Parents Concerned about Asbestos in NYC Playground
The people who live in the Seward Park Houses on Broome Street in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan are glad that the NY Housing Authority is taking the initiative to spruce up their building and make it safe and more attractive.
But the fact that they’ve seen men in hazmat suits removing asbestos from the housing development’s playground has been downright scary for those whose children and grandchildren play there.
Residents told CBS2- New York that they’ve been watching workers remove asbestos from the area where their kids spend lots of time after school and on the weekends, enjoying the swings and other equipment located there.
But it seems to have become a dumping ground during the renovations, which include repointing bricks and other exterior maintenance that’s sending asbestos into the air.
So, for now, swings and slides are off-limits, but residents worry more about what’s going to be left behind when the work is done. They’re not sure whether they trust the Housing Authority to do a thorough cleaning once all renovations are complete.
And, in the meantime, they’re not sure that the area, in general, is safe for anyone.
“If they’re going in there with the masks and the jumpsuits, why don’t we have masks and jumpsuits?” asked resident Sage Lambert. “I don’t think it’s fair.”
“Who’s coming out to check our air quality?” responded resident Lilly Martinez.
When asked by a reporter whether or not she inquired to the building managers about the safety of the property, she insists she did but received no answer.
The NY Housing Authority, however, insists that there’s a third party that’s regularly performing air quality tests and that residents shouldn’t worry.
A spokesperson for the authority said that the playground was chosen for contamination tents, where workers can shower, because of the lack of any other outdoor space.
That, alone, makes residents weary.
Nevertheless, authorities say the kids should be able to use the facility by Saturday after it’s washed down by the contractor. But most parents have agreed that they will err on the side of caution and likely wait awhile before they allow their kids to step foot on the playground.