A man from Trumbull was recently ordered to pay a 9,500 dollar fine for attempting to illegally remove asbestos on his property. The man was also sentenced to one year of probation for the crime.
Some people may not think that removing asbestos is dangerous, but it is a serious crime. When you attempt to remove asbestos yourself instead of hiring a professional asbestos abatement crew, you not only put yourself at risk, but you put anyone visiting the property at risk as well.
Asbestos is a very dangerous mineral that when disturbed, send fibers into the air that are easily inhaled. The easy inhalation of asbestos fibers leads to them becoming trapped in the tissue of your lungs where they react with the cells and cause many different kinds of diseases and cancers.
The man, Aleks Rakaj of Connecticut, was shown in court records to have bought a commercial property in New Haven. Before buying the property, they were informed that the property contained dangerous amounts of asbestos that would need to be removed. Rakaj also purchased this property with the help of his two cousins.
U.S. Attorney John Durham for Connecticut argued that when Rakaj and his cousins performed this asbestos removal, they “failed to abide by laws and regulations concerning asbestos removal, resulting in exposure of those who were at the site to the negative health effects of asbestos.”
He went into more detail by stating that, “The inspection revealed multiple instances of illegal removal of asbestos-containing ‘air cell’ pipe wrap and asbestos-containing ‘mag block’ tank and boiler insulation. The workers failed to abide by legally required safety measures, failed to perform necessary wetting and failed to dispose of the asbestos-containing waste material at appropriate disposal sites.”
An EPA agent also came to inspect the area and found equally distressing signs of a failed asbestos removal attempt. He stated that, “The illegal removal of asbestos insulation and the associated removal of scrap pipe and boilers from old buildings continues to be a problem throughout the Northeast. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can result in lung cancer and it therefore poses significant health risks to all exposed. EPA will continue to hold accountable those who commit such offenses.”
Clearly these men have been punished for their crime, as they have received a fine and are now on probation.