Testing is being performed at Illinois Beach State Park by scientists who are trying to ascertain whether children playing in the area could be at risk from asbestos exposure. The area was also tested last year, and in order to more effectively evaluate the risks scientists are imitating the type of activities that children would engage in so that they can better assess the risks.

One of the researchers involved in the study stated: “Both activities generally found very low levels of asbestos fibers that were released and would afford an exposure hazard. We’re doing additional activities to make sure we’re capturing the full range of activities people would engage in.”

Paul Kakuris, Illinois Dunesland Preservation Society, was not convinced by this method of testing. He stated: “When you inhale these fibers, they get into the lungs, and there is a delayed time, but then you can come down with asbestosis or mesothelioma, which is a nasty, virulent cancer. They’re rigged tests. They’ve never been peer-reviewed. That’s the problem.”

However officials state that the best scientists and state of the art methods and equipment are used in the testing, and that the results are analysed by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the CDC.

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