EPA’s Assessment of Air Samples at the CCMA in California for Asbestos
Read the EPA press release regarding the asbestos risk assessment of the Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) in California for the risk of cancer for those living or working in the area. The EPA conducted air samples during 2004-2005 for their study.
In 2004 and 2005, EPA Region 9 collected air samples while EPA employees and contractors participated in typical recreational activities common to the CCMA. The samples were collected from the breathing zone of individuals riding motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, driving and riding in SUVs, hiking, camping, sleeping in a tent, fence building, and washing and vacuuming vehicles after use at the CCMA.
The EPA risk assessment only evaluated excess lifetime cancer risks. Asbestos can also cause debilitating and fatal diseases other than cancer, such as asbestosis and pleural disease. The EPA risk assessment did not take other diseases into account because no asbestos toxicity values exist for non-cancer health effects. Non-cancer health effects from heightened asbestos exposure in the area may actually be more significant to total disease outcome than cancer.
The CCMA spans more than 75,000 acres across San Benito and Fresno Counties and includes the Atlas Asbestos Mine Superfund Site. It includes a 31,000 acre outcrop of naturally occurring asbestos.
Federal agencies must incorporate environmental considerations in their planning and decision-making, and ensure the scientific integrity of analyses in their environmental impact statements. Specifically, BLM will use the information provided in the EPA’s risk assessment to evaluate alternatives in an upcoming environmental impact statement for managing the CCMA.
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