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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Releases Health Consultation for Public Comment - El Dorado Hills, California

El Dorado County, El Dorado Hills, California

Monday, March 29, 2010

(versión en español)

People can minimize potential health risks from naturally occurring asbestos in the El Dorado Hills area by taking precautions, according to a health consultation by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The consultation showed that a lifetime of breathing in the asbestos could potentially contribute to health risks.

ATSDR conducted the consultation in response to concerns about potential community exposures to naturally occurring asbestos deposits in local soil and rock formations. Sampling conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2004 had shown that people performing typical outdoor recreational activities could breathe in high levels of asbestos. Community members asked ATSDR what this finding meant to their health and what they should do to protect their health.

ATSDR looked at the level of increased cancer risk a person might have. This risk is determined by how much and how often people may breathe in naturally occurring asbestos. ATSDR concluded that the predicted risks are high enough to warrant preventive measures.

"It's difficult to predict the risk of disease from asbestos exposure. We compared several different risk methods and examined additional asbestos findings from El Dorado Hills. Although we found an increased risk of disease, the asbestos levels here don't appear to be so high that we would be able to measure increased disease rates in the community," said Jill Dyken, PhD, an ATSDR environmental health scientist.

"These findings highlight the importance of continuing the current efforts to reduce naturally occurring asbestos exposures in El Dorado Hills. Asbestos-related diseases often take years or decades to appear. As we monitor the situation and learn from current asbestos research projects, we may update our recommendations," she said.

ATSDR recommends that El Dorado County continue to enforce state and local dust regulations to limit people's potential exposure to asbestos. ATSDR also recommends that the county continue to provide the community information about where naturally-occurring asbestos is found so that people can avoid it or minimize their exposure during normal activities. ATSDR also recommends that the state of California continue to monitor asbestos-related cancer incidence rates in the area in the event an increase should occur. People concerned about their exposure to asbestos should talk to their health care provider.

ATSDR recommends these steps to reduce or prevent asbestos exposure in areas of naturally occurring asbestos:

  • Walk, run, hike, and bike on paved trails.
  • Play in outdoor areas with a ground covering such as wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, grass, asphalt, shredded rubber, or rubber mats.
  • Pave over unpaved walkways, driveways, or roadways that may have asbestos-containing rock or soil.
  • Cover asbestos-containing rock or soil in gardens and yards with asbestos-free soil or landscape covering.
  • Wet garden areas before digging or shoveling soil.
  • Drive slowly over unpaved roads.


  • Keep pets from carrying dust or dirt on their fur or feet into the home.
  • Remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in dirt.
  • Use doormats to lower the amount of soil that is tracked into the home.
  • Keep windows and doors closed on windy days and during nearby construction.
  • Use a wet rag instead of a dry rag or duster to dust.
  • Use a wet mop on non-carpeted floors.
  • Use washable area rugs on floors and wash rugs regularly.
  • Vacuum carpets often.

ATSDR is accepting public comments on the report until June 30.

The health consultation is available at A copy of the health assessment is also available for review at the following locations:

El Dorado County Main Library
345 Fair Lane
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 621-5540

El Dorado Hills Community Services District
1021 Harvard Way
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
(916) 933 -6624

El Dorado Hills Branch Library
7455 Silva Valley Parkway
El Dorado Hills, California 95762
(916) 358-3500

Comments on the health consultation must be made in writing. Comments received during the public comment period will be logged into the ATSDR administrative record for the health consultation and will appear in the final health consultation. Comments received (without the names of individuals who submitted them) and ATSDR's responses to these comments will appear in an appendix to the final health consultation. Names of those who submit comments, however, will be subject to release in answer to requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Send comments to:, or mail to:

Attention: Rolanda Morrison
re: El Dorado Hills
ATSDR Records Center
4770 Buford Highway, NE (MS F-09)
Atlanta, GA 30341

For more information about the health consultation, community members can contact:

Jill Dyken, PhD, Environmental Health Scientist, or (770) 488-0768 Captain Susan Muza, Senior Regional Representative, (415) 947-4316.

Youlanda Outin, Health Communication Specialist, or 770.488.0712

Members of the media should call the ATSDR Press Office at 770-488-0700.

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.

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Related Web Site(s)

ATSDR El Dorado Hills Site Information
ATSDR El Dorado Hills Site Information

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Related PHA & HC For this Press Release

El Dorado Hills Naturally Occurring Asbestos Site
-Evaluation of Community-Wide Asbestos Exposures
Document Date: 8/16/2011 - HC  [PDF - 6455 KB]

El Dorado Hills Naturally Occurring Asbestos Site
-Technical Information Sheet: ATSDR Evaluation of Community-Wide Exposure to Naturally Occurring Asbestos
Document Date: 8/16/2011 - HC  [PDF - 613 KB]

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Related News Releases For El Dorado County, El Dorado Hills, California


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ATSDR Schedules Meetings About Asbestos Exposure at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Release Date: Monday, August 16, 2004
Representatives from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) want to hear community members' health concerns about naturally occurring asbestos at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, Calif. ATSDR representatives will be available to talk with residents one-to-one on Aug. 17, 2004, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Cameron Park Library, 2500 Country Club Drive, Cameron Park, Calif.

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