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Toxins Discovered on Sierra Nevada Trails


LA Testing provides testing solutions for abandoned mines and industrial sites to protect people and the environment from toxic hazards.

Los Alamitos, CA

Last month the nonprofit organization, The Sierra Fund, released a report entitled Gold Country Recreational Trails and Abandoned Mines. The report was delivered on the steps of California’s State Capital and highlighted the fact that many abandoned mines are contaminated with high levels of lead, arsenic and asbestos.

Even though the gold rush ended over 150 years ago its legacy can still be felt in many parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Sierra Fund’s report specifically details recreation areas around Downieville, Nevada City and Foresthill. These areas have abandoned mines near recreation sites that are contaminated with heavy metals and asbestos. Contaminants were found at all three locations and in one area sampled results showed up to 40% asbestos and extremely high lead levels in soils on the trails.

Many of these trails are used by recreational vehicles that stir up large amounts of dust as they traverse the trails. Anyone in the dust cloud will be breathing these contaminants that can lead to serious and even deadly health consequences later in life.

LA Testing, one of California’s largest environmental testing laboratory networks and part of the EMSL Analytical family of laboratories, provides analysis for all types of toxic waste left from mining operations. “The Sierras and many parts of the West and Southwest have abandoned mining operations in huge numbers,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “Not only are many recreation areas located in close proximity to these mines which could expose people to their deadly contaminants, but heavy metals and other toxins can leach into groundwater and winds can blow contaminated particulates over large areas.”

Numerous types of analytical testing solutions for determining if surface, soil, water or air samples contain dangerous contaminants are available from LA Testing. To learn more about environmental testing services to protect people and the environment please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 Toxins Sierra Nevada
 abandoned mines sites
 toxic hazards heavy metal
 mining operations western
 southwest lead leaching

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