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Philadelphia Asbestos Attorneys Report on the Unlicensed Removal of Asbestos in Schools

August 24, 2012 – The Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at the Shein Law recently learned that a Woodbridge, New Jersey man was charged by the state grand jury with multiple counts of the unlawful release of asbestos dust and debris at numerous Central Jersey schools, a daycare and multiple homes. He was arrested by detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice and placed in the Union County Jail.

William T. Muzzio and his business, Citadel Environmental Consultants were initially investigated by the state after the company performed work at a daycare center.  The Department of Health and Senior Services discovered that Muzzio was not properly licensed to perform asbestos removal services, such as those completed at the daycare facility.  At that point, the case was turned over to the Division of Criminal Justice where the investigation was expanded.  They determined that Muzzio had performed unlicensed asbestos abatement or asbestos sealing in 21 homes throughout several counties in New Jersey, an apartment complex and thirteen schools. With further testing, it was found that toxic fibers of asbestos were released into the air in ten of those locations.  In addition, it was found that he was in violation of the Asbestos Control and Licensing Act and that he forged a document from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development used to mislead clients into believing that he was properly licensed.

Asbestos Regulations in Schools Mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency

A concern for parents across this country is the prevalence of asbestos in schools.  There are over 76 million students enrolled in the primary and secondary schools throughout this nation.  Unless a school building has only recently been constructed, it most likely was built with asbestos-containing materials. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for enforcing the regulations that require schools to protect children and staff from asbestos exposure as mandated by the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).  The AHERA regulates the management, disposal, and removal of asbestos in all schools, both public and private. Pursuant to the regulations, only licensed contractors are allowed to perform work around asbestos-containing materials. Also, proper precautions need to be implemented when there is any potential risk of exposure to asbestos dust and debris.

The Shein Law recognizes that the risk of second-hand asbestos exposure in schools is a major concern to parents, teachers and the public in general.  Read more about the AHERA and its regulation of asbestos in schools in our recent blog, Asbestos-Containing Materials Still Present in U.S. Schools, Posing Risk of Second-Hand Exposure.

Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers Committed to Protecting Children in our Schools

The Philadelphia asbestos attorneys at the Shein Law urge school officials, business owners and homeowners to check with your state’s Department of Labor to verify the credentials of an asbestos abatement company or contractor before hiring them.  Protecting yourself, your family, and the young innocent children in this country that attend our schools should be of upmost importance.  Designated individuals within schools need to properly monitor any asbestos-containing materials and take the necessary precautions when indicated.

If you or your child has been the victim of an exposure to asbestos in a school, you may be at risk of developing a serious lung or respiratory disease.  We encourage you to speak with a qualified attorney to discuss the details of your situation to determine if you have a valid asbestos exposure lawsuit. In addition to helping those individuals that are exposed to asbestos, our asbestos lawyers are also committed to helping victims that develop mesothelioma, lung cancer, or any other asbestos-related disease.  We have extensive experience representing victims and their families providing them with superior representation when preparing an asbestos lawsuit.  We are dedicated to fighting for your rights in order to achieve justice.  Call our office at 1-877-743-4652 to speak with one of our experienced, knowledgeable asbestos lawyers in Philadelphia or New Jersey or contact us online.  We offer free and confidential consultations.

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