Support our mission
 
Equipment from Antec, an asbestos removal company, sits outside an abandoned building where asbestos was removed Wednesday on RAF Lakenheath, England.
Equipment from Antec, an asbestos removal company, sits outside an abandoned building where asbestos was removed Wednesday on RAF Lakenheath, England. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)
Equipment from Antec, an asbestos removal company, sits outside an abandoned building where asbestos was removed Wednesday on RAF Lakenheath, England.
Equipment from Antec, an asbestos removal company, sits outside an abandoned building where asbestos was removed Wednesday on RAF Lakenheath, England. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)
Once asbestos is removed from the Liberty Village houses, it is taken to an approved disposal site, in accordance with American and British regulations. The removal poses no risk to people around the buildings.
Once asbestos is removed from the Liberty Village houses, it is taken to an approved disposal site, in accordance with American and British regulations. The removal poses no risk to people around the buildings. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Contract workers involved in the Liberty Village housing initiative continued this week to remove asbestos material from old housing units before the structures are demolished.

The new housing development involves tearing down more than 600 units in the next couple of years as more modern homes are built, said Stephen Harvey, a site manager with the 48th Civil Engineering Squadron.

Glue used for floor tiles in the old homes was manufactured with some traces of asbestos, as were elements of the ceilings, he said.

Despite the small amounts concerned, British and American regulations dictate that such materials be treated in a certain way, Harvey said.

“It all has to be treated to be taken off and disposed of properly,” he said. “It’s really no big deal.”

Old houses at the air base have been having their asbestos removed for the past couple of years as part of the housing initiative, Harvey said.

Asbestos generally was used in building construction up until the late 1970s, he said. Disposal of the Lakenheath housing asbestos involves sealing the homes with protective plastic and taking the materials to an approved disposal site. A vacuum effect is created in each building to prevent any potential particulate from escaping, and the air is tested around each home to offer another level of assurance that nothing has escaped.

Removing the asbestos before demolition of the buildings ensures that the asbestos won’t break apart and possibly become an airborne risk, he said.

“Providing you’re not breaking it and sawing it, it’s not a dangerous material,” Harvey said. “But under the current regulations, you’ve got to treat and dispose of them properly.”

Anyone who sees asbestos removal crews at Lakenheath can be assured that there is no risk involved, Harvey said.

“There is no chance of anything escaping,” he said.

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up