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US$12m spent to remove asbestos in New York

Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News

Published Jul. 21, 2008

According to reports, an estimated US$12 million is being spent to remove the asbestos that is infesting the Memorial Auditorium and Donovan State Office Building in Buffalo, New York. Asbestos was used to centuries as a flame-resistant insulator and was banned in the 1970’s when extensive research found it was the cause of various types of cancer. However, many older buildings still contain the harmful carcinogen and now cities and communities are paying for its removal.

Erie Canal Redevelopment Project
A $400 million demolition project is set to begin in the redevelopment of the city’s historic Erie Canal Harbor neighborhood.

In order for the demolition to begin, the asbestos must first be removed from the building’s, which reportedly contain an estimated 1, 250 tons of asbestos material.

“It’s an unavoidable, necessary part of getting those buildings gone so we can redevelop the Buffalo waterfront,” says chairman of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp, Jordan A. Levy.

Costly Removal Begins
Since 1940, the Memorial Auditorium has supposedly undergone three renovations, each one resulting in more layers of asbestos being found.

At both demolition sites crews are required to wear safety suits and respirators and they air-lock systems have been implemented to keep the fibers from being released.

“We do constant self-monitoring, and both sites are subject to frequent visits by state inspectors,” says Robert Kreuzer, a consultant for the project.