Bayamon, Puerto Rico, April 27th, 2015 -- Earlier this month,The Gleanerpublished a story about residents from St. Thomas Parish in Jamaica voicing concerns over old and leaking cement water pipes that contain asbestos and deliver water to their homes. This type of pipe was once common, but its use was largely discontinued in North America in the 1980s.
While the presence of these types of pipes carrying water and buried underground will not expose most residents to respirable asbestos hazards, they could expose people to asbestos fibers in their drinking water. Ingesting asbestos fibers is one possible cause of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM), a rare type of cancer of the peritoneum that surrounds the abdominal cavity.
Asbestos continues to be a significant concern for many residents of Jamaica and all across the Caribbean. In addition to concerns over asbestos containing cement pipes, many homes, businesses and institutions can still be found with asbestos containing materials both on the inside and on the outside of the buildings. Properties that have these materials could be creating a health threat for any building occupants as the items age, become friable and possibly aerosolized into the air people breathe. Exposure to asbestos fibers is known to cause serious health conditions, including mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, “You can't tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos or have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional. A professional should take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released.”
The Caribbean’s leading asbestos testing and consulting providers can be found at Zimmetry Environmental. Zimmetry is based in Puerto Rico, but they provide services across the entire Caribbean.
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their asbestos, indoor air quality, environmental and compliance consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.