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Municipality Completes Airborne Lead Monitoring Study at Merrill Field Airport

The Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has completed a one-year monitoring study of airborne lead levels at the Merrill Field Airport. Merrill Field was one of 15 airports selected by the EPA for lead monitoring. This monitoring will help determine whether airports serving large numbers of piston aircraft meet new, more stringent air quality standards for airborne lead set by the EPA in 2008.
DHHS found that airborne lead levels at Merrill Field were well below the allowable standard. The three-month rolling average concentration was 0.07 micrograms per cubic meter, which is about half the 0.15 microgram per cubic meter standard.

The EPA estimates that piston aircraft are responsible for about half of all lead emissions nationwide. Unlike cars and trucks, many piston aircraft still run on fuel containing lead additive. The EPA will use the results of monitoring conducted at Merrill field and other airports around the country to determine whether lead emissions from aircraft need to be regulated to protect public health.
A fact sheet and final report on the Merrill Field monitoring can be found at: www.muni.org/healthesd/air.cfm.

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