An eastern Iowa mobile home park demolished some of its homes without testing them for asbestos and did not dispose of them in a way to prevent asbestos exposure of its residents, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The demolitions at Fawn Creek Court in Anamosa last year spawned two of four fines totaling more than $30,000 that the DNR recently levied for asbestos violations. The other two fines stemmed from demolition of a former school building in Lost Nation.
Generally, buildings that are set for demolition or significant renovation are required by federal and state law to be tested for asbestos. It is a fibrous... Read More
This is one of the dumbest articles of 2023 – on a number of levels:
Dumb #1: mobile homes contain virtually no asbestos and everyone knows it. The article admits that the only possible areas of concern would be “window caulking, window glaze and roof paint” – which effectively equals zero. A regular stick-built house of the right vintage would have asbestos throughout, from the roof shingles to the insulation to the flooring.
Dumb #2: the mobile homes in question were never proven to have any asbestos in any possible way.
Dumb #3: the park owner was then fined for tearing the homes down without asbestos testing – even though they had no asbestos in all likelihood (and I’m betting the baseless testing costs more than the demolition).
Dumb #4: this whole issue with asbestos has been blown completely out of context for decades. Everyone knows that. Asbestos litigation originated with workers who inhaled asbestos in factories 8 hours a day. At that level, you can potentially have health hazards. But how in the world can anyone have serious ramifications from the incredibly tiny amount of asbestos from supposed ‘window caulking” which they might be exposed to – assuming they were standing next to the home being demolished and deliberately breathing in every fume they could find? Here’s what I found on the internet regarding the phobia over asbestos:
The definitive article exposing fraud in the diagnosis of asbestosis was by Gitlin et al. of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In this study published in 2004 films read by plaintiffs’ radiologists were compared to the readings of the same films by independent radiologists. The plaintiffs’ radiologists read 95.9% of the films positive for abnormalities that were compensable for pulmonary asbestosis. The independent radiologists who were unaware of the readings by the plaintiffs’ radiologists read the same set of films as positive in only 4.5% of cases.1
A couple of examples of massive fraud perpetrated by doctors reading films for asbestosis attorneys highlight how expert witnesses can abuse the legal process and undermine the search for truth and justice. One doctor, Ray Harron, personally diagnosed 51,048 asbestos claims. He diagnosed a record number of 515 people in one day, which amounts to one diagnosis per minute. Another doctor, Ray Segarra, a pulmonologist diagnosed 29,000 claims of asbestosis. He estimates that he has made about $10 million doing this work. When questioned on National Public Radio about his readings of chest x-rays, Segarra replied, “I’m certainly not a schemer at all…but am I an opportunistic? I suppose I am. But everybody is.”
I rest my case.