U.S. Gypsum (formerly the Flintkote Facility), Fremont - Public Health Activities
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Environmental Health Investigations Branch, has prepared a health consultation under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. In the health consultation, CDPH evaluates the ways that people could be exposed to asbestos from this site now, or ways that people could have been exposed in the past. The evaluation includes review of cancer records and death certificate information in the area near the facility. This was done to see if cancers and deaths that could be related to asbestos were higher than expected.
The Flintkote facility is located at 27975 Shinn Street, Fremont. From 1967 through 1979, the facility received approximately 2,804 tons of vermiculite from Libby, Montana. During this time, Flintkote used vermiculite to manufacture gypsum wallboard, a fire-resistant building product. Vermiculite from Libby is known to contain 21-26% asbestos.
The following summarizes the findings of the Flintkote Health Consultation:
- The health statistics review did not find any pattern of cancer or mortality consistent with asbestos exposure in the areas near the facility.
- The health statistics review found an inconsistent pattern of deaths associated with asbestos exposure in the areas near the facility.
- The primary concern for past exposure is the workers who directly worked with the Libby vermiculite, for instance the ones that filled the hopper.
- Current operations at the facility do not pose a hazard to nearby residents.
- Based on sampling at similar facilities, current operations at the facility do not pose a hazard to the current workers; sampling at this facility would confirm this.
- CDPH will follow up with former workers to provide information about their past exposure.
A Neighborhood Health Alert was mailed in September 2008 to inform residents of the nearby community of the Health Consultation and its findings.
For more information about health statistics and vermiculite from Libby, Montana, visit the Vermiculite Health Statistics Review Project Page at http://ehib.org/cma/project.jsp?project_key=VERM01
For information about astestos and health, visit the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s Asbestos page at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/asbestos/
For information about exposure asbestos and cancer risk, visit the National Cancer Institute’s Absbestos Exposure Fact Sheet at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/asbestos