We all know that asbestos has been tied to malignant mesothelioma and other serious and deadly illnesses, so avoiding exposure to the carcinogenic material is something that just makes good sense. With that in mind, consider the quandary faced by those living in the immediate vicinity of the April 10thexplosion in Durham, North Carolina. Where city officials are giving every indication that there is no cause for concern and no risk of asbestos exposure, a former EPA employee who helped advise cleanup crews at the World Trade Center after 9/11 is urging caution, and said that she herself would not venture near the area out of fear of exposure.
Recognizing that the public had questions about whether they should be concerned about mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, officials from Durham County released the answers to the questions they are most frequently fielding about asbestos. The main takeaway from their news release was an assertion that “the potential for public exposure to asbestos was minimal”. They did not make mention of what was being done to address ongoing concerns about asbestos spreading throughout the region in various ways. By contrast, ex-EPA official Susan Fairchild, who was with the agency for 29 years, had a lot to say about that issue.
Following the collapse of the World Trade Center, many first responders and cleanup crew workers were diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases after exposure to the carcinogen at the site, and Fairchild is well aware of the risks posed after an asbestos-contaminated building is demolished. Reviewing the county’s news release, she said it was unclear whether samples of settled dust had been taken, and explained that they would have answered a lot of questions about where the asbestos had landed. That information provides a clearer understanding of the action that needs to be taken to prevent asbestos from traveling farther. Though the site debris may have been watered down, that does not do anything for asbestos that already dispersed. She is also concerned about onlookers and work trucks that may be carrying asbestos fibers further afield, and cleanup workers who may be carrying asbestos home to their families on their work clothes, hair, or skin. This has been the source of many cases of second-hand mesothelioma through the years
The failure of city officials to take all the precautions needed to keep people safe may end up causing harm, and even cases of mesothelioma, in the future. If you or someone you love has been sickened after exposure to asbestos as a result of negligence, we can help. Call us today at 1-800-692-8608.