Water your asbestos

The more I read about asbestos and fire the worse it gets.

First the summary:
–The Depot had asbestos, in the roof and perhaps in the flooring.
–Asbestos is deadly in any amount when airborne, harmless when bound in or to something
–The fire debris in your yard likely has asbestos fibers in it (if one person’s debris tested at 10%, why not yours?)
–If you keep it wet, it’s safer to handle/be around.

Some detail on this from the website asbestos.com:

“Commonly considered one of the greatest known environmental hazards, asbestos exposure can result in a range of debilitating health conditions. Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to the development of illnesses such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma cancer. The latter form of cancer is an aggressive disease that attacks the internal lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. Typically taking 15 to 40 or more years to develop, most mesothelioma cases are unfortunately diagnosed in late stages of development.

“As fires expose asbestos-containing materials in a building, strong drafts can pick up asbestos fibers and shoot them into the air, where they can travel and remain suspended for days. During the Southern California fires in Fall 2007, the presence of asbestos and other hazardous materials complicated the cleanup significantly. Asbestos-containing materials require extremely careful handling and disposal to avoid dangerous exposures, and many residents and cleanup volunteers do not have the knowledge or equipment to handle the problem safely.

Safety and Cleanup
Once the fire has been put out, it is recommended that the contaminated area be kept clear and wet until all asbestos-containing materials have been removed. Keeping it wet prevents the material from drying out and allowing asbestos fibers to be released. For safety measures, all nearby residents of a fire should keep all windows and doors closed to prevent exposure. The next step is to safely remove the debris.

While removing small pieces of debris, make sure to wear protective gear such as body-covering clothing, boots, gloves, and HEPA filter masks. Also, all materials being removed should be thoroughly wet to ensure fibers are not released into the air. However, removing these pieces yourself is not advised, and a licensed abatement contractor should be hired. Beyond the health risks associated with being around asbestos-containing materials, the task alone is a complicated process involving strict regulations for removal and disposal.”

There are posts about the fire on the other Alameda blogs here, with an update and video of the fire here.

Send the city those certified letters mentioned in this post. Please.


One Response to “Water your asbestos”

  1. Paladinckm Says:

    Yes, I totally agree with the effects of asbestos. Here is a mini-sites which explains the effects in more detail. http://www.AsbestosEffects.com

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