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Asbestos Awareness

Asbestos Awareness
Asbestos Awareness

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"County Officials Launch Asbestos Awareness Campaign"

May 16, 2006
Officials in San Diego County kicked off a public health awareness campaign yesterday warning of the dangers of asbestos, a toxic material still found in many buildings across the county.

The campaign is partly due to the increase in asbestos violations occurring as a result of the recent rise in condo conversions.

County rules require anyone remodeling or converting an apartment or a home built before 1980 have it tested for asbestos contamination, which is still rampant in acoustic popcorn ceilings and vinyl floors.

However, according to county officials, some contractors violate the rules exposing themselves and future residents to fatal conditions.

Asbestos is one of the most cancer-causing pollutants we deal with on a regular basis, said Dick Smith, director of the county Air Pollution Control District. There is no safe level of asbestos.

Asbestos fibers, if left undisturbed, pose little to no danger. So homeowners who dont plan on renovating are at little risk. However, if asbestos fibers come loose, they are inhaled and stay in the lungs for years causing serious illness including cancer.

Part of the asbestos awareness campaign included a display of popular household items that may contain asbestos including ceiling tiles, backing of floor tiles, and insulation around pipes.

According to Laurie Orange, senior deputy county counsel of the Air Pollution Control District, there have been significant asbestos violations throughout the county, which has raised concern and awareness. I think the word has started to get out after a number of lawsuits and penalties, Orange said.

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