Last week, we wrote about the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarding the Oklahoma Department of Labor $242,322 to help reduce exposure to asbestos in schools and state buildings. On October 9, 2012, radio station KRMG published a story in which “expert” Robert Swain said “the public actually has little knowledge about what asbestos actually is and the dangers it may pose to public health.” Swain, who owns and operates two businesses in Tulsa that deal with asbestos, trains people to inspect buildings. He told KRMG that “practically everyone is exposed to asbestos and breathes it in on a daily basis.”
“The general public is very ignorant about asbestos, in that they don’t understand that they do breathe it from the ambient air outside every day,” Swain told KMRG. “Typically those individuals that become sick as a result of it are those that have dealt with it day in and day out of their occupational exposure.”
Numerous commenters on the KMRG article took exception to Swain’s claim that “people like pipefitters or machinists who worked for years without proper protection are the only ones truly likely to have suffered mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease.” Many individuals leaving comments noted that relatives who had worked as teachers, secretaries or other jobs not involving direct asbestos exposure died of mesothelioma.
“Your so-called expert, Robert Swain, is a business man profiting from asbestos,” one commenter wrote, noting that her own husband “died a most horrific death imaginable” in 2002. “Asbestos is never safe, not around workers, their children and family, nor the public. I am absolutely sickened by this man’s assumptions and misleading statements in this article.”
We have additional information about occupations with high risk for mesothelioma available on our website. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, complete the form on this page or contact our firm at (800) 687-3333 to let our Dallas litigation lawyers review your case.
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