In the last three years, five Alameda County sheriffs deputies have been diagnosed with cancer. What’s more, it has been shown that they all worked at the same San Leandro substation.
The substation, built in the 1940s, is known to contain asbestos. In fact, each year every employee who works in the building – all 236 of them – is required to sign a document acknowledging they understand the building contains the dangerous material.
Up until the 1980s, asbestos was used as a key ingredient in numerous products – both commercial and construction. From insulation to roofing tiles, the inclusion of asbestos was meant to protect workers and inhabitants from fire and heat transfer. The naturally-occurring material was found to have significant protective properties. Unfortunately, inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers can lead to numerous conditions including mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, ovarian cancer and testicular cancer.
It’s clear to those involved that the Eden Township substation in San Leandro is the common denominator for the five diagnosed cases of cancer. The deputies have alerted their union, the Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, who have taken actions, including:
- Demanding a comprehensive, independent inspection
- Development of an action plan where the county will take steps to ensure the building is safe
- Testing of construction elements such as walls and floors to ensure safety
- Testing of environmental elements such as air and water in the building to ensure safety
The union, as well as the employees who spend time in the building, are hoping for swift action and, ultimately, a clean bill of health for the substation. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or any form of asbestos-related cancer, it is crucial that you seek the guidance of a skilled attorney as soon as possible.