Asbestos abatement continues after fire on historic Front Street in South Carolina

26 Dec 2013 by under Events, News

Fire 100x100 Asbestos abatement continues after fire on historic Front Street in South CarolinaRubble resulting from a Sept. 25 fire that leveled Colonial Floral Fascinations in Georgetown County, S.C., is undergoing a third asbestos inspection before clean-up work on the site can begin. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) mandated the testing, which revealed trace amounts of asbestos in October.

The testing and clean-up at the 700 block of historic Front Street is being conducted by Carolina , Inc., under the direction of DHEC officials. Preliminary tests in October revealed trace amounts of asbestos in the rubble. Subsequent tests are being performed to pinpoint the source of the asbestos so that it can be safely removed and taken to a secure dump site.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to the development of severe health problems, including , a rare and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma most often affects the lining of the lungs or the abdomen. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, and it may take up to 40 years for symptoms to present after exposure.

Asbestos was commonly used in construction materials up until the 1970s, and can be found in structures built as late as the mid-1980s. Officials at the South Carolina site initially thought the asbestos was limited to roofing and flooring materials – common places for asbestos to be used for insulation or fire protection. However, follow-up testing indicated that the asbestos may be more prevalent throughout the debris.

Once the asbestos is identified, the asbestos abatement company can safely dispose of it. Asbestos is not inherently dangerous unless it is crushed or broken, as in this fire debris. Broken asbestos can release microscopic fibers that may be inhaled or ingested, leading to the development of asbestos disease.

Source: Georgetown Times

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