The small town of Vienna, WV is one step closer to completing the cleanup of an abandoned Johns Manville plant. The former fiberglass production facility sits on 33 acres of land and has been an eyesore for the local residents since it was shut down in 2008. This has been an ongoing project that started in 2014 when the Vienna City Council approved an ordinance allowing the City to purchase the property from the previous owner, a development firm. Vienna's mayor and a city council member had the opportunity to walk through the property with a remediation specialist. It was clear that the previous owners had improperly demolished structures, leaving piles of asbestos-contaminated debris behind. The debris has been successfully removed, but there are still structures on the site that will eventually be removed, including a smokestack, an office building, and a small warehouse. Residents would eventually like to repurpose a large portion of the area for residential use.
Many Americans are surprised to find out that thousands of products were made with asbestos fibers before the substance was declared a hazard to human health in the late 1970s. Chrysotile asbestos fibers were spun and woven into materials to make oven mitts, blankets, and more; while amosite fibers were used within different types of insulation products.
It might come as a surprise to learn that asbestos fibers have been worked into over 3,000 products over the years. Asbestos, which is known to be strong, durable, and heat resistant, was once viewed as a "miracle mineral" within our earth. It was combined with other materials for use in industrial, maritime, automotive, scientific, and construction products.