Volunteers and workers cleaning up the devastated regions flooded by Hurricane Sandy are facing dangerous mold and asbestos contamination, which could cause illness and litigation if they do not properly protect themselves.

Similar to the post-9/11 cleanup, unprotected workers may be subjecting themselves to crippling illnesses that could result in future lawsuits against those organizing the cleanup.

Greg Floyd, president of the Teamsters Local 237, said his nightmare had come true: mold is spreading rapidly through the homes and damaged buildings devastated by Hurricane Sandy, he told the Huffington Post. A month and a half after the storm struck New York City, the fungus has spread so rapidly that Floyd has held back thousands of public employees from helping in the cleanup process. His workers don’t have the training and protective equipment necessary to battle the fast-growing mold, which can cause severe respiratory health complications. Floyd fears that his organization will suffer the consequences of a legal battle if he sends untrained workers to battle the mold.