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It's More Than Ash: The Hazards Of Post-Fire Cleanup

The remains of a home can be a toxic stew of substances.
Geoffrey Riley
JPR News
The remains of a home can be a toxic stew of substances.

It was a home. Now it's rubble and ashes. And a few more things, many of them not good for you. Everything from batteries to cleaning products burn up in fires, their residues mingling with the remnants of walls and ceilings.

So the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ, does not recommend handling the cleanup yourself. In addition to the burned-up products and possessions, older homes may contain asbestos, dangerous to the lungs.

DEQ is still working on a plan to address all the burned homes in the state. Department reps Brian Fuller and Geoff Brown visit to talk about some of the issues raised by fires and their residues.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.