The Asbestos Issue

On several mornings and afternoons from April 5th to the 10th, around ten people made public protests against Southern California Edison, our neighbor, about the presence of asbestos found on the site at Rush and Walnut Grove. In late March, plastic tape marked with "Asbestos" danger indications deliniated over a dozen areas where small bits of asbestos-laden roof tiles were found (according to SCE).

Many people walk by this area, and many more drive by, but unless you went up to the eastern fence, you might have had difficulty reading the warnings.

According to SCE, the tiles do not contain "friable" asbestos, meaning that the bits of the fibers cannot easily scrape off and become airborne. The risk of friable asbestos is that it can lodge itself in your lungs, and lead to lung cancer.

There appears to have been no appraisal made about what's beneath ground level -- and if they have, they haven't told anyone I've talked with in SOC. The grading on the site seems to indicate, to me, that there's a lot of fill dirt around the Alhambra wash. Perhaps some of that fill is old building materials that may contain asbestos. Asbestos was a common building material until the 1970s, when it was found to be carcinogenic.

In an unrelated case, Southern Cal Edison has been undertaking a six-month cleanup of a property on Marengo. This has taken over two years.