Earlier in the month, it was discovered that a major producer of abrasive blasting media had been distributing coal slag contaminated with chrysotile, commonly known as white asbestos. Chrysotile is a known human carcinogen that can be extremely harmful when ingested or inhaled. Asbestos has been found to be a direct contributor to “chronic lung disease as well as lung and other cancers.” OSHA notes, “There is no safe level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.”
After 50 years of exposure to the elements, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum on New York City’s 5th Avenue needed help.
The art museum’s exterior concrete rotunda wall, which corkscrews outward as the building gets taller, was beset by hundreds of cracks ranging from hairlines to those that exposed steel reinforcement bars buried in 5-inch-thick (12.7 cm) concrete. And that’s just what Guggenheim’s team of architects, engineers, and restoration experts could see! Who knew what else lie beneath 12 layers of coatings applied over the decades?