A former supervisor at a renovation and demolition project at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Whidbey Island, Wash., was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison, two months home detention and three years probation.
Thomas Pearson received his sentence after the court found that he was guilty of violating the Clean Air Act and ignoring safe asbestos removal procedures in June and July 1996.
Pearson directed workers to remove asbestos-containing material from pipes, tanks and boilers at the Air Station's central heating plant without first wetting the asbestos to prevent the airborne release of asbestos fibers.
Approximately 700 bags of dry asbestos-containing material were found at the project site.
Inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, a lung disease known as "asbestosis" and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities.