Asbestos Raises Concerns in Chicago Hotel Demolition

by Sokolove Law

State authorities want a court to delay a planned demolition of a former hotel and mental hospital on Chicago’s North Side because of potential asbestos contamination.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency asked the state’s attorney general for an injunction to prevent Zidan Management Group and Dubai Construction from tearing down the 9-story building.

The agency said the two companies failed to follow proper asbestos-handling procedures, and caused unsafe pollution levels in the building. The agency also claims that the companies didn’t tell the agency of the planned work, or properly perform an asbestos inspection. The EPA wants a licensed outside contractor to create a contamination plan.

The story highlights the dangers of asbestos in construction — both past and present. The North Side hotel was built in 1923, near the start of widespread asbestos usage in the construction industry. Builders gladly exploited a material that was cheap, versatile, strong, and fireproof. Asbestos-containing building materials included insulation, roofing materials, cement shingles, cement, floor tiles, pipe lagging, and spray fireproofing — to name just a few.

But asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma take up to 40 years to develop. So, the dangers of asbestos weren’t evident until decades after the widespread deployment of the substance. By the time the public realized the threat, the damage had already been done.

Asbestos building components are also dangerous to anyone who might be renovating or demolishing structures today. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and believe you were exposed to asbestos at a construction jobsite, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your legal options, please contact Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation.

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