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Asbestos found at Praxair fire site

Many cannisters made before 1985 that were used to store acetylene were lined with asbestos. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Praxair says last Friday's fire at its plant in south St. Louis caused asbestos to be littered across its property and the nearby neighborhood.

But the company says it's not dangerous because it's not airborne.

The asbestos would have been in some of the older cylinders that stored gas that exploded and were launched into nearby Lafayette Square. Cylinders that store acetylene haven't been lined with asbestos since 1985.

Tests also found asbestos in the surrounding three blocks, but the company says airborne levels of the substance still appear to be at acceptable levels.

HAZ-MAT (Hazardous Materials) crews will be removing debris using special vacuums, the company said.

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