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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Shelby County Workers Claim Exposure To Asbestos

The Local I-Team spoke with Shelby County workers who said they are concerned that they were potentially exposed to asbestos during renovations of several Shelb...
Shelby County Workers Claim Exposure To Asbestos_20160722234703

The Local I-Team spoke with Shelby County workers who said they are concerned that they were potentially exposed to asbestos during renovations of several Shelby County buildings.

One of those buildings is the old Shelby County Morgue on Madison Avenue in Midtown.

Work there has been stopped several times because of workers concerns.

The county hired experts to come in and clean up the asbestos, but as construction continued, county workers have found areas of additional concern.

The fibers were found in the Old County Morgue where crews have recently been doing construction. Other buildings on Poplar Avenue, Main Street and Mississippi Boulevard also contained the fibers.

County workers hired attorney Bruce Kramer and claimed that nothing is being done to remove asbestos.

Kramer sent this letter to the county which states in part:

“It is my understanding that the health department and Human Relations Department of Shelby County are aware of this situation but have neglected to rectify the situation which has put our clients, and their families, at and medical exposure and risk.”

Local 24 contacted the Shelby County government to find out what’s being done. They sent us this statement.

“Shelby County Government is committed to providing safe workplaces for its employees.  Facts and information about the interior renovation work at Shelby County-owned buildings are being reviewed.”

Dr. Tyler Zerwekh is Shelby County’s administrator of environmental health services. He said the county is aware of the concerns and they are looking into it.

“Part of our responsibility is to check the companies as they remove it so if they tend to find more asbestos we’re out there weekly, daily, on a regular basis to ensure that they’re taking the proper precautions under federal law to remove it safely and not expose the employees or people are kind the asbestos area,” Zerwekh said.