Written by James P. Nevin
Two men convicted of exposing high school students to asbestos were sentenced to 24 and 27 months in federal prison. The men were executives of the now-defunct nonprofit Firm Build. The men used the high school students to remove the cancer-causing substance from a renovation project, an action the District Attorney has labeled "reckless".
The Environmental Protection Agency stated that "There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, directing student workers to illegally remove demolition debris containing asbestos, knowing they had neither the training nor the proper personal protective equipment, threatens their health and safety."
The men knowingly instructed the students to remove the asbestos under the guise of work experience and job training programs. Restitution amounts are still under discussion since experts state that medical monitoring costs for the victims over the next 50 years could be millions of dollars. In addition to the federal case, the men also pled no contest to felony charges of treating, handling or disposing of asbestos in a manner that caused an unreasonable risk of serious injury.