Following the recent steam pipe explosion in Baltimore, asbestos was found on the exterior wall of a nearby hotel — raising concerns among government officials and hotel guests alike.
According to a report by CBS Baltimore, the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) has said that workers found the material on the exterior wall of a Holiday Inn located just a short distance from the blast.
Since the dangerous asbestos fibers cannot be completely removed from the stucco wall, the plan is to cover the wall up, which will hopefully prevent the fibers from becoming airborne and putting people at risk.
Given that asbestos was once commonly used to insulate pipes, some have speculated that the recently discovered contamination on the side of the hotel is linked to the steam pipe explosion, which, when it occurred, sent a layer of debris into the air.
In addition to the hotel, the MDE has said that some cars behind the caution tape have been “totaled” due to asbestos contamination, according to the CBS Baltimore report.
The dangers of asbestos
When inhaled, asbestos fibers can lead to several serious — and often deadly — medical conditions, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. One of the most frightening aspects of asbestos exposure is that symptoms of medical conditions may not appear for several years, or even decades. Sadly, there is currently no known cure for mesothelioma.
Surprisingly, despite the dangers associated with asbestos exposure, it can still be found in many places — as the recent incident in Baltimore illustrates all too well.