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Friday, November 13, 2015

Demolition of Paterson NJ Armory Highlights Present Danger of Asbestos

The emergency demolition of the decades old Paterson NJ Armory, an historic site, highlights that asbestos, a known carcinogen, remains a hazard to workers when older buildings require renovation or demolition.
asbestos remains a clear and present danger to workers. Despite the fact that asbestos may not be used as a new construction material,

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was used for years as a construction material because of its fire retardant and heat insulation properties.

The hazards of asbestos are well known. Exposure to asbestos may cause the latent development of: asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

The Paterson NJ Armory caught fire several days ago and resulted in  a major North Jersey fire alarm requiring the participation of firefighters to be called in from multiple jurisdictions to be be brought under control. Unable to reach and extinguish some parts of the fire, the Paterson Fire Department ordered that the historic building be demolished on an emergency basis.

Despite the knowledge of the fatal hazards of asbestos use, it  has yet to be banned in the United States.

Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.