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State dumps asbestos-laden rubble near Chelsea apartments

Seems MassDOT figured a right of way within 100 feet of Chelsea Housing Authority apartments was just the place to dump the remains of a project in Saugus and Lynn. City officials and a local environmental group are outraged and the state Department of Environmental Protection, which says nobody asked it about where ditch the stuff, is now trying to get it all removed.

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Comments

How about the drivers with their windows wide open in stop and go traffic driving by this industrial toxic waste site unknowingly what they’re breathing.

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On the one hand, asbestos exposure sickened and killed many shipyard workers and others who were exposed to it a lot, in many cases by management who knew or should have known better.

On the other hand, asbestos hysteria became grossly overplayed: that old asbestos-covered steam pipe in the basement is not going to rise up and slaughter your family.

On the third hand, an open pile of crumbly asbestos rubble, exposed to the winds, near where people live, is kind of a shitty idea, see #1 above about knowing better.

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They may be entitled to compensation

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Guess you didn’t know anyone who worked in Navy shipyards who struggled for decades because they couldn’t breathe. It’s not just about death numbers. Try to have a little compassion, wow.

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All those statistics on actual morbidity and mortality simply must be wrong!

Bob, stop mansplaining, start researching. You don't want to die the way my grandmother (Bettie the Welder during WWII) did.

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I specifically acknowledged the morbidity and mortality when I said that concern over workplace exposure was real, and that asbestos sickened and killed many shipyard and industrial workers (by the way, also their household members because they came home in clothes covered with the stuff.)

I can't imagine what you're on about with the "mansplaining" comment.

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... and he died quite young (and painfully).

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I specifically said that concern about asbestos for people who were occupationally exposed to it was absolutely real.

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Asbestos exposure can kill you.

If that old steam pipe in the basement is in rough shape then those fibers circulate through your home.

Drive over there and grab a few buckets yourself if you wanna pitch in and you can make a nice raised bed planter in your backyard.

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So sayeth the person who doesn’t have to live near asbestos dumped 100 feet from his residence.

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More than one thing can be true at the same time:

  1. Unscrupulous management knowingly exposed thousands of workers to asbestos, which sickened and killed them, and, in some cases, their family members who were indirectly exposed. That's what I said in the first sentence of my post.
  2. Unscrupulous remediation companies convinced well-meaning people who owned property that contained asbestos, in many cases which was safely contained or encapsulated, that it all had to go NOW. They turned inadequately trained, inadequately supervised, and inadequately equipped teams loose on job sites, where they ripped the place apart, broke up the asbestos, got it into the air, and blasted it all over the neighborhood, creating a far worse health and safety risk than if they had just left it alone in place. That's the "overplayed hysteria" bit I mentioned in the second sentence.
  3. The contractor who dumped this asbestos rubble next to where people live did a shitty thing and should have known better, having been at best grossly negligent and more likely acting with unscrupulous disregard for people's health. That's what I said in the third sentence

I'm honestly completely at a loss as to how anyone got from that to "mansplaining," "downplaying the risk," or any of the other shit that y'all are throwing my way. Was I not speaking English or something?

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You downplayed it. Read your post again - on one hand asbestos is really bad. On the other hand, there’s an unnecessary hysteria about it.

Mansplaining seems like a stretch, but the second I read your post I thought downplay too. Just own it man. People in this little microcosm pretend to be perfect and they’re far from it.

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The approximate sequence of events was...

Shipyards and the asbestos industry cynically and knowingly exposed workers to a life-destryoing substance.

There was (finally, at long last) an appropriate response, which was to ban many uses of asbestos.

Many large projects were undertaken to remove asbestos from schools, libraries, housing, all sorts of places.

As word got out as to how bad asbestos was, unscrupulous charlatans began to sell shoddy "remediation" to people who didn't need it; said remediation actually made things worse.

People became aware of the shoddy remediators.

Now, because of the fake remediation scammers, when many people think of asbestos, what they remember isn't the decades over which an unscrupulous industry systematically and cynically exposed its workers to a toxic product, instead, what they remember is the unscrupulous "remediation" contractor who scammed their neighbor, or their uncle, and they form the conclusion that "the people warning us about asbestos were all scammers."

These things have complex, systems-type effects on public attitudes and public behavior. Because of the scammers and their hype, many people now believe that asbestos is a fake problem.

I'll 100% stand by what I said about the deleterious effects on public health of the artificially-created hysteria, hysteria created at the retail level to sell shoddy and unneeded remediation services.

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They call this environmental racism, Logan Airport is the king of all kings when it comes down to environmental racism.Toxic jet fuel and airplane exhaust fumes from Airplanes still evident in East Boston.

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they wouldn’t be working on it. It would’ve been gone in about ten seconds.

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they dumped it in Chelsea instead.

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They should have dumped it in Chestnut Hill or Waban .

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How many brownstones in the Back Bay have asbestos in the buildings? Old JP here, who grew up in Stony Brook. Parents bought the late 1800s mansard roof small 2 family. I finally decided to remove the old horse hair plaster! Then the slate shingle roof was a bitch but people were begging me to sell the shingles to them. Horse hair plaster is still in a lot of old gems.

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Late 1800s plaster probably wouldn't have asbestos.

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When old brownstones were divided up into smaller units in the 1960’s / 1970’s, asbestos was used.

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I'm not going to excuse flytipping of hazardous materials, but this isn't even that, since flytippers usually have the common sense to do it in an out of the way place. This is dumping hazardous materials in plain view on the side of a busy highway by either a state agency or someone working for a state agency.

Someone has to get hit for this screwup.

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.

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This is a massive violation of the intent, spirit, and letter of the new Environmental Justice laws of the commonwealth. https://www.publichealthpost.org/viewpoints/environmental-justice-massac...).

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The contractor and/or MassDOT didn't know the material was "hot" when it was dumped there. Is it even MassDOT property?

Someone could have tested the demo site a week or two later, found traces of asbestos, and they went back and flagged the debits as a precaution, possibly without even testing them first.

I've worked in concrete buildings built in the early 1900s where the concrete walls/floors were mixed with asbestos. The entire building is technically "hot" but it's not a heath concern unless someone significantly sands the concrete.

The residents have every right to be angry MassDOT is dumping next to their homes irrespective of the asbestos levels.

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Especially the new EJ law put in place this past year.

I wonder if they were trying to beat it - it applies to state agencies and developers alike!

Somebody didn't want to get the memo, apparently. Or has their head so far up their patronage crack that they didn't know that you cannot do this shit anymore!

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Because toxic waste is usually dumped near poor people in this case the projects. I would not have expected Mass to be better than the rest of the country.

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at least chelsea aint got lead water.

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I think Woburn does

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