FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
October 6, 1988 | By Maura C. Ciccarelli, Special to The Inquirer
Although Upper Dublin school officials feared they would find dangerous amounts of asbestos at the Jarrettown Elementary School, tests last week found no cancer-causing fibers. Upper Dublin School District facilities director John Parker said Monday that the air collected in the Friday and Saturday tests would be subjected to further laboratory tests to be certain that there is no deteriorating asbestos in the school's 34-year-old heating system. Federal guidelines require deteriorating asbestos-containing materials to be removed or contained if tests show that there is more than 0.01 of fibers per cubic centimeter in the air. Asbestos has been shown to cause lung cancer and other diseases.
NEWS
March 20, 1988 | By John W. Bailey Jr., Special to The Inquirer
The Wenonah School Board on Tuesday night selected Testwell Craig Testing Laboratories of Westville to test for and identify asbestos in the Wenonah Public School, which houses 185 students. According to Robert Campbell, the vice president of Testwell Craig, the inspection should take about one day and is expected to cost $2,000 to $2,500. A date had not been set for the work to begin. "Inspections are done at a rate of about 20,000 square feet per day at $40 per bulk sample," Campbell said.
NEWS
September 25, 1988 | By Chuck McDevitt, Special to The Inquirer
The Southeast Delco School District will request an extension from the state Department of Education to submit an asbestos emergency-management plan later than the Oct. 12 deadline. During a regular meeting Thursday night, the Southeast Delco school board voted, 5-2, to request an extension, with school board Vice President C. Franklin Hall and board member Joseph G. Jones dissenting. School board President Lynn Krautheim and board member Robert D. Bell Jr. were absent. After the meeting, school board secretary James A. Asciutto said the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act mandated that the district submit an asbestos emergency-management plan by Oct. 12. Asciutto said that an inspection of schools had been completed and that a final report and plan might be completed on time.
NEWS
January 30, 1986
One of the major obstacles to regulating the production of and exposure to most chemicals suspected of being hazardous to human beings always has been a lack of incontrovertible scientific evidence linking cause and effect. Exposure to dioxin, for example, is presumed to cause cancer. Consumption of food contaminated with the pesticide kepone is believed to damage the central nervous system. Contact with water containing the solvent TCE is thought to cause birth defects. But nobody can say for certain.
NEWS
May 11, 1989 | By Ramona Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
The concourse level of the Municipal Services Building - a government crossroads for citizens paying tax bills and applying for zoning permits - should be evacuated immediately because of crumbling asbestos, a municipal workers union said yesterday. "I'm concerned about asbestos contamination of the people who work there and the public," said Thomas Cronin, president of District Council 47, after taking his case yesterday to Managing Director James S. White. Cronin said rainwater leaking onto the ceiling of the below-ground concourse was causing asbestos-coated material to fall into a large central lobby.
BUSINESS
November 19, 1991 | Daily News Wire Services
A Georgia Tech researcher envisions the day when he can drive to an old building, pull out an asbestos blaster and turn the carcinogen into driveway gravel. Lou Circeo, director of Georgia Tech's Construction Research Center, is refining an asbestos-melting process that he says would reduce the amount of asbestos that is dumped into landfills. The method uses a new technology - the plasma arc torch - that produces an ionized gas that heats to 7,000 degrees Celsius. It melts asbestos into harmless chunks of gray, glasslike rock that Circeo says can be used as gravel or concrete aggregate or molded into products such as bricks.
NEWS
February 9, 1992 | By Marc Freeman, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
In the midst of an asbestos cleanup of a Bucks County apartment complex, the complex's management has criticized the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it distributed a "misleading" fact sheet about the cleanup. But about 45 angry residents of the complex, the Salem Harbour Apartments in Bensalem, lambasted the management during a meeting yesterday morning. They said they trusted the EPA. Salem Harbour hastily called yesterday's session on Friday night, hours after the federal agency sent residents a three-page fact sheet about the cleanup of asbestos shingle debris at the complex.
NEWS
August 2, 1989 | By John G. Devine, Special to The Inquirer
The Springfield Township Board of Education, alleging breach of contract and negligence in the scheduled cleanup of an elementary school, has filed a $130,000 suit against an asbestos-removal company. The lawsuit, which was filed July 14 in Superior Court in Burlington County, alleges that Eastern Environmental Services Inc. of Secaucus, Hudson County, breached its contract with the school board by failing to remove "any and all of the asbestos on the pipes" underneath the Springfield Elementary School on Jacksonville Road, as well as several bags of asbestos left in the crawl space.
NEWS
October 22, 1986 | By Connie Barry, Special to The Inquirer
The Haddonfield Public Library is scheduled to operate out of borough hall on Kings Highway above Haddon Avenue for eight to 10 weeks beginning Nov. 19 while asbestos is removed from ceilings and pipes in the library building. Library director Doug Rauschenberger said last week that asbestos ceiling plaster in the new sections of the library and asbestos insulation on the boiler and pipes posed no present health hazard to the public or library staff, but could release hazardous particles in the future.
BUSINESS
December 30, 1988 | By Richard Burke, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three employees of a Philadelphia recycling company were charged yesterday with criminal violations of the federal Clean Air Act in the dumping of a truckload of asbestos in unauthorized areas three years ago. Alex Fineman, Gregory Boone, and Michael D'Avocato, employees of HMC Recycling Corp. of Philadelphia, were charged with the violations in a five- count information filed in federal court by the U.S. Attorney's Office. The alleged illegal dumping occurred when Boone and D'Avocato drove a trailer "loaded with bags of asbestos-containing waste material" from an unidentified site in Philadelphia to Chesapeake City, Md., where most of it was dumped, the information said.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
October 20, 2014 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joe Amento, a lifelong resident of Ambler, was 53 when he died of a rare cancer with one main cause - exposure to asbestos. He was fine at Christmas 2002. In January, a pain in his side kept him awake at night. He was found to have the disease in March. Before August, he was gone. He left a wife, two children, and a community that to this day wrestles with the uncertain legacy of the huge asbestos factories that once brought the town jobs and prosperity, then sickness and death.
NEWS
July 25, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
STUDENTS HAVE BEEN removed from a Fishtown school amid concerns over asbestos removal, a district spokesman confirmed yesterday. Students attending summer classes were told Wednesday not to report to Penn Treaty School, on Thompson Street near Berks, spokesman Fernando Gallard said. At least 40 students were moved to the nearby Adaire School, at Palmer and Thompson streets, where they will continue to take classes, sources said. Gallard said the action was taken in response to allegations by Jerry Roseman, an expert in occupational health and safety for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' Health & Welfare Fund.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia judge has awarded $75,000 in damages to a city police officer who sued, claiming superiors retaliated against him after he complained of shoddy asbestos removal at the Police Athletic League center he managed. Thursday's award by Common Pleas Court Judge John Milton Younge followed a Feb. 27 verdict by a trial jury in the whistle-blower suit by Officer Paul Zenak against the Police Department and city. Younge ordered that Zenak, 44, a 23-year veteran officer, be returned to his job as manager of the PAL center at Wissinoming United Methodist Church, 4419 Comly St., and reimbursed $75,000 for 2711/2 days of leave he used after suing and $411 in medical expenses.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A COMMON PLEAS jury has awarded $7.25 million to the estate and family of a man who was exposed to asbestos when he worked at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard more than 40 years ago and later died of cancer. Edward Merwitz, of Langhorne, Bucks County, was diagnosed with mesothelioma - a cancer in the lining surrounding the lungs - in January 2010. He died six months later at age 62. On Wednesday, a jury "found liability among a variety of companies that sell electrical wires, pumps and motors, which are not your typical suppliers of asbestos," according to partner Lawrence R. Cohan of the Center City firm Anapol Schwartz, who represented the Merwitz family.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia jury has found in favor of a police officer who sued the city, claiming that his superiors retaliated against him when he complained of shoddy asbestos removal at a Police Athletic League center he managed. The 12-member Common Pleas Court jury reached its unanimous verdict Thursday in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by Officer Paul Zenak against the Police Department and city. Zenak's lawyer, Aaron J. Freiwald, said Monday that the jury determined that Zenak, 44, a 23-year veteran, should be returned as manager of the PAL center at Wissinoming United Methodist Church, reimbursed for 16 months of paid leave he used since filing suit, and reimbursed for medical and legal costs.
NEWS
February 1, 2014 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two men pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawfully removing asbestos from the former Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital in Riverside, operating without a license, and putting untrained workers at risk. Frank J. Rizzo, 55, of Parlin, N.J., pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy before Superior Court Judge James W. Palmer Jr. in Burlington County, according to the state Attorney General's Office. The state will recommend three years in prison. Michael Kouvaras, 61, of Maplewood, N.J., pleaded guilty to third-degree violation of the Asbestos Control and Licensing Act. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to 364 days in jail as a condition for probation.
NEWS
January 27, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
WEST DEPTFORD Demolition crews blew up a 65-year-old refinery building in West Deptford on Saturday, startling South Jersey residents who heard the explosions. Some residents took their curiosity and alarm to social-media sites, seeking answers to "What was that?" Heavy demolition began at 9 a.m., said Jeff Shields, a spokesman for Sunoco, which owns the "fractionator" building. The structures were soon leveled, he said, and the work presented no danger to residents. "You had some blasts that destabilized the structure, and then they collapsed on themselves," he said.
NEWS
January 26, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
WEST DEPTFORD A West Deptford oil refinery intertwined with local politics will bid goodbye to one of its main edifices early Saturday. That's when Sunoco Logistics will implode the Eagle Point refinery's 65-year-old "fractionator" - the heaviest refining unit at the site, towering an estimated 200 feet. The "controlled implosion" will last about two minutes and also demolish a tower and chimney, West Deptford officials said. A rusty-looking dome, the fractionator - referred to in the industry as a "cat cracker," and used to convert crude oil into other fuels - was built in 1949, according to Sunoco.
NEWS
July 21, 2013 | BY JAN RANSOM & CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
IN A COMPLETE about-face, the Nutter administration released scores of documents yesterday related to the deadly Center City building collapse that claimed six lives last month. Email exchanges among city officials, the Salvation Army thrift store and the property manager and reports from the Department of Health and the Department of Licenses and Inspection were all posted to the city's website. Despite requests for access to those documents by various media outlets, the administration had refused to make any of it public until now. City Solicitor Shelley Smith said shortly after the four-story building on 22nd and Market streets collapsed onto a neighboring thrift store that the District Attorney's Office had asked that the documents not be released because it could compromise the grand-jury investigation.
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