Capitol Hill and New York City Amuck with Asbestos SUMMARY Many people have been injured by Asbestos in NY. This problem has come to light recently due to rescue workers from 9-11. The problem also exists in NYC schools. BODY Underneath Capitol Hill lies five miles of underground utility tunnels.
A 10-man crew have worked these tunnels to keep the office environment in the buildings comfortable for members of Congress. Meanwhile the tunnel workers donít know such comfort as temperatures can be as high as 160 degrees with big slabs of concrete falling from the ceilings and cramped passages are thick with fumes. Local fire departments will not venture into the tunnels to attempt an emergency rescue. Why? Because asbestos awaits. These tunnels are deteroriating. When slabs of concrete fall to the ground, they turn into pulverized asbestos and cement dust. Asbestos fibers are released into the air, where maintenance workers inhale them on a daily basis. Exposure to asbestos is more concentrated and regular for these workers due to the confined spaces in which they must labor. Asbestosis is also sucked out through tunnel exhaust fans, poisoning the air above ground. Of the 10 maintenance workers mentioned, nine now have asthma, requiring treatment; seven have asbestosis; all have elevated risks of lung cancer, colon cancer, and mesothelioma -- an incurable cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdominal cavity. A diagnosis of mesothelioma is a death sentence,usually carried out within four to 14 months.
With these kinds of risk, you would think the legislation would pass some laws to protect the health and welfare of its workers. But thatís not the case. As mesothelioma takes decades to manifest, there will be a gradual increase, and then a spike, in this disease. Without a cure and without a commitment by Congress to commit funding to research for mesothelioma now, thousands of victims will die painful deaths as their lungs continuously fill,causing them eventually to drown in a sea of their own fluids. Within the next 25 years and beyond, cases of mesothelioma and asbestosis will reach epidemic proportions. The final tally of September 11, 2001 victims is still out, for when the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon collapsed, millions of asbestos fibers were released into the air. Those fibers were unwarily inhaled by an unknown number of New York City and Washington D.C. residents.
The problem exists in schools as well. For example, in April of 2007 in a claim filed by a NY pipe fitter, he claims that he was exposed to asbestos in seven NYC public schools and one Department of Education office. According to his lawyer, The NYC Department of Education Division of School Facilities denied receiving any complaints from him, but his lawyer has produced evidence to the contrary. According to these allegations, the children of these NY schools are at a high risk of being exposed to this toxic substance that is known to cause lung cancer later in life. The man says he's asked officials to remove the asbestos but knows of only one instance where they did actually remove it as the cost has stopped his supervisors from ordering removal despite the health risks to students and staff Sources:
NY Asbestos Problems in Schools