Blanchester will check the history of municipal buildings for any possible asbestos

BLANCHESTER – Village officials will check the history of the municipal building for asbestos.

At the Blanchester Village Council meeting on Thursday, officials made the decision after getting advice from Ted Schmalz of Proactive Consulting Service.

According to the company’s website – proactiveconsultingservices.com – the Cincinnati-based company is “committed to providing expert environmental, health and safety consulting services that promote regulatory compliance and reduce risk to our clients”.

Mayor John Carman said there had been previous discussions expressing concerns about asbestos and black mold believed to be in the municipal building.

Schmalz told the board that when it comes to hazardous substances like asbestos, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it should do a physical examination of the materials.

“Air sampling can be a component of risk assessment, but it shouldn’t be a stand-alone step or the first step in the risk assessment process,” Schmalz said. “So when you walk into a building, you identify the different types of asbestos-containing materials in the building. The inspector then examines the condition of the material, as this plays an important role in the danger posed by asbestos. Then it is where it is located in the building that there is a great degree of danger.

“Basically it’s the condition, where it is and how those spaces are used in terms of the level of concern you would have for building occupants who are exposed to them.”

Schmalz said air sampling is done if they know there’s a problem, such as if someone came in and “messed up a bunch of asbestos” or “there was dust everywhere”.

Air testing can be used in conjunction with a maintenance program used for asbestos, according to Schmalz.

“At the end of the day, the EPA doesn’t really say…for the ambient building air…they really don’t have anything in place to say ‘that’s a safe level’ or ‘that’s not a level of security “. It is more about the condition of the materials in the building, their location, and whether there is a maintenance plan in the building to avoid disturbing the materials. »

He said the EPA and OCEA have established limits when it comes to exposure limits and such, but it’s not really meant for stationary or ambient air – it’s more for cleaning asbestos work areas and see what workers are exposed to.

“I think it would be money well spent for an inspector to come and look at the different types of equipment you have here and see if they are in good condition. I think it goes much further in protecting people and building occupants,” he said.

He did not discourage air sampling, but said it would be a step to take after determining what is in the building, what condition it is in and where it is.

“You have to remember that air sampling is a snapshot. It’s basically only good for the period you’re taking the air sample,” he said.

If he does the test, he gave the council an estimated cost of $2,800.

Since the village municipal building used to be a school, he said there should be a document of the levels of asbestos that were present when he was inspected in the late 80s or early 90s.

When asked where they could get a copy, he said to check with the Ohio EPA to see if the Blanchester school district had a copy.

Contact John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Melissa C. Keyes