Marion, Ohio - An investigation by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) revealed the presence of asbestos at the site of a former manufacturing facility that’s located on the north side of the town of Marion, reports an article in the Marion Star.
According to the report, OEPA inspectors visited the site of a former diaper manufacturing facility at 333 Joseph Street after receiving a tip that toxic asbestos materials may be lying exposed on the property.
OEPA spokeswoman Dina Pierce reported that an analysis of the area determined asbestos comprised 2 percent or more of various samples collected by the agency. This is considered "regulated asbestos-containing material," Pierce added.
Pierce noted that the agency is not yet sure whether or not the asbestos at the site is capable of becoming airborne. However, for precautions, the agent for the Marion, Ohio property – Robert Cendol – has been ordered to have the entire area re-surveyed for asbestos and to keep all present asbestos materials wet at all times.
Pierce remains concerned that the material could be “friable”, which means it crumbles easily, which could result in the release of airborne fibers that could be inhaled. Humans who suffer this sort of asbestos exposure may eventually be candidates for developing asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, which sometimes takes as long as 50 years to appear. Once detected, treatment is difficult and the victim’s life exp ectancy is short.
"If it is friable, there are certain things, whole other rules that kick in as far as disposal," Pierce added. “Our main concern right now is the public health and safety. So get the new survey done and keep it wet.”
The company that now owns the site purchased it when Associated Hygienic Products closed the diaper-manufacturing facility in 2007 and moved elsewhere. Though the new owner said there were plans to develop the property, it still remains and eyesore and a public hazard.