From the blog

Men jailed for knowingly exposing teens to asbestos

Published: April 11, 2014

Three men in California faced a choice- properly remove asbestos in their building or intentionally deceive workers to incorrectly complete the task for them. Rather than follow the right path of honesty, Patrick Bowman, Rudy Buendia II and Joseph Cuellar decided to endanger the lives of their helpers to save a few dollars.

Under the guise of “Firm Build,” a defunct nonprofit, the three men recruited high school students through an alleged training program to remove the fibrous carcinogen from the most recent renovation project. Blatantly defying asbestos laws and ethical codes as human, the men cut corners and lied.

Recently, Bowman and Buendia received sentences of two years plus in federal prison for their deceit and negligence. Cuellar has yet to be tried.

An estimated 68 people were exposed throughout the renovation project, leading to expensive medical bills for the rest of their lives for close monitoring and possibly treatment. Because of this terrifying fact, restitution amounts are a possibility for the careless men.

Any amount of exposure to asbestos can be disastrous. No safe level exists! Without proper training and gear, handling of the product should not be attempted. The carcinogen causes many diseases, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Some of the effects take decades to be symptomatic and by the time the cancer is discovered, it’s too late.

Don’t risk it.

Patton, V. (2014). Two men get prison time for exposing Merced County students to asbestos. Merced Sun Star. [Link]

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