It is not uncommon to hear about individuals hiring unlicensed professionals to remove asbestos from older buildings. Contractors and project managers overlook serious violations, every day. But it is unusual to hear about unlicensed high school students removing asbestos.
From 2005 to 2006, three executives of a non-profit organization used high school vocational students to remove asbestos from an Air Force Base.
Exposure to asbestos can lead to serious and fatal diseases, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, and it usually takes decades for the symptoms of these illnesses to appear. It is highly possible that the high school students could develop an asbestos-related disease thanks to their past exposure.
The non-profit organization is now defunct, and the former executives have been ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution to sixty-five individuals. They have all been sentenced to 24 to 27 months in prison.
Using high school students to remove asbestos and subsequently exposing them to the substance is a monstrous thing to do. The students can now only wait to find out if they will meet a fate of mesothelioma that could lead to their death.