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Asbestos at Fire Site Bound Up In Adhesive

The site clean-up has yet to be scheduled; the owner must first select a cleanup contractor and a consultant and a clean-up plan must be designed.

Asbestos discovered at the Street last week is bound up in an adhesive and poses less of a hazard than asbestos tiles or asbestos pipe insulation, the town fire chief said.

No asbestos tile or insulation was discovered at, said

 Property owner contractor for the building demolition  — The Total Group of Swampscott — performed a preliminary site survey last Friday and discovered the asbestos adhesive. 

Milton Marden, manager of the Total Group, said that this type of asbestos is not the kind that would go airborne from a sitting pile of debris.

This is why the site is not covered, the fire chief said.

A Department of Environmental Protection representative and the fire chief were also at the site last Friday.

Once the clean-up starts, and the pile is disturbed, an asbestos testing company will regularly test air quality at the edges of the debris site.

This type of testing is more stringent than testing farther away from the site, the fire chief said.

The testing device will use a fan to intercept air before it leaves the site. Technicians will then test the contents of a device filter for the presence and level of hazardous material.

Test results will be forwarded to the DEP and the town fire chief, Chief Breen said.

He said the school district will be copied on the results, as well.

If at any time the asbestos levels exceeds acceptable standards, a new more restrictive set of clean-up requirements will go into effect, in keeping with state environmental regulations, the fire chief said.

The owner has received bids from companies that want to carry out the cleanup and asbestos testing, but the owner had yet to announce her selection as of Thursday afternoon. 

After they are selected, the asbestos consultant and a contractor must submit a site clean-up plan to the DEP before the debris can be removed, said Joe Ferson, a DEP spokesman.

The owner said in an earlier interview that she expected the cleanup would start by Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

A call to the owner on Thursday night was not immediately returned.

Wayne March 11, 2011 at 07:00 PM
We are all fairly lucky that the site risk is low. However this is only a topical survey of the debris. Once it becomes further disturbed what happens if indeed there is a finding? The results of the testing are not immediate. They take a number of hours to collect, and then the filters are inspected... You may have a 4 hour window between exposure and an alternative action plan. Meanwhile the kids are in session. Then what? Keep the kids in buiding? And during dismissal, what's the potential for exposure. Are you stopping work temporarily? If there is a perimeter finding, do you know the quality of any infiltration into the building? Not if you aren't taking air samples inside Hadley while the demolition is occuring. Which the officials don't believe is necessary. The situation is certainly complex, and it doesn't make it any easier when unpredictable winds off the ocean can blow right at Hadley. Keep the facts coming Terry and keep asking the hard questions! Thanks
Travis Michael March 11, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Asbestos is a very dangerous substance, so hopefully no one was exposed to this carcinogen. Asbestos exposure has been linked to some devastating diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. Situations like these are why proper asbestos abatement is crucial so this poison is not released. Regards, TM http://www.mesorc.com/
Terry Date (Editor) March 15, 2011 at 04:08 AM
These are good questions and we will try to get answers from DEP before the cleanup starts Weds.

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