Johnson, a deputy health commissioner for the city, said experts had been carefully checking air quality for any increase in noxious chemicals and found none. On Friday, she said, tests showed very minor elevations of acetone and ethanol, but those quickly abated.
She noted that there was no evidence of any release of hydrogen fluoride, a deadly chemical used in refining. Nor, she said, was there any spike in visits to area emergency rooms for breathing problems.
By Willliam Bender and Craig McCoy
While the scene at PES is still active, there is no threat to the community, officials said.
Health officials said air quality monitoring is ongoing.
By Max Bennett
The city’s deputy health commissioner said Tuesday that aggressive air monitoring has turned up nothing of note and that emergency rooms have not reported increases in people with respiratory distress.
Dr. Caroline Johnson also said air samples tested for 61 chemical compounds found “very minor” elevations of acetone and ethanol Friday but nothing since then.
Health concerns: Mayor Jim Kenney notes that “there are no findings that would suggest a threat to public health.” Dr. Caroline Johnson, a deputy health commissioner for the city, said hydrogen fluoride was not released.
By Patricia Madej
Philly’s Department of Public Health reported Friday that they took samples of the air with hand monitors right outside the plant and through the neighborhood, looking for hydrocarbons, combustibles, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon monoxide. All tests came back negative, said the health department’s communications director James Garrow.
The department conducted 18 more tests over the weekend, all of which came back negative, he said Monday.
On Saturday and Sunday the department also took grab samples and tested the air around the plant for 61 different volatile compounds. All 61 compounds came back as being below legal limits, though two compounds—acetone and ethanol—were reported as being higher than usual, Garrow said.
By Anna Merriman