George AFB’s Asbestos Contamination

Danger Asbestos

“There are 1,970 buildings on-base (including 1,641 housing units) with a total square footage of floor space of 4,629,926, approximately 10 percent of which has been surveyed for asbestos. Forty percent of those facilities tested had asbestos containing materials (ACM) (80% nonfriable, 20% friable).”  Page 11

Title:   A Preliminary Review of Environmental Requirements and Concerns Based on the Proposed Closure of George Air Force Base, California
Report Date: FEB 1989

At virtually all military installations, asbestos will sooner or later create environmental, safety and legal issues. In years past, asbestos was so widely used in construction materials that it is presumed present in structures built prior to 1980.1 The statutes and regulations that today address the potential hazards of asbestos are part of a complex, piecemeal and overlapping scheme to control toxic substances in general. The purpose of this article is to provide a basic familiarization with asbestos, highlight relevant statutory and regulatory provisions, illustrate their application to asbestos remediation, discuss the degree to which federal facility operators are subject to potential civil and criminal liability, and suggest ways in which proactive stances may be taken lo preclude any such liabilities.

2004 The Air Force Law Review Vol. 54 - Asbestos - (PDF - 8.88 MB)

From the 1970s there was increasing concern about the dangers of asbestos, and its use was phased out. Mining ceased in 1983. The use of asbestos was phased out in 1989 and banned entirely in December 2003.

Asbestos exposure in the workplace

Asbestos Hazard F-4 brake
Asbestos Hazard F-4 brake

Definition Friable Asbestos

Friable Asbestos is any material that contains more than one percent asbestos by weight or area, depending on whether it is a bulk or sheet material and can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by the pressure of an ordinary human hand.

Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure

Chronic exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders. Evidence in humans comes from epidemiologic studies as well as numerous studies of workers exposed to asbestos in a variety of occupational settings. Tremolite asbestos exposure has been associated with an increased incidence of disease in vermiculite miners and millers from Libby, Montana. This evidence is supported by reports of increased incidences of nonmalignant respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and mesothelioma in villages in various regions of the world that have traditionally used tremolite-asbestos whitewashes in homes or have high surface deposits of tremolite asbestos and by results from animal studies.
Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

I am not a doctor or attorney, and cannot give medical advice or legal advice.

If you, a friend, or loved one has been injured or died as a result of the contamination at a DOD Superfund Site please follow the steps that are outlined at Get Help.

The views and opinions expressed in this website/articles are those of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. government


  1. Thank you Frank, I am proceeding with my claim. The George AFB Web pages have been an incredible help to me. I wish all brothers & sisters of the USAF get their due! God speed to all
    SRA Scott REVELL

  2. How about the mechanics that dealt with asbestos blankets on jet engines, jp4 fuel, and exhaust? It’s like we never existed.

    • I just spoke with Joseph J. Cirilano, Esq. with the law firm of Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C. The firm has a page for Asbestos at George AFB.

      Mr. Cirilano, or any attorney from the firm, is interested in speaking to anyone who has questions about their rights regarding their possible asbestos exposure-related injuries: mesothelioma, lung cancer, colon and colorectal cancers, throat cancer, laryngeal cancer, esophageal and asbestosis.

      Please feel to contact Goldberg, Persky & White if you have any questions. 1-800-266-7539 or 1-800-471-3980

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