October 17th, 2016, 6:30 pm, Citizens Action Group for Naturally Occurring Asbestos – Southern Nevada/Boulder City

Meeting Agenda

Boulder City Library, Boulder City, Nevada

Citizens Action Group for Naturally Occurring Asbestos –   Southern Nevada/Boulder City


Update and status on the communication with NDEP, Southern Nevada Board of Health, UNLV and Research Team.

Letter of thanks

Boulder City Library

Letter of request, review

Nevada Board of Health – attendance to the Nov. meeting?

NDEP Status

Current Research, Grant Status


Email list from public meeting

Website – help

Public Meeting – before Thanksgiving?

Schedule Next Meeting

NOA Meeting at the BC Library Sept 12th, 2016 at 7:00 pm

After the meeting on August 4th, and the presentation by Tanis Hernandez, the Administrative Director of the Center for Asbestos Related Disease in Libby, Montana, the group was interested in beginning to have regular meetings open to the public to begin a conversation about naturally occurring asbestos. Monday evening, the 12th of September at 7:00 pm I have reserved the public room for us to meet for an hour. As you are all probably aware of by now, we the Southern Nevada Citizen Action Group believe that involving southern Nevada residents is critical for meaningful and successful research to be accomplished.

It is my hopresized_20160827_174329e we can visit about some ideas for reducing potential exposure to naturally occurring asbestos.



The Southern Nevada Health District has started a web page about naturally occurring asbestos.  The direct link to the page is:



Looking Forward: Naturally Occurring Asbestos

Looking Forward: Naturally Occurring Asbestos
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.
The Christian Center
571 Adams Boulevard Boulder City, Nevada

Researchers will Explain:

The research proposal process and timeline

The creation and goals of the Center for Abestos Research  

The 5 research projects & 4 cores currently proposed

Questions and Discussion with the Audience
Montana State University in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the University of Montana will be presenting the future research agenda to better understand the location, potential exposures, and potential risks of naturally occurring asbestos in Southern Nevada.

CARE public meeting

Boulder City Review Article

Tomorrow this article will appear in the Boulder City Review on NOA. Here is my reply which is over the 300 word limit for a letter to the editor and may not be published. I believe it is important and so I am re-posting it here.

Article: http://bouldercityreview.com/sections/editorials/hali-bernstein-saylor/questions-cloud-asbestos-issue.html




I assume your reference was: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/mesothelioma-11211

The headline atop last week’s news story seems to say it all: “Questions linger.”

There is no longer any question that naturally occurring asbestos is present within Boulder City. Asbestos refers to a family of fibrous minerals not all of which are currently regulated by law. Actionolite, a form of asbestos which is federally regulated, has been determined to occur naturally in Boulder City. There is no question that asbestos is a carcinogen and that exposure to asbestos can adversely affect the respiratory and immune systems. Hali,

The “discovery” of naturally occurring asbestos in the area has people concerned, and rightly so.

Naturally occurring asbestos has been determined to present both in Boulder City and the area around Boulder City. It has been determined to be present adjacent to the Martha King Elementary School, on the dry lake bed which is used for off-roading, and in other locations within the city which are popular for walking and hiking. Once disturbed asbestos fibers can remain air borne for days and can migrate into areas where asbestos is not naturally present.

But just how concerned do they need to be and what type of threat this poses to their health is still unknown.

Per the EPA there is no known safe level for asbestos exposure. That fully two years have passed since the publication of the peer reviewed study which unequivocally demonstrated the presence of naturally occurring asbestos in and around Boulder City, without the City of Boulder City acknowledging the hazard or taking action to minimize the risks to its residents and guests, is in itself cause for concern.

Even Brenda Buck and Rodney Metcalf, the two scientists who made the discovery, say more research is needed, as did David Berry of the Environmental Protection Agency during a recent meeting with local citizens.

Buck 2013 Naturally Occurring Asbestos

More research is definitely needed. It has yet to be determined how many people, in adjacent communities and neighboring states have been put at increased risk due to the failure of local government to even acknowledge the existence of naturally occurring asbestos until years after its present was confirmed as scientific fact. A single instance of meat or produce contaminated with E. Coli, or eggs contaminated with salmonella, receives an immediate acknowledgement and a response that far exceeds in scope and thoroughness anything which has been done to monitor or control the naturally occurring asbestos in and around Boulder City.

They said that there is no specific data to determine how much asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma. And of those who died from the disease in Clark County, there is no no certainty about where — or if — they were exposed to asbestos fibers.

Mesothelioma is a disease caused by asbestos exposure. If a person has not been exposed to asbestos, they cannot be accurately diagnosed as having developed mesothelioma. The more pressing question is, how many cases of mesothelioma have either been misdiagnosed or gone completely undetected because there was no knowledge in the medical community of the presence of naturally occurring asbestos in Southern Nevada?

According to WebMD, asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma but not the only one. Radiation, a virus, and genetics also could cause the rare form of cancer.

Misquoting a source is journalistic misconduct. This is yellow journalism at its worst.

As per WebMD: “The American Cancer Society notes that there have been a few published reports of mesotheliomas that developed following exposure to high doses of radiation to the chest or abdomen or after injections of thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), a material used by doctors in some chest X-rays until the 1950s.” There are more than “a few published reports” that establish the link between exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma. Erionite, a mineral which also forms toxic fibers similar to asbestos, is believed to be responsible for elevated rates of mesothelioma in Turkey. Infection with the SV40 virus is believed to increase the risk of developing mesothelioma but does not itself cause the disease. Genetics can make a person more susceptible to developing mesothelioma but cannot itself cause the disease.

There is no doubt that exposure to asbestos is unhealthy. Studies have shown a link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma as well as other cancers.

That is the understatement of the year!

Most of these studies, however, have involved occupational exposures to the toxic substance, and usually in large quantities.

The most recent study which addressed mortality in a cohort not associated with occupational exposure was suppressed by the Nevada State Department of Health.

Baumann et al 2015

How naturally occurring asbestos affects individuals’ remains to be seen. Unfortunately, it also takes decades for its effects to show up.

The presence of actinolite in and around Boulder City is established fact as are its harmful effects upon the human body. Toxins such as lead and arsenic are also cumulative in their effect, and while symptoms may take years to manifest depending on the amount and circumstances of ingestions, they remain closed monitored and regulated. The fact that asbestos is naturally occurring does not make it any less harmful than asbestos which has been processed.

NOA Citizens Action Group

Fibrous minerals in Southern Nevada

Recently, several types of naturally occurring fibrous amphiboles have been found in southern Nevada, including the regulated asbestos mineral actinolite, and the unregulated amphiboles winchite, magnesioriebeckite, and richterite in adjacent areas of Arizona, (Buck et al., 2013; Metcalf and Buck 2015). In the arid climate of the Mojave Desert in the southern Nevada region, people may be exposed to these fibers through both human activities as well as natural wind erosion (Goossens et al., 2012). Because of both anecdotal reports of malignant mesothelioma in young individuals in southern Nevada and the recent finding of naturally occurring asbestos in soil, dust and air near the Las Vegas metropolitan area, a need for communication with the citizens of Southern Nevada arose.

This site was created to provide an information sharing forum about the implications of an unusual occurrence of fibrous minerals in Southern Nevada for the citizens of Boulder City and Henderson.

Buck 2013 Naturally Occurring Asbestos

Baumann et al 2015

Boulder City Democratic Club Monthly Meeting will include a talk on NOA

Some of our members attended the presentation this past Tuesday evening regarding naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) here in the Boulder City area.  A wealth of information was presented as well as the emphasis on the need for further research on the subject.  Two of the scientists involved in the presentation and research will speak at the BC Dems Club meeting on Thursday The speakers will be UNLV Professor Brenda Buck and Resource Soil Scientist (and BC resident) Doug Merkler.  The emphasis will be on actions that can be taken to further research this issue.

What:              Boulder City Democratic Club Monthly Meeting

Date:               Thursday September 10, 2015

Time:               6:30 PM to 8:15 PM

Where:            Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd. 89005

What can you do to reduce your exposure to asbestos?

Limit exposure by taking the following steps if you live in an area where naturally occurring asbestos has been disturbed and is likely to become airborne:

■    Walk, run, hike, and bike only on paved trails.
■    Play only in outdoor areas with a ground covering such as wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, grass, asphalt, shredded rubber, or rubber mats.
■    Pave over unpaved walkways, driveways, or roadways that may have asbestos-containing rock or soil
■    Cover asbestos-containing rock or soil in gardens and yards with asbestos-free soil or landscape covering.
■    Pre-wet garden areas before digging or shoveling soil. Keep pets from carrying dust or dirt on their fur or feet into the home.
■    Remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in dirt.
■    Use doormats to lower the amount of soil that is tracked into the home.
■    Keep windows and doors closed on windy days and during nearby construction.
■    Drive slowly over unpaved roads.
■    Use a wet rag instead of a dry rag or duster to dust.
■    Use a wet mop on non-carpeted floors.
■    Use washable area rugs on your floors and wash rugs regularly.
■    Vacuum your carpet often using a vacuum with a high efficiency HEPA filter.


Naturally Occurring Asbestos Meeting

Aerial_view_of_Boulder_City,_Nevada_-_NARA_-_293834 1932_1224 (1)

Naturally Occurring Asbestos Meeting

Hosted by the Boulder City NOA Citizens Action Group
Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
at the Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Boulevard.

Flyer for the meeting:   Asbestos Flyer

Channel 8 News on Asbestos, Aug 28th ~ 8:00 pm

email for more information: site_moderator@naturalasbestos.net


Here are links to the videos of the community meeting in
Boulder City on September 1st, 2015.

Thanks to Nicole Colins.

part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFs0fnO52_0
part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUwayk8jx40
part 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUeMRIWpohU
part 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg7N6nEXzUM