January 21, 2019

Moon Area parents voice concerns about asbestos removal

Some parents in the Moon Area School District are concerned about the district’s plan to remove asbestos from two elementary schools during the nine-day spring break instead of over summer vacation.

About 20 parents attended two sessions Tuesday to discuss the removal of asbestos-containing vinyl floor tiles as part of $26.2 million in improvements planned at Allard and Brooks elementary schools.

The asbestos removal is scheduled to begin the evening of March 27 and be completed by April 2 to allow time for Allegheny County to review the project and for the district to install flooring and return furniture to rooms. The district’s spring break is March 28-April 5.

Will Nicastro, department manager with Professional Services Industries Inc. of Pittsburgh, said the floor tiling is “non-friable,” meaning it is resistant to crushing or pulverizing by hand, and it should be easily pried from the floor.

Testing and multiple cleaning processes will be used throughout each phase of the removal project, he said.

Some parents said they felt reassured after hearing the presentation, while others remained adamant that the project should be done over summer break, with the start of the 2015-16 school year delayed by one week.

School directors Jerry Testa and Michael Hauser were the only board members who attended either of the Tuesday sessions. Mr. Testa said he would prefer to delay the start of the 2015-16 school year.

“Based on what I heard tonight, I am even less comfortable than when I voted last Monday,” Mr. Testa said, referring to the Feb. 9 board meeting where directors voted 7-2 to approve plans that included the bidding of the asbestos projects. He and Mr. Hauser were the two dissenters.

It may be less expensive for the district to have the work done over spring break because firms are busy in June with summer construction projects, said Joe Kuchnicki, principal contractor with PSI.

PSI would prefer to do abatement work while students are not in building, he said, although local districts, including Montour and Mt. Lebanon, have done this type of abatement while students are in the building by closing off sections of the school from use. Doug Finke, PSI project manager, said other districts, such as North Hills, have conducted this type of abatement during weekends.

Some were concerned the time frame was too short for the work.

“I don’t want it done helter skelter,” said Basel Masry, an Allard parent. “By rushing it, you are setting it up for a fail.”

Mr. Kuchnicki called the timeline “somewhat of an aggressive schedule, but it is meet-able.”

At the Brooks session, where parents also brought up that concern, superintendent Curt Baker said, “The risk level is exceptionally low. There is no reason to put it off.”

PSI will not be the firm removing the asbestos as indicated during the Feb. 9 board meeting. It will monitor the contractors that are hired to complete the projects. Air quality testing will be completed by PSI throughout the abatement process. On-site tests will be performed before and during the project, including areas outside of the sealed work areas. Final air quality readings will be completed at the company’s main laboratory in Pittsburgh.

Open bidding on the project is to end March 2. The school board is scheduled to vote to select the firm or firms on March 9.

Further asbestos abatement, including insulation and boiler room work at Brooks and window work at Allard, will be completed during the summer. The window work will be done in conjunction with the installation of new windows.

Abatement also is expected to occur during the summer at R. Hyde Elementary in preparation for transforming it into a district learning center.

Sonja Reis, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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Moon Area parents voice concerns about asbestos removal

SCRD sounds alarm on asbestos drywall

Drywall that contains asbestos could end up in the woods unless action is taken at all steps of the disposal process, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) worried at its March 1 infrastructure services committee.

The committee sounded the alarm over what it saw as an impending problem in hazardous waste disposal, calling for a meeting of stakeholders at all levels of the disposal process and requesting the provincial government take action.

Last October, drywall recycler New West Gypsum (NWGR) implemented a new screening process for materials entering the facility in order to comply with a WorkSafe BC order.

The new screening method has meant fines for first and second offenders delivering drywall found to contain asbestos to the recycler. A third offence can mean “a permanent ban from any and all NWGR facilities.”

Loads of drywall delivered to SCRD landfills have been routed to NWGR for processing.

Like many landfills in the province, the SCRD has moved toward recycling in response to evidence that land-filled gypsum, a product that can easily be re-used, tends to produce toxic gases as it breaks down.

Drywall made before 1984 is more likely to contain asbestos in the joint compound. To avoid losing access to its recycler in Vancouver, the SCRD will need to find a way to separate the possibly hazardous materials from the clean.

“That’s the problem,” said sustainable service manager Dion Whyte. “I think the solution here really is to get mechanisms in place further up the supply chain where we’re actually dealing with this stuff as it’s coming out of homes.”

One option is to purchase expensive screening equipment like a handheld infrared analyzer, which can cost as much as $30,000.

Another, cheaper option is to refuse pre-1984 gypsum at the landfill altogether.

But that could increase the risk, as ultimately drywall that contains asbestos must be treated at a hazardous materials incinerator before being land-filled – generating worry that the materials could end up illegally dumped in the woods, rather than shipped to Swan Hills, Alta. where such a facility operates.

On the Sunshine Coast, one company that is qualified to carry out asbestos removal from buildings is Solution Based Construction.

“We don’t want it ending up in our woods,” said owner Darren Kopeck. “The biggest thing is the documentation that has to follow each piece of drywall around and make sure it is clean. If it isn’t, it doesn’t get taken.”

Once asbestos is identified in a home or building, the owner must hire someone like Kopeck to carry out the tedious process of removal while abiding by strict safety standards.

Disposal means hiring another company to transport the hazardous material to a facility as far as Swan Hills, where the waste is burned at high temperatures. The added cost could increase the likelihood of the materials simply being illegally dumped instead.

“We can take most types of hazardous waste, but it just comes down to what’s practical,” said Zoltan Nevelos, technical sales representative with the Swan Hills Treatment Centre.

Nevelos dismissed rumours that the facility would be closing its doors to customers in B.C., but said the distance and difficulty of transporting the waste could make incineration an impractical option.

Over at NWGR, spokesperson Cheryl McKitterick said the new policy is designed to protect employees, and screening procedures can be avoided by having proper documentation.

But, said McKitterick, “the ramification of this is causing some significant potential of escalating issues in different municipalities.”

The fines are designed to target contractors, and so far one has been issued.

© Copyright 2015 Coast Reporter

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SCRD sounds alarm on asbestos drywall

Asbestos Lawyer Discusses Asbestos & Smoking as Causes of Lung Cancer

New York, NY (PRWEB) October 31, 2013

Jerome H. Block, a nationally-recognized asbestos attorney and partner at Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP (LPK), a renowned personal injury and wrongful death law firm, with offices in New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, has recently published an article where he discusses the synergetic effect of having a history of asbestos exposure and smoking cigarettes.

In his article, the asbestos lawyer references several studies conducted by top pulmonology experts where they found that asbestos workers were about 10 times more likely to develop lung cancer as compared to people who had not been exposed to asbestos*. He also comments on a 1986 OSHA study** that found that asbestos exposure contributes to almost 80% of lung cancer deaths even among workers who also smoked.

According to Jerome Block, countless lung cancer victims and their family members are unaware of the dangerous connection between asbestos and smoking. If the victim had a long smoking history, the cause of the lung cancer is often erroneously written off as solely the result of the victim’s smoking history. Even in cases where the victim was a non-smoker, the family is often unaware of a possible asbestos connection and, by doing nothing, jeopardizes their right to pursue a legal action.

Asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers at LPK have represented people in lung cancer and mesothelioma cases for more than 25 years and have obtained some of the largest jury verdicts and settlements in asbestos-related cases. The firm is experienced in lung cancer cases where both asbestos exposure and cigarette smoking were a cause. LPK is also one of the only asbestos litigation firms to have also won lung cancer cases against tobacco companies.

Based on its track record of success, LPK was recently named the Plaintiff Product Liability Law Firm of the Year for 2013 by U.S. News and World Report.

Asbestos lawyers at LPK are educated on the legal and medical aspects of lung cancer and mesothelioma, and use this expertise in the prosecution of such cases. To speak with an asbestos lawyer at LPK, call 24/7 at 1-800-637-6529 or submit an online inquiry at http://www.lpklaw.com. The firm provides FREE initial consultation and handles asbestos cases on a contingency basis.

  • Mortality from Lung Cancer in Asbestos Workers by Richard Doll, British Journal of Industrial Medicine, 1955, 12, 81 (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1037613/?page=1);

** Occupational Exposure Asbestos, Tremolite, Anthophyllite and Actinolite, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), June 20, 1986, 51 FR 22612-01, 29 C.F.R. 1910, 1926 (osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=federal_register&p_id=13570).

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Asbestos Lawyer Discusses Asbestos & Smoking as Causes of Lung Cancer

Asbestos cleanup at Calvin Coolidge Elementary School

This section displays the last 50 news articles that were published.

Updated 08/13/2013 04:19 PM

Asbestos cleanup at Calvin Coolidge Elementary School

Administrators in the Binghamton City School District are working to clean up asbestos at Calvin Coolidge Elementary School. Our Melissa Kakareka has the latest on what it could mean for students and staff in the elementary school.

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Calvin Coolidge Elementary School remains closed after the discovery of asbestos, but school officials want to get the building reopened as quickly as possible.

On Tuesday, the school board voted to declare the site an emergency to help speed up that cleanup process.

“By doing so, we don’t have to go to competitive bid. We can hire an abatement company in a much quicker fashion so we can start the process faster,” said Assistant Superintendent for Administration Karry Mullins.

The asbestos was found in a basement crawl space at the end of July and that area was immediately sealed off. Air tests were performed at the building and elevated levels of asbestos were found in some areas. The school was closed last week and summer programs were relocated.

“We’re meeting with health consultants. We are in the process of determining what the protocol should be for students and staff and people who may have been in the building,” said Mullins.

District officials are waiting on guidance from the state about how the cleanup process should move forward.

Mullins said, “We expect to have that direction by the Department of Labor by the end of the week. Based on their protocol, based on the visual assessments and guidelines, we’ll know what we have to do as far as the reordering of supplies and what has to be destroyed and what can be cleaned.”

It’s also unclear whether students will need to be relocated for the start of the new school year.

“We don’t have enough information to make that determination. We are starting to look at other spaces in case it becomes an issue, but we don’t have enough information yet,” said Mullins.

Administrators say they will release information to students, parents and staff as they find out more answers about the required work.

Testing was also done at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary because some materials were moved from Calvin Coolidge to that school. That building reopened Monday.


Asbestos cleanup at Calvin Coolidge Elementary School

Spencers Solicitors: Asbestos Victims to Be Denied Justice in New Mesothelioma Bill

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwired – May 9, 2013) – Asbestos victims are set to be denied the right to receive the compensation they fully deserve on the Mesothelioma Bill outlined in the Queen’s Speech yesterday. It was announced that sufferers of mesothelioma, only one type of asbestos-related cancer, will receive compensation where no liable employer or insurer can be traced. This means that those suffering from other forms of asbestos-related cancer, such as asbestosis, will be excluded from receiving similar compensation.

Commenting on the Bill, John Spencer, Director of Spencers Solicitors, a leading personal injury claimant law firm based in Chesterfield, said:

“All victims of asbestos related disease should receive the urgent compensation they deserve. It appears that the future fund announced in yesterday’s Queen’s speech will not go anywhere near far enough in ensuring justice for all victims of asbestos.

“Support for mesothelioma victims is long overdue, but it is not right that those who suffer other lung cancers or conditions caused by asbestos may get nothing under the proposed legislation. We urge MPs and Peers to amend the legislation to tackle this injustice.”

Unfortunately the injustice does not stop there. For those that can claim under the new legislation, only those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma from 25 July 2012 can make a claim. This denies compensation to the thousands of people who have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma before summer last year.

The Government estimates that more than 300 mesothelioma sufferers a year currently lose out on compensation because they are unable to trace a liable employer or employers’ liability insurer. The new scheme, funded by insurers, estimates that around 3,500 mesothelioma victims across the UK will be eligible to receive approximately £300m in payments in the first 10 years of the fund.

John Spencer said of implementing the new legislation:

“It is of paramount importance that the Bill is introduced as early as possible and implemented speedily in order for inflicted victims to be given the compensation they urgently need.

“The sad reality is that any delay to implementing the legislation might mean that many of those applying to the fund might die before they receive any award.”

Notes to editors:

Spencers Solicitors (www.spencerssolicitors.com) is one of the UK’s leading firms of personal injury solicitors. Based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Spencers is committed to protecting its clients’ best interests by putting duty before profit, and campaigning for justice for those affected by negligence and statutory breach, and for the improvement of professional standards and business practices within the personal injury system.


Spencers Solicitors

Millennium Way



S41 8ND

Spencers Solicitors

John Spencer

01256 337999


Madano Partnership

Jessica Evans

020 7593 4000


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Spencers Solicitors: Asbestos Victims to Be Denied Justice in New Mesothelioma Bill