An illegal dump site in north Nashville has tested positive for asbestos and the Health Department is warning residents of a potential health threat while ordering the property owners to take action.
The pile of debris at 26th Avenue North has been there for months and consists of old furniture, construction debris and trash.
Residents have always suspected the debris pile was dangerous to their health citing trash blowing through yards, a horrible stench and rodents roaming the area.
The Health Department tested the trash pile for asbestos last week, and has now confirmed that the pile has tested positive.
“Asbestos, as we know, causes lung cancer. From a public health threat, there is something there,” said Brian Todd with the Health Department.
On Wednesday the Health Department issued a notice of violation requiring the ownership group to take immediate action to remedy the health threat.
Health officials said that the first thing that must be done, starting now, is someone needs to hose the area down to keep particulates from flying in the air.
“On a windy day, it's blowing around. There is some concern there,” Todd said.
Health officials noted that residents should be concerned, but they won't be quarantined or evacuated.
The property will come down to the owner. They will have the first opportunity to clean the pile up, corner it off and post signs.
“We've given him ten days to remove all the materials from the property,” Todd explained.
A member of the ownership group for the property told Nashville's News 2 Investigates that the pile would have been cleaned up already if it weren't for red tape within the Metro Codes Department.
The ownership official reiterates that none of this was dumped by his group. Instead, he said, it was trucked in by others in the community who use the area as an illegal dump site.
He added that he welcomes the city to clean the mess and send him the bill.
The city has set a deadline of May 16 for the ownership group to have the lot cleaned or the Metro Health Director could levy fines.
- April 23, 2013: Metro investigates illegal dump site in north Nashville