UPPER EAST SIDE, NY (PIX11)—Robin Plevener's asthma had been under control for years, until about four months ago, when the pulmonary disease returned with a vengeance.
"One day I couldn't breathe at all, and I started wheezing, and it got so bad, I had to go to the emergency room at New York Presbyterian, and they put me on medicated oxygen," Plevener said.
Plevener blames that attack, and the rest of her symptoms, including a chronic cough, on dust from the blasting during the Second Avenue subway construction. She and her family live on 72nd Street and First Avenue, close to all the activity.
She takes one medication every twelve hours, and carries an inhaler for emergencies. As a real estate broker, Plevener does a lot of walking, and now goes out of her way to avoid Second Avenue.
"I make sure my travel is along York or Third Avenue," she said.
Plevener is not surprised fellow sufferers in the neighborhood are calling their ailment the 'Second Avenue subway cough.'
Jeannette Edelstein says she's got it.
"I'm experiencing things in my throat that I've never had before," said Edelstein, who also lives on East 72nd Street near the construction. "Very scratchy, and I cough. At night when I go to sleep, it's like dripping and coughing."
The MTA recently released the findings of a study it did on the impact of the blasting on air quality.
"Based on the results of the study, there are no concerns that Second Avenue construction is causing any danger to the public's health," MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu said. "We will continue to do everything we can to be a good neighbor as we complete this critically important project as quickly as possible."
"Whatever they have to say means nothing to me. I know what my health is," said Robin Plevener. "Look at what they said with the 9/11 report, that the air quality was fine. It's been proven that it's not fine."