Huntington Beach, CA, May 2nd, 2022
Inhalation exposure to asbestos fibers has long been known to cause diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Far fewer people realize they may also be ingesting asbestos fibers in the water they drink. During the last century, cement pipes made with asbestos were commonly used in drinking water distributions systems. This went on for decades and although the practice peaked in large parts of the country in the mid-1900s, many of these pipes are still in operation.
In an asbestos fact sheet produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back in 1992, the agency reported asbestos was a “common contaminant of domestic water supplies, but EPA has concluded that about 95% of water consumers are exposed to asbestos fiber concentrations of less than one million fibers per liter (MFL).” For those exposed to seven million fibers or more per liter, EPA currently reports there is an increased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps from long-term exposure.
In the document Public Health Goal for Asbestos in Drinking Water, prepared in 2003 by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the contamination of municipal drinking water with asbestos fibers was reported to occur in three ways: through industrial contamination of source water, natural contamination of source water, and from the use of asbestos-cement distribution pipes.
The document further explains:
Asbestos is released to water from a number of sources, including erosion of asbestos bearing rocks and surficial materials in the watershed, erosion of natural deposits, corrosion from asbestos-cement pipes, and disintegration of asbestos roofing materials with subsequent transport via rainwater into cisterns, and the like.
“There are also private wells in use across California that could have asbestos issues since there are a number of natural mineral deposits containing it throughout the state,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “These are all reasons why LA Testing offers laboratory services to identify asbestos from water, soil, air, dust, and bulk samples. Other water testing services include an extensive range of physical, chemical, microbial, and radiological contaminants.”
To learn more about asbestos or other environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash, and smoke damage, particulates, and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health, and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego, and Ontario.