December 5, 2013 – In northern New Jersey, a municipal building recently underwent an asbestos abatement. Filing cabinets in the Borough Hall of Emerson containing asbestos were removed from the building. Controversy surrounds this asbestos removal because it is alleged that it was unreasonably delayed.
In April of 2013, employees of the Bergen County municipality reported that clouds of dust had been emanating from the filing cabinets in the office. The refurbished cabinets also showed visual signs of corrosion. The Borough’s management postponed testing the filing cabinets for three months.
In July, 2013, Detail Associates, Inc. performed asbestos testing on the office filing cabinets. The company is a certified asbestos contractor approved by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Department of Health. The environmental engineering company confirmed that the filing cabinets and their contents contained asbestos.
Following the testing, the asbestos-laden filing cabinets were appropriately removed from Borough Hall in August, 2013. Best Removal Inc. Asbestos Removal Contractors & Consultants performed the asbestos abatement and containment procedures to ensure that no further asbestos contamination occurred at the municipal office building.
The Borough Administrator did not provide any explanation as to the delay in testing the cabinets for asbestos once a report of possible exposure was received.
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