GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The Whole Foods grocery store in Greensboro’s Friendly Shopping Center is closed after crews discovered asbestos in the building.
According to a statement from a Whole Foods Market spokesperson, a construction project was underway in the store, located at 3202 W. Friendly Ave., when crews found “trace amounts of asbestos” nearby in a “a nonpublic area.”
Asbestos, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is a mineral fiber that naturally occurs in rock and soil and historically has been used in construction. The EPA says asbestos exposure can increase the risk of developing lung disease and may take many years to develop following exposure.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately closed the store and are working closely with trained professionals to reopen as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.
Employees will still be paid for scheduled shifts while the store is closed.
The full statement is included below.
“The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority. Trace amounts of asbestos were identified in a nonpublic area in our Greensboro location, which were discovered in the building while a neighboring construction project was underway. Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately closed the store and are working closely with trained professionals to reopen as soon as possible. Team Members are being paid for scheduled shifts while the store is closed.”Whole Foods Market Spokesperson