Public housing buildings in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, were scheduled to have asbestos insulating their pipes removed, but no residents past or present were put at risk from the asbestos in their homes since it was still intact.
The asbestos was found in the crawl space in the attic of 50 public housing duplexes, but it was discovered to not be friable — or airborne. Since it was still intact, current and past residents were not put in any danger, but if the asbestos had been broken, it could have been inhaled where it could cause severe damage to the lungs in the form of asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma. Due to the delicate nature of this potentially dangerous substance, only licensed asbestos removal firms were considered for the task of extracting the asbestos from the public housing buildings.
Asbestos was once used extensively in construction, but its deadly nature was made known in the late twentieth century and its use in new construction was banned. The public housing buildings in Monroe County were built in the late 1950s, when asbestos was still in frequent use. At that time, asbestos could be found in every portion of a home’s construction from the insulation in the attic to the glue holding down the floor tiles. Daily asbestos discoveries keep asbestos removal firms busy with correcting the mistakes made by builders of decades past. The only insulation found in the public housing was that insulating the pipes in a crawl space. There was none found in the living areas of the housing. Bids from contractors were sought for a March 5, 2009 due date The work was set to begin on April 15, 2009, at the duplexes located in Hawthorne Terrace in Stroud Township, Garden Street in Stroudsburg, and along Normal and Taylor streets in East Stroudsburg.