Asbestos is a mineral that was used in building materials especially insulation. When it is inhaled regularly, it causes dangerous consequences such as mesothelioma, lung disease, and cancer.
Who Regulates Asbestos Removal?
The federal government, mostly through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has many regulations related to the removal of asbestos. Violating these regulations is a crime.
Many states also have their own regulations relating to asbestos removal.
Asbestos Removal Regulations
Federal regulations and many state laws require that all asbestos be properly removed from buildings before they are demolished, to minimize the amount of asbestos that enters the air.
It is a crime to violate these regulations. In most states, asbestos must be removed by a licensed professional. They are required to follow strict, and highly technical, procedures to prevent asbestos fibers from entering the atmosphere.
What Is the “Wet Removal” Process?
Under many regulatory systems, asbestos must be removed using the "wet removal" process. This involves spraying the asbestos with water before moving it. This prevents most of it from turning to dust, and entering the air.
Violations of these state and federal laws often carry heavy fines (often in the tens of thousands of dollars) and sometimes jail sentences lasting several months.
Asbestos Removal and Worker Safety
There are many laws that protect workers from being exposed to a dangerous amount of asbestos during the removal process. These include limits on the time and amount of exposure, creating regulated areas, providing workers with respiratory masks, and providing medical examinations.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?
If you think that you have worked in an unsafe environment that may have violated safety regulations regarding asbestos, you should talk to a lawyer near you about your case. A criminal lawyer can provide you with information as to whether or not you may be able to receive compensation based on the details of your experience.