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GE to Build New HQ in Boston following Asbestos Abatement

In the past two decades, Boston, especially the once industrial waterfront area of the city, has seen remarkable changes.  The water quality has been improved dramatically, and the area is now filled with mixed-use residential and commercial properties and soon will be the home of General Electric Company’s corporate headquarters.

asbestosLike many companies, the headquarters building was once in New York City, and, based on new needs and tax incentives, the company moved its headquarters to Connecticut.  Now the company is planning to break ground on an impressive new complex in Boston.  However, according to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, the futuristic-looking structure that will include what looks like a giant sail can only be built after the existing structures are demolished. This demolition process will take some extra time due to the known presence of asbestos and the need to conduct a proper and safe asbestos remediation effort. As our Boston mesothelioma attorneys can explain, asbestos abatement can be deadly if not done properly.  It can be deadly to the workers involved in the demolition or rehabilitation process, and it can be deadly to the community at large.

The law in Massachusetts requires a property owner to first hire a professional inspector to make a positive identification of the asbestos material and determine exactly what type of asbestos is involved. While all asbestos can be deadly, there are some forms of asbestos that are more dangerous than others, because they are more likely to give off dust that contains the deadly fibers.

The reason the dust is so harmful is because the asbestos fibers can be inhaled or ingested by victims, and, because they are sharp, they can get embedded the victim’s tissue.  Specifically, it is a layer of tissue that lines most organs in the human body that is known as the mesothelium.  Once the fibers are trapped in the mesothelium, they can metastasize into malignant mesothelioma.  This process usually takes between 20 and 50 years for victims to develop symptoms. Once they develop symptoms, there is often nothing that can be to significantly increase a victim’s chance of survival due to the advanced nature of the illness.

The fact that it takes so long for a typical patient to develop symptoms is how companies were able to poison millions of people for so long, because the general public didn’t know that asbestos was toxic.  In fact, the asbestos companies took great efforts to hide this information and even told people asbestos was entirely safe when they knew it caused mesothelioma.

While this may seem hard to imagine, it is important to understand that much of this occurred at a time when there weren’t even 24-hour cable networks let alone instantaneous communication methods like those on the Internet. The general public was very much in the dark about the dangers of asbestos.

With respect to this new GE headquarters, the company expects to complete asbestos abatement in a safe and legal process and complete all work on the new buildings by 2019. This includes renovating some existing structures.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:
GE schedules groundbreaking for new headquarters for May 8, March 29, 2017, By Jon Chesto, Boston Globe

More Blog Entries:
Montana Settles Asbestos Claims for $25M, Feb. 19, 2017, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog