Areas of the Illinois Beach State Park made headlines in an asbestos contamination scandal when it was discovered that they had tested positive for the deadly fiber.
An announcement by officials reported that a hearing will be held today in order to deal with this deadly carcinogen contamination.
Those invited to attend one of the two hearings held include community members concerned about the asbestos contamination issues. They will be able to speak with representatives from several federal and state agencies in order to be heard. The agents are also expected to inform citizens of any additional findings. The investigation of Illinois Beach State Park has been ongoing.
A talk regarding the asbestos findings will be given by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 3 to 5 p.m. A second meeting will be held afterwards and is approximated to last from 6:30 to 8:30p.m. Both meetings will be held at the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral which has been used extensively in heat- and fire-resistant applications such as insulation and building materials. When asbestos is disturbed, it becomes airborne and can cause not only mesothelioma but also pleural disease and asbestosis. Although the United States has largely phased out asbestos use in the past few decades, it remains in many infrastructures. Additionally, it continues to pose a hazard to those who have worked with or around it in the past, because the diseases related to it have a long latency period.
Mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive form of cancer, may not be diagnosed until decades later. It is common for those suffering to pass away shortly after diagnosis, because at that point it is incurable.
During a hearing last month, Jeffrey C. Camplin, Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and Certified Professional Environment Auditor (CPEA), testified about alleged problems and mistakes made by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
Camplin noted the cleanup of an asbestos Superfund site done years ago at the south end of the Illinois Beach State Park allowed trillions of asbestos fibers to be released from an unfiltered pipe into Lake Michigan, and the exposure is ongoing.
“The incompetency of this cleanup allowed large areas of asbestos-contaminated lake sediments to be dredged and dumped on and off shore at heavily visited public beaches. Then, I believe, rigged data was generated to conclude the massive asbestos contamination created was not hazardous to the millions of citizens who frequent these areas,” Camplin said.
June 12th is the deadline by which officials will stop accepting public comments on the health consultation.