Asbestos removal or “abatement” as the process is called in the industry is an expensive ordeal, which must be performed by trained professionals who are certified to remove the hazardous material. Workers must be provided with proper protective equipment including respirators or ventilators, and care must be taken to prevent asbestos dust from escaping into the environment where it can harm others in the community.
The reason for all these precautions is asbestos fibers can be deadly if inhaled. They become lodged in the lungs or an outer layer organ tissue known as the mesothelium where they metastasize into mesothelioma, lung cancer or other respiratory illness.
According to a recent article from Mass Live, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing an Oxford-based company for improper handling of asbestos in a Sturbridge home.
The lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston alleges defendant failed to pay permit fees to the state on at least two-dozen occasions. It also alleges defendant failed to pay a $50,000 penalty imposed by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The $50,000 fine was connected to asbestos waste-related violations at defendant’s various job-sites throughout the Commonwealth.
Specifically, defendant was hired to remove asbestos from a single-family home in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Asbestos was contained in shingles on an exterior wall of the home. While removing asbestos shingles, defendant is alleged to have broken them apart causing crumbling debris to fall to the ground outside the home. The asbestos waste was also dumped in unsealed plastic trash bags in way as to allow asbestos dust to enter the air. Defendant also allegedly failed to wet, cover, and seal these containers full of crumbled asbestos shingles.
As Boston mesothelioma injury attorneys can explain, when asbestos is in a home, it generally safe unless it begins to crumble or otherwise breakdown. Once it begins to crumble, it becomes what material scientists refer to as friable. Friable asbestos is asbestos capable of being crumbled under the pressure of a human hand. Aside from loose asbestos powder used in some applications, friable asbestos is among the most dangerous forms of the deadly material.
The reason it is so dangerous when friable is because the fibers can easily enter the air where potential victims can inhale them. Once victims inhale the fibers, there is little doctors can do. It is extremely difficult to detect asbestos fibers without performing a biopsy, as they are microscopic in size. Once the fibers are present in the human body, it normally takes between 20 and 50 years for them to metastasize into asbestos-related cancer. By the time they are discovered, the patient usually has very little time to left to live due to the deadly illness.
Proper asbestos removal on an exterior wall will typically require protective sheeting to be placed over the area being abated. Once asbestos is removed, hopefully still intact, it must be placed in a proper container and sealed so it can be transported to a hazardous waste disposal facility.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Mesothelioma Effects on Small England Town, July 26, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyers Blog