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The primary public health concern associated with EPA's removal action at the former Johns Manville Property site was to ensure that the demolition of the two site buildings and the removal of asbestos-containing building debris from the site would not cause a significant release of asbestos fibers in ambient air to the surrounding community. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and has been classified by EPA as a Group A carcinogen, although the status of this substance is under review by an EPA work group (11). Inhalation has been shown to be the most significant route of exposure for asbestos and increases the risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the membrane surrounding the lungs and other internal organs (12). Residents in areas surrounding the former Johns Manville Property site would theoretically be at an increased risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos that could be released to the community during demolition and removal activities at the site.

To prevent this possibility, EPA and other task force members developed and implemented a plan that provided for the demolition of the two site buildings and the removal of asbestos-containing wastes with minimal impact to the community. ERT devised an air monitoring strategy for the site that allowed OHM and other public health stakeholders to evaluate the health risk associated with any potential off-site releases of asbestos during the removal action. The review of the 1324 air samples collected during the course of this project showed asbestos fiber levels in off-site ambient air to be consistently below the perimeter action level. The air sampling data did not indicate that there had been any release of asbestos fibers to the community at a level of public health concern during the removal action.


The EPA removal action that was conducted at the former Johns Manville Property site in Nashua, NH during September 1996-June 1997 did not result in a release of asbestos to the surrounding community that would constitute a public health concern.



No further actions are recommended at this time.



Dennis A. Pinski
NH Office of Health Management
Bureau of Health Risk Assessment

ATSDR Regional Representative
Louise House, RN, MS
ATSDR Region I

ATSDR Technical Project Officer
Tina Forrester, PH.D.
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

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