Two custodians have been charged with improper asbestos removal at Lakeland Higher University in New York. The two custodians improperly removed and disposed of the asbestos while removing floor tiles from many of the school’s classrooms. Because of their actions, the university will be fined $2,500.
Asbestos is a highly hazardous material, most commonly exploited for its fire retardant properties. The material can be found within many older homes, in drywall, roofing, piping and tile flooring. Exposure to the material has been known to cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Mesothelioma is an aggressive asbestos-related disease, known to affect 3,000 Americans each year.
Unfortunately, there is no mesothelioma cure. Instead, patients must undergo palliative treatment. Yet such treatment tends to arrive in the later stages of their disease. Even the best mesothelioma doctors struggle to diagnose patients in the early stages of their disease–due to its extended latency period.
Janitor Carmine Di Bernardo claims he and the other custodian had not received protective gear. Bernardo even noted that they disposed of the hazardous material in university trash bins. Bernardo also added that they had no prior knowledge of the asbestos, before beginning work.
Neither of the custodians was certified to complete asbestos abatement work.