“Austin Asbestos Exposure”
November 03, 2017
A six-month KXAN investigation has uncovered a string of asbestos contaminations in at least four different city departments dating back nearly two years. The exposures potentially affected up to 200 employees, and they each have similarities.
Several city employees, who spoke with KXAN on a condition of anonymity because they fear retaliation, said individual departments cut corners, bypassed protocols and ignored warnings that could have prevented the asbestos disturbances and possible exposures.
After KXAN began inquiring at multiple departments and requesting interviews for this report, the Office of the City Manager halted all interviews and said the city would not comment further until it took stock of the situation with its own “executive review.” The city said the review, which was spurred by KXAN’s investigation, would cover the four departments and likely wrap up by the end of the year.
The largest contamination we discovered happened at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport inside the Aviation Department. Following KXAN’s initial investigation of the ABIA incident, aviation officials said they would hire a new position to help oversee environmental issues, and they would survey every airport building.
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Submitted by Josh Hinkle.