Identifying Naturally Occurring Asbestos Hazards at Worksites
Asbestos is the name given to a group of six different fibrous minerals that occur naturally in the environment. These minerals can be found in soil and rock formations in many regions of the Western United States.
The term naturally occurring asbestos, or NOA, refers to the mineral as a natural component of soils or rocks as opposed to asbestos in commercial products, mining or processing operations. Naturally occurring asbestos can be released from rocks or soils by routine human activities or natural weathering processes. Prolonged inhalation exposure to asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.
“Recently, naturally occurring asbestos halted a $490 million highway project in Southern Nevada when it was found to be in the path of the construction,” said Franco Seif, President of Clark Seif Clark. “After months of delay, the project was allowed to continue with a number of protective measures implemented to protect workers from exposure to any asbestos fibers that may be aerosolized during earth moving activities.”
Construction workers in areas with naturally occurring asbestos are not the only people at risk of exposure. People can be exposed to naturally occurring asbestos through routine activities that crush asbestos-containing rock or stir up dust in soils that contain asbestos fibers. In areas with naturally occurring asbestos, these activities could include:
· Working in a yard or garden
· Digging or shoveling dirt
· Riding bicycles, off-road vehicles or driving on unpaved surfaces
· Running and hiking on unpaved surfaces
Helping to protect workers and the public from exposure to asbestos are the environmental professional at Clark Seif Clark. Their team of experts provides asbestos testing and consulting services to identify and help mitigate exposure risks associated with naturally occurring asbestos or due to its presence in manmade materials still found in many residential, commercial and institutional properties. Clark Seif Clark also recently sponsored an educational video about naturally occurring asbestos that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/1AiAr6TC2pw
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address environmental, IAQ, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.