United States Government Takes Asbestos Violations Seriously

Due to the increased cancer risk for anyone exposed to toxic asbestos fibers, the United States government is cracking down on asbestos violations. Asbestos exposure is the only confirmed cause for mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the mesothelial tissues. Unfortunately, our mesothelioma lawyers have heard estimates that put the number of mesothelioma cases at the highest point ever internationally between 2015 and 2030.

U.S. Government Strict with Offenders
There have been several recent reports of the US government handling asbestos offenders with a strict hand. The most recent happened when the the Department of Labor’s OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) imposed a fine of $148,000 against contractors based in San Antonio and Miami. The inspectors noticed that workers were revamping apartments without respiratory equipment or the proper clothing required to ensure their protection from asbestos exposure.

In another recent asbestos incident, the Massachusetts department of Labor Standards gave the James F. Peebles Elementary School in Bourne, Massachusetts a harsh written warning. This was the second warning issued to the school in three years, ordering school officials to clear the building of all asbestos before students returned from their summer vacations. After hazardous asbestos-containing materials such as floor tiles were removed, students were able to return to school on time.

A Push for Tough Ruling in Tennessee Asbestos Case
An article published in the TheChattanoogan.com reported that prosecutors want harsh prison sentences and fines to be imposed on the guilty parties. They argue that the offenders violated the law by not properly disposing of asbestos at the textile plant. According to a memorandum, the offenders wanted to acquire the old plant with asbestos still contained in it, destroy it, reclaim the items and sell the cleared property again. However, for the purpose of clearing the demolition, they hired an inferior firm. In fact, the firm’s asbestos handlers were allegedly completely untrained in the task and included drug addicts, hired day laborers and street people.

Equally shocking is that one of the offenders and another female apparently picked up the asbestos materials with their hands and tucked it into garbage bags. Furthermore, asbestos was sent into the air during the demolition process, putting the entire neighborhood at risk of potentially contracting an abestos-related disease.

So what did the prosecutors demand for this serious violation? They asked for a six level increase to the existing prison terms against the violators. In the 47-page long memorandum, they requested that the judge send a message that our laws are intended to protect worker safety and human health.

A team of inspectors from various agencies arrived at the site and started a cleanup.
Asbestos exposure can lead to serious asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis. Even if you were not directly exposed to hazardous asbestos fibers, you may suffer from secondhand exposure if you have close contact with someone else that was. If you or a loved one have been a victim of asbestos exposure and are suffering from an asbestos disease, you can contact an asbestos attorney at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for legal assistance.