State directing work to address asbestos found in Davidson community

Raleigh

State environmental and public health officials will oversee work this week in Davidson to protect people from potential exposure after asbestos materials were identified coming from an exposed slope in the Mecklenburg County community.

The exposed slope is on the 301 Depot Street property where Carolina Asbestos Company made asbestos shingles from the 1930s until the 1960s. The site was also used to dispose of asbestos materials years before laws were enacted to ensure the material was properly disposed of in lined, protected landfills. Exposure to asbestos, which was a commonly used building material years ago, is harmful to human health, according to the EPA.  

The asbestos-containing material was first identified in the fall after officials with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) believe heavy rainfall eroded a slope on the site, and unearthed the asbestos before carrying it along two residential streets. State officials notified residents and town officials of the discovery, and ordered Metrolina Warehouse, LLC, to take emergency action to remove and dispose of the asbestos materials on Eden and Sloan streets, and cover the eroded area with clean soil, straw and grass seed, and installed a silt fence around the slope. Officials with DEQ also hosted a public meeting in December to better inform the community about the discovery of asbestos, the emergency action taken and plans to conduct further work to address the asbestos. Starting last week, DEQ staff canvassed the nearby neighborhood to notify residents of this week’s planned work.   

Today, contractors for Metrolina Warehouse are starting to remove trees and other vegetation covering the slope where the exposed asbestos was discovered. The contractors will be placing layers of clean soil, grass seed and fiber matting over the area to stabilize the slope and prevent further release of asbestos materials from the property. Professional asbestos consultants will monitor air quality during the work. If samples exceed any standards, work will stop until safeguards can be put in place. Workers will wear protective gear as necessary. Staff in DEQ and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will provide oversight. The work is expected to take about four days.  

Staff with DEQ will conduct periodic inspections and require continuous monitoring and maintenance of the site after the work is completed. 

For more information about asbestos go to: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/asbestos/index.html.

 

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