However, something started to happen on Friday. In the morning the previous work to dismantle the panels stopped and no workers were digging the asbestos-cement panels into the clouds of flying dust. An examination came from the cleanliness in Prague, which, as usual, did not find anything harmful.
The mayor of Prague 1, Peter Hjama, stated with satisfaction that “after the inspection, it was confirmed that the asbestos fibers were not dispersed in the air and that the health of the children from the neighboring school was not at risk!”
Asbestos disposal during the rebuilding of the Intercontinental Hotel
If the articles in the news and in Brava have realized that asbestos-cement panels will not be dismantled in the current dreadful way, then even this is not enough.
Finally, at least the dusters
On Friday, Metrostav released a statement: “Several safety measures will be introduced as an above-level measure to de-escalate the situation, the public and the surrounding population. Strong dust extractors will also be installed in places where panels are being dismantled. Measurements of asbestos fiber concentrations will be made frequently and regularly on site. “.
However, it was not explained why dust extracts had not yet been used and why concentrations of asbestos fibers were not frequently measured to prevent the release of the carcinogenic fibers.
Metrostav has identified the change in color of stabilizer necessary for safe coating of panels from colorless to blue as another security measure. This was to demonstrate that the panels were fitted with this anchor prior to transportation from the front to the container. During the entire dismantling process, no locals noticed that the panels were covered with an anchor.
It is also envisaged to introduce a controlled closed area during dismantling of the elevator shaft, which contains a large number of asbestos-cement elements.
Cleanliness saw nothing
Hygiene in Prague plays a special role in this story. Its spokesperson Zbyněk Boublík Práva wrote that no defects were found or found that the concentration of asbestos fibers in the air was exceeded.
“In order to verify the specific procedure for removing asbestos-containing materials, two measurements have already been taken to control the concentration of asbestos fibers in the working air, proving that the fiber concentration in accordance with the applicable legislation was not exceeded at the time of measurement,” Public said. The third measurement was made by an accredited company this Wednesday. The results are still awaited.
The question is when and where these measurements were made. If it was at a time when work was not done on the facade, then it is of no value. It is also not clear whether the measurements were taken in closed areas of the hotel, where the dismantling work is taking place. This is missing from the hygiene spokesperson’s statement.
Local residents were concerned that the building was not closed and that carcinogenic particles could leak into the air. According to the law, this should not happen. However, hygienists insist that this is not the case.
According to Rostislav Drochytka from the School of Civil Engineering at Brno University of Technology, the covering would be appropriate precisely due to the location of the panels on the facade. “In Germany, it will be very automatic,” he told the newspaper. The problem is that it costs a lot of money.
Cleanliness: It is not necessary to cover the building
However, according to Public, this procedure was not necessary. “Regarding the removal of the surrounding panels, which are disassembled instead of the steel frame, that is, without any interference with the asbestos-cement panels, it is possible to remove the surrounding panels without creating an airtight area, subject to additional measures,” said Public. He cited as an example the method of packaging, that is, spraying with an appropriate fixative agent.
Zdeněk Krenk, Head of the Environment Department Prague 1, agrees, saying in his opinion: However, according to the results, this is not the only option and the specified procedure is approved by the hygiene station. It doesn’t matter how many tons of material is purified, but how much is released (can be released) into the air, “he explains.
Reconstruction of the Intercontinental Hotel
Photo: Peter Hornick, bravo
And what does the main body of public health say that the videos show that workers cutting and digging asbestos-cement panels on the facade of the hotel are not wearing protective clothing and are only protected with respirators? The compliance monitoring of procedures – i.e. technical, technological and labor – during the InterContinenatl rebuilding was implemented by hygienists immediately at the end of April.
“The inspection did not reveal any defects immediately or in the documentary part,” a public spokesman added.