U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)
>
>                Additional Sediment Sampling Data Released
>
>       Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov
>
>(Washington, D.C. - September 22, 2005)  Biological and chemical data
>from sediment samples collected in New Orleans are now available.  EPA
>and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) collected
>the chemical and biological data September 10, 11 and 12.
>
>Direct frequent contact with sediments containing petroleum
>hydrocarbons/fuel oils and E. coli at the levels detected in the samples
>may cause adverse health effects.  The levels of other chemical
>contaminants detected in sediment are not expected to result in adverse
>health effects.  EPA recommends avoiding all contact with sediment
>deposited by the flood water, where possible.
>
>The sediment sampled consists of residuals deposited by receding
>floodwaters, which may include historical sediment from nearby bodies of
>water, soil from yards, yard and construction debris, and other
>material.
>
>E. coli was detected in 11 of the samples, which implies presence of
>fecal bacteria.  While no standards exist for determining human health
>risks from E. coli in soil or sediment, people should avoid contact with
>sediment in the area.  If contact occurs, EPA and the Centers for
>Disease Control strongly advise the removal of contaminated clothing and
>the use of soap and water, if available, to clean the exposed areas.
>
>If contact with fuel oil occurs, the National Institute for Occupational
>Safety and Health recommends washing with soap and water, flushing of
>the eyes, removal of contaminated clothing, and immediate medical
>attention if ingestion of fuel oil contaminated media occurs.
>Additional information concerning fuel oils may be found on the Agency
>for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Agency's ToxFAQs for fuel
>oils:  http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts75.html
>
>Data from the September 10 samples are available on EPA's web site at:
>http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/sediments/index.html
>
>For additional information on EPA's response to Hurricane Katrina, go
>to:  http://www.epa.gov/katrina
>
>For information on LDEQ's response to Hurricane Katrina, go to:
>http://www.deq.state.la.us/