Hazardous asbestos has been found in the debris of last month’s fatal building collapse in Philadelphia, the NBC Philadelphia is reporting.
The discovery confirms the worst fears of the first responders on the scene regarding the potential for asbestos exposure. Many older buildings were constructed with asbestos-containing products and even brief exposures to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a rare and incurable cancer.
As this blog noted, scores of emergency personnel rushed to help when a four-story building undergoing demolition in Philadelphia collapsed on a Salvation Army Thrift Shop next door. Six people died in the building collapse. The first responders were not wearing protective gear to shield them from any potential asbestos dust.
According to the Inquirer, building owner STB Investment Corp. submitted inspection reports in January that claimed no asbestos found in the building that collapsed and another adjacent building. However, the contractor hired to clear debris after the collapse has hired a certified asbestos removal firm to do some work at the site, according to the newspaper.
It’s starting to look like the asbestos report to the Health Department isn’t worth the paper it was written on,” City Councilman James F. Kenney said to the Inquirer. “The firefighters, police, and others who dove into that debris to try to rescue people, those people need to have that information.
Kenney said he was told asbestos was removed from the site last week. However, the extent of any possible contamination is unclear as much of the debris has been removed.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation and to learn if a mesothelioma lawyer can help you.