San Antonio residents that live near the city’s Blue Star Arts Complex think their neighborhood may be contaminated with dangerous asbestos and will find out for sure when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) begins conducting soil and air testing in the area.
According to an EPA spokesperson, the tests to be conducted by the agency involve creating dust at the site and collecting the airborne fibers for testing. KSAT-TV reports that initial tests conducted on the soil have indeed showed the presence of asbestos, a toxic mineral that can cause serious pulmonary diseases, such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis.
“People have gotten sick (and) I’ve heard of cases where they’ve died of cancer,” Helen Garza said. “Is it related? We don’t know.”
A local geologist believes his neighbors shouldn’t be so worried about the tests. “You hear asbestos, you hear cancer, you hear the boogeyman and it’s become sort of, ‘The boogeyman is out for me,’” Jerry White said.
The EPA told residents that if unacceptable levels of asbestos are confirmed, they will begin replacing the tainted soil with clean soil.
“It’s basically a dig-and-haul process,” EPA spokesman Erik Delgado said.
Test results are expected in about two weeks.