Ann Arbor to Rid City Hall of Asbestos

by Sokolove Law

Municipal employees in Ann Arbor, Michigan, can breathe a sigh of relief – work to remove the last traces of asbestos from City Hall begins in January, according to the MLive news website.

The city council appropriated more than $700,000 for a contractor to handle asbestos removal and the restoration of the building’s third, fourth, and fifth floors. In total, around $1 million will be spent during two phases of work on the building.

City Hall employees have long expressed concern about the potential health danger posed by the asbestos in the building. For example, a workers’ compensation claim filed by a police officer who died in 2011 mentioned asbestos as a possible cause of his lung cancer, according to MLive.

Many public and private buildings constructed before 1980 contain asbestos, a natural mineral once prized for its durability and fire resistance. Constructed in 1963, Ann Arbor’s City Hall has asbestos-containing materials in its flooring, in spray-on fireproofing above ceilings, and in lighting fixtures.

However, exposure to asbestos causes serious diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer that attacks the thin linings of the chest and abdomen. When materials that contain this toxic substance are disturbed or deteriorate over time, microscopic asbestos fibers are released into the air where they can be inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos fibers that lodge in the lungs may eventually cause lung cancer or mesothelioma.

Asbestos abatement workers on the Ann Arbor project will need to be particularly careful as they work. The building will not be evacuated during the project. Instead, work areas will be sealed off and workers relocated to other parts of the large building.

A second company will be on site to monitor air quality and ensure that all hazardous materials are safely removed, according to MLive.

If the project goes according to plan, Ann Arbor’s City Hall will be free of asbestos by June 2014.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos in the past and later diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.

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