Mulch distributed in Horse Cave, Kentucky, might have been contaminated with asbestos from demolition debris. Asbestos testing, usually a prerequisite to the demolition of any building site, was not done at the former Independent Tobacco Warehouse. Its deconstruction was done without the knowledge of the Kentucky Division for Air Quality. Material was turned into mulch through shredding and given out to various entities in nearby Horse Cave.
The potential for harm from the mulch is likely to be minimal, according to a specialist for environmental education from the Division for Air Quality, but the same expert warns that people should not needlessly handle the mulch since asbestos was discovered in the debris following testing. Children are especially at risk for exposure to the asbestos since they are more likely to ingest or play in the material. Toxicity results from long-term exposure to the asbestos, but to be on the safe side, anyone with the mulch is encouraged to call the Kentucky Division for Air Quality in Bowling Green to have it professionally removed. The company that gave away the mulch will be responsible for paying to have licensed professionals to remove it and clean up the area. Two violation notices are pending against the company.