Cover-up Alleged in California Asbestos Incident

by Sokolove Law

A public safety inspector is alleging that Sacramento County’s response to a possible asbestos exposure is simply a “cover-up,” as he demands answers.

According to KCRA, a water leak last August caused material to fall from an asbestos-containing ceiling at Sacramento County’s old administrative building. Some employees fear they were exposed to asbestos. However, Sacramento County management insists that no asbestos became airborne — and so never became a hazard to any of the building’s 230 workers.

However, any exposure to airborne asbestos, no matter how small, can increase the risk of developing a number of illnesses and cancers, including malignant mesothelioma. One Sacramento County safety specialist claimed in a letter to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health that the county’s response was “immediate and effective.” Cal-OSHA concurred.

But the resolution did not sit well with Jeff Rommel, another Sacramento County senior safety specialist. Calling the County’s response a cover up, he filed a complaint with Cal-OSHA about the incident. Rommel included letters from three other County employees — one an environmental specialist, another, an asbestos worker — that expressed their concerns about how the cleanup was conducted.

Rommel claims that the custodians removed the asbestos without wearing protective gear, as is required by law. Also, fans were blowing on the asbestos-containing material, while the central air system was running. This potentially spread microscopic asbestos fibers through the building.

County officials argue that the asbestos-containing materials were not hazardous because they were wet. Air tests that were performed eight hours after the ceiling collapse showed no signs of airborne asbestos. But Rommel argues this is because fans were running all day, blowing away any signs of the deadly mineral.

“The people in the building don’t even know they might have been exposed,” said Rommel.

If you have been negligently exposed to asbestos and have developed an asbestos-related condition as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced legal professionals at Sokolove Law today for a free asbestos lawsuit consultation.

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