Potential cancer causing chemical discovered at Iredell County Public Library

Eight months after a potentially cancer causing chemical was discovered in the Iredell County Public Library, county leaders have announced a plan to fix the issue. 

If you go inside the library now, you’ll see an area that is closed off to the public. No one can go down, and it's been like that for months.

“We were on three levels, now we're on two levels.  We're just really close,” said Julianne Moore, the incoming Director for the Iredell County Public Library. 

Moore is taking over as director soon, but she’s been a part of the library for 14 years. She was there earlier this year when the chemical known as percloroethylene, or PCE, was detected.

For those who frequent the library, the discovery was shocking. 

“I was amazed that it was present,” said patron Tony Cooper. 

The PCE was discovered as the county was looking to buy more property near the library. The land used to have dry cleaners on it, which use PCE.

The chemical apparently seeped into the ground, and the area of highest concentration was right next to the children's section.

“If you look back at your test results, that's what we call the hot spot,” Iredell County project manager David Saleeby said. 

All of that had been laid out to commissioners earlier this year, but the question of how much it would cost was answered Tuesday night: About $300,000. 

“I think it's going to be worth it,” Cooper said. 

Now, the county is working to keep it from causing a problem in the future, and getting things back to normal.

“We’re all looking forward to this coming to an end,” said Moore. 

The work to fix everything is set to start in January 2019. The library will remain open through all this, although the areas being fixed will continue to be blocked off.