Dust from the construction of New York’s Second Avenue subway is being blamed for a growing number of repertory problems among Upper East Siders, casting doubt over a rosy air quality report from the Metro Transit Authority.
At a Second Avenue Task Force hearing last night, locals living near blast sites around East 70th and 72nd streets complained about what is being called “Second Avenue subway syndrome,” said to involve chronic coughs, asthma and other problems, according to Andrew Siff at NBC.
DNA Info also reports that local doctors have noticed changes in air quality, and say that they are seeing an increase in patients with dust-related chronic sinusitis and post-nasal drips.
But the MTA’s top executive Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, who commissioned a four-week study into pollution levels near the site during September and October, told the gathering the air is safe to breath.
The report, by Parsons Brinckerhoff, identified increased levels of small particles and sulfur dioxide for up to six days, but concluded that it was not caused by the construction blasting.
“The data shows we are not causing any current or future threat to the people around Second Avenue,” Dr. Horodniceanu told last night’s gathering, adding that all the chemical levels identified in the study were within EPA limits.
Residents remain sceptical.
The $4 billion project, which has already faced multiple delays and other setbacks, is due to be completed in December 2016.