Asbestos Removal Has Little Risk, If Done Correctly

Asbestos Removal Has Little Risk, If 
Done Correctly

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - With the new Central Fire Station construction wrapping up sometime this winter, the demolition of the former Central Fire Station located on the corner of Clinton Street and Okemos Road has one major roadblock: asbestos.

"There are some components of the fire station that have asbestos, which is really not all that atypical of a building that age," said Derek Perry, Assistant Township Manager/Director of Public Works & Engineering.

Unfortunately, proper asbestos removal at the old Central Fire Station will require much more than just your old household cleaning mask.

"The main thing you want to make sure you have the area enclosed some type of way, and then also use proper ventilation, and most importantly, wet methods," said Fred Kirkland, Industrial Hygiene Specialist for MiOSHA. "Typically with the enclosure, it's a full negative pressure enclosure. It's ventilated, and it has a three-stage decontamination area for the employees to decon out."

But, what does all that really look like?

Essentially, employees would change their clothes and shower in a three-staged system, to make sure nothing unwanted comes in--or out--of the area.

"What we have is basically a bubble," said John Sharnetsky, an asbestos trainer based in Lansing. "The particles are contained in that bubble, and that's one of our requirements of our procedure. The next part is, controlled demolition. That's why we can't use machinery and willy-nilly destroy this thing. "

That's because destroying the building would kick up dust--the dangerous vehicle that carries asbestos. As long as everything is saturated with water, the employee is safe from harm.

Asbestos removal at the old fire station in Meridian Township is expected to begin on November 6th.

The new owners of the property, Lansing developer Kris Elliott of Evergreen Properties, was unable to be reached for comment.

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