Indianapolis, Indiana – Workers have begun the cleanup of toxic substances which were scattered across neighbourhoods following the Belmont Ave. warehouse fire on last Saturday.
Health authorities were concerned regarding the paper waste which contained asbestos material which had scattered in the surrounding and even places that are miles away.
An environmental remediation has spread out its employees over the area close to the warehouse to begin the cleanup job.
The Marion County Department of Health asked the building owner to clean up the waste, and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) too became involved for ensuring that the substances containing asbestos material had been picked up before reducing them into fine particles which could be easily inhaled.
Jaime Brown, of the Environmental Protection Agency, said they also will be doing asbestos remediation work inside the factory. However, at present, they will focus on the mess outside in the localities, Brown said.
On Friday, authorities warned people to ensure they do not touch the substance. The officials said the substance could emit hazardous fibres into the surroundings. Brown said a few of that was paper-like. Given the apt conditions it is quite possible that a few of them could be as distant as 7 miles, he said.
According to the EPA, workers will cleanup neighbourhoods and accumulate the waste containing dangerous asbestos material as long as needed.
Investigators are going to continue their probe into the origin and cause of the fire. Officials requested anybody who finds debris to wear protective gloves, wet the debris by pouring water, and dispose it of in a polythene bag.
Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency said they though majority of the waste in question was limited to the neighborhoods close to the warehouse.
Asbestos, a material mined from the nature, has many excellent features. For instance, asbestos is strong, flexible, durable, and cheap and it has excellent resistance against corrosion, fire and electricity. Such wonderful features made asbestos very popular among construction as well as production industries. But, later it was revealed that asbestos is a very hazardous material which can even cause deadly cancer. Once this fact became known, several countries across the world banned asbestos completely. United States has not banned the use of asbestos completely. However, asbestos is a highly regulated substance in the nation. Whoever handles asbestos or asbestos-containing products are supposed follow all the regulations concerning the material.