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EPA Report Shows Decline in Air Deposition of Lead and PCB`s

EPA Report Shows Decline in Air Deposition of
  Lead and PCB`s to Great Lakes

  February 2, 1998

  CHICAGO, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ via Individual Inc. -- U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's
  (EPA) national air trends report shows that air concentrations of
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's)
  and other persistent organochlorines have declined significantly in
the Great Lakes region.

  The most consistent trend is the reduction in lead in the atmosphere
between 1998 and 1994, most
  likely related to the ban of leaded gasoline. The most recent
monitoring data also shows a decline
  in PCB's near Lakes Michigan and Erie compared to past levels. PCB's
have been a persistent
  problem in the Great Lakes, contaminating fish and wildlife. There are
fish consumption advisories
  on all the lakes due to PCB contamination. DDT also declined between
1988 and 1992 but rose
  slightly for all lakes except Superior in 1994.

  "These trends are very encouraging and good news for the Great Lakes,
" said Gary V. Gulezian,
  director of EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office. "Over the last
25 years, the Clean Water and
  Air Acts and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement have reduced
pollution in the Great Lakes,
  but certain toxic substances such as PCB's and DDT persist. The
Integrated Atmosphere Deposition
  Network (IADN) was established try to discover if these toxins might
be coming from the air."

  The report compares deposition estimates from monitoring performed in
1998, 1992, and 1994 by
  IADN, a joint EPA and Environment Canada program which has been
studying air pollution around
  the Great Lakes since 1990. This is the first time information on
deposition of airborne pollutants to
  the Great Lakes has been included in the annual report.

  The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987 and the 1990 Clean Air
Act amendments called
  for the monitoring of atmospheric deposition of toxic chemicals to the
Great Lakes. The IADN
  monitoring network is a leading international effort in the assessment
of the role of persistent,
  organic pollutants and heavy metals in the atmosphere on aquatic
systems. The network is designed
  to assess the magnitude and trends of atmospheric deposition of target
chemicals including PCB's,
  chlorinated pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's), and
trace metals such as lead and
  mercury. Stations on remote shores of each lake collect regional
contaminant data that is
  representative of the air over each lake and not affected by local
sources. Concentrations of target
  chemicals are measured in rain and snow, airborne particles and
airborne organic vapors.

  SOURCE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency