Renovation of DelShah’s 138 Ludlow Exposed Tenants to Hazardous Levels of Lead Dust
Controversial real estate magnate Michael Shah is accused by tenants of 138 Ludlow Street for creating a dangerous living environment.
Ongoing demolition inside the Ludlow Street walkup – acquired by DelShah Capital in January 2018 for $19 million – reportedly kicked up hazardous amounts of lead dust. The Department of Health conducted an inspection of the premises this past Christmas Eve, and ultimately found elevated levels of lead contamination in 11 of 17 samples collected in the building. The sample with the highest concentration was nearly 37-times the acceptable standards prescribed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
It’s also pertinent to note that at least three young children live at 138 Ludlow, a demographic most vulnerable to lead exposure.
(The bar on the ground floor, Local 138, is relocating to Orchard Street.)
“My daughter has been very sick from the dust,” longtime resident Mayra Hernandez said in a public statement. “She got eye and ear infections and she had to go the hospital many times. We clean every day and take the dust out, but it’s in the air.”
A coalition of tenants, elected officials, and the Lead Dust Free NYC (LDFNYC) advocacy group is now demanding an immediate remedy to the unsafe conditions, and for safe work practices to be put in place for all future renovation work. Moreover, they are calling on the City to improve enforcement around lead and to increase penalties for landlords who contaminate buildings.
“Michael Shah and DelShah Capital’s negligence have exposed the residents of 138 Ludlow Street to dangerous and life-threatening conditions,” said Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. “Many are at risk or have already been exposed to lead-laden construction dust and paint. These conditions are unacceptable and the landlord must resolve them immediately.”
By the latest count, at least a dozen Lower East Side buildings were purportedly contaminated with lead dust over the last four years.
Below is the full report of findings from the inspection at 138 Ludlow:
138 Ludlow Street Lead Report by on Scribd