Report says Hunters Point project not health hazard

Grading operations at a construction site in San Francisco don't pose significant long-term health threats to residents in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, according to a report released this week.

“Exposure to the levels of asbestos measured around this excavation was estimated to have risks that, on a personal level, would be considered low,” the report found.

Medical testing of residents due to the construction by Lennar Corp. is unnecessary, according to the report issued by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings are in response to concerns raised by some that grading on a hill overlooking the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard would create dust containing naturally occurring asbestos.

The asbestos is part of the serpentine rock underlying the construction site.

Lennar Corp. has implemented an asbestos dust mitigation plan that goes beyond the minimum regulatory requirements, according to the company.

“The Bayview-Hunters Point community has experienced more than its share of health problems, such as high rates of asthma in children, and calls for environmental justice for the community need to be heard,” John Balmes, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a prepared statement.

“However, these health concerns predated Lennar's construction activities and involve symptoms that are not associated with exposure to naturally occurring asbestos will hide the path to finding the real solutions.”

– Bay City News

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