City Hall demolition raises health concerns over dust pollutants

Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 12:57pm

El Paso's City Hall building is no longer standing but that's not stopping some residents who are concerned about the plume of dust and what may have been contained in it that billowed throughout the city moments after the 34-year-old building came down.

From high atop, Scenic Drive, Juan Garza takes pictures of not City Hall crumbling down.

"I wanted to come out here and take pictures of the event, showing you know the dispersal patterns of the dust," Juan Garza said.
 

Most importantly, what may be contained within that dust. "Basically what happens is we have concrete dust that's what the building is made of, concrete. And concrete has a lot of silica in it, and that's toxic to human health." ," Garza told us.

He said he is a safety consultant but could not disclose who he works for. Despite his concerns, most of the people we spoke with were excited to see City Hall go down.

"Things are finally taking off, progress in El Paso , get a new ball park, blow up whatever you need to. I’m all for it. Go ahead," Robert Novoa, a Central El Pasoan, exclaimed.

"I thought there was fire," Emma Fierro, a young El Pasoan told us.

Most people were not concerned about the pollutants that may be within the dust cloud.

"I think it pretty much went into the atmosphere. But t dissipated quickly so I don’t think anywhere near as bad as the Asarco dust," Alfonso Fierro, of Kern Place said.

The bicyclists, walkers and runners got a quick glimpse of City Hall's demolition on Sunday and most feel was all for an important cause.

"It was long overdue, it was an eyesore of a building, it had a lot of mechanical problems with it and the city needs a more efficient building," Alfonso said.

But for Garza, the health concern is more important than the new Triple A baseball stadium.

"Silicosis. Scarring of the lung tissues. And as much dust as this has created, I’d be concerned for people who were actually downtown," Garza explained.

We contacted City Officials about the dust and health concerns, and they told us they had addressed the issue and have implemented a number of measures to ensure the implosion was safe for residents.

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Reader Comments

I was at oregon from, when I saw the cloud comming, I was able to run to the alligator park and ask someone for a ride. But im concerned that the dust might contain lead, asbestos, and silica, my mouth felt dry, could also be because i didnt drink enough water. I also took a shower,
I just hope I can get those pollutants out of my body, but I didnt go to the asarco

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