Thursday, December 15, 2011

asbestos removal method shut down

"Public Justice, environmental groups and labor unions have long urged the EPA to shut down its asbestos-removal experiments," and finally EPA has shut down this dangerous asbestos removal method.  "The EPA conducted tests of this method and each time got releases of asbestos, potentially exposing on-site workers and nearby residents to the deadly carcinogen."  Sadly, this comes too late for the Gulf Coast residents who returned to rebuild after the Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.  Hurricane damaged homes sat idle for years.  A large number of these homes contained asbestos.  Even after demolition of the home, there remained the concrete slabs with asbestos flooring materials.

In St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana,  EPA's original plan to burn asbestos containing material at the Paris Road Landfill was changed after residents received help from Public Justice and Tulane University's Environmental Law Clinic.  EPA changed the test burn to include only none asbestos containing materials and vegetative debris. 

However, the questionable asbestos removal and demolition method continued with little safeguards for public health.  The hurricane damaged houses and buildings were simply sprayed with water from the nearby fire hydrants in an attempt to suppress asbestos release and contamination. Workers did not always wear protective gear and although the individual home lot was taped-off, residents were never notified.  Even school bus stops remained the same, allowing children to walk past active demolition sites.  There was other asbestos trouble at makeshift storage sites often located within residential-zoned districts.  Even the asbestos flooring glue residue on the concrete slabs was "sealed" with a red, pinkish paint.  Later slab removal and recycling occurred at newly permitted sites in close proximity of neighborhoods.

In the 2008 photo above, residents relax outside on their carport while an asbestos containing home is demolished. Notice the little yellow asbestos monitor on the empty house next door and another asbestos monitor adjacent to the occupied home.

Not as much water suppression as one might hope for.

Above photo:  A harsh chemical was used to remove the asbestos flooring glue. This chemical made residents feel extremely nauseated. The concrete slab was then painted with a red-pinkish seal before removal. The slabs were brought to a makeshift storage area where they were crushed and recycled.

Some of the recycled concrete was used to form 'T-Wall" structures for the MR-GO Levee repairs.

1 comment:

marcin asbesotos said...

Upon completion, assure that the contractor cleans the area well with wet mops, wet rags, sponges, or HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaners. A regular vacuum cleaner must never be used. Wetting helps reduce the chance of spreading asbestos fibers in the air

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