At issue in Ithaca is the very real concern about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure in the face of a heavily asbestos-contaminated building’s demolition. The historic old Tompkins County Public Library has been the issue of a great deal of controversy in the last few months, ever since an inspection of the building revealed that it is heavily contaminated with the carcinogenic material. Residents wanted an extensive and careful asbestos remediation process to take place prior to the building being demolished, but the building’s owner had an inspection done that indicated that the building is too structurally unsound for remediation workers to enter it safely. Fearing the spread of asbestos fibers in even a controlled demolition, residents have petitioned and marched to have the building fortified so that remediation could proceed, but the town decided on the controlled demolition. Now residents like Susan Kramer, who owns properties across the street from the library, are literally wrapping their homes in plastic in order to prevent the carcinogenic material from entering through any windows, doors, cracks or crevices.
“It is not just frustrating. It is really terrifying,” Kramer said. “We are afraid short term and long term of the contamination that is occurring here that we are watching occur on a daily basis.”
The controlled demolition that has been ordered is specifically supposed to protect both workers and residents from the risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. The process includes continuous spraying with water during demolition work, the use of an ultra-high reach demolition excavator, and the collection of all water run off. Even the concrete drain lines near the site have been plugged with concrete in order to prevent water from entering the town’s sewers, and any asbestos-contaminated materials that are removed will be put into trucks with sealed tops. Air monitoring is also being conducted in the area on a constant basis.
Despite these measures, veterans with mesothelioma can understand all too well the residents’ lack of trust for the process. If you are someone who has been harmed by an unethical or careless asbestos company and you need help securing the benefits to which you are entitled, we can help. Call us today at 1-800-726-7245.