Local residents in Wilmington, Massachusetts are concerned and angry that a home with asbestos siding was demolished, sending toxic dust all around neighboring homes. The contractor who received the demolition permit from the town “went rogue” and illegally moved forward with demolition plans before an asbestos professional could do a proper inspection. Local residents immediately contacted the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, who was able to stop the demolition that same day.
Sadly, improper demolition of asbestos-ridden homes and buildings is not uncommon. There are many situations where asbestos regulations are not enforced until it is too late, similar to this situation in Wilmington. According to reports, Town Manager Jeff Hull claimed there was no process in place for handling asbestos, and that they were “going on the honor system and unfortunately…got taken advantage of.”
How Asbestos in Homes Becomes Hazardous
The residents of Wilmington have good reason to be alarmed by this. Asbestos becomes hazardous when its fibers are released into the air. Those fibers are then inhaled or ingested, which causes asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other health issues.
Many homes built before 1990 contain asbestos due to the once-popular use of the mineral in construction materials, including insulation, floor tiles, siding, and more. Checking for asbestos in a home should not be done on your own. It requires analysis from certified asbestos professionals. If your home does contain asbestos materials, there may not be an immediate risk as long as the materials are currently in good condition and contained in a way that fibers cannot be released. However, the situation should be monitored for signs of asbestos deterioration and damage.
Consequences of Improper Demolition
The repercussions for this contractor’s poor choices are not yet known. However, in previous cases where careless demolitions or improper asbestos removal occurred, the consequences have varied from a hefty fine to jail time. This level of negligence puts many lives in danger and those affected need to have a voice in the matter. If you were exposed to asbestos due to the negligence of others, contact our legal team today for a free consultation to discuss your options.