The Nashville Fire Department confirms with News 2 that asbestos was identified in Fire Station 2 in downtown Nashville.
The building was closed on Friday.
In a statement, department spokesperson Joseph Pleasant said “as to be expected in a building built in 1974, asbestos was identified. However, it was not in the range that required immediate remediation.”
It all stems from on-going discussions to relocate or reconstruct the aging station.
An environmental study on the building was done in the summer revealing asbestos, but Pleasant said not in the range that required immediate action.
Pleasant added the aging building has several issues the fire department addressed over the years, as it worked on a plan to replace the station.
“However, with the latest mechanical issues with the heating system, the NFD decided we needed to take immediate action to protect the health and safety of our employees,” said Pleasant. “It did not make financial sense to continue to invest in that type of repair for a building we know has outlived its life span.”
An environmental survey from July shows several samples from the building’s vinyl floors and door insulation tested positive for two types of asbestos – chrysotile and amosite.
The percentages yielded results between 2 and 10-percent.
A third-party consulting firm said results that yield 2-percent or higher for asbestos must be treated.
“Most of concern was on the second floor,” said Mark Young, President of the Nashville Fire Union.
According to a source who wants to remain anonymous, asbestos is also visible in a crack in the first floor day room.
Employees have been reassigned to three other nearby stations.
The question now is where will be the best site for reconstruction and if the Mayor’s Office will be on board.
“It’s very important for the mayor and the city council to make priority number one in the capital plan to get the station rebuilt ASAP,” said Young.
For those who may have been exposed, you’re encouraged to fill out the proper exposure forms to get it documented – that will help link any future health issues back to the station.
More information about the effects of exposure to mesothelioma: https://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-exposure/