Asbestos Abatement >> Facts About Asbestos Removal

Residents could have inhaled Libby asbestos fibers from household dust—either from plant emissions that infiltrated into homes or Facts About Asbestos Removal from dust brought inside from waste products brought home for personal use. 

No information on past levels of contamination in ambient air exist but past ambient air emissions would have been high enough Facts About Asbestos Removal to infiltrate significantly into houses about a quarter of a mile away appears unlikely. 

No information has been gathered about community members using waste materials in their yards, and information to evaluate whether this exposure pathway is likely to be significant for the site is insufficient. 

On site Soil containing asbestos concentrations greater than 1% was removed to a depth of 1 foot below the surface, the excavation was back-filled with clean soil, and Facts About Asbestos Removal capped with concrete or asphalt. (EPA 2002d). Trace amounts of Libby asbestos have been detected in the soil remaining around the plant. 

Disturbing soils with even trace amounts of Libby asbestos can result in airborne Libby asbestos at levels of potential concern (Weis 2001). That said, however, Facts About Asbestos Removal the contaminated soils on site were not presently being disturbed, given that these soils are on a railroad spur or in vegetated areas. 

Given current site conditions, ATSDR considers on-site soils to be an incomplete exposure pathway at the present time. Finished Consumer Products People who purchase vermiculite products and Facts About Asbestos Removal use those products in and around their homes may be exposed to asbestos fibers. 

At this time, determining the public health implication of commercial or consumer use of vermiculite products (e.g., home insulation or gardening products) is beyond the scope of this evaluation. Studies have shown, Facts About Asbestos Removal however, that disturbing or using these products can result in airborne asbestos fiber levels higher than occupational safety limits (Weis 2001). 

Additional information for consumers of vermiculite products has been developed by EPA, ATSDR, and NIOSH and Facts About Asbestos Removal provided to the public (see www.epa.gov/asbestos/insulation.html). Health Outcome Data As a separate project, ATSDR’s Division of Health Studies is obtaining data to perform health statistics reviews related to sites that have received vermiculite ore. 

When complete, Facts About Asbestos Removal ATSDR will publish results of the health statistics review for this site. Summary of Removal and Remedial Actions Completed EPA has overseen a removal action at this site that included removal of dusts the horizontal surfaces inside buildings (>10,000 s/cm2), and removal of highly contaminated soils (>1% asbestos) on site. 

Child Health Considerations ATSDR and ADHS recognize that the unique vulnerabilities of infants and children make them of special concern to communities faced with contamination of their water, soil, air, or Facts About Asbestos Removal food. Children are at greater risk than are adults from certain kinds of exposures to hazardous substances—including asbestos—at waste disposal sites. 

They are more likely to be exposed because they play outdoors and they often bring food into contaminated areas. Children are smaller than are most adults, which means they breathe dust, soil, and Facts About Asbestos Removal heavy vapors close to the ground. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages. 

Most importantly, however, children depend completely on adults for risk identification and management decisions, housing decisions, and Facts About Asbestos Removal access to medical care. The long latency period (between 10 and 40 years) of asbestos-related diseases also places children at greater risk of developing disease earlier in life. 

Children who lived near the site may have been exposed to asbestos-containing wastes while the plant was operating. Children may also have been exposed to asbestos in particulate emissions from the plant, Facts About Asbestos Removal in dust carried into homes from air emissions, or from use of the vermiculite wastes as fill at residential properties. 

Children could have been exposed from dust carried home on the clothing of a parent who worked at the plant. Ongoing exposure could be occurring in locations where vermiculite wastes were used as fill and in homes where it was used for insulation. That said, however, Facts About Asbestos Removal the extent of these exposures, and the potential health effects, remain difficult to determine. 

Conclusions 1. Occupational exposure to asbestos fibers in indoor air at the W.R Grace facility in Phoenix between 1964 and 1992 was a public health hazard to employees of the facility. In the past, Facts About Asbestos Removal workers’ families are likely to have been exposed to Libby asbestos through household contact. 

Because residual levels of Libby asbestos in the facility were low, occupational exposure from 1992–2002 posed no apparent public health hazard. In 2002, Facts About Asbestos Removal the EPA required cleanup further reduced exposures to Libby asbestos to workers on site. 

Information is insufficient to determine the extent to which people living in the neighborhood of the plant were exposed to Libby asbestos in the past from the ambient air pathway, the residential indoor pathway, Facts About Asbestos Removal the residential outdoor pathway, or the waste piles pathway. These pathways pose an indeterminate public health hazard. 

Any risk of adverse health effects from these past pathways would, however, be small compared to the past occupational and household contacts pathways. 4. In the past, Libby asbestos contamination in on-site soils around the plant posed an indeterminate health hazard. 

Soils containing >1% asbestos on the site have been cleaned up, and given current site conditions (i.e., no disturbance of soils containing trace levels of asbestos), present and future on-site exposure poses no public health hazard. Promote awareness of past asbestos exposure among former workers and members of their households. 

Encourage former workers and their household contacts to inform their regular physician about their exposure to asbestos. If former workers or their household contacts are concerned or symptomatic, Facts About Asbestos Removal they should be encouraged to see a physician who specializes in asbestos-related lung diseases. 

Develop a plan for reducing the possibility of frequent or Facts About Asbestos Removal regular contact with soil containing trace levels of Libby asbestos. Promote awareness of potential past asbestos exposure among community members who lived near the facility from 1964 through 2002 and provide easily accessible materials that will assist community members in self-identifying their exposures. 

Provide information to increase awareness of the site owner about potential residual asbestos at the Facts About Asbestos Removal site.

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