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Asbestos News

New York man sentenced for asbestos violations during demolition
A man from upstate New York was recently sentenced after pleading guilty to asbestos violations.

Leonard Pugh pleaded guilty to hiring an unlicensed asbestos contractor to demolish a structure he owned in Whitesboro, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York.

Additionally, Pugh pleaded guilty to ordering the demolition knowing that he would not be informing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, even though he knew the structure contained asbestos.

The razing of buildings that contain asbestos is highly regulated due to the hazards that exposure to the naturally occurring substance can cause. Demolition work can cause asbestos fibers to become airborne, if this happens exposure can occur which in turn can lead to the development of asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. This rare and deadly cancer that attacks the thin membrane that lines the chest, abdomen and many of the body's internal organs.

The National Cancer Institute reports that 2,500 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year.

Pugh was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

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