February 23rd, 2007 05:27 EST
ATSDR Releases Report on Health Impact of Asphalt Plants in Salisbury, NC
ATLANTA - The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) evaluated air surrounding two asphalt facilities in Salisbury, N.C; the agency concluded that during a four month period in 2001 the air generally did not pose a health hazard. However, some levels of particles released from the facilities were above regulatory standards and could have caused respiratory irritation to asthmatics and other sensitive individuals.
ATSDR also evaluated the air surrounding other communities near asphalt facilities and came to similar conclusions. The other sample locations were in Arizona, California, Georgia, New York and Utah.
The ATSDR report, called a public health consultation, details findings and recommendations based on four months of air sampling near the APAC Carolina, Inc. and Associated Asphalt, Inc. facilities. ATSDR used this information as well as sampling results compiled by other agencies to determine possible contamination sources, areas where air contamination may occur and the potential for human exposure to these contaminants.
Although ATSDR’s evaluation of exposure to asphalt emissions did not find a public health hazard, the agency sees a need for additional sampling when evaluating future community exposures. To reduce current emissions, ATSDR recommends that the asphalt facilities:
- Install closed-system transfer units (likes those used at fuel transfer facilities) to reduce stray emissions and
- Employ techniques to reduce particulate matter.
The health consultation can be viewed at:
Rowan County Library
201 W. Fisher Street
Salisbury, NC 28144
To request a copy of the health consultation or for more information, community members may contact ATSDR Environmental Health Scientists Greg Zarus at 404-498-0507 or Diane Jackson at 404-498-0376, or ATSDR’s Regional Representative Carl Blair at 404-562-1786.
ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.