Hurricane Sandy left an enormous path of destruction in its wake when it hit the East Coast in November. However, one of its most dangerous remnants may be difficult to see and find. Mold has begun to take over the buildings of East Coast cities and cause many illnesses across the devastated areas.
The citizens of the cities and the workers and volunteers who are assisting with the cleanup are concerned as to what the mold may lead to. Many citizens are concerned for their health as they return to cold homes with no electricity which are beginning to breed mold in the walls, flooring, and furniture. The concern with the workers and volunteers is what types of lawsuits that inadequate protective equipment and supplies will bring due to illness and injury.
Adding to the concerns regarding safety of all affected by the mold is the fact that there are no federal standards for safely removing mold. OSHA has provided guidelines, but there are questions as to who should be involved, what type of training those removing the mold should have, what equipment should be warn, what chemicals can be used on it, and what is the best way to rid cities of a growing mold epidemic.
Following the disaster associated with ill prepared post-9/11 recovery workers and the many lawsuits that have followed, cities are desperate to avoid a recurrence due to mold exposure and it’s clean up. Many worry that the only precaution being taken to prevent breathing in the moldy spores is the wearing of a paper mask which according to experts is grossly inadequate. Whatever the potential training and precautions taken result in, the consequences and adequacy of those precautions may not be known for years to come.
If you have suffered from an injury due to mold, asbestos, or other airborne contaminants, either on the job or otherwise, please reach out to an attorney who will be able to guide you through the legal options available to you.
Source: Huffington Post, “Sandy Cleanup Could Lead to Illness, Litigation for Workers,” Lynne Peeples, Dec. 5, 2012
- For more information on North Carolina Workers’ Compensation resources, please feel free to visit our website.