CHURCH CREEK, MD– A house which is contaminated with asbestos and which has various other problems, is being offered free of charge to anyone who wants it.
The three-story structure is stable, says authorities, but just rundown. It is a state-owned Linthicum House and it is hoped that because it is free, someone will remove the home. If this happens, the state will be free to set up a planned historical site, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Discovery Center. This site will focus on the life and legacy of Tubman, an escaped slave who helped form the Underground Railroad network in the 1850s.
The house consists of seven bedrooms and 3,400 square feet of space. Among its amenities are 10-foot ceilings. An open house is scheduled for April 21st, and proposals are due May 5th. Considering the depressed economy, a free house with numerous bedrooms seems too good to be true. For some it just may be, however, since moving the house to a new location may cost upwards of $40,000.
The other downside of taking this home is its environmental danger. The house contains both asbestos and lead paint, as well as live and dead animals.
Asbestos is a well known carcinogen that was used in 80 percent of infrastructures well into the 1970s. Once the fiber has been damaged, it is released into the air. Once inhaled it becomes lodged in the outer lining of major organs such as the heart, lungs, and abdomen becoming inescapable. Exposure may lead to various asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that has a long latency period meaning symptoms may not show until decades later. Proper asbestos abatement should only be handled by professionals as there are laws designed around proper containment and disposal.
Where the asbestos in located in the house determines when the professionals will abate. Workers may have to remove the asbestos before the house is moved in order to keep the public from being exposed. When asbestos is moved, it can damage the asbestos, releasing it into the air.