HUBBELL – The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has issued a warning for people to avoid activity along a 1,000 foot section of M-26 near the C&H Mineral Building in Hubbell.
The building, owned by Silver Shore Enterprise, Inc., is located at 52986 M-26 on the north side of Hubbell, between M-26 and Torch Lake. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services conducted a public health evaluation of hazards at the location as part of ongoing
Abandoned Mining Waste projects in the area.
Roofing material falling from the building has been found on both sides of M-26, presenting a physical hazard to the public. According to Kate Beer, Health Officer, “Recent sampling of this material has confirmed the presence of asbestos fibers. These fibers can become airborne as the roofing material degrades or is damaged by passing vehicles and during routine maintenance of the roadway. Exposure to these airborne fibers should be avoided as, over time, they can cause damage to the lungs and increase the risk of developing cancer.”
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality removed and disposed of 14 tons of this material in 2016 and 2017, and the property owner will be responsible for ongoing clean-up of falling debris. The potential for public exposure to asbestos fibers will continue until the
building is repaired or demolished.
The public is asked to avoid activities in this section of the highway, including walking and biking, and to be cautious of possible debris in the roadway while driving. All public access to the C&H Mineral Building property should be avoided.
The health department is working with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other stakeholders to reach a long-term solution to this issue.
For more information contact the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department at (906) 482-7382. Health concern-related questions may be directed to the Toxics & Health Hotline at 800-648-6942.
Abandoned Mining Wastes Project
EPA: C&H Mineral Building Site
Demolition Dust: Protect Yourself
Asbestos in Your Environment: What You Can Do to Limit Exposure
Torch Lake Superfund Site & Surrounding Areas
Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry-Asbestos Information
Michigan Environmental Health Topics A-Z