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Colorado landlord on trial for exposing workers to asbestos

October 18th, 2011

A Colorado landlord is on trial for allegedly exposing workers to asbestos on the job without their knowledge. The Colorado attorney general’s office alleged that Tienda hired unlicensed day laborers to tear down one of his properties that he knew contained asbestos.

Tienda allegedly hired homeless day laborers to tear down the contaminated house in 2007 without informing them of the dangers associated with asbestos exposure. Prosecutors also claim Tienda then used some of the contaminated material on a separate property.

When disturbed, asbestos releases carcinogenic fibers into the air, which are then breathed in by workers. Asbestos exposure is linked to several illnesses including mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer – which affects 3,000 to 5,000 people in the U. S. every year – and asbestosis, a chronic lung disease.

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