Naturally Occuring Asbestos
Asbestos refers to six naturally occurring minerals that have fibrous characteristics and properties that lend to its use as a diverse and efficient industrial product. The majority of industrial asbestos falls under the chrysotile type. Fibrous asbestos material is found in certain types of rock formations. In California it is generally found in the coastal mountain ranges as well as the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Harmless while in its natural undisturbed state, weathering and human disturbance can cause the fibrous material to become airborne and subsequently inhaled into the lungs of air breathing mammals where it tends to persist due to the natural crystalline structure of asbestos.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and can cause cancer in the lungs and in the lining of internal organs as well as cause other diseases that inhibit proper lung function. Routine exposure to airborne asbestos can increase the likelihood of affliction. The key components to mitigating the negative effects of asbestos is limiting exposure to airborne asbestos fibers and keeping asbestos from becoming airborne to begin with.
Apex's environmental professionals can help you determine if soils adjacent to your residence or place of business contain fibrous asbestos material. Apex uses an environmental due diligence approach when investigating for naturally occurring asbestos (NOA). The EPA has a database of areas in the US where asbestos-containing rock formations have been identified to date. Apex environmental professionals will use all available resources to establish a likelihood of the presence of asbestos in your soil and make recommendations if the investigation should go further. If the area in question is a fill site, in other words, an area that had dirt brought to the site to raise the grade, or gravel was imported for a road or driveway and was left unpaved, sampling the suspect material will be the only way to determine if asbestos is present.
Apex environmental professionals can help with development of an action plan for asbestos mitigation. Techniques will focus around the elimination of dust creation and can be very effective at keeping asbestos from becoming airborne and causing problems. If you suspect a problem or are looking for reassurance about your immediate environment do not hesitate to contact one of Apex's regional offices for assistance.