A landowner looking to renovate a building or demolish a structure must first weigh the risk of asbestos danger. If there is any reason to suspect the structure contains asbestos, demolition work absolutely cannot start without taken action to limit the risk. A professional asbestos abatement contractor must be called to determine the presence of asbestos.
The contractor will take a sample and carefully package that material so it can be taken to an approved material science testing lab to look at the material under a microscope and confirm the presence of the of asbestos fibers.
Once the asbestos fibers have been confirmed, the contractor and the landowner will discuss the matter with the state and federal regulatory boards and obtain permits necessary to complete the asbestos abatement process. There must also be a detailed plan submitted to the planning commission and the local environmental protection agency. In the Commonwealth, the agency is the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). After the plan has been approved by all necessary authorities, the licensed asbestos contractor can begin work using only licensed and certified asbestos abatement workers. These workers must not only be provided with the necessary training in accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) and MassDEP.
All workers must also be provided with proper safety equipment including respirators or ventilators. Another thing to keep in mind is that any worker who handles asbestos, or is even in close proximity to asbestos dust, must remove all protective clothing on the jobsite (normally white suits) and make sure they are not taking any of the deadly asbestos dust home with them where they can expose loved ones. This is what Boston mesothelioma attorneys call a “take home” asbestos case, and this has happened countless times throughout the past hundred of more years when it was commonplace to come home covered is asbestos dust and hug family members. The reason this happened is because the workers had no idea even though those in the asbestos industry were well of the dangers they were causing to workers and their families.
Once the asbestos has been removed, it is essential that the material be placed in an approved plastic container, wet to prevent the spread of dust, and then sealed so it can be taken to an approved hazardous waste facility. If this doesn’t happen, it is not only dangerous, but also illegal. A recent news article from The State Journal-Register discusses how federal prosecutors have just filed charges against one partner in a demolition projection involving an old industrial plant. These are serious federal charges, and the grand jury has already handed down a series of indictments for charges ranging from violating the federal Clean Air Act to making false statements. If convicted, the defendant could face up to five years in federal prison, a quarter of a million dollar fine, and three years of supervised release (probation) following his release from prison. It should be noted that he has not been convicted of any crime in connection with this incident and is presumed innocent.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Federal indictment accuses Pillsbury partner of illegal asbestos cleanup, May 10, 2016, SJR, By Tim Landis
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Holyoke Energy Company Gets Tax Incentive for Expansion and Asbestos Abatement, April 2, 2016, Boston Asbestos Lawyer Blog