OSHA has released several laboratory results in connection with site specific monitoring throughout Hurricane Sandy cleanup around New York. The results of the lab testing show that workers involved in the Sandy cleanup are being exposed to multiple hazardous substances including asbestos, silica, lead, VOCs, and the general dust that is being inhaled by workers.

OSHA has been proactively monitoring the health of employees in the hurricane-affected regions around NY and NJ. They are being diligent in ensuring workers have the proper gear to protect their health. They are also working to ensure each cleanup worker has the proper training in order to handle hazardous waste removal.

Much of the contaminated debris workers are exposed to is the building materials that were soaked with sewage-tainted flood waters. These materials still contain the sewage residue weeks after the storm and are putting workers at risk for future medical issues including lung and breathing problems. Due to the amount of dust and debris in the cleanup areas, workers should be wearing protective face masks or breathing apparatus to avoid inhalation of harmful materials.

A lot of the building materials being cleared away from many sites around the city include asbestos which has been known to cause a variety of lung problems. Being exposed to this kind of hazard requires proper medical checks and follow ups to ensure good health of the lungs.

It is important for all cleanup workers to understand which toxic components are present in their work environment. OSHA is offering both training and support for workers dealing with hazardous chemicals and debris. If you are not sure what dangers are on your work site or have not been provided with proper training or protective gear, you can contact OSHA for more information.


If you have been injured during your cleanup work on Hurricane Sandy-affected sites, contact our legal team to discuss your potential for workers compensation benefits. You can reach us toll free at 888-799-3918 for a free consultation or reach out to us through our online contact form.