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Jul 19,2007
No airborne asbestos found from N.Y. blast
by UPI

NEW YORK -- A major underground steam explosion in New York didn't release asbestos into the air as previously thought, a report said.

The New York Times reported Thursday that while some asbestos was found in blast debris, none of the potentially harmful substance was found in the air.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was among several local officials who warned of potential airborne dangers following Wednesday's massive explosion.

City officials have since said that the health dangers associated with the blast are minimal due to the limited time citizens were exposed to the asbestos.

"Developing an asbestos-related illness after being exposed for a short time -- even at high levels -- is very unlikely," city officials said Thursday. "Although we can never say if something is completely safe, from all the information we have obtained, there are unlikely to be long-term physical health consequences."

One woman died of cardiac arrest in the blast and more than 30 other people were injured, two of them critically, the newspaper said.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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