Asbestos Exposure Concerns: Pennsylvania Cities and Towns at Risk in 2023

Asbestos, once hailed as a versatile and durable material, has become notorious for its harmful health effects. Exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to serious respiratory diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. While asbestos use has been heavily regulated in recent decades, certain cities and towns in Pennsylvania continue to grapple with high asbestos exposure rates. In this article, we will explore some of these locations and highlight specific examples to underscore the ongoing concerns faced by residents.

  1. Philadelphia:

Philadelphia, as one of Pennsylvania’s largest cities, has a long industrial history that makes it particularly susceptible to asbestos exposure. Many old buildings, including residential, commercial, and industrial structures, still contain asbestos in various forms. Renovation and demolition projects pose a significant risk, as the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials can release fibers into the air.

One specific example of asbestos exposure occurred in 2023 during the renovation of an iconic Philadelphia landmark, an abandoned factory. The project faced complications when asbestos insulation was discovered, delaying the renovation process and prompting concern among workers and nearby residents.

  1. Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh, known for its steel industry and historical significance, also faces challenges related to asbestos exposure. Similar to Philadelphia, numerous older buildings and industrial sites in Pittsburgh contain asbestos. Furthermore, the city’s industrial past has left behind a legacy of asbestos-related contamination in soil and water sources.

In 2023, the discovery of asbestos in an old Pittsburgh school building raised alarm among parents, students, and staff. The closure of the school for remediation highlighted the ongoing need for proactive asbestos management and awareness in educational institutions.

  1. Scranton:

Scranton, a smaller city in northeastern Pennsylvania, has a history deeply intertwined with mining and manufacturing. Asbestos was commonly used in mining operations, and its presence in older structures and industrial sites poses a persistent risk. As with other cities, demolition and renovation projects remain a significant concern.

A recent incident in Scranton involved the demolition of a former factory, resulting in the release of asbestos fibers into the surrounding area. Residents expressed their worry over potential health consequences, emphasizing the need for stringent regulations and proper handling of asbestos-containing materials.

  1. Allentown:

Allentown, a rapidly growing city in the Lehigh Valley region, faces its own asbestos exposure challenges. Aging infrastructure and buildings constructed before asbestos regulations took effect pose risks to both residents and workers involved in renovation and construction projects.

In 2023, a significant asbestos exposure incident occurred during the rehabilitation of a historic building in Allentown’s downtown district. The discovery of deteriorating asbestos-containing materials necessitated emergency measures to protect the workers and prevent further fiber dispersion.



Asbestos exposure remains a significant concern in various cities and towns across Pennsylvania in 2023. While regulations and awareness have improved over the years, the ongoing presence of asbestos-containing materials in older structures continues to pose health risks. Efforts must focus on proper identification, safe handling, and the implementation of effective remediation measures to protect both current and future generations from the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. Additionally, public education and advocacy can play a vital role in raising awareness and encouraging proactive measures to minimize the risks associated with asbestos exposure in these communities.

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At Halpern Law Firm, we help clients throughout Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton and Johnstown. Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 505-6000.

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