Workers at a Rockland County, New York office evacuated the building this week after a leak was found to have asbestos. They are expected to return after the office is cleaned up; however the building is known for a series of maintenance issues that have surfaced over the past 30 years.
A heating pipe found in the Saine building, a county building used by the Rockland county personnel department, was leaking water, which was dropping onto the ceiling tile and then onto the floor. Asbestos was disturbed because of the leak. Although a spokesperson for the county’s executive department stated that the asbestos was not friable and posed no health risks, scientists and physicians who specialize in mesothelioma have stated many times that no amount of asbestos exposure is safe, whether it’s friable or not. Although wetting down the asbestos will decrease the chances of health risks, even a small amount of inhalation may lead to life-threatening medical issues.
The Saine building was purchased by Rockland County in 1974 in order to accommodate more workers and solve spacing issues. Yet, the building was built in the early 1960s’, around the time that asbestos was still being heavily used in office construction materials. Since its purchase, there has been a multitude of repair issues with the building, including prior issues with asbestos. In 1994, an office worker in the building fell ill and was later diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease. A thorough testing of the building was performed as well as maintenance on the ventilation and electrical units.
Asbestos has been a known danger since the 1970s’, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released findings of how asbestos is linked to serious diseases, including asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma. Along with office building construction, asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were used to build a variety of structures, such as residential homes, churches, hospitals, and schools. More and more asbestos lawsuits have surfaced after former employees of the buildings created with the dangerous mineral went on to develop asbestos-related diseases.
Meanwhile, a cleanup crew has been dispatched to the Saine building.The ceiling in the personnel office is expected to be replaced and the pipes will be repaired.
If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, pain, suffering, and more. You’ll need an experienced asbestos attorney by your side to assist you through the intricate legal process that comes with asbestos cases. To get started, contact our leading asbestos attorneys today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.