This week, two stories of asbestos; once miracle product, now plague on the aging infrastructure to which it’s bound.
Asbestos was once heralded as the ideal building material—light, cheap, and heat resistant—until the health hazards of inhaling it were discovered. By then asbestos could be found in homes, schools, and buildings all over the country. On today’s episode of Distillations we look at how two Pennsylvania towns are coping with the economic burden of remediating areas contaminated by asbestos. First Bob Kenworthy explains how Ambler residents have fought to contain the asbestos-laden land left behind by a shuttered manufacturing plant. Then producer Larkin Page-Jacobs visits a Pittsburgh high school that was once an architectural marvel and now sits abandoned due to asbestos.
00:00 Opening Credits
01:53 The Ambler Asbestos Waste Piles
05:33 Schenley High School
13:22 Closing Credits
Special thanks to Bob Kenworthy for researching this show.
Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Music from the Free Music Archive includes “Banjo Arba Minch Garden,” by Cooper-Moore, “Pretty Little Dog,” by Shake That Little Foot, and “Live at Festival of Endless Gratitude,” by James Blackshaw. Thanks also to the Library of Congress for providing music for “The Globe Trot,” by Victor Military Band.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia.