Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby Reality Bytes » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:00 pm

As asbestos relates to the recent, horrendous situation at the Michigan Central Station, MiOSHA and EPA have confirmed the presence of asbestos and other environmental hazards in the areas where several tons of contaminated debris was improperly removed by children volunteers and others over the course of several weeks. Numerous photos and other information have documented these activities showing volunteers in only shorts, t-shirt, and sneakers engaged in creating substantial airborne dust levels and handling friable asbestos materials without any personal protective equipment inside a dangerous structure literally falling apart.

There is an ethical and moral obligation about informing folks with facts about the very real, inherent dangers and risks of exposure to asbestos, particularly when those involved were participants in regulated renovation activities where friable asbestos debris has been confirmed present. Asbestos can cause permanent lung-scarring and is a known carcinogen. Although typically, the latency period for which symptoms of asbestos-related diseases can develop may not occur until many years after exposure(s). So once asbestos dust is inadvertently breathed in, the potential adverse health effects can happen later in life, whereby over time it can injure, incapacitate, or kill its victims. Despite the former heavy usage of asbestos, in reality, asbestos-related education, laws, and regulations have successfully contributed to a significant decline in diagnosed cases of mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other related diseases as a direct correlation with controlling exposures to asbestos over time. The less exposure to asbestos, the less chance of developing an asbestos-related disease.

Although the point of the discussion should really be about what these unsuspecting kids were probably exposed to during the ill-conceived "clean-up" operations allowed by clueless idiots, not irresponsibly downplaying the real risks of what has occurred and or erroneously maintaining the notion that this useless building was built "pre-asbestos". Or perhaps it's about how the children's trust has been violated and issues regarding their long-term health effects after being inside the toxic dust-storm nightmare previously demonstrated inside the MCS during illegal "clean-up" renovation activities. It seems very disingenuous to claim that the contaminated debris inside the MCS is just "dirt", when in reality, it's likely decades-old, toxic accumulation of silica dust and lime from degraded plaster, lead-paint particulate, degraded avian excrement, mold and bacteria, settled pollutants, soot, and friable asbestos materials. Asbestos kills.
Last edited by Reality Bytes on Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby caseyc » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:30 pm

I smell a very tasty class action suit coming online.....

I dealt with a passel of asbestos-tort plaintiff's lawyers in the Johns-Manville bankruptcy case. I'm sure they'll be up there in no time. They have very nice private jets.
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby Doctor Detroit » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:00 am

DETROIT (WXYZ) - They just wanted to clean up a Detroit landmark. But what some local high school students didn’t count on was putting their health at risk while they were trying to help.

It was great PR for one of Detroit’s richest men: dozens of young volunteers, giving their time to clean up one of his buildings. So why weren’t they told that there was asbestos inside?

The clean-up was supposed to be just the beginning for an aging landmark.

John Mohyi/Volunteer:
"We really want to restore a symbol to the city."

Grosse Pointe billionaire Matty Maroun owns the Michigan Central Train Station and is facing mounting pressure to renovate the eyesore. So how does one of the richest men in America clean up his decaying building: with teenage volunteers.

Many of the volunteers were local suburban high school students from the volunteer group Summer In The City.


Julie Lichtenberg Stern/Summer In The City:
"We’ve done over 75,000 hours of volunteer service, this summer alone we had close to 1000 students, volunteers all throughout Detroit."

The clean up over the summer was big news – our cameras were there to cover it.

At the Train Station, the volunteers lifted chunks of concrete, they shoveled, and dragged the debris outside to be hauled away. They also did a lot of sweeping, and it’s the sweeping that may be a real problem.

That’s because state inspectors discovered asbestos in the debris.


Asbestos is a highly fibrous mineral that can get into lung tissue and cause cancer.

As you can see from these photographs, the volunteers generated a great deal of dust. You can also see that some of the volunteers are not wearing protective gear.

Thomas Vincent/Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:
"Any dust can be a problem if a person hasn’t protected themselves and especially asbestos. Asbestos, to be properly protected, a person would need an adequate respirator."

Thomas Vincent is an asbestos inspector with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Because of when the state was tipped off about possible asbestos, Vincent was not able to take samples until after the volunteers had finished their work, so there’s no way to tell exactly what they were exposed to. But he says he did find friable asbestos, the kind that can become airborne, on duct work in a dumpster that it’s believed the volunteers filled.

Thomas Vincent/Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:
"What I found personally, was approximately 50 to 80 square feet of material on a duct, most of which was out in a dumpster can at the time."

Heather Catallo:
"So at some point, that material got moved from inside to outside?"

Thomas Vincent/Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:
"Yeah."

You can see volunteers handling duct work in this photo. It’s not clear if that’s the same duct work with asbestos that the DEQ tested.

What is clear to asbestos experts is that kids should not have been inside that building.

Dr. Michael Harbut/Asbestos Expert:
"This was absolutely dumb, and it shouldn’t have happened. And somebody could get hurt very badly from it."


Royal Oak environmental health expert Dr. Michael Harbut is the Co-Director of the National Center for Asbestos Cancer.

Heather Catallo:
"How at risk were these students in that building?"

Dr. Michael Harbut/Asbestos Expert:
"Even though the risk may be extremely small, there is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos. High school students should not have been allowed to clean up that building."

Heather Catallo:
"Did you know that there was asbestos in the building?"

Dan Stamper/Detroit International Bridge Company:
Didn’t know that there was. We would not have asked or allowed anybody to go into the building if we thought there was a problem in the building."


Once the asbestos was discovered, the volunteer worked stopped.

Julie Lichtenberg Stern/Summer In The City:
"They’re young people, its important work they’re doing, but their safety is of the utmost importance."

State workplace safety and environmental regulators are still investigating this. Once they finish, the owner of the building could be penalized.

As for the student volunteers, the asbestos experts I spoke with say they should all get some baseline testing done, including a chest x-ray.

IF YOU WERE PART OF THE CLEAN UP AND HAVE CONCERNS – THIS IS WHAT SOME EXPERTS RECOMMEND:

Dr. Michael Harbut is the co-director of the National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers, and he also works with Karmanos Cancer Institute. Here is what he recommends:

If the student volunteers, parents or employees are concerned about asbestos exposure from the clean-up at the train station, American Thoracic Society diagnosis and treatment guidelines for asbestos disease recommend establishing good baseline data.

That can be done with complete pulmonary function testing, a physical exam, and a fairly low dose chest x-ray that can be looked at by Karmanos’ certified-for-asbestosis radiologist. Unless the data points in another direction, Dr. Harbut recommends repeating these steps at 5 year intervals for at least 3 times, and then undertake appropriate cancer surveillance for the rest of the patient’s life. Most insurance plans should cover the testing.

Volunteers can call 1-800-KARMANOS to set up the testing. Karmanos will also offer an opportunity for the patients to enroll in their CDC and EPA funded data base and participate in at least two studies they have underway which are developing blood tests for the early detection of lung cancer and mesothelioma.



http://www.wxyz.com/mostpopular/story/A ... BZkEg.cspx
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Re:

Postby Doctor Detroit » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:04 am

Ansel Rakestraw wrote:
mcsdetroitfriend wrote:Luckily for me I'm not in charge of this effort simply a willing historical adviser. Since the building was constructed in 1912 mesothelioma (sic) shouldn't be an issue, as from what I know of the disease it's borne from asbestos. Mold might be a problem but those of us on the upper floors were required to wear face masks. I realize we're pawns in his game, but a lot of us would prefer to do what we can to help the future of that building. It's pull is hard to ignore and any way to get in to the building I'll take...especially if it's for good.


You don't get it. You didn't do any good. You did harm. All you did was give him an excuse to keep dragging it out.

Last time I was in the building, there was what appeared to be friable asbestos from later vintage pipewrap laying everywhere, exposed and easily accessible.


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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby Morty » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:40 am

Doctor Detroit wrote:
DETROIT (WXYZ) - They just wanted to clean up a Detroit landmark. But what some local high school students didn’t count on was putting their health at risk while they were trying to help.

It was great PR for one of Detroit’s richest men: dozens of young volunteers, giving their time to clean up one of his buildings. So why weren’t they told that there was asbestos inside?

The clean-up was supposed to be just the beginning for an aging landmark.

John Mohyi/Volunteer:
"We really want to restore a symbol to the city."

Grosse Pointe billionaire Matty Maroun owns the Michigan Central Train Station and is facing mounting pressure to renovate the eyesore. So how does one of the richest men in America clean up his decaying building: with teenage volunteers.

Many of the volunteers were local suburban high school students from the volunteer group Summer In The City.


Julie Lichtenberg Stern/Summer In The City:
"We’ve done over 75,000 hours of volunteer service, this summer alone we had close to 1000 students, volunteers all throughout Detroit."

The clean up over the summer was big news – our cameras were there to cover it.

At the Train Station, the volunteers lifted chunks of concrete, they shoveled, and dragged the debris outside to be hauled away. They also did a lot of sweeping, and it’s the sweeping that may be a real problem.

That’s because state inspectors discovered asbestos in the debris.


Asbestos is a highly fibrous mineral that can get into lung tissue and cause cancer.

As you can see from these photographs, the volunteers generated a great deal of dust. You can also see that some of the volunteers are not wearing protective gear.

Thomas Vincent/Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:
"Any dust can be a problem if a person hasn’t protected themselves and especially asbestos. Asbestos, to be properly protected, a person would need an adequate respirator."

Thomas Vincent is an asbestos inspector with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Because of when the state was tipped off about possible asbestos, Vincent was not able to take samples until after the volunteers had finished their work, so there’s no way to tell exactly what they were exposed to. But he says he did find friable asbestos, the kind that can become airborne, on duct work in a dumpster that it’s believed the volunteers filled.

Thomas Vincent/Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:
"What I found personally, was approximately 50 to 80 square feet of material on a duct, most of which was out in a dumpster can at the time."

Heather Catallo:
"So at some point, that material got moved from inside to outside?"

Thomas Vincent/Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:
"Yeah."

You can see volunteers handling duct work in this photo. It’s not clear if that’s the same duct work with asbestos that the DEQ tested.

What is clear to asbestos experts is that kids should not have been inside that building.

Dr. Michael Harbut/Asbestos Expert:
"This was absolutely dumb, and it shouldn’t have happened. And somebody could get hurt very badly from it."


Royal Oak environmental health expert Dr. Michael Harbut is the Co-Director of the National Center for Asbestos Cancer.

Heather Catallo:
"How at risk were these students in that building?"

Dr. Michael Harbut/Asbestos Expert:
"Even though the risk may be extremely small, there is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos. High school students should not have been allowed to clean up that building."

Heather Catallo:
"Did you know that there was asbestos in the building?"

Dan Stamper/Detroit International Bridge Company:
Didn’t know that there was. We would not have asked or allowed anybody to go into the building if we thought there was a problem in the building."


Once the asbestos was discovered, the volunteer worked stopped.

Julie Lichtenberg Stern/Summer In The City:
"They’re young people, its important work they’re doing, but their safety is of the utmost importance."

State workplace safety and environmental regulators are still investigating this. Once they finish, the owner of the building could be penalized.

As for the student volunteers, the asbestos experts I spoke with say they should all get some baseline testing done, including a chest x-ray.

IF YOU WERE PART OF THE CLEAN UP AND HAVE CONCERNS – THIS IS WHAT SOME EXPERTS RECOMMEND:

Dr. Michael Harbut is the co-director of the National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers, and he also works with Karmanos Cancer Institute. Here is what he recommends:

If the student volunteers, parents or employees are concerned about asbestos exposure from the clean-up at the train station, American Thoracic Society diagnosis and treatment guidelines for asbestos disease recommend establishing good baseline data.

That can be done with complete pulmonary function testing, a physical exam, and a fairly low dose chest x-ray that can be looked at by Karmanos’ certified-for-asbestosis radiologist. Unless the data points in another direction, Dr. Harbut recommends repeating these steps at 5 year intervals for at least 3 times, and then undertake appropriate cancer surveillance for the rest of the patient’s life. Most insurance plans should cover the testing.

Volunteers can call 1-800-KARMANOS to set up the testing. Karmanos will also offer an opportunity for the patients to enroll in their CDC and EPA funded data base and participate in at least two studies they have underway which are developing blood tests for the early detection of lung cancer and mesothelioma.



http://www.wxyz.com/mostpopular/story/A ... BZkEg.cspx


Cross post under "Hot fudge Detroit we told you so first"

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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby Ansel Rakestraw » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:52 am

Where is our dumbass friend MCSDetroit?

Dan Fucking Stamper is fucking lying sonuvabitch liar.

When DEGC staff went in to evaluate the building for KK kockamamie Kop HQ plan several years ago, we had to sign wiavers which expressly mentioned the possibility of airborne contaminants such as asbestos and pigeon guano.

DIBC knew EXACTLY what was in there. Any dimwitted building owner knew the risks and likelihoo of asbestos. Instead they deliberately turned a blind eye and endangered teenage volunteers. I hope at least one parent grabs a Fieger wannabe and makes a big fucking stink about this. A couple 1Ls could find enough in discovery to sink Maroun.
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby jmy » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:06 am

I'm sure the doctor is completely objective and wouldn't mislead anyone for his own pet projects. And I'm sure most Americans can calculate risk accurately. Chest x-rays all around! What nonsense.

If I were Maroun, I'd supeona every person who witnessed the Hudsons implosion and lives or lived within the fall zone.
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby MICHIGAN » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:35 am

Does this qualify HFD as a news source since you guys broke this story months ago?
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby Ansel Rakestraw » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:10 pm

jmy wrote:I'm sure the doctor is completely objective and wouldn't mislead anyone for his own pet projects. And I'm sure most Americans can calculate risk accurately. Chest x-rays all around! What nonsense.

If I were Maroun, I'd supeona every person who witnessed the Hudsons implosion and lives or lived within the fall zone.


Apples and oranges re: friable asbestos.

The Hudson's building was completely remeidiated from asbestos and contrary to what that fucking nutjob Blair McGowan will say, there was no asbestos in any of the plaster.

The pipewrap I saw in the MCS was the classic fiberglass and asbestos matting material that was loose and flaking and quite prevalent.

Yes, not everyone exposed to asbestos gets cancer and people exposed to different levels can have very different mesotheliomia rates. The fact remains that it is a strong carcinogen. DIBC knows that and would not even let their own folks spend much time stomping around there but felt fine letting unsuspecting teens sweep it up. If it is so "safe" why the precautions on DIBCs part with their own employees?

The next question is whether the asbestos was disposed of properly per MDEQ regs. I hope they pull out the stops and nail him for any improper disposal.
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby The Beav » Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:54 am

Yes, not everyone exposed to asbestos gets cancer and people exposed to different levels can have very different mesotheliomia rates. The fact remains that it is a strong carcinogen. DIBC knows that and would not even let their own folks spend much time stomping around there but felt fine letting unsuspecting teens sweep it up. If it is so "safe" why the precautions on DIBCs part with their own employees?


Both grandfathers smoke for over 40 years. Neither died from lung cancer. One grandmother did, but she did not smoke.

It appears to be the similar with asbestos.

Not that a dead German and dead Scotsman are in any way a statistically significant cross-section...
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby mcsdetroitfriend » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:40 am

DIBC knows that and would not even let their own folks spend much time stomping around there but felt fine letting unsuspecting teens sweep it up. If it is so "safe" why the precautions on DIBCs part with their own employees?

The next question is whether the asbestos was disposed of properly per MDEQ regs. I hope they pull out the stops and nail him for any improper disposal.



You forget that there were about 6 employees working along side me and the rest of the volunteers, in fact they're the ones that cut and handled that piece of ductwork.
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby Roquefort Robert » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:16 pm

mcsdetroitfriend wrote:
DIBC knows that and would not even let their own folks spend much time stomping around there but felt fine letting unsuspecting teens sweep it up. If it is so "safe" why the precautions on DIBCs part with their own employees?

The next question is whether the asbestos was disposed of properly per MDEQ regs. I hope they pull out the stops and nail him for any improper disposal.



You forget that there were about 6 employees working along side me and the rest of the volunteers, in fact they're the ones that cut and handled that piece of ductwork.

That should be alright then. It's not like friable asbestos is airbourne or anything.
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby mcsdetroitfriend » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:45 am

Oh you mean like this?
Image


Having them around made it much safer for me=)
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Now that I have a better understanding of the risks involved (post-volunteering) I still would've gone in, for me it was a once in a lifetime experience, the alternative is crawling underneath some pitch black train tracks, not knowing who or what is under there. I've looked at the plans of the area where people crawl through to get in there (the city owned property) and it was a labyrinth of tunnels, Kinnear rolling doors, metal suit case racks, sliding doors, mesh wire, elevator shafts, metal sorting bins, glass partitions, etc etc etc. Who knows what is left under there but unless someone provides me with very powerful lights I'm not going in that way
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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby Dirk Tungsten » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:56 pm

It's nice to see that summer in the city has moved on from putting bottlecaps in concrete to exposing suburban kids to asbestos.

Do you think Matty will put on a Steve Mcqueen Memorial Bike ride to help pay for the volunteers medical care?

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Re: Day 1 of Michigan Central Station clean out

Postby Mulligan » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:45 am

I didn't expect this. The letter saying Maroun and Stamper were resigning from the board is a classic.

So, after the bridge is finished to the agree-upon specs, will the bridge company pay for all the extra wear and tear trucks have put on the surface street since 2009. Because Fort Street already is getting pot-holed.

Bridge bosses Moroun, Stamper are led off to jail in Gateway project dispute

A Wayne County judge this morning sent billionaire Manuel (Matty) Moroun and his chief deputy at the Ambassador Bridge company, Dan Stamper, to jail until they are in compliance with his order to finish building ramps connecting the Ambassador Bridge to nearby expressways.

Lawyers sought stays of his order, but Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards denied the motion and others seeking the immediate release of the two men.


Wayne County sheriff’s deputies led both men out of court through a back door in the courtroom at 10:15 a.m.

“It is clear,” Edwards said, that the Detroit International Bridge Co. “does not intend to comply with the court order” to finish work delayed by more than two years.

A lawyer said Moroun was never informed of what he did personally that would justify imprisoning an 84-year-old and called the decision an egregious violation of Moroun’s constitutional rights. The lawyers presented a letter they said showed Moroun and Stamper were resigning immediately from the board of the company that owns the bridge.

“Now that they have resigned they have no power to do anything” associated with the bridge or the unfinished ramp work, defense lawyer Craig John argued.


John argued that Edwards and MDOT have set up “a moving goal line” throughout proceedings so that it has not been clear exactly what specifications the bridge company should follow to avoid contempt.

Assistant Michigan Attorney General asked Edwards to appoint a receiver to complete the project. He called the resignations irrelevant, and said testimony from Stamper has shown that both Moroun and Stamper are in control at the bridge.

MDOT sued in 2009 after it said bridge company ignored design
The dispute stems from the long-delayed Gateway project at the Ambassador Bridge. In planning since the 1990s, the Gateway project is meant to connect the Ambassador Bridge directly to I-75 and I-96 through a series of new ramps and roads so that truckers and other motorists can bypass local surface streets.

Under a 2004 contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation, both the Detroit International Bridge Co. and MDOT were to carry out distinct portions of the Gateway work. But MDOT sued in 2009 after its saw that the bridge company was not building its portion according to what MDOT said was the agreed-upon design. Instead, the company built a roadway that took traffic past the company’s lucrative duty-free store and fuel pumps, and that kept thousands of trucks bound for expressways on Fort and other local surface streets.

The Free Press reported last year that the duty-free fuel pumps alone could be worth millions of dollars a year in revenue to the bridge company.

Edwards ruled against the bridge company in February 2010, ordering the company to rebuild its portion of the project even if it meant ripping out the duty-free facilities. Since then, MDOT has told Edwards repeatedly that the bridge company was stalling. Edwards agreed, finding the company in contempt of court, and last January jailing DIBC President Dan Stamper for a few hours as a way to force compliance.

Since then, MDOT continued to argue that the bridge company was still not complying, even through the bridge company said it was proceeding as fast as it could with the reconstruction. Last November, Edwards again found the company in contempt of court and said he would impose penalties on Jan. 12. He ordered both Stamper and Moroun to appear in person for the penalty hearing, which to some observers raised the possibility that Edwards might jail one or both men.

In his contempt finding in November, Edwards ruled that there was “clear and unequivocal" evidence that the company had tried to evade his Feb. 1, 2010, order to complete Gateway as ordered.

Moroun smiled and shook hands as he walked into court this morning, wearing a dark blue suit and a red patterned tie.

http://www.freep.com/article/20120112/N ... |FRONTPAGE
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