Asbestos In The Natural Environment

Asbestos exists all over in the natural environment. It is a naturally occurring mineral. It is an element, actually. It seems as if asbestos being unavoidable like that would pose a threat to the public health.
And it does. Asbestos is mined from the ground, and at least in Russia they blow it up to get the asbestos. You can read more about that in this article. It used to be mined all over the world. But many countries have by now banned asbestos and as well as mining it. But asbestos can be found in natural places that aren’t and never were asbestos mines. One example of this is Swift Creek. Swift Creek flows into the Sumas River which is in Washington as well as part of Canada. But Swift Creek has been found to have unsafe levels of asbestos in it and surrounding river beds. Swift Creek has also been found to have a lot of manganese, cobalt, nickel, chromium and magnesium. Asbestos can’t harm you at all. That is, until it gets disturbed. Once the asbestos is disturbed it is released into the environment. Then it can get into your lungs and cause cancer or another asbestos related disease. As it is quite simple to determine, a moving creek would disturb the asbestos. Also anyone who goes creek walking or walks on the dry river beds nearby releases asbestos into the air. Since 2006 the Environmental Protection Agency has been testing for dangerous materials in Swift Creek as well as its surrounding riverbeds. Their report states that there are “no resident fish” in the creek and the fact that it flows into Sumas River can explain the poor water quality in said river. The dry samples that the EPA tested contain up to 43 percent asbestos! For a really long time asbestos has been in use. Even thousands of years ago it was used! Because of all its use in history it is easy to find asbestos both in buildings and the natural environment. For almost a hundred years it has been known that asbestos is very bad for human health. In the 1960s a man named Dr. Irving J Selikoff proved that asbestos is bad for your health. That wasn’t a hundred years ago! But the U.S. Bureau of Mines claims that they were aware of the dangers of asbestos as early as 1932 when they wrote a letter to an asbestos manufacturer. Said letter included this sentence: “It is now known that asbestos dust is one of the most dangerous dusts to which man is exposed.” But at that point is wasn’t well known. So once Dr. Selikoff proved that asbestos is very dangerous to the public health, many countries banned it. Every year many, many people are exposed to asbestos, one estimation even being hundreds of thousands. And the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health estimated that every year 250,000 people die from asbestos exposure. In most cases when people get an asbestos related disease it is caused by occupational exposure which means that they were exposed to the asbestos that made them ill while doing their job. Even though asbestos has so many known negative health effects much is still to be done before it is banned worldwide. How does this relate to us? Asbestos is in the natural environment. That, in fact, is how it is obtained. And the asbestos around us out-of-doors can cause us illness. But many people have agreed that there is a certain amount of asbestos exposure that will cause you illness. And before that limit is reached you are pretty safe. New York’s Controversial Asbestos Court made actually new rules for its court cases that reflects these understandings. So even if inevitably you will be exposed to asbestos during your life, it is necessary to make the amount of exposure lower. And if you have asbestos in your home or your building then you will be exposed to it quite a bit. So call us today at (312) 586-8713 to get your asbestos removed.

6800 S Jeffery Ave # 2A, Chicago, IL 60649, (312) 586-8713

Leave a Reply