DENVER — A group of residents in Denver have launched a campaign to get the city to get rid of asbestos testing kits that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is a health hazard.
The campaign, spearheaded by Denver-based nonprofit Denver Citizens for Safe Environments, says residents in the city’s Northside are facing “abysmal” rates of asbestos exposure and that asbestos testing is unnecessary.
In the past, the city of Denver has done asbestos testing, but it was limited to testing of older homes, and there were reports of false positives.
“We know that if we’re looking at asbestos and asbestos products, we’re going to find the very worst cases of exposure,” said Jillian Schumacher, the group’s director of communications.
“And so, we really need to make sure we do asbestos testing.”
The Denver-area residents have launched the #AsbestosTestingDenver campaign to raise awareness of the citywide problems with asbestos testing.
Residents can sign the petition to urge the city council to scrap the kits, or simply take a walk in the park.
Asbestos is highly toxic and has been linked to lung, skin and bone cancer.
“Asbestos is a dangerous and deadly substance that can cause health problems for many people, including the elderly,” Schumachers said.
“In the city we’re talking about millions of dollars a year that’s being spent on asbestos testing that we know is not necessary.”
The campaign is now being launched in the hopes of getting a city council resolution that will scrap the asbestos testing program.
“There’s so many people who are living in a very precarious situation,” said resident and anti-asbestos activist, John Fruenberg.
“It’s not just one group, but multiple groups.
I’m going to make a case that it’s not safe for the elderly to live in these neighborhoods.”
The asbestos testing kit is not going to be effective,” he said.
Fruenburg said he was not surprised by the group calling on the city, saying, “As you know, the majority of people are not aware of what asbestos testing actually is, and I don’t think they know it’s dangerous.”
The city of Colorado has no asbestos testing policy in place, but the Centers For Disease Control has recommended that people with a history of asbestos be tested.
The agency recommends that people who live near a home with asbestos-containing material be tested at least once a year for at least six months.
The testing has become a common way for communities to control asbestos exposure in the past.
The federal government does not require that all homes be tested, but in some places, such as in Denver, a home is required to test for asbestos in some of its walls and floors.
In those cases, residents are also required to take a health risk assessment.
Schumach said the group has reached out to the federal government and other state and local officials, including Denver’s Department of Environmental Health, to see if asbestos testing can be changed.
The city has been testing all new homes since 2007.
In 2014, the state started requiring the testing, as part of a plan to cut down on asbestos-related health hazards in the state.
According to the Centers, the federal testing program only takes a few weeks to complete and provides a relatively accurate measure of health risks in homes.
But it can only provide a limited snapshot of what health issues may be present, and many health officials say the federal program is too limited.
According of a report by the CDC’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there have been more than 6,400 workplace deaths linked to asbestos exposure, and more than 2,500 asbestos-contaminated homes in the U.S. In addition to a lack of testing, there are a number of other concerns, including that testing is often incomplete and that people are reluctant to get tested for asbestos.
“So, people are afraid to get asbestos testing because of false negatives.” “
The most common thing people report to us is that they didn’t have a health issue with asbestos, and then we go through all the other issues, like the breathing issues and the cancer, and we can’t find that,” Schumann told CBS Denver.
“So, people are afraid to get asbestos testing because of false negatives.”
Schumberger said she has not heard from any people who have had a false positive test, and that she believes there are some people who refuse to get a test.
As the city continues to implement asbestos testing programs, Schumbeck said, the organization will continue to push for a repeal of the asbestos-testing requirement.
“Our job now is to keep educating people about the dangers of asbestos, the benefits of asbestos and the ways in which asbestos is a positive health factor,” she said.
In a letter to the city in July, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment called for a review of the program.
As asbestos is classified as a class B carcinogen, it is regulated