The recent headline from upstate New York was nothing short of comical:
Ithaca woman wraps houses in plastic, fears asbestos from former library
The idea behind it, though, wasn’t a joke at all.
A Dangerous Demolition?
Scratch behind the surface of most headlines and you’ll find a more complicated version of the truth. Here’s the scoop: a woman in Ithaca, NY, did indeed seal up several properties she rents out with plastic because she was afraid of the risk of asbestos exposure and other harmful substances emanating from the demolition of an old library across the street.
The woman wrapped entrances and doors in thick plastic to protect the residents from friable asbestos dust and hazardous chemicals from the demolition project.
Is she right?
The project, involving the former Tompkins County Public Library, is a complicated one. The roof of the building is compromised, as verified by a structural engineer. Therefore, the city decided to do the asbestos remediation procedures and demolition at the same time – rather than removing the asbestos first.
- Because of the simultaneous demolition/asbestos removal, all of the material from the demolition will be considered contaminated debris, and will be disposed of accordingly.
- The demolition will be a controlled one. It means the building will go down one small area at a time to control debris, which should not disperse throughout the neighbourhood.
- The area will be sprayed throughout the process to control dust.
- Debris will be sprayed and covered nightly.
- The water used for spraying will be filtered to prevent spreading asbestos and other substances.
In fact, the entire process resembles an asbestos removal procedure, with the added bonus of taking down the entire building as you do it. Controlling the dust and debris is the key component of safe asbestos removal and demolition work involving any hazardous substances. As long as those procedures are followed, we think the woman should feel secure that the risk of asbestos exposure has been minimized.
It’s an interesting look at a complicated case.
Asbestos in Your Home?
If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.
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