Chrysotile and Other Forms of Asbestos Still Pose Hazards in Puerto Rico

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Source: Zimmetry Environmental

Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify all six forms of asbestos to protect workers and the public.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- In Puerto Rico and across much of the Caribbean, chrysotile is one of the most frequently found forms of asbestos. Chrysotile is just one of six asbestos and asbestiform minerals that regulatory agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), recognize.

In addition to chrysotile, the others include actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite and tremolite. However, according to OSHA, approximately 95% of the asbestos encountered by abatement workers in the United States is chrysotile.

Chrysotile is also commonly referred to as white asbestos or serpentine asbestos. While some health experts consider exposure to other forms of asbestos to be more dangerous than chrysotile, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have classified chrysotile as a known human carcinogen.  The major health effects associated with exposure include lung cancer; mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart; and asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs.

“Chrysotile and the other forms of asbestos were used extensively for over 100 years in numerous building materials and countless manufactured goods,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “While they have not been used in many of these materials and products for the past several decades, the former widespread use of asbestos means that an untold number of homes and buildings still contain the deadly fibers. Any asbestos-containing materials could be an exposure hazard if they are now friable or when disturbed.

There are health and safety regulations to protect people from exposure risks associated with asbestos-containing materials, especially if they may be disturbed during demolition, remodeling and renovation activities. In Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean, Zimmetry Environmental offers testing, monitoring and consulting services for asbestos and many other regulated and nonregulated materials. These services protect workers, the public and help to keep companies in regulatory compliance. Zimmetry also recently sponsored an educational video about chrysotile that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/8mSVCJMD_E4

To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their asbestos, indoor air quality (IAQ), environmental, or compliance testing and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005, or email info@zimmetry.com.

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