Watertown, New York – A Watertown (Jefferson County) resident has recently been arrested by the state police after he was accused of illegal removal dangerous asbestos during an asbestos abatement project at Watertown.
The police department says Aaron Netto, a 22615 State Route 177, Rodman Watertown resident, intentionally released at least 1000 pounds of non-friable and friable asbestos fibers into the air during his illegal asbestos abatement project. Netto is 36 years old.
Netto allegedly hired a man, who was around 50 years old, to assist him with the unlawful asbestos removal. All the asbestos were removed without using any protective equipment, the police department says.
Netto has been charged with endangering public health, safety or the environment in the third degree – a class E felony. Such a charge is issued against a person when he: carelessly engages in conduct that causes the discharge of a material which is acutely dangerous to the public safety or the environment; negligently engages in conduct that causes the emission of at least 2000 pounds or 200 gallons (whichever is less) of a total volume or weight of a material which is perilous to human health or the environment; and irresponsibly engages in conduct that causes the emission of at least 1000 pounds or 100 gallons (whichever is less) of a total volume or weight of a material which is injurious to human health or the environment and such a release poses a significant risk of injury to anyone who is not involved in the crime.
As exposure to asbestos fibers are injurious to health and can cause fatal diseases such as cancer, adequate precautions should be taken while handling the material. Some of the cautions include: wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus (such as a mask with HEPA filter) so that toxic fibers won’t be breathed in; not bringing work clothes home until they are completely washed so that the family members won’t be exposed to the cancer-causing particles; and showering after the work because asbestos fibres can reach home by attaching to the worker’s hair and skin.
It should be ensured that asbestos is being removed in proper way. It is very easy to adopt shortcuts when attempting to complete a building project. However, skipping required safety measures when dealing with asbestos is not the right thing to do that. All the measures to avoid exposure – such as wetting the material, sealing off the work area, using protective mask etc. – should be taken when handling asbestos.