Failing to properly follow procedure to removing asbestos-containing shingles, a home improvement contractor in Massachusetts will have to pay a settlement of up to $60,000. According to a press release by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a complaint was filed in May 2015 that alleges that Pablo Carbonell violated the Massachusetts Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations.
For the violations, Carbonell will be required to pay a $60,00 civil penalty, $15,000 of which will be suspended and waived if Carbonell complies with the terms of the consent judgment over its full term.
The complaint also alleges that Carbonell failed to properly dispose of the asbestos waste material, and left numerous pieces of broken shingles containing asbestos exposed and scattered around the foundation of the house for months. Carbonell allegedly stored the shingles in cardboard boxes without the proper labeling.
According to the complaint, MassDEP discovered the scattered asbestos-containing shingles during an inspection in January 2014.
The proper handling of asbestos-containing materials during construction and demolition work is necessary to protect human health. Airborne asbestos fibers taken into the lungs by breathing may over time cause serious lung diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs for which there is no known effective treatment. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin membranes of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart, and may not show up until many years after exposure.