The Sick Building Files; Skyscrapers have been constructed with asbestos and other poisonous materials!

Most of the skyscrapers in the western world, and especially the ones in the United States have been built in a period that was known for using asbestos and other dangerous materials. In the past we mainly looked at the positive attributes of asbestos. But during the 1980's, it became clear that asbestos could cause all kinds of diseases. Now for most people who worked or lived in skyscrapers that contained asbestos the health risk is very small. But for those who actually constructed with these asbestos materials, there appears to be a rather high risk of developing deadly diseases.

It became obvious that even the tallest and most iconic buildings are loaded with asbestos. In march, 2005, researchers discovered dangerous levels of cancer-causing asbestos on all floors of one of the tallest skyscrapers in Paris, France. It appears the asbestos materials in this building have been mixing with dust for years now. The asbestos is supposed to be hidden above false ceilings, in a shaft housing cables and in elevators. Not only is this alarming for the 5000 people who work there and might be breathing the asbestos into their lungs, but also for the estimated 500,000 tourists who visit the tower each year.

Perhaps even more alarming is that the asbestos case in Paris is not real news! Apparently the management of the tower has been aware of the existence of asbestos in their building for several year now. The Asbestos levels were already recorded during tests in the 1990's. Nonetheless, it was business as usual in the Paris skyscraper. Why would they take that risk? Because of money. Removing the asbestos would require a full evacuation for at about three years or a 10-year process that could allow the building to remain open during the asbestos removal. Both scenario's are so costly that the owner of the building very likely can not pay for them.

Now if in a civilized country like France, it is possible to cover up a major asbestos risk for so many years, what kind of cover ups could be going on in the United States. All over America, thousands of skyscrapers have been constructed using asbestos materials. Most of these materials are still in these buildings. Experts have been stating in the past that asbestos would create no health risk if we leave the material alone. But the Paris case has proven otherwise.

How many skyscrapers in the United States are in fact asbestos time-bombs? Keep in touch, soon we will answer more of these questions!

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