Finding Dangerous Asbestos in Soil

by Sokolove Law

Recent work by a team of scientists could solve the problem of how to detect deadly cancer-causing asbestos that resides in soil.

Most detection systems are used to find asbestos in building materials. However, detecting asbestos underfoot is important. Since asbestos was once so commonly used, it can literally turn up anywhere. “At many asbestos-contaminated sites one of the main routes to exposure is disturbance of contaminated soil, which causes asbestos fibers to be released to the air where they can be inhaled,” said a researcher at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (He heads a team looking into ways to improve asbestos soil detection methods.)

Even children playing outside who disturb the soil underfoot might release dangerous asbestos fibers into the air. Potentially, one microscopic asbestos fiber could cause a range of asbestos cancers, such as mesothelioma. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure

However, the current tools (which frequently rely on water or air processes) to detect soil asbestos are inadequate, as an article in Chemistryworld notes. That’s why a team of U.S. scientists are at work on a new system that could boost detection sensitivity by 100 times. The group’s research uses a new process that requires drying soil samples, running them through a sieve, combining them with sand, and then separating the lighter and heavier particles.

The research team next must validate the new method and refine its sensitivity.

If you were exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos cancer such as malignant mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. An asbestos lawsuit can provide you and your family with funds for medical bills and other necessities. Call Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.