Articles Posted in Mesothelioma in New England

According to a recent news report from the Valley Patriot, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) fined two asbestos abatement contractors. The fines were over $46,000 each for violations discovered during a routine inspection. Both violations occurred at the same commercial site at which both asbestos removal companies had been hired to perform work. The site was located in Burlington, Massachusetts.

no-entry-graffiti-art-1435986-m.jpgMassDEP discovered violations during an inspection in December 2014. Specifically, inspectors found 150 feet of pipe insulation made of asbestos-laden material had been placed in bags that did not have airtight seals, as required by state and federal law. The asbestos pipe insulation was also removed dry, despite a requirement all material be wet prior to removal.
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Asbestos has been used heavily during much of the last century in almost all aspects of production and construction. While many factory jobs and construction jobs involve working directly with asbestos, there are some jobs thought to be relatively safe from asbestos exposure. One of these safer construction jobs is sheet metal work.

hole-on-the-wall-1382106-m.jpgSheet metal workers typically handle projects working only with the metal and not coming in direct contact with asbestos-containing material like wall insulation or pipe insulation, some of the most likely sources of material emitting deadly asbestos fibers.

Unfortunately, many of these workers have been exposed to asbestos indirectly, and, while indirect exposure might seem safer, a recent study published in the

With the unscheduled closing of Boston’s Long Island Homeless Shelter, city officials have been scrambling find a new location to house hundreds of displaced homeless residents and many drug rehabilitation patients.

renovationtime.jpgThe shelter was closed when the bridge connecting Long Island to Quincy became so deteriorated city engineers urged it immediately be closed to prevent a deadly accident. The worst damage requiring the bridge to close was found on the underwater support structures during an extended inspection. With the island effectively cut off from the mainland, there was no way to keep the shelter open, and city officials were forced to close it with little advanced warning or preparation.

The city hopes a new shelter under renovation and remodeling will serve as permanent housing for the over 700 former residents at Long Island. This new shelter is being constructed at what was once a plant where transportation department workers conducted equipment repair and made street and road signs. This plant is filled with asbestos used during its construction. Much of this asbestos was already crumbling down as a result of years of deterioration and insufficient upkeep.
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Residents of Martha’s Vineyard, a town on the Cape south of Boston, have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the library budgeted to cost a quarter of a million dollars at the time bids were awarded. The problem now facing contractors is it is now estimated to cost nearly half a million dollars to complete the project, due to unforeseen delays including discovery of asbestos on the job site, according to a recent news article from MV Times.

law books.jpgWhen contractors had their bid approved and began work, the project was quickly halted when water begin filling the excavation site for the library foundation. The water was coming up from the water table below, and, for some reason, this was not anticipated at the time plans were approved. It cost builders and engineers over $100,000 to fix water table issues before construction could be resumed.

Once the water table issue had been resolved, contractors unearthed an underground storage tank, which had to be painstakingly removed and the resulting vacant hole filled in with suitable material. At this point, there were problems with the fence erected around the project. After tackling these new issues, and at very great expense, contractors then found pipes believed to be insulated with now friable asbestos material.
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According to a recent news article from Wicked Local Woburn, city council officials have finally granted approval on a permit request to remove asbestos after much speculation they would not agree to allow the project to move forward.

1327707_old_water_valve.jpgThe reason this permit request faced strong initial opposition was because an asbestos abatement company wanted permission to store asbestos debris at its headquarters within city limits. It was not until petitioners withdrew this specific request that city council members gave the stamp of approval.

Council members were concerned about storing highly dangerous asbestos debris in an area designated as a flood plain. This was after being allowed to put their new headquarters within the limits of a city, which has already spent over $5 million in taxpayer dollars to treat contaminated water.
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Everywhere you look, there are new real estate development projects going up across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A lot of the new development started in Boston and the surrounding suburbs but now has spread to other areas, such as Springfield.

asbestos-244234-m.jpgOne of the major impediments to all this new development is, in order to make way for new buildings, old asbestos-laden buildings must be razed. When a development wants to demolish an old building, it must first have an inspection performed to see if the building contains asbestos, and many of them do.
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Throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, cities and towns are faced with problems related to unsafe long-abandoned buildings than need to be demolished but can’t be, due to the presence of highly-toxic asbestos.

vintage-hotel-1380443-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from WGCB, officials in Holyoke, Massachusetts are faced with this very problem with respect to the Essex House. The Essex house was built in 1880, and was among Paper City’s largest and most luxurious hotels. Now it is a crumbling, dangerous shell of its former glory, and the town wants it gone.
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Around this time of year, it is almost impossible to log onto Facebook without seeing pictures of your friend’s Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. While many have boxes full of treasured ornaments that have been in the family for decades, the Telegraph warns that many of these antique ornaments may contain asbestos and may pose a serious health risk.

christmas-ornament-1373026-m.jpgAccording to the news article, many vintage ornaments could be laced with toxic material. In fact, in the 1940s, the fake snow dusted on many of these ornaments was commonly made from pure asbestos.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if the material contains asbestos without expensive materials testing at a laboratory. Since most people are not willing to send their ornaments to a laboratory for asbestos testing, in England authorities are recommending any vintage ornaments containing fake snow should be thrown away. This, of course, raises the issue of safe asbestos disposal, but given it the alternative, it seems better than having asbestos on your family Christmas tree.
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The town of Billerica, located just north of Boston, is home to one of two Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This site, now known as Iron Horse Park and once known as the Billerica Repair Shops, was once a major repair facility for the Boston and Maine Railroad. The Billerica Repair Shops were built in 1913. Employees of the repair facility built a small neighborhood along the railroad line that was known as Garden City.

wheel-1175115-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article in the Lowell Sun, this area also contained a landfill that was a frequent dumping site for asbestos material used in the repair facility and surrounding industrial park. The site became so contaminated it was believed it would not be usable for decades. In the 1980s, the EPA made Iron Horse Park a Superfund and set about removing the asbestos and capping the landfill. Capping a landfill involves adding layers of gravel, stone, and topsoil in an effort to prevent asbestos dust, which can lead to inhalation of the deadly fibers.
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The city of Boston is having trouble finding a developer who is interested in occupying two Boston Marine Industrial Park parcels of land that were once used by the United States Navy as a heavy metal fabrication plant.

waterfront-industry-159568-m.jpgThe Boston Herald is reporting that the city is looking for a long-term tenant for the 160,000 square foot building that sits on over three aces of waterfront land. The city wishes to find someone who intends to use the existing building and re-purpose it, rather than demolishing it and constructing something else on the site.

While engineers report that the building is structurally sound, the problem is that it is lined with metal panels that have been impregnated with asbestos. This metal skin poses a significant risk of environmental problems related to asbestos exposure and city engineers believe that anyone who occupies the building will be required to replace all of the panels before the building can be used again.
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