Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Naturally Occurring Asbestos
Clear Creek Management Area
Asbestos is a known human carcinogen. Despite the uncertainties inherent in risk assessment, EPA evaluation of asbestos exposures and risks at the Clear Creek Management Area has led to some important conclusions.
- The Activity Causes the Exposure – The concentration of asbestos in the breathing zone is directly related to the degree that an activity disturbs the soil and creates dust.
- Children Are of Special Concern – In a majority of the samples, the concentration of asbestos measured in a child’s breathing zone exceeded the asbestos concentration in the companion adult sample. Further, a child’s life expectancy exceeds the latency period for asbestos-related disease.
- The Higher the Exposure, the Higher the Risk – The activities with the highest exposure - motorcycling, ATV riding, and SUV driving/riding - had the highest corresponding excess lifetime cancer risk.
- Reducing the Exposure Will Reduce the Risk – The risk of developing asbestos-related disease is dependent on the level of exposure, the duration of exposure, and the time since first exposure. Reducing exposure will reduce the risk of developing asbestos-related cancers and debilitating and potentially fatal non-cancer disease.
In summary, the asbestos exposures that EPA measured at CCMA are high and the resulting health risks are of concern.
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