Damaged Funeral Home Exacerbates Asbestos Risk

Asbestos Risk at the Brown Funeral Home

The ongoing state of a Flint, Michigan, funeral home threatens to expel tiny asbestos fibers in the environment to nearby residents. As time passes, weather elements and gravity continue to crumble the building. Even minor disturbances can release tiny, poisonous, asbestos fibers into the air. When caught in a gust of wind, the feathery, fluffy, particles can travel several miles, making it easier for people and animals to breathe in.

The Brown Funeral Home concealed asbestos within its walls for several years before it became a real public health concern. Sometime in 2020, the building sustained significant fire damage, which exacerbated the asbestos issue by damaging the infrastructure far beyond natural wear and tear, advancing the process and risks.

History of Asbestos Use

Manufacturers all around the United States (and beyond) once relied on asbestos to reinforce and protect exposed building materials in a range of industries. This included materials found in commercial and residential buildings, tools, parts, cosmetics, household products, and even masks and uniforms (to name a few).

Regardless of known toxicity, however, lawmakers and agencies still went back and forth in efforts to ban all commercial use of the mineral until about 2019. It’s important to note, however, that asbestos isn’t dangerous to human health when it’s intact since the harmful fibers are packed down and sealed away behind more than one surface level (usually).

Surveyors Found Asbestos in Former Funeral Home

1616 Davison Road is where the dilapidated Brown Funeral Home can be found, the current property of the Genesee County Land Bank. In 2019, officials surveyed the funeral home for dangerous levels of asbestos. Many instances of the toxic mineral were located upon inspection. Approximately, 11,000 square feet of textured and popcorn ceiling and surface coverings, including paint, were identified.

At this point, Genesee County Land Bank reached out to local government agencies for assistance cleaning and removing the funeral home. The Environmental Protection Agency responded.

Hazardous Site Cleanup

Also known as the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency is now working towards getting this hazardous site cleaned up. The EPA plans on renovating the Brown Funeral Home by:

  • Developing and following a detailed safety plan to protect workers and public health while extracting the debris
  • Demolishing any standing or protruding infrastructure that remains
  • Moving or throwing away hazardous waste to an approved site
  • Integrating pre-established COVID-19 precautions throughout the entire process

The EPA expects cleanup to finish in late summer, so the Flint Michigan community can take their land and safety back. Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley plans on re-selling the remaining land to stimulate growth back into the community.

Living in Flint, Michigan?

If you’ve been living in Flint, Michigan, or other area known for asbestos exposure, you may have already experienced irreparable lung damage. Conversely, it’s difficult to determine the level of danger, since asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma can take decades to develop. Let’s assess your case and see if we can help.

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