KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Eastman Chemical Company said initial testing of debris found at its Kingsport plant after Monday’s steam line break showed that at least some of the material contained asbestos.
According to Eastman, the “high-pressure steam incident” Monday morning damaged a “variety of construction materials.”
The company announced late Monday that it is deploying a response team to the community to evaluate debris impact.
The steam line rupture caused debris to fall in some neighborhoods near the plant. Residents who experienced debris on their cars, houses, or property are asked to call the Eastman Community Care Line at 423-229-CARE. Callers should report their name, address, phone number, and description of the impact to their property.
Eastman is asking impacted residents to leave the debris for its response team to pick up. The company will contact residents who call the Care Line to arrange for cleanup.
The company said it is treating any debris as containing asbestos unless it is confirmed to not contain asbestos.
“Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, can be hazardous to human health following exposures of a significant amount and duration – exposures of a type not anticipated from this event,” the company said in a release. “Eastman will continue to work closely with regulatory officials to ensure we are taking all necessary steps to ensure debris is removed according to all established safety protocols.”
Eastman said it is establishing a boundary within the impacted area of the plant where response teams will be cleaning up material. The area is located on the northeast side of the plant site near Lincoln Street between John B. Dennis Highway and Eastman Road.
Five workers received minor injuries in the steam line incident.