Recently, we have been discussing the dangers of asbestos exposure that men and women in the military faced for decades. Unfortunately, people are still being exposed to this cancer-causing fiber, despite the known risks associated with it. Allowing people to come into contact with asbestos, whether it was 40 years ago on a naval ship or just days ago on a construction site, is extremely negligent behavior.
Asbestos stories in the news lately have focused on the fact that many property owners have continued to put people in danger by not properly warning them about the presence of asbestos on the property. Many of them will cut corners when it comes to removing the asbestos by choosing not to use certified asbestos abatement companies. In their attempt to save some money and time, property owners are putting lives in danger.
It was recently discovered that a small school used young students and volunteers to clean up an old building so that a new school could be built on the grounds. The problem is that the kids were removing materials that contained asbestos and the workers were never informed about the presence of asbestos or given protective gear to wear while working. There wasbestos in exposed pipes and floor tiles, and three dumpsters will filled with debris that may be contaminated by asbestos. Sources indicate that there is no way to tell how much of the toxic fiber was inhaled by the students during weeks of removal work.
Regulations in the state where this occurred require property owners to use certified asbestos removal companies to remove and dispose of asbestos, which the building owner failed to do in this case. Instead, he used young, vulnerable volunteers to do the jobs that typically require training, certification and protective equipment for workers.
This type of negligence is very worrisome. The dangers of asbestos are widely known, yet people continue to try and get around the regulations that have been established to keep people safe. In this case, unfortunately, it may take decades for the young children to show symptoms of the devastating illnesses that are caused by exposure to asbestos.
Source: WKYC, “Investigator: Students gut asbestos-filled building,” Tom Meyer, Jan. 8, 2013
- For more information on how our law firm helps victims in this type of situation, please visit our page on premises liability.