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Federal Officials Warn Workers about Erionite Exposure Risks


EMSL Analytical offers erionite testing solutions to protect workers and the general public from any potential health hazards due to exposure risks.
Cinnaminson, NJ, November 22nd, 2011
This month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) posted, Erionite: An Emerging North American Health Hazard.  According to the NIOSH post, “Erionite is a naturally occurring mineral that belongs to a group of silicate minerals called zeolites. It is usually found in volcanic ash that has been altered by weathering and ground water. Like naturally occurring asbestos, deposits are present in many Western states.”
Exposure to erionite remains unregulated and federal health officials are now calling for protective measures at job sites where the mineral can be found to minimize worker exposure.  In a previous post from the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH), they reported, “Some properties of erionite are similar to the properties of asbestos; however, erionite is not currently regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the six asbestos fibers.”  The NDDoH report continues, “Like asbestos, erionite may pose health risks to those who breathe in the fibers. It appears to be associated with increased risks of fibrogenic lung disease, lung cancer and mesothelioma (a rare type of respiratory cancer usually related to asbestos exposure).”
Erionite is of particular concern in Western states because gravel containing the mineral has been mined over the past few decades and commonly utilized to surface roads, parking lots and other areas.  One environmental testing laboratory that specializes in erionite analysis is EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “We support NIOSH’s recognition of this potential hazard and the series of steps they propose that can be taken to prevent worker exposure risks,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL.  “Suspect materials can be tested to determine if erionite is present.  In addition, air samples can identify the fibers to help prevent situations that could cause a health risk to workers or area residents.”
To learn more about erionite, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


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