Oregon residents in the city of Hillsboro received a summer surprise when they were alerted to asbestos exposure in the neighborhood near the corner of SE Ninth Avenue and SE Maple Street. Five houses purchased to make way for a new parking area were discovered to contain asbestos after several phases of inspections.
After contractors reported that no asbestos remained in the structures, two of the houses were used in routine Hillsboro Fire Department “Burn to Learn” exercises. The city claims no concern for asbestos exposure among their firefighters involved in the exercise, stating, “On all training exercises and drills, our firefighters follow strict safety procedures and wear the appropriate protective equipment.”
A team from the city was sent into the neighborhood to alert residents of the possible exposure. “We’re erring on the side of caution, so we went door to door to make sure everybody was aware. We do not believe the activity at the site constituted a risk to public health.”
While the efforts to alert the neighborhood of the ordeal are to be commended, we still wonder why numerous licensed contractors were unable to identify asbestos present in the homes. Have you been exposed to asbestos in your neighborhood? Share your story with us in a comment below.