At U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5's request, a special team from EPA's Environmental Response Center will soon begin air sampling at Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Ill., to better determine the level of airborne asbestos.

In June 2007, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry asked EPA's national technical review workgroup on asbestos to review its Illinois Beach State Park Exposure Investigation Draft Report. ATSDR's draft report provides an interpretation of the air samples taken for asbestos in May and August 2006. ATSDR is a sister agency to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last week, EPA's asbestos workgroup recommended that additional activity-based air sampling at the beach would be useful.

Region 5 and a Las Vegas-based special team are currently developing a sampling protocol and schedule. Air samples will be taken over several days during typical beach activities which may include volleyball, sand play, Frisbee toss and sunbathing.

Work is expected to begin in early September. Air sampling is weather dependent. Region 5 and ATSDR expect to have results this fall.

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