London, England - Falsifying official reports stating that a worksite is clean and free of the carcinogen asbestos after an abatement project lead to one British man's suspended jail sentence. According to reports, Peter Horrey, Director of Absolute Asbestos doctored air quality reports and leaving the worksite riddled with asbestos fiber contaminants potentially risking the health and welfare of the unsuspecting community.
Without holding the proper asbestos removal licensing needed to work on such a project, Horrey further risked the lives of subcontractors working on the worksite.
After the work was supposedly completed, an outside environmental analyst assessed the the site and work, and found that the area failed. In response, Horrey falsified the air quality report so that it would state that the area was decontaminated and the air was free of toxins.
Horrey plead guilty to three counts of asbestos regulation violations, and received six months of jail time for each of the counts, an electronic tag to be worn for three months and must complete 300 hours of community service work. The sentence is suspended for two years and Horrey will serve each count concurrently.
Dominic Elliss, Inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, said that Horrey “set out to deceive these householders but, worse than that, he was apparently content to put them and the plumbers who had been booked shortly afterwards at risk. Elliss continues by saying that Horrey knew of the serious health risks associated with exposure to asbestos fibers but falsified the reports nonetheless.
Asbestos is a set of naturally occurring minerals, mined for its versatile properties including heat resistance, insulation and strengthen. Often mixed in with other materials such as concrete, asbestos was used in a variety of applications from vehicle parts to building supplies.
Banned in many industrialized nations, asbestos is still found in many buildings and structures built prior to the 1990s and, in some cases, early 2000s. Countries like China and Russia still mine and import asbestos because it is an inexpensive alternative to other comparable materials.
Exposure to asbestos leads to a litany of serious health conditions, and chief among them, is mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer. Symptoms of mesothelioma cancer can appear upwards of several decades after the initial asbestos exposure, and once the diagnosis is confirmed, the prognosis is devastating.