WASHINGTON — As if Metro didn’t have enough problems, apparently some of its railcars have asbestos, according to an NBC Washington report.
The system is retiring its oldest cars from the 1000-series. They contain a small amount of asbestos in the heater box behind the evaporator in each car, according to a contract proposal cited by NBC Washington.
Not everyone agrees.The asbestos is sealed outside the passenger cabin and not accessible to riders, Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly told NBC. Spokesman Dan Stessel said the asbestos doesn’t pose a hazard to riders.
“There is no safe level of asbestos exposure,” says Alex Formuzis, vice president of strategic campaigns at EWG Action Fund. “Millions of passengers a year ride these subway cars, not to mention Metro employees, who likely came into much closer contact with the areas where the asbestos is.”
The National Transportation Safety Board has told Metro to get rid of the old railcars. Those will be discarded once the asbestos is removed.