(As National Asbestos Awareness Week is observed this week, MI Environment highlights EGLE's asbestos work.)
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy's (EGLE) asbestos inspectors received over 41,000 asbestos demolition/renovation notifications and modifications to notifications in 2020, and more come in daily.
It's part of the department's responsibility to regulate demolition activities throughout the state. One of the real concerns in these activities is the asbestos that may be in the buildings being demolished.
Asbestos has been used in many products, such as insulation, floor tile, roofing materials, and siding. Although most of these products are no longer made using asbestos, there is still a risk of exposure to asbestos during renovations and demolitions.
Breathing asbestos fibers can cause a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis and result in loss of lung function that often progresses to disability and death. Asbestos also causes cancer of the lung and other diseases such as mesothelioma of the pleura which is a fatal malignant tumor of the membrane lining the cavity of the lung or stomach.
In this video, Joe Goeddeke, an asbestos inspector in EGLE's Detroit office, talks about why it's important to continue to be vigilant around demolition sites as well as the risks of asbestos exposure.
Visit EGLE's asbestos webpage to find out more information on protecting yourself when demolition and renovation activities are happening near you.
Photo caption: Screenshot from asbestos video showing EGLE staffer Joe Goeddeke during an inspection.