Asbestos Flowing in River Sediment Poses Environmental Hazard to Washingtonians

County leaders in Whatcom, WA have purchased land on which they will dump asbestos containing sediment that is flowing in the Sumas River.

The mineral, long known to cause a deadly cancer known as mesothelioma, originates in a landslide on Sumas mountain that falls into nearby Swift Creek.  It then feeds into the larger Sumas River. “Sediment carries really well and poses a difficult problem with no obvious solution,”

Scott Linneman, a Western geology professor told The Western Front. The EPA has warned that asbestos levels are high in the area and that has prompted local officials to warn residents against jogging or horseback riding near the banks of the Sumas. Most cases of mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, are caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos (most often in the workplace). Swift Creek and Sumas River flooding in 2009 was a cause for concern for locals as there were fears that asbestos could wind up in the food supply after being “taken up in the roots of plants,” according to The Western Front.

County health experts dismissed the idea that local crops would pose health risks to consumers. This reminds us all that even in naturally occurring cases, asbestos can pose serious risks when disturbed and inhaled. Many people in the US who may have been are suffering from the effects of mesothelioma contact a mesothelioma attorney.