EPA Asked to Investigate Possible Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania County Buildings

Asbestos Exposure & Bans
Reading Time: 2 mins
Publication Date: 05/19/2011
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article


Franz, F. (2020, October 16). EPA Asked to Investigate Possible Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania County Buildings. Asbestos.com. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/05/19/epa-asked-to-investigate-possible-asbestos-exposure-in-pennsylvania-county-buildings/


Franz, Faith. "EPA Asked to Investigate Possible Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania County Buildings." Asbestos.com, 16 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/05/19/epa-asked-to-investigate-possible-asbestos-exposure-in-pennsylvania-county-buildings/.


Franz, Faith. "EPA Asked to Investigate Possible Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania County Buildings." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 16, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/05/19/epa-asked-to-investigate-possible-asbestos-exposure-in-pennsylvania-county-buildings/.

In Northampton County, located in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, County Controller Stephen Barron has claimed that county officials have neglected air quality complaints about possible asbestos exposure in county buildings. However, county councilman Ron Angle has accused Baron of grandstanding and referred to him as, “the most dangerous elected official in the Lehigh Valley.”

Before asbestos became more regulated in the late 1980s, it was widely used in the insulation of many older buildings. Because asbestos is friable, over time the insulation can release fibers into the air, potentially causing malignant diseases such as malignant mesothelioma if inhaled.

Barron has stated that concerned employees have previously brought these claims to the attention of the county with no resulting action. As a result, he has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate any possible asbestos exposure in the buildings.

Barron further states on his reasoning behind bringing this issue to light, “I only got involved because (employees) thought the administration was turning a deaf ear.” Because the EPA and many other international health organizations list asbestos as a human carcinogen, finding any trace of the fiber above legal limits is a serious offense. If the EPA were to find asbestos fibers in the air, the county would likely receive fines as a result.

The EPA maximum allowable content for asbestos in a product may not exceed one percent. Also, air levels may not exceed 0.1 fibers/ml. The County Executive, John Stoffa, has stated that it has already previously been addressed, “It is something we addressed through our safety committee… We have taken preventative measures.”

However, he has also said that employee physicals are not necessary, “Why would we do that? Who do we start with and who do we stop with? There’s the assumption that we’ve done something wrong.” Doctors and physicians have continually stated the most effective way to treat mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases is through early diagnosis. Patients are often unaware of the potentially life-threatening substance they were exposed to until many years later.

Free Mesothelioma Resources
Get Access to Free Resources for Patients & Loved Ones