Detroit Demolition Program faces asbestos concerns

4 May 2017 by Sarah Mahan under News

Seal of Detroit.svg 1 100x100 Detroit Demolition Program faces asbestos concernsThe city of has razed more than 11,000 blighted properties since 2014 through its demolition program — with approximately 2,000 more demolitions scheduled. During those demolitions, contractors hired by the city are required to remove and properly dispose of asbestos. However, according to the Free Press, the recent discovery of a shed filled with asbestos-containing material has raised concerns about the program’s asbestos abatement and the storage of hazardous materials in general.

Local demolition company The Farrow Company found the bags inside a shed piled three feet high while doing a demolition job for the program, according to the news report. The company then stopped work and notified the state and city of their hunch the bags contained asbestos. The Building Authority and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality  (MDEQ) are investigating how the bags ended up in the shed. “Health and safety is of the highest priority for ’s demolition program,” read the statement provided by John Roach, a spokesman for Mayor Mike Duggan. “While the (MDEQ) results are pending, the Building Authority has sent a hazardous-materials removal company to remove the bags.”

Dr. Michael Harbut, co-author of the American Thoracic Society’s guidelines on diagnosing and treating asbestos-related diseases, told the Free Press, “Asbestos fibers are very small and easily airborne. If people are walking by and the wind is blowing and it catches the dust, people are going to breathe it in, and that’s harmful.” He suggested bags should have been immediately covered to prevent wind from disturbing the known human carcinogen because even exposure to a small amount of asbestos can cause cancer 25 to 40 years later.

 

Comments are closed.