Mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm stress that handling asbestos materials requires extreme caution, due to the serious risk of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. The recent verdict in the East Chattanooga textile mill demolition case underscores the importance of safe asbestos removal practices.
As the Times Free Press is reporting, three men were charged with Clean Air Act violations for unsafe asbestos removal during a demolition project. The men put all nearby residents at risk of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis when they haphazardly spread asbestos dust over the demolition site.
The serious asbestos violation occurred at the former Standard-Cossa-Thatcher textile plant between August 2004 and December 2005. The men polluted the area with toxic asbestos dust that likely spread to residential houses and a nearby daycare center.
According to prosecutors, the three men lied to the authorities about their actions and even exploited the labor of untrained and homeless individuals. The men were charged with a 10-count indictment, which included counts of conspiracy to defraud the government, obstruction of justice, false statements, and Clean Air Act violations. All of the men now face federal prison time and are set to report to prison on November 17, 2012.
It appears that greed may have been the primary motivation behind the unsafe asbestos removal that put residents at serious risk of harm. By hiring unqualified workers and engaging in improper asbestos demolition practices, the men saved money and time.
One of the men claimed that he was actually pulled from the site because he wanted to test fluid that was found in a tank before pouring it into the ground.
Prosecutors hope that a guilty verdict in this case will send a message that environmental laws regulating asbestos procedures must be taken seriously because violations will not be tolerated. The health and safety of the public is at stake.
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Asbestos exposure is a very serious issue. In fact, there is no safe level of airborne asbestos exposure. One site that is responsible for many diseases and deaths from hazardous asbestos dust is in Libby, Montana. The Environmental Protection Agency has therefore proposed a rigorous standard for the cleanup of asbestos contamination at this site, stating that even a minuscule amount of inhaled asbestos dust can cause lung problems. Such a rigorous standard, much tougher than the previous airborne asbestos cleanup standards, would obviously require more expensive and meticulous cleanup procedures.
Entities such as W.R. Grace & Co, the company which is held responsible for causing much pollution from the operation of its vermiculite mine, have argued that this could lead to expensive cleanups around the nation. A prime example is the Superfund cleanup that has been going on in Libby since 1999, which is said to have cost $447 million.
According to the Government Accountability Office, this cleanup standard could impact more than 200 industrial sites in 40 states where officials found vermiculite tainted with asbestos from W.R. Grace & Co.
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However, no price can be high enough when human lives are at stake, especially with a proven toxic material such as asbestos. Mesothelioma lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm offer full support for mesothelioma victims, and can help them secure maximum compensation.
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