Demolition rules targeting lead dust, asbestos take effect

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new set of home demolition rules intended to control the spread of asbestos and lead dust took effect this month in Portland.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports City Council approved the new regulations in February, but administrative rules weren’t in place until July 1.

The new rules require contractors to take down parts of homes by hand if using heavy equipment could release lead or asbestos, and it also requires water misting to further stop the spread of dust.

There have already been 144 homes demolished this year, while contractors had applied for or received permits for more than 100 more as of July 1.

Exposure to asbestos fibers in the air can cause cancer and other lung ailments, while lead dust can lead to brain damage.