Brush Prairie, Washington - Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality has announced that they plan to revoke a company's license to practice asbestos removal in their state. The Department of Environmental Quality is unable to stop the company, Able Contractors, from conducting asbestos removal in the company's home state of Washington.
However, officials plan to revoke the company's license to practice asbestos removal within the borders of the state of Oregon. Able Contractors, based in Brush Prairie, Washington, is facing increased scrutiny after committing four violations of asbestos laws since 2001.
Numerous laws govern the handling, removal, and proper disposal of asbestos-containing materials. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. This is due to the fact that asbestos exposure has been incontrovertibly and conclusively linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.
Mesothelioma affects less than 3,000 Americans each year, and typically lies dormant for up to fifty years before an individual begins to suffer from mesothelioma symptoms. Sadly, the cancer often goes undiagnosed until the later stages, and most patients pass away within 24 months after being diagnosed.
Other health problems can be caused by asbestos exposure. Among these are asbestosis (a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs), various types of lung cancers, and scarring of the lining of the lung. While lung scarring may be benign, it can be an early warning sign of possible asbestos-related cancers that could develop later in life.
Able Contractors has until April 26 to appeal the proposed revocation. Last month, the company was penalized with $20,925 in fines. The fines were levied after an incident where the company failed to properly enclose the asbestos removal area.