Uniondale, New York - This week, contractors at Long Island’s famed Nassau Coliseum – home to the NY Islanders – are beginning to remove asbestos materials from non-public areas in the structure, this following much to-do about six months ago that had patrons of the arena questioning whether or not they were putting their health at risk by attending games there.
According to a Newsday article, workers are currently removing the asbestos material from the loading dock and machine room. Once that’s complete, an engineering firm will be hired to help determine what has to be done in other areas of the Coliseum, which has long played host to the local NHL hockey team as well as other sporting events, concerts, family shows, and more.
The state Department of Labor and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration began investigating reports of exposed asbestos materials last March, causing controversy and resulting in the closure of the structure for a short time. However, Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli says "air in the public areas has been tested and is safe."
"After state and federal investigations, the county has not received any reports indicating a threat to air quality in public areas," county Public Works commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias.
"We did extensive renovation in many parts of the Coliseum," added Chief Deputy County Executive Rob Walker. "We submitted a work plan to the state and they approved it."
Nonetheless, 81 Nassau Coliseum workers have already filed asbestos exposure claims, stating that exposure to the material has placed them in danger of developing diseases such as asbestosis and meso thelioma. That number is expected to reach a few hundred by the time all claims are filed, said Ciampoli.