If you were walking down Ocean Avenue last week, you may have been hit by flying lead—and we don’t mean bullets. At 65 Ocean, employees were recorded allegedly scraping lead paint off fire escapes in the front and back of the building with little or none of the safety precautions required by law. A building resident who did not wished to be named told PLOG that workers did not use vacuums and that chips were falling to the ground, into air conditioners and apartment windows.
In this video taken by her husband, two individuals can be seen removing reportedly contaminated paint without any protective gear. Despite a number of attempts to contact the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the tenant says that inspectors were unresponsive or claimed to have not witnessed the ongoing maintenance. While the HPD informed her that 99 percent of fire escapes built before 1970 are covered with lead, the agency somewhat paradoxically will not test outdoor areas. PLOG will continue to investigate this story in the coming weeks.