State officials have launched an investigation into the possibility of asbestos exposure to workers and visitors to a Des Moines landmark building. The nineteen story Equitable Building is being partially turned into luxury condos. Safety officials are now looking into whether workers and visitors were negligently exposed to asbestos.

The investigation was launched late last year, after developer Bob Knapp and his firms were charged with asbestos violations at the building. An anonymous tip off started the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Bureau’s investigation in September.

It is thought that thousands of people may have been through the building to work or visit in the fourteen months running up to the start of the investigation. Officials from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources stated that its workers found dry asbestos insulation throughout the building, and that there was also evidence that asbestos had been improperly disposed of.

The developer has disputed the allegations, and a lawyer for Knapp stated: “The most important thing is making sure all the tenants are in a safe environment. We believe they are.”

Be Sociable, Share!