There has been no shortage of cases in the Pittsburgh area, and all across Pennsylvania, of workers acquiring lung diseases as a result of their on-the-job duties. While workers in the mining industry historically have been prone to workplace illnesses such as black lung disease, workers in other industrial settings might be subjected to asbestos exposure -- which could lead to serious diseases such as mesothelioma.
It doesn't take a great deal of exposure to asbestos fibers for a person to get sick. That's why people in Bryn Mawr are concerned about some demolition taking place next to a day care center. The buildings being torn down were formerly used as a rug company, a plumbing business and apartments that date to the early 1900s. Residents in the neighborhood have expressed concerns that asbestos and/or lead paint could be an issue with the demolition.
Asbestos and lead paint can be real hazards, especially to young, developing minds and bodies. That's one of the main concerns residents have had with the work -- more so than the potential effect on the workers performing the demolition. In any case, local officials said that the developers completed all the necessary steps to comply with regulations regarding asbestos removal as laid out by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
In addition, the director of the day care said that she had no concerns after she was made aware of the activity and what was being done to safely remove the dangerous materials. In any case, it's good to have an awareness and health skepticism when it comes to dangerous building materials. It's never been truer that an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.
Source: Main Line Times, "Update: Demolition next to day care in Bryn Mawr raises concerns," Cheryl Allison, April 13, 2014