DEQ officials: Asbestos risk near NW Portland explosion site is - KPTV - FOX 12

DEQ officials: Asbestos risk near NW Portland explosion site is low

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

As the investigation continues into last week’s explosion in northwest Portland, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality officials are making sure asbestos found in the rubble is disposed of safely.

The day after the natural gas explosion at Northwest 23rd and Glisan, DEQ inspectors went to the site to see what kind of environmental dangers could’ve surfaced. They’re still waiting on some lab results, but they say the roofing materials do contain asbestos.

Asbestos is a building material used in old construction that is now considered dangerous, potentially causing lung and breathing problems.

Inspectors say they won’t be able to safely remove the rubble for a few days, but in the meantime, they don’t want neighbors to worry. Inspector Killian Condon says the pile is fenced off, sprayed down and covered - pretty much eliminating the risk of inhaling it.

“Because the materials are covered right now, there’s no way for the fibers to be released,” said Condon.

When the blast site is eventually cleared, DEQ will be in charge of the removal plan.

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