Recently, two Michigan men were found guilty on four counts related to illegal asbestos removal. The two men were hired to renovate and convert an old church into a school building for the Bay City Academy. Roy C. Bradley Sr. and Gerald A. Essex face up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
It is not uncommon for older schools to contain asbestos materials in the floor tiles, ceilings, pipe insulation, and other locations, since the substance was used extensively throughout the 20th century in residential and commercial buildings. Asbestos is fire and heat resistant, insulating, and strong, making it "perfect" for construction materials. It does seem perfect, until individuals exposed to raw asbestos fibers are diagnosed with fatal diseases years or decades later.
The jury found that Bradley "fail(ed) to remove asbestos before beginning to demolish and renovate the building, fail(ed) to adequately wet and keep wet asbestos until proper disposal, fail(ed) to ensure that a person trained in the proper procedures for handling asbestos was on-site when asbestos was disturbed, and fail(ed) to ensure that asbestos-containing waste was disposed of properly," according to U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. Not only did the men illegally remove the dangerous asbestos from the building, their employees also lied about it in court.
Many asbestos abatement and construction companies neglect the laws, rules, and regulations that are associated with asbestos removal. The cost of such neglect is much more than it takes to properly complete an asbestos abatement job. If you worry about asbestos exposure in your schools, do not hesitate to contact us today.