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Children Mistake Asbestos for Sidewalk Chalk

Mon, 2 Apr 2012 14:30:23 EST

Young children found pieces of what appeared to be sidewalk chalk outside a former high school in Niagara Falls, NY and began drawing with the substance outside the building. Only later did their parents discover that the children were actually playing with asbestos, the dangerous, carcinogenic mineral.
 
Vandals broke into the old high school to steal pipes and left the asbestos insulation outside on ground, where the kids picked it up to play. The area is now cordoned off, and remediation teams have arrived to deal with the contamination.
 
However, parents of the children exposed now worry for their children's lives, since breathing asbestos fibers in the air can cause serious health problems and even death many years after the initial exposure. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists the following health effects of inhaling asbestos fibers:
 
- Asbestosis is a non-cancer disease of the lungs. Inhaled asbestos fibers scars lung tissue, and the scarring makes it hard for oxygen to get into the blood. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a dry, crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling.
 
- Lung Cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing, a change in breathing, shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness, and anemia.
 
- Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining (membrane) of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart. This disease may not show up until many years after asbestos exposure.
 
'EMSL Analytical has three decades of experience testing for asbestos, and our expertise has made us the nation's leading asbestos testing laboratory with over 30 locations nationwide,' states Ed Cahill, Vice President of EMSL's Asbestos Division. 'We use the most advanced methods available to analyze asbestos in various types of samples, including water, soil, rock, air, settled dust, building materials, and vermiculite.'

For more information on EMSL's testing services, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675, visit www.EMSL.com or email info@EMSL.com.
 
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is the nation's leading testing laboratory with over 30 locations throughout the United States and Canada. We are a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbiology, radon, food, and materials testing services to professionals and the general public.  Please visit our website for a complete listing of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


Source: WebWire



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