06/11/08 — Days Inn asbestos not public health threat

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Days Inn asbestos not public health threat

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on June 11, 2008 1:47 PM

With crews expected to begin removing asbestos from the Days Inn sometime this month, Goldsboro Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra has been working to reassure nearby residents and businesses that the process won't pose any danger to them or anyone else in the area on Wayne Memorial Drive -- despite the appearance of men in white painter suits with masks and little white booties.

"It is a highly controlled process," Cianfarra said. "They will have pressurized tents. They will have air monitors. They will have tunnels where they filter the air. It is completely safe."

He just wants to make sure that people know the reason for the work and what the job will entail before the process begins.

The problem, he explained, is that the motel is full of asbestos.

"It is the largest amount of asbestos I have seen in one place in the 27 years I have been with the city," Cianfarra said.

When the motel underwent renovations several years ago, the walls were textured to look more modern.

The problem with that was that the texture was drywall mud, and the mud had asbestos in it -- a product that usually comes from Canada or other countries and is legal to import, he said.

In essence, Cianfarra explained, the mud may have made the rooms look better, but now every wall in the motel has about 5 percent asbestos in it.

And so the walls can't just be sanded down. Certain precautions have to be taken, and the removal process is a highly technical one.

"It will take some time for these men to do this," he said. "It may take them 30 days, and it may take them 60 days."

Either way, Cianfarra wants to make sure that the job is done right.

"It is my job to make sure all of the asbestos is gone, and they do that in the right way," he said.

Once they finish removing all of the asbestos in the building, the Days Inn can then be demolished -- something many in the community have been waiting for ever since the motel was damaged in a windstorm last August, and shortly after it was declared a "total loss" by Cianfarra.

The City Council officially condemned the building in February.