Naturally Occurring Asbestos in Alaska
Alaska has large known deposits of ultramafic and serpentine mineral ore throughout the state containing naturally occurring asbestos (NOA). There are four major asbestos-rich areas throughout the panhandle region. Two of these areas are located in Juneau and Ketchikan and the other deposits are found along the Yukon River around the Kobuk Valley and Wrangell-St. Elias National Parks. Naturally occurring asbestos is harmless unless disturbed which can cause potential health hazard.
Asbestos can also be found in many of the products that are in use today. Most of these are commercial materials used in heat and acoustic insulation, fire proofing, roofing and flooring such as:
- Cement shingles, flat sheets, corrugated sheets
- Vinyl/asbestos floor tiles, felt flooring
- Pipe and furnace wraps, roll board, millboard
- Friction products (brake pads, blocks, etc)
- Textured paints and other coating materials
To avoid release of the microscopic fibers in the air, leave the asbestos-containing materials in good condition alone. If you suspect the material is becoming damaged due to weathering, you should contact an asbestos professional for consultation. In most of the cases, asbestos-containing materials may not need to be removed but repaired by asbestos professional.