Joplin, MO- As the debris clean up winds down - crews are still working with potentially dangerous items like asbestos. More than 2,600 tons of it have already been collected. And the actual collection process isn't simple. Crews wear special protective gear and even air sampling pumps to make sure they aren't breathing in asbestos fibers. There's also extra care taken hauling it for disposal... wrapping it in what some workers call a plastic burrito.
Eric Cloud is an environmental engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers working in Joplin. He said, "Asbestos is wetted down. So we keep the dust emissions down. Then it's gently placed, or gently as the people can put it in there. And then once the load is full, then we close - wrap the burrito up. We seal it with glue and duct tape, and then send it to a regulated landfill."
The asbestos clean up efforts are currently focused between Maiden Lane and Kentucky Avenue.