Agency Says Asbestos Levels Low at Old Hunters Point Shipyard

A report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) say that grading operations at the former site of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in the San Francisco Bay area “do not pose a significant long-term health threat” to residents who live in the neighborhood.

According to an article penned by Associated Content, tests in the area showed that asbestos levels around the site were considerably low, according to the report. Residents had raised concerns about the dangers of the dust circulating through the air at the site, caused by the construction. The serpentine rock under the construction site is known to contain asbestos, so consequently, nearby residents believed that the construction was disturbing the rock and sending asbestos particles through the air.

The tests were conducted by both California Department of Health and the San Francisco Department of Health. An independent environmental consulting firm also took part in the testing.

The report contained several observations including:

– Major grading lasted only 18 months. In order for a person to develop cancer as a result of asbestos, that individual would have to be exposed daily, 24 hours per day for a period of 70 years to 16,000 asbestos f/m3 or higher.

– The air monitoring data that was collected at the site were well below the suspension level for airborne asbestos dust.

– According to some scientists, Chrysotile, the naturally occurring asbestos found at the site, is one of the least toxic forms of the mineral.

– The length of the asbestos fibers found in the dust at Parcel A are shorter than the 5 micron length usually associated with asbestos-related cancer.

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