It’s a mineral that's hazardous to your health, and some local Wiregrass employees were working right next to it.
Employees at the EMA Building in Ozark had some extra visitors today, ones that were removing a type of mineral called asbestos.
Dale County EMA Director Robert Marsh said, "It's never bothered me to work around it or with it. Like I say, I don't disturb it so it shouldn't be a problem."
Marsh says employees with the school board had some concern about it and contacted the commissioners. That’s when the removal process began.
March adds although he's working next to the harmful material, he's not worried. "They know what they’re doing, so I'm not concerned at all about the health of the employees in the building today."
Asbestos is composed of minerals that look like long thin fibrous crystals.
If ingested, asbestos can cause serious illness, sometimes leading to cancer.
However medical officials say it usually takes more than a one time exposure to asbestos to make you sick.
Flowers Hospital Dr. Dale Prophet said, "For asbestos to cause harm, it really takes prolonged exposure over a number of years."
Officials also add the process of removing the material has come a long way in safety.
Dr. Prophet adds, "Asbestos removal now very tightly regulates licensed protected. So I think now a days would not be associated with any significant exposure."
Robert Marsh is confident all will be taken care of in the proper manner and employees will feel more at ease.
Only a few areas of the EMA Building had to be worked on; crews say they should be done by the end of the day.