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Sandy Forum Focuses On Toxic Chemicals [AUDIO]

Hurricane Sandy clean up can be hazardous.

Hurricane Sandy
David Matthau, Townsquare Media

There is still a major health risk for residents, businesses and volunteers cleaning up from the storm. Environmental agencies are cautioning that people have been exposed to sewage, asbestos, lead and other toxic chemicals.

State and federal agencies held a forum in Monmouth County focused on Sandy related health issues.

“The goal is to educate people, workers, homeowners and volunteers about the dangers associated with cleaning up,” said Judith Enck, Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We want to make sure that as the clean up is occurring that there are not problems with exposure to mold, lead, asbestos,” Enck added.

She said many people are unaware that they are using the wrong safety gear.

“Residents need to take precaution, that’s what we want to see, people being safe.”

To protect yourself, the EPA recommends wearing protective clothing and gloves and an N-95 disposable mask.

Representatives from the New Jersey Work Environment Council said the forum was a good first step.

“I think this was good for the residents and workers to get the information they need on clean up and for state and federal agencies to get a closer look at the health issues we are experiencing here,” said Debbie McFadden, spokeswoman for NJ Environment Council.

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