Stark County Jail Asbestos Exposure Risk for Workers and Inmates
Detention centers across the country, like Canton, Ohio’s Stark County Jail, were built long ago with asbestos contained in many building materials. Employee and inmates are at risk of asbestos exposure, and later developing asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Records show that the Ohio prison system has spent millions of dollars removing asbestos from its institutions. Other medical records show many former jail workers and prisoners have developed mesothelioma or lung cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos while performing or simply spending time in housing areas in prison.
Most commonly, prisoners and employees are exposed to asbestos dust during renovation projects, and many complaints are reportedly ignored by prison managers.
Any former Stark County Jail workers or inmates in Canton, Ohio could be at risk of developing serious health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Canton’s Stark County Jail Asbestos Risk
It is not uncommon for older buildings, including institutions like Stark County Jail, to contain some amount of asbestos, often found in walls, ceilings, flooring, and piping.
During nationwide inspections, asbestos has been found in prison pipe insulation, ceiling materials, walls and floor tiles. Asbestos-containing glue has been found on the floor in inmate dormitory rooms. Asbestos has been found in various other detention center rooms, from chaplains’ offices and libraries to staff lounges.
Prison Asbestos & Inmate Health Risk
Correctional facilities across the country have been involved in asbestos abatement, or removal, programs in the last several years. However, some jails and prisons have attempted to save money by having inmates perform potentially dangerous asbestos-related cleanup duties. This is not only unethical behavior, but a deliberate, negligent act in which victims have legal claims.
In Kansas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that an asbestos-contaminated prison facility in Topeka violated the Clean Air Act and Toxic Substances Control Act during renovation work. Inmates and prison employees were put to work in breaking down flooring at the facility, which may have contained asbestos.
It is common for inmates to perform work within prisons, but the work must be within reason and normal precautions must be adhered to. Whether a prison is employing inmates or outside contractors, safety measures must be followed, including equipping workers with protective clothing and providing training on asbestos removal and handling.
Prison Asbestos Lawsuits
A recent case in an Ohio jail underscores how serious the asbestos problem can be. Inmates in the Chillicothe Correctional Institution collected powder from a dorm floor and insulation from steam pipes, and sent them for lab testing. They both tested positive for asbestos.
In this same facility, inmate work crews were forced to work with asbestos without proper training or protection. The inmates’ attorneys accuse the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction officials of “deliberate indifference” to a known health risk.
The institution not only put inmates’ health at risk but then lied to investigators about it. Prison officials denied there was asbestos in the housing areas, and stated that it had all been removed prior to the allegations. This was not true. Steam pipes in many dorms were still full of asbestos insulation, and pipes in the prison’s system of utility tunnels were wrapped in asbestos.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Studies show that inhaling asbestos dust can severely scar and damage the tissue surrounding the lungs. This can be the primary cause of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Patients who develop mesothelioma may not show symptoms for up to decades after their first exposure. It is recommended that former workers an inmates of Stark County Jail to contact medical professionals if they suspect exposure to asbestos. Symptoms of mesothelioma may include the following:
• Chest Pain
• Persistent cough
• Trouble breathing
• Lumps of tissue on the chest and abdomen
• Abdominal pain and swelling
• Weight loss
Stark County Jail Asbestos Victims
Prisons have been accused of having inmates handle asbestos cleanups without the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knowing about it. The federal government has strict regulations governing asbestos handling, including requirements for protective clothing.
Many prisoners and jail employees have sought damages for injuries after exposure to asbestos while working various jobs within the prison walls. Most claims allege that proper protective measures were not taken. Former workers and inmates at Stark Country Jail in Canton, Ohio may have been at risk almost anywhere in the facility.
The Inmate Accident Compensation Act protects a prisoner’s rights, and allows them to bring claims against federal prison systems for “deliberate indifference to a serious risk of harm” from exposure to asbestos.
Stark County Jail Asbestos Injuries
If you or a loved one suffered an asbestos-related illness after working or being incarcerated at Stark County Jail in Canton, Ohio, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding Stark County Jail Asbetsos exposure.