Attention Residents near Swift Creek and Sumas River!!
Due to low stream flow in Swift Creek and the Sumas River, there is an increasing danger of asbestos exposure to residents and those working in or near the stream as the sediment dries out. The safety concern is that the water and sediment contain high levels of naturally occurring asbestos. The asbestos fibers enter the creek system from a landslide on Sumas Mountain. Breathing these fibers can cause asbestos related disease such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis. Some farm practices, such as irrigation with river water or working land that has experience flooding, may expose you or your farm workers to asbestos fibers and present a potential health risk.
See attached Safety Alert (2012) for details and visit http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/2088 for Frequenty Asked Questions. The EPA has also published this report on the issue:
For further information contact Whatcom County Health Department at (360)778-6044 or http://www.whatcomcounty.us/360/Health-Department