Ohio EPA Says Asbestos Was Dumped in Residential Neighborhoods

Ohio EPA says asbestos was dumped in residential neighborhoodsSixty bags containing asbestos were dumped in lower-income neighborhoods in Toledo, Ohio, the state Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced.

Thirty-seven of the bags were dumped near a vacant house, and another 23 were left in an alley near a garage, the Toledo Blade reports. The Ohio EPA has said that the bags were most likely dumped by one organization or person, and the large volume of the cancer-causing substance indicates that all of it most likely came from the insulation of one large building or complex. The volume of asbestos found is too much to have come from the insulation of a single-family home, EPA spokespeople said.

The Ohio EPA is currently cooperating with law enforcement to make an arrest. Criminal charges could be filed, especially if the dangerous substance was dumped in residential areas intentionally.

"I think it's safe to say it was [deliberate]," said EPA spokeswoman Dina Pierce. "We could be looking at a monetary penalty to a criminal penalty involving jail time. It's definitely a very serious environmental violation."

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fiber that has been used in various commercial products. Due to the health risks associated with the substance, which include mesothelioma and asbestosis, it is highly regulated and many products containing it have been banned.