Firefighters Fear Asbestos Exposure After Building Collapse

by Sokolove Law

Were first responders at last month’s tragic building collapse in Philadelphia exposed to deadly asbestos?

That’s the fear among the scores of emergency personnel who rushed to help at the deadly accident at 2136 Market St., which killed six people on June 5. As reported by local NBC affiliate NBC10, the first responders were not wearing protective gear to shield them from any potential asbestos dust.

Inhaling microscopic asbestos fibers can lead to mesothelioma, a rare and fatal cancer. The latency period between asbestos exposure and the onset of mesothelioma symptoms can be as long as 50 years.

“I still don’t know if it was in that building,” Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers told the television station. “I’m hoping it wasn’t.”

Six people died when a four-story building that was improperly demolished collapsed on a Salvation Army Thrift Shop next door. At the height of the search and recovery effort, 125 first responders were at the site of the building collapse.

While the first responders wait to learn if they were exposed to asbestos, one man may already have their answer. An investigation by NBC10 found that licensed asbestos investigator Kenneth Hudson investigated the building prior to demolition and found no asbestos present. Although Hudson admits he never conducted an asbestos test, he claims it was not necessary since there was no “suspect material” present.

The City of Philadelphia has Hudson’s inspection report but will not make it public citing an upcoming grand jury investigation into the building collapse.

Although Hudson’s inspection report apparently reveals no asbestos at the 2136 Market St. building, it is not clear if the Salvation Army building contained any asbestos materials.

If you or someone in your family has developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, contact Sokolove Law today for a free case consultation to find out if a mesothelioma lawyer can help you.

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