Reader beware-Salem Public Library toxic

Salem Public Library will restart the demolition and removal of asbestos containing materials from the reading hall.

Oregon asbestos abatement injury news-Salem Public Library needs lighting changes to avoid asbestos fibers exposure.

Salem, OR–Salem City Council agreed to reallocate $165,000 to the Salem Public Library in May 2009 so additional removal of asbestos containing materials in the library’s lighting can be completed. The library underwent extensive asbestos abatement on different levels of the building. The Salem City Council further agreed to allocate $10,000 from the Facilities Services Division to assist in the completion of the two approved library asbestos rehabilitation projects slated to begin early 2010.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asserts no amount of human exposure to asbestos fibers is safe. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and when people inhale the harmful fibrous material they can develop chronic illnesses of the lungs like asbestosis and fatal cancers like mesothelioma lung cancer. As reported by the StatesmanJournal, the estimated costs of the asbestos abatement project is $145,000 and the areas of carpet needing replacement is estimated at $30,000. City officials assert the asbestos containing materials are primarly located in areas where employees and volunteers work and not in public reader areas. The Anderson Room kitchenette is also an area where the asbestos is located.

The lighting fixtures are outdated and need to be removed and replaced with new fixtures and more energy efficient lighting tracks; however, the library lighting changes cannot be made without disrupting the encapsulated asbestos in the ceilings. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict guidelines to protect employees from toxic exposure to asbestos containing materials and further regulates asbestos abatement worker safety. Primary and secondary exposure to asbestos containing materials to consumers, employees, and workers can be fatal.

Oregon mesothelioma and asbestos injury news by legal news reporter Heather L. Ryan.

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