SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Several bags of asbestos-containing material are raising concerns after being found earlier this month at a blight demolition site in southwest Detroit.
The bags, piled about three feet high, were found by local demolition company the Farrow Group at a site on Homer Street near Springwells, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Farrow stopped work upon the discovery of the bags inside a shed, and notified both the state and the city.
It is still unclear whether the waste originated with Farrow or another company. It is clear, however, that asbestos was abated from the house without proper notice to the state, as determined in the state's investigation.
As part of Detroit's blight demolition program, over 11,000 properties have been torn down since 2014. Many of these properties contain asbestos, which is supposed to be removed and properly disposed of by the demolition contractors before any work can be done.
Air Technology Systems was identified as the company responsible for abating asbestos at the site in question. However, the attorney representing the company denies that they failed to file proper notice to the state, and claims that they are not related to the bags found in the shed.
The site on Homer where the bags of waste were discovered is neighbored mostly by occupied homes.
Although the percentage of asbestos in the bags was determined to be below the regulatory threshold, the people in these homes could still be harmed by the waste, according to Dr. Michael Harbut, an expert on diagnosing and treating asbestos-related diseases.
Even small amounts of asbestos can cause cancer in 25-40 years, as "asbestos fibers are very small and easily airborne," Harbut said to the DFP.
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