Public exposed to asbestos at site of deadly Durham natural gas explosion

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The deadly Durham natural gas explosion exposed the public and first responders to asbestos, according to testing by state health authorities.

The NC Division of Public Health released test results revealing asbestos-containing materials were in debris resulting from the April 10 explosion on North Duke Street.

Two people died as a result of a natural gas leak that produced an explosion and fire.

Officials at the Durham County Department of Public Health say the potential for public exposure to asbestos was minimal based on test results and the short time that elapsed before the dust was controlled at the site.

Health officials say people who become ill from asbestos are usually those who are exposed to it on a regular basis.

The three main diseases connected to asbestos exposure are asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Most people don't show any signs or symptoms of asbestos-related disease for 10 to 20 years or more after exposure.

If you have questions, contact the North Carolina Division of Public Health at (919) 707-5900.
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