Terra-Petra is serving as the environmental engineer of record for a large retain development in Downey, California. The project is well under construction and has included the demolition of some existing buildings and mass grading for the site.

During grading activities, the contractor had uncovered several old abandoned concrete encased pipes buried in the soil. Terra-Petra was called out to analyze the concrete for asbestos content and to manage the removal of the material as needed. 

Terra-Petra's Senior Project Scientist was able to mobilize to the site within 24 hours of the contractor reporting the discovery of potential ACM materials on the property. Within 48 hours, samples were collected and the results were received back from the lab stating: "the black felt/fibrous material showed negative for asbestos. The light-colored pipe encased in concrete showed positive for asbestos and will require special handling."

Terra-Petra is in the process of mobilizing its Industrial Hygienist to the site to manage the removal of the ACM per the local state and federal standards.

Historical Use of Asbestos
During World War II, use of Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) products peaked, and the shipbuilding industry utilized the mineral extensively. From the early 1900s to the 1970s, asbestos was the ideal material to use.

Why asbestos? Simple: It was cheap, durable, flexible and naturally acted as an insulating and fireproofing agent. The construction and manufacturing industries fell in love with its potential and used asbestos-containing products whenever possible.

Malignant mesothelioma, otherwise known as mesothelioma cancer, commonly develops in the lungs of people exposed to asbestos. Effective treatments are available to ease symptoms and improve your prognosis.

The cancer usually affects the thin, protective membrane surrounding the lungs, heart or abdominal cavity. Doctors diagnose an estimated 3,000 cases a year in the United States, and the majority of those are traced to job-related asbestos exposure.

Although asbestos use declined dramatically in recent decades in this country, the incidence of malignant mesothelioma remains steady. That difference can be traced to the distinct latency period linked to the cancer.

The disease can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos before it shows obvious symptoms and an oncologist can make a definitive diagnosis.

While no cure for the disease exists and the prognosis is typically poor, researchers made significant progress in recent years in understanding the cancer and developing new treatment options and alternative therapies.