NY Mesothelioma Lawyer Urges Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Crews to be Cautious about Asbestos Exposure as Relief Package Nears Completion
With lawmakers getting closer to a Hurricane Sandy relief package, attorney Joseph W. Belluck of Belluck & Fox, LLP, says many homes and businesses damaged in the October storm are old enough that they could contain cancer-causing asbestos.
New York, NY (PRWEB) January 18, 2013
New York mesothelioma lawyer Joseph W. Belluck said today that people involved in Hurricane Sandy cleanup and demolition work will need to be cautious about the potential presence of asbestos in storm debris when the work picks up after passage of a federal relief package.
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey coast on October 29. According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. House this week completed a $60.2 billion aid plan to help communities damaged in the storm, which is likely to be taken up by the U.S. Senate on January 22.
“Many of the structures in the New York / New Jersey area that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy are old enough that the presence of asbestos is a very real threat,” said Belluck, a founding partner of Belluck & Fox, LLP, a nationally recognized law firm that represents individuals with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
“There are specific protocols for protection against asbestos in demolition work, and those involved in Hurricane Sandy cleanup should consult appropriate sources and take the proper safety measures,” Belluck said.
Asbestos is a fire-resistant material that was widely used as an insulator in construction materials though it was known to be a carcinogen early in the 20th century.
Asbestos fibers break apart when disturbed and can become a fine dust that is easily inhaled. Breathing in asbestos can cause mesothelioma, an aggressive and incurable cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and the abdomen.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says cleanup activities at homes and businesses after a natural disaster can cause people to be exposed to a variety of potentially life-threatening hazards, including asbestos.
The EPA says asbestos-containing materials include:
- Boiler/pipe insulation
- Floor tiles
- Roofing shingles and tiles
- Transite boards used in laboratory tabletops and in acoustic panels in auditoriums, music rooms and phone booths.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is warning Hurricane Sandy cleanup workers and members of the public to be aware of the danger of asbestos.
OSHA standards require employers to follow various procedures to protect their employees from inhaling asbestos during demolition work. Requirements address to the kind of work being undertaken, the amount of asbestos in the air and other factors.
“Construction companies and others in the building trades may know the risks posed by asbestos and the proper precautions,” Belluck said. “But we are concerned about volunteers who don´t understand asbestos and mesothelioma, and who may become ill much later with no idea why.”
Mesothelioma can take decades to develop, Belluck explained. Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the United States. Most are older workers, retired workers and veterans who had regular exposure to asbestos in a workplace or during military service many years earlier.
“We urge everyone involved in Hurricane Sandy cleanup operations to take the threat of exposure to asbestos and other potentially hazardous materials that may be found in storm debris seriously,” Belluck said.
About Belluck & Fox, LLP
Belluck & Fox, LLP, is a nationally recognized law firm that represents individuals with asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as well as victims of crime, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other serious injuries. The firm provides personalized and professional representation and has won more than $500 million in compensation for clients and their families.
Partner Joseph W. Belluck is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine´s “Best Lawyers in the New York Area” and in Super Lawyers. Mr. Belluck has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos.
Partner Jordan Fox is a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma attorney who has been named to the Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine´s “Best Lawyers in the New York Area” and to Super Lawyers. On two separate occasions his verdicts were featured as the National Law Journal´s Largest Verdict of the Year.
Belluck & Fox, LLP, is featured on the list of America’s best law firms, which is published jointly by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers magazine.
The firm´s New York City office is located at 546 Fifth Ave, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036 (local phone (212) 681-1575. For more information, contact the firm at (877) 637-6843 or through the online contact form.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebny-mesothelioma-lawyer/hurricane-sandy-cleanup/prweb10337538.htm