An Indianapolis warehouse fire has released toxic asbestos-containing debris into the surrounding neighborhoods, and residents are being warned that even cutting their grass could be dangerous.
As reported by local ABC News station RTV6, workers from an environmental remediation company have started to clean up the debris from last Saturday’s fire, an action ordered by the local health department. The fire is thought to have scattered the toxic paper debris for several miles.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now involved to ensure that all of the debris is collected before it is reduced to fine particles, according to the news report. Asbestos fibers are potentially dangerous if inhaled. The sharp, microscopic asbestos fibers can become stuck in the lungs and other internal organs. Over time, the embedded fibers cause irritation and scarring, which can lead to deadly diseases such as pleural mesothelioma, an incurable cancer.
Since there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure, anyone coming in contact with the warehouse debris may be at risk of eventually developing an asbestos-related disease. Health officials are warning local residents not to touch the debris. There is also concern that cutting lawns or walking on the material will cause the asbestos fibers to become airborne.
“Some of it is paper-like and given the right conditions, it’s possible that some of it could be as far away as seven miles,” the EPA’s Jaime Brown told the television station.
The EPA will scour the neighborhoods for “as long as necessary,” then begin asbestos remediation inside the warehouse.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, don’t wait to take action. Contact Sokolove Law today to learn more about your legal rights, which may include filing an asbestos lawsuit.