Asbestos Exposure Investigation Underway in Pennsylvania

An investigation is underway concerning a possible asbestos exposure amidst the demolition of an old greenhouse in Reserve Township, Pennsylvania. Allegany County stepped in and has stopped the project mid-demolition for further testing, citing concerns that there may be asbestos on the site.

Ron Schwartzmier, who lives next door with his wife and twin 1-year-olds, compared the demolition and remaining debris to a “nuclear dump site”. He only found out within the last week that there may be asbestos on the neighboring lot, but the demolition has been underway for months. The local fire department recently visited the site and gave the family five paper respirators to wear inside their home. They were also told to keep their doors and windows shut as a precaution against any airborne asbestos fibers.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used in numerous construction materials prior to the public awareness concerning its potentially hazardous health effects like mesothelioma cancer. It was so commonly used because of its unique resistance to heat, friction, electrical, and chemical damage. It is believed that if there is asbestos on the greenhouse demolition site is likely from insulation around a boiler.

The Health Department performed testing on the site last Friday afternoon and ensured that any asbestos found will be removed in a safe manner according to environmental asbestos regulations. However, Health Department inspector Marc Itkin failed to ease any worries the family might have. When asked about whether the Schwartzmiers should be concerned about their health, he responded, “I really don’t know at this point. I just can’t say for sure.”

Have you or a loved one been harmed by an asbestos exposure? An asbestos attorney may be able to assist you with your situation.