Five contractors indicted over exposing workers to asbestos

15 Oct 2018 by under News

200px asbestos warning 150x150 Five contractors indicted over exposing workers to asbestosFive Brooklyn, New York, developers were charged with exposing workers to cancer-causing asbestos at four building renovation projects in the Greenwood Heights neighborhood in order to skirt costs of using a federally licensed abatement contractor.

“These defendants are accused of greedily taking dangerous shortcuts – bypassing safety measures that are put in place to protect the public from serious and unnecessary health risks – to maximize profits at any cost, including the well-being of employees and prospective tenants,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

The 61-count indictment alleges that in 2015 the contractors forged asbestos assessment reports and other documents that were sent to the city’s Department of Buildings in order to obtain building permits to renovate the properties in question. This enabled them to avoid the costs of a professional asbestos abatement crew. As a result, the contractors exposed workers performing demolition and renovation within the building to the carcinogenic mineral.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was widely used in construction and shipbuilding materials until the 1980s, when its use was restricted. Asbestos can cause serious health problems including the incurable lung disease asbestosis, lung cancer, and , a rare but deadly cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or chest cavity. It can take up to five decades for to develop. Once diagnosed, the disease generally proves fatal within 12 to 24 months.

Left undisturbed, asbestos doesn’t pose immediate risks. But if asbestos-containing products are damaged, as during demolition projects, the microscopic fibers can go airborne and pose serious risks to those in close proximity.

Source: Brooklyn Daily

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