• Report: DC Metro Cars Still Contain ASBESTOS

    Hundreds of rail cars used by the Washington, D.C., Metro system still have asbestos in them.

    Nearly 300 of the oldest Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority rail cars contain “a small amount of asbestos in the heater box behind the evaporator in each rail car,” NBC4 reports.

    These heater boxes are located near the front and back of every “1000-series” rail car and are part of the heating systems used in the trains.

    In a statement to NBC4, Metro spokesperson Sherri Ly said the amount of asbestos in the cars is “extremely small” and the material is “non-friable,” meaning it cannot be crumbled and fibers won’t be released.

    “Moreover, the material is outside of the passenger cabin and is not accessible to riders, thus poses no hazard or concern,” Ly said.

    In a contract proposal, WMATA is seeking a contractor to remove the old asbestos before it retires the 40-year-old cars in favor of recently purchased new cars.

    The asbestos is contained in sealed mechanical compartments above the ceilings of the cars and would need to be removed before the cars are dismantled, because it could pose a risk to workers if it is drilled or sawed through.

    Asbestos can be dangerous if inhaled. It can lead to lung cancer and scarring of lung tissue, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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