No Asbestos in Air After NY Blast

Traces of carcinogen found in dirt and debris; not a health hazard, say officials
New York city police officers wear mask while blocking pedestrians from entering Park Ave. above 40th St. Thursday, July 19, 2007 in New York. A massive geyser of steam and debris that erupted through...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – No asbestos was found in the air today after a steam pipe explosion that led to one death and injured more than 30 in midtown Manhattan yesterday. The carcinogen has turned up in dirt and debris in and near the area, but officials say damage to long-term health is very unlikely given the brief exposure, reports the New York Times.

“Developing an asbestos-related illness after being exposed for a short time—even at high levels—is very unlikely,” the city Office of Emergency Management said in a statement. Subway service to Grand Central, suspended after the explosion, resumed today, but the streets around the location of the blast, at 41st Street and Lexington Avenue, remain closed.