Iowa has only two inspectors that are responsible for the entire state’s asbestos-removal projects and asbestos-related complaints. These same inspectors also ensure compliance with asbestos regulations from both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. There can be as many as 4,500 asbestos-removal projects per year in Iowa. When a project cannot be promptly addressed, people in that community are being exposed to asbestos and put at risk for deadly diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
One concerning example took place in January when a contractor working on the site of a former Younkers department store complained to the state about improper asbestos removal. An inspector examined the site and found no signs of asbestos. The inspector then returned at a later date and determined the asbestos had not been properly handled. Both the developers that neglected federal guidelines for asbestos removal and the inspector that did not ensure compliance are at fault in the situation. The failure to properly inspect the site could lead to workers being exposed to the cancer-causing material.
Many officials in Iowa believe more inspectors would benefit the state greatly. If ten complaints are received on a given day in Iowa, the public is put at continued risk because two inspectors cannot handle that workload. Currently, the lack of oversight makes it easier for unethical companies to avoid very important safety regulations.
Poor enforcement of asbestos regulations is an issue that affects the entire country. Many states are suffering from the same problem as Iowa with too few inspectors and a limited budget for the amount of asbestos complaints received.
Asbestos exposure results in very severe diseases which place a large toll on the victim and their family. Compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering can be recovered with a proper investigation to identify the responsible parties. The Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler arrange for a complete investigation to help obtain the financial settlement you deserve. If you or a loved one is suffering as the result of asbestos exposure, please call our office at 800-369-0899 or contact us online.