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Asbestos Town

Asbestos Town

Old factory complexes across North Carolina are finding new lives, but in downtown Davidson, developers have tried for years to redevelop an aging cotton mill without success. That's because cancer-causing asbestos is buried on the site. Between the cost of cleanup and the risk of stirring up asbestos, nobody has been willing to take on the job.

In a three-part series that began Jan. 25, 2021, WFAE reporter David Boraks looks at the history of asbestos in Davidson, the attempts to renovate the mill and how contamination in the historically Black neighborhood nearby has stirred up old tensions.
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IN THIS SERIES
CONVERSATIONS
  • Asbestos is also scattered across the town and buried in neighborhoods where it was once used as fill material in people’s yards. Along with health and environmental concerns, there’s a deep sense of distrust among some longtime residents. Many in the town’s historically Black neighborhood have lost loved ones to what they believe were asbestos-related diseases.
  • On Feb. 1, WFAE reporter David Boraks moderated a discussion with Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox, developer Mark Miller and Linda Reinstein, president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, on the impact of asbestos contamination on a historically Black neighborhood in the town and efforts to redevelop the site of the old Linden Mill, where the asbestos originated.
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