Kansas Warns Storm Victims of Asbestos Debris

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is reminding residents whose homes and other property were destroyed by storms that they should be extremely careful in handling debris because it may contain asbestos.

According to a story on WIBW-TV, KDHE has also reminded homeowners that asbestos removal and disposal should be done by a licensed contractor. However, homeowners that elect to do it themselves should remember to wear a respirator, gloves, coverall, and other protective clothing to avoid being covered with asbestos dust. They should also shower after debris removal and dispose of clothes that are covered with fibers. KDHE also issued a reminder that “damaged structures that were built before 1980 should be dampened with water under low pressure before removal, to minimize dust and fibers.”

The following items may contain asbestos:

• Ceiling and floor tiles
• Textured ceilings
• Roofing materials, including shingles and roofing felt
• Siding
• Vermiculite attic insulation
• Pipe wrapping materials
• Acoustical panels
• Asbestos-cement materials, such as pipes, millboard and corrugated sheet items

The story also reminds locals that any asbestos-containing debris can only be disposed of at particular landfills licensed to accept toxic waste. KDHE can provide direction about disposal and many agency officials continue to be on the scene at locations where the storms hit hardest.

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