During the last century, cement pipes made with asbestos were commonly used in drinking water distributions systems. This went on for decades and although the practice peaked in large parts of the country in the mid-1900s, many of these pipes are still in operation.
Unfortunately, as these pipes age and degrade, or are tapped into, asbestos fibers may enter the water supply. In an asbestos fact sheet produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back in 1992, the agency reported asbestos was a “common contaminant of domestic water supplies, but EPA has concluded that about 95% of water consumers are exposed to asbestos fiber concentrations of less than one million fibers per liter (MFL).” For those exposed to seven million fibers or more per liter, EPA currently reports there is an increased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps from long-term exposure.
“It's not just old asbestos cement pipes that can be a source of this contaminant in people's drinking water,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Asbestos can also get into water supplies through the weathering and erosion of natural mineral deposits, runoff from tailings from mining operations, and due to the improper disposal of asbestos waste.”
Providing water testing services for those concerned about the potential for asbestos in their drinking water are the scientists at EMSL Analytical, Inc. With dozens of laboratories across the United States and Canada, EMSL provides testing for asbestos from water, soil, air, dust, and bulk samples. Other water testing services include an expansive range of physical, chemical, microbial, and radiological contaminants.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC's, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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