Congress Street by the Haymarket T stop remained shut this morning (as did the Holocaust Memorial) as respirator-wearing workers repaired a burst steam pipe that gave way last night, sending a steady stream of steam - and, it turns out, asbestos - into the chill night air.
Boston Public Health Commission spokeswoman Katinka Podmaniczky writes:
We do not believe there is any risk to public health from last night's steam-pipe rupture. Our Office of Environmental Health joined the state Department of Environmental Protection and others in taking airborne asbestos fiber samples, and we did not detect any airborne asbestos in our sampling. The street was fully clean of all asbestos debris. Risk from asbestos comes from prolonged exposure to air-borne particles over a number of years. In this situation, asbestos would have mixed with the steam, fallen to the ground, and been cleaned up.