ASHE’S ASHLEYS ASHLEY, VA.
(AP) Asher is the name of the popular Virginia beach town that’s been the target of an asbestos tile testing program, and the residents say the state is not doing enough to control the problem.
Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill that bans asbestos-containing tiles and other materials on nearly all beaches, but the state doesn’t have a uniform way of testing for asbestos.
“This bill is about the health and safety of Virginia residents and tourists,” said Del.
Tim Scott, a Republican who represents the state’s capital.
“It’s a good start, but it’s still too early to tell how many people have actually been exposed.”
The Virginia Board of Health is investigating the issue and has recommended that a state agency investigate.
The board is recommending the state require tile companies to conduct a health and health-related audit of all asbestos-related testing and installation on their sites.
The audit would be completed by December 2020.
The Virginia Health Resources and Services Commission is also considering the issue, but has not made a final decision.
“The bill is designed to be a proactive and proactive approach,” said Mark Williams, executive director of the commission.
“The idea is to identify, in order to avoid further damage, that any tiles and the materials that are used in the construction of the tiles are asbestos-free.”
The commission is also reviewing the state asbestos inspection laws, which are more stringent than the federal one, and determining if they apply to Virginia.
Virginia has the third-highest rate of asbestos exposure in the U.S., and the number of people in Virginia exposed to asbestos has nearly tripled in the last 20 years, according to the American Association of Occupational Therapists.
The state is home to the oldest asbestos-contaminated buildings in the nation, and more than a quarter of the asbestos-affected homes in the United States are older than 20 years old, according the EPA.
About 50,000 people in the state live in homes that have been built with asbestos, and many of them have been exposed to the material since the 1970s.