Bay State Housing Authority Skipped Asbestos Test

by Sokolove Law

The Massachusetts city of Lowell Housing Authority (LHA) allegedly failed to test a worksite for asbestos prior to a renovation project.

Now potentially affected workers for the city want to be tested for asbestos poisoning, notes a recent story in the Lowell Sun. The Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General (MA OIG), with the FBI, conducted an investigation into accusations that asbestos had been removed from the project site and illegally disposed. The MA OIG cleared the LHA of these charges in October 2012. Nevertheless, two state agencies claimed the renovation had lacked proper testing for asbestos.

The Lowell City Council called for an investigation into whether asbestos was handled improperly during the renovation. In response, the LHA hired a consultant who did find asbestos in a second layer of floor tile and its associated mastic (adhesive) in the only North Common (the site of the project) unit tested.

In response to the findings, the LHA will pay to have workers tested for asbestos to confirm any potential exposures. The president of the union representing the LHA’s maintenance workers approves of the testing. He noted older Lowell workers were likely to have labored in asbestos sites. Asbestos was commonly used in construction materials until about 1980, when it was phased out because of serious health concerns. “There is no doubt in my mind some of them [workers] were interacting with asbestos for years,” said the union president.

Exposure to asbestos can lead to many serious and fatal conditions, such malignant mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer. All levels of asbestos exposure are unsafe.

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and believe you were exposed to asbestos in your workplace, call Sokolove Law today.

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