Mexico, NY - A Central New York county will face a “logistical nightmare” as it prepares to shut down operations while asbestos-laden ceiling tiles are removed from the building. The Oswego County Department of Social Services will temporarily relocate to another location this fall during the asbestos remediation.
As first reported in Syracuse's The Post-Standard, the “logistical nightmare” is to coordinate operations of 300 employees of the Department of Social Services along with clients.
Though it is not certain whether the entire department will be moved to another county building during the asbestos removal process, it is likely due to the nature of the material. Further complicating the possible relocation is to how to best inform all of the clients of the department of the new temporary location.
However, another plan on the table includes removing the asbestos tiles in sections while allowing for the least amount of disorder and confusion.
Plans how to best approach the overall project are currently being reviewed.
Asbestos is highly toxic and carcinogenic, and exposure to the naturally-occurring mineral, especially during asbestos abatement, can lead to serious lung conditions. Chief among these diseases is mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the delicate protective lining of the lungs. This form of mesothelioma, known as pleural mesothelioma, is the most common occurrence, but asbestos may also affect the linings of the heart and abdominal cavity, known as pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma, respectively.
According to Fred Beardsley, Oswego County Legislature Chairman, the asbestos ceiling tiles became a serious problem especially during routine repairs. “Every time we remove a tile to do some maintenance work, the particles go through the air,” said Beardsley. He quickly clarified that despite the potential for exposure, no employees or clients have yet to become ill due to the asbestos particles.
One of the misconceptions over mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases is that unlike other forms of cancers, the development of the disease can take upwards of decades after the initial exposure. Symptoms of mesothelioma may not present for years.