Philadelphia mulls barring asbestos inspectors from doing removal work

In Philadelphia, the company hired to inspect asbestos removal can be the same firm hired to do the work.  

City Councilman Jim Kenney says it’s a conflict of interest when an asbestos inspector also is in the business of removing the cancer causing fiber.

“You’re given access to all the proprietary information of the company that’s removing it, what they pay, how much they paid, what their costs are, how many people are on the job,” said Kenney.  “Now I have inspectors that are setting up inspection business and removal business, and they have all the proprietary information of whom they are competing against in the next bid.”

Kenney says in addition to having unfair inside knowledge, there are no checks and balances when an asbestos removal contractor is inspecting his own work.

“So you have to make a choice be an inspector or be a remover but you cannot have unfair advantage of information as an inspector and then go into the removal business,” he said.

The city of Philadelphia has the authority to regulate Asbestos removal and its rules can differ from those in the rest of Pennsylvania.  The bill will get a public hearing in the near future.



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