AT&T (T:US) shares hit the lowest levels in nearly 3 decades after several analysts raised concerns over the recent Wall Street Journal report, which mentions large telecom operators that left behind a network of cables covered in toxic lead.

Shares in AT&T and Verizon (VZ:US) moved lower amid investor concerns related to huge costs to clean up the cable mess. According to JPMorgan (JPM:US) analyst Philip Cusick, it could cost about $59 billion for this sector to remove all the lead cables nationwide.

AT&T's selloff accelerated on Friday after Cusick downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight following the WSJ report, which noted that over 2,000 old lead-encased phone cables are left behind. Some of them are underwater, others in the soil and on poles overhead, the report further noted.

“Potential copper lead sheathing liability is unquantifiable at this time, but will be a substantial long-term overhang on AT&T and the industry,” Cusick said.

“The uncertainty around how many cables remain, population exposed/at risk, and liability of legacy telecom companies is substantial and could take years to determine,” Cusick wrote. 

In addition to AT&T which saw its shares drop 4.1% on Friday, Verizon shares fell 1.8%.

Congressman Ro Khanna was buying both stocks in June. More notably, he bought $15,000 - $50,000 worth of Verizon shares on June 26.

On the other hand, Congressman Michael McCaul sold $100,000 - $250,000 worth of AT&T shares in May while Senator John Hickenlooper was selling VZ stock in the same value range.