Montparnasse skyscraper steeped in asbestos

14th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 14 (AFP) - Asbestos has been found throughout the Montparnasse Tower in southern Paris, the 56-story skyscraper that houses offices and welcomes 600,000 tourists a year, officials said.

PARIS, March 14 (AFP) - Asbestos has been found throughout the Montparnasse Tower in southern Paris, the 56-story skyscraper that houses offices and welcomes 600,000 tourists a year, officials said.

"There is asbestos pretty much throughout the building," said Alain Carrey, the expert in charge of an inspection launched last July.

But Carrey insisted workers and visitors - who ascend the black-glassed tower for a panoramic view of Paris - were not at risk, and that the necessary precautions were being taken to protect maintenance staff.

A representative of the firm managing the building stressed the current owners had spent EUR 300,000 (USD 400,000) seeking ways to get rid of the asbestos and stressed that workers and visitors were in no danger.

"There is no risk for workers, there is no risk for visitors. Only maintenance workers could eventually be exposed (to the asbestos)," Philippe Bauchot, the president of Cogetom said.

Arabic satellite news channel Al-Jazeera, the French subsidiary of US publishing software firm Adobe Systems, and Mastercard are among the businesses with offices in the Montparnasse tower, built from 1969 to 1973.

Exposure to asbestos dust is known to cause lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Asbestos was banned in France on January 1, 1997.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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