October 10, 2012

Pointing Out the Potential for Contaminated Debris, Dust When Hospital Is Demolished

To the Editor:

I meant to write much earlier than this to thank Jane Buttars, Dr. Vojislava Pohristic, and Alexi Assumus for providing the much needed information on the status of the environmental impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the old hospital site. I am surprised by the lack of response or concern shown by local residents when there is a strong possibility that the site is contaminated and that there is not only the actual demolishing of the buildings (lead paint, lead doors, asbestos, medical waste, X ray equipment, etc.), but the removal of hospital also poses threats to the surrounding water systems.

Do residents realize the amount of dust particles which will spread over the area? I remember the amount of dust/dirt that settled on our front porch and window ledges and came in through the window screens when the new sewer lines were put in a few years ago and all that debris came from just digging up part of the street and sidewalks.

In May of 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted in Oregon “Over the course of the day, prevailing winds blew 520 million tons of ash eastward across the United States and caused complete darkness in Spokane, Washington, 250 miles from the volcano.” I am certainly not comparing the volcanic eruption to the demolition of the old hospital site, I am simply pointing out that the debris from the hospital will cover quite a bit of Princeton and the debris will not only be concrete and glass dust but, unless the contaminated items in the hospital are not disposed of in an environmentally safe way, residents have some major health issues to deal with.

Nancy Green

Lytle Street