Despite its use within thousands of consumer products all over the world, asbestos was declared to be dangerous to human health in the 1970's. Since then, many rules and regulations have been put into place to minimize exposure for those that are required to handle the substance on the job. Unfortunately, these rules and regulations are not always followed.
Home remodels, building demolitions, and more put workers and innocent bystanders at risk for asbestos exposure, everyday. Recently, an environmental company in Oxford, Massachusetts has been sued for failing to follow proper procedures while removing asbestos materials from a residential home.
Attorney General Martha Coakley alleges that Patriots Environmental Corporation broke apart asbestos-containing shingles, dropped debris on the ground, and stored the materials in unsealed plastic bags.
In addition to workers improperly handling asbestos products at the jobsite, the company failed to pay permit application fees to the state for at least 25 asbestos projects between 2012 and 2013. Other violations have been cited in the lawsuit as well.
It is truly disappointing to watch reckless individuals with little regard for public health and safety work under the guise of an "environmental company," but it seems to happen every day. While the company only needs to pay some fines to make the problem go away, the workers and individuals will have to wait years or decades to find out if asbestos exposure has affected them.