Asbestos Abatement Project Has Staten Islanders Worried

09/10/2010 // Chicago, IL, USA // Cooney & Conway // Mesothelioma lawyers: Cooney & Conway

Even with the required permit in hand, an asbestos abatement project on Staten Island, N.Y., has residents worried. Their fear: mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive form of cancer—and one that has been directly linked to asbestos exposure.

Diseases triggered by the once-popular building material claim 107,000 lives each year, according to the World Health Organization. Asbestos has not only devastated families but has also prompted countless lawsuits as mesothelioma lawyers advocate on behalf of victims sickened by it.

In the Staten Island project, New York City’s School Construction Authority is performing asbestos abatement work at the former Doctor’s Hospital. According to, a local news source, the work is proceeding in accordance with a permit issued by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection. Staten Island is one of five boroughs that comprise NYC.

But residents fear that, permit or not, asbestos fibers may become airborne—a particularly dangerous scenario. When in the air, asbestos fibers can be easily inhaled into the lungs. While asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis—a scarring of the lungs that can cause severe respiratory problems—typically take years, even decades, to develop, diagnosis is difficult.

When such diseases are finally detected, the prognosis is usually grim. Mesothelioma lawyers, who over the years have obtained large jury awards and settlements for clients suffering from asbestos-related diseases, have fared far better than mesothelioma researchers. There is still no cure or even an effective long-term treatment for the highly aggressive cancer.

Officials say there is no reason for alarm. “There is no need to take any special precautions,” Margie Feinberg, a spokesperson for the Department of Education told “Workers who are in direct contact with the asbestos are the only ones required to wear protective suits.”

But residents remain wary. “Everybody’s got good intentions, and we hope we don’t have any problems,” said Harold Johns, who lives a block from the work site. “But what if there is a minor escape? Will people be alerted to get out of here?”

This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we have been advocates for those injured due to the wrongful actions of others. We have litigated and resolved some of the nation’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, bringing justice—and compensation—to victims of asbestos exposure and the lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other deadly diseases it can cause.

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