Workers still cleaning after downtown steam pipe break

4:24 PM, Apr 10, 2012   |    comments
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By Sharon Stevens

St. Louis (KSDK) - It was a spectacular sight in downtown St. Louis: a huge plume of steam billowing out of a broken pipe at 11th Street and Convention last week.

But there was more than just steam in the air.

Mixed in with that steam was asbestos.

The power washing continues five days later, and it will be at least one more week before 11th Street is open.

The Trigen-St. Louis Energy Corporation recently tested for asbestos inside the Lucas Lofts. Residents had expressed concerns, but Vice President Dan Dennis says the tests came back negative.

The power washing continues because test results from Monday indicated that asbestos fibers are still in the area. If inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause serious, sometimes deadly, ailments.

Dr. Keith Naunheim is Professor of Surgery at St. Louis University Hospital says in this case, the threat from asbestos is minimal.

"It's unlikely with the brief exposure that you're going to contract anything. And the God's honest truth is, even if you did, you won't know it for 20 or 30 years," said Dr. Naunheim.

The cause of the pipe burst remains unknown.


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