Western U.P. Health Dept. warns of potential asbestos exposure at C&H Mineral Building

HUBBELL — The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has issues a warning for people to avoid activity along a 1,000-foot section of M-26 near the C&H Mineral Building in Hubbell.

As part of ongoing Abandoned Mining Waste projects in the area, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services conducted a public health evaluation of the hazards at the location and determined that roofing material falling from the building presents a physical hazard to the public. The material can be found on both sides of the roadway.

“Recent sampling of this material has confirmed the presence of asbestos fibers. These fibers can become airborne as the roofing materials degrade or are damaged by passing vehicles and during routine maintenance of the roadway. Exposure to these airborne fibers should be avoided as, over time, they can cause damage to the lungs and increase the risk of developing cancer,” said Health Officer Kate Beer in a statement.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality removed and disposed of 14 tons of this material in 2016 and 2017. Silver Shore Enterprise, Inc., the company that owns the property, will be responsible for the ongoing clean-up of falling debris. The potential for public exposure to asbestos fibers will continue until the building is repaired or demolished.

The public is asked to avoid activities in this section of the highway, including walking and biking. Residents should be cautious of possible debris in the roadway while driving. All public access to the C&H Mineral Building property, located at 52986 M-26 on the north side of Hubbell, between M-26 and Torch Lake, should be avoided.

The health department is working with the EPA, the Michigan DEQ, the MDHHS and other stakeholders to reach a long-term solution to the issue. For more information, contact the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department at (906) 482-7382 or visit their website HERE.

For more information about asbestos or mesothelioma, click HERE.