Does Northeast Face Asbestos Risk Following Sandy?
More than one week after much of New Jersey and New York City was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy, those affected by the storm are still coming to terms with the destruction that the storm has caused to homes, buildings, and boardwalks.
However, in the midst of the emotional toll that the storm has doled out, there may also be an underlying risk involving asbestos exposure that residents should be concerned about.
Among the buildings that were either damaged or destroyed by Sandy, it is quite likely that many of them were built using some kind of asbestos product. If these products - which likely may have been used for tiling or insulation in buildings - were broken during the storm, there is a chance they could be release dangerous asbestos fibers into the air that could be inhaled by first responders, workers, and homeowners.
In Connecticut, Mark T. Sheehan High School was closed after a section of the school’s roof blew off during the hurricane, causing damage to asbestos tiles on the second floor of the building. New York City schools also were also shut down for several days. Oddly enough, one of the other few times that NYC schools were shut down over an extended period of time was during the “Asbestos Week” of 1993 when school was delayed 11 days because of asbestos contamination fears.
In addition to buildings, the substantial damage to many historic piers and boardwalks on the coastlines of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut may also release deadly asbestos fibers into the air, as many of the boardwalks were probably built when asbestos more commonly used in construction. Most of the historic boardwalks in Atlantic City and Seaside Heights – where, most recently, Jersey Shore was filmed – were destroyed in the superstorm.
The threat of asbestos disesases can be very real following disasters of this magnitude. Asbestos-related diseases were reported both after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Contact a professional team if you suspect cleanup could prove hazardous to your health.