In New England, we are fortunate to have a rich history and many older structures to connect us to it. Some of these buildings have been extensively remodeled and re-purposed for modern usage, but others must unfortunately be razed to make way for new construction. One of the problems with many of these old buildings is they were constructed during a time in which asbestos was heavily used in virtually all aspects of the residential, commercial and industrial construction process.
In order to rehabilitate an aging building, or even demolish it, it is first necessary to remove (abate) all of the asbestos in a safe manner, so as not to expose workers, neighbors and the community in general to any unnecessary risk.
However, proper asbestos abatement is not a quick and easy job, and it is by no means cheap, so many of these beautiful old buildings are allowed to deteriorate into a complete state of crumbling disrepair, where they can no longer be used or repaired, and demolition is the only viable option – once they can find someone willing to foot the bill for asbestos abatement.
As our Boston asbestos exposure attorneys can explain, it is when these buildings are left in a crumbling state and during the demolition process when there is highest risk for asbestos exposure to everyone around, including workers. Asbestos is so deadly because the fibers are microscopic. Ordinary masks will not protect workers from inhaling the dust borne fibers. Special respirators or ventilators are needed. The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) must certify this mask and all other protective equipment if they are used during asbestos abatement. State and Federal law also requires all workers and contractors be trained and certified in proper asbestos abatement techniques and renew their certification and retrain on a regular basis.
The microscopic nature of asbestos fibers also makes them virtually undetectable to doctors without doing an tissue biopsy, which is considered a destructive procedure doctors are generally not willing to do on patients with no symptoms. Even if they were able to detect the fibers, there is no practical to way to remove them before they metastasize into mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other forms of serious respiratory distress. Current treatments, which at best only slightly extend a patient’s life in most cases, involve cutting out tumors, along with large portions of a patient’s organ tissue, and use of chemotherapy drugs and radiation applied to directly to the site of the cancerous cells.
According to a recent article from the Rutland Herald, the old Ladabouche building is one of these historic buildings, which has been allowed to deteriorate to a level where asbestos exposure is a serious risk for any workers and occupants in general. The town has finally found a buyer for the property who is willing to spend the money for asbestos abatement prior to demolition. This buyer will turn the once historic structure into a tire shop. Now that an inspection has been complete, the next steps will be to submit an asbestos abatement plan to state and federal regulators before any work can begin.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Tire shop to replace Ladabouche building , May 14, 2015, Rutland Herald
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