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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Naturally Occurring Asbestos

Assessing Exposure to NOA in El Dorado Hills


In September 2003, U.S. EPA received a petition under the Superfund Law (also known as CERCLA) to assess asbestos exposure at public areas in El Dorado Hills near Oak Ridge High School. The petition was prompted by discovery of asbestos in the soil at Oak Ridge High School. U.S. EPA began working with State and local agencies to develop workplans and conduct the asbestos assessment.

U.S. EPA’s assessment was conducted at Silva Valley Elementary School, Rolling Hills Middle School, the Community Park, the New York Creek Nature Trail, and Jackson Elementary School. U.S. EPA focused on public areas where asbestos exposures to children could occur.

The assessment is now complete and a subset of the data is available. There will be public meetings on May 6 and May 7 to discuss the results, and in preparation for this meeting the following fact sheet (PDF) (6 pp, 236K) has been developed.

Additionally, the Upstate Medical University has released this report on the effects of asbestos on animals – Lung-retained Fiber in Animal Lungs Confirms Environmental Exposure to Naturally-Occurring Amphibole Asbestos in El Dorado County, California (PDF) (17 pp, 103K). Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Information at this link provided for reference purposes only The following is for historical purposes only (dated 02/17/05):

Responding to citizen concerns and to the measured release of asbestos fibers at Oak Ridge High School (see below), the U.S. EPA is conducting an assessment of the potential for exposure to naturally occurring asbestos in El Dorado Hills. The assessment includes taking air samples in the breathing zone of people simulating everyday activities that stir up dust, such as jogging, biking, and playing sports.. Locations to be sampled include three local schools, the Community Park, and the New York Creek nature trail. The results will indicate whether such activities at these locations release a significantly greater amount of asbestos fibers into the air than would be found in the air nearby.

U.S. EPA sponsored two workshops on the science of naturally occurring asbestos and a meeting to describe the assessment strategy in August (see below). We also published a newsletter to announce the availability of the assessment planning documents for review and to address questions on the assessment strategy.

The detailed planning documents for this assessment include:

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