Texas VA Hospital Investigated for Failure to Protect Workers from Exposure to Asbestos

Indoor Environmental Consultants (IEC) provides asbestos testing, monitoring and consulting services to comply with regulations and prevent human exposure risks.

Photo from www. southtexas.va.gov.
Photo from www. southtexas.va.gov.

Last month the U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a letter to President Barack Obama and Congress detailing what was found after a whistleblower claimed asbestos violations at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital. The hospital, located in San Antonio, was the center of an investigation conducted by a Medical Inspector from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that began in 2014.

According to the Special Counsel’s letter, “The whistleblower, a maintenance mechanic at the facility, alleged that management violated procedures governing the safe handling of asbestos-containing materials and failed to provide medical surveillance for employees exposed to asbestos, endangering their health and safety.” The letter also reports that the VA Medical Inspector found that “The Medical Center failed to take appropriate precautions to protect employees performing maintenance from exposure to unsafe concentrations of asbestos, failed to inform employees of the location and quantity of asbestos containing materials in the area, and failed to provide a medical surveillance program for all employees exposed to asbestos at a level greater than the permissible exposure limit.”

Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Symptoms of these conditions may take years to develop following exposure.

“Although it has been decades since asbestos-containing materials were commonly used in residential, commercial, and institutional properties, dangers due to exposure to these materials continue today,” said Hollis L. Horner, President, Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. “This is why there are a number of laws and regulations that are meant to inform and protect workers and the public from asbestos exposure risks. Material testing and air monitoring are essential to identify where hazards currently exist or could develop if asbestos-containing materials are disturbed.”

Indoor Environmental Consultants is one of the leading asbestos testing and consulting providers in Texas and across the Gulf Coast. Their services protect workers and the public from asbestos exposure risks while helping to ensure that all asbestos regulations are followed by companies and institutions.


To learn more about IEC’s asbestos, indoor air quality, and other occupational and environmental services, please visit www.iecinc.net, email ncancino@iecinc.net or call (877) 432-8378.


About Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc.

IEC began operations in 2001 with some of the nation’s most seasoned professional indoor air quality consultants who already had over 70 years of combined experience. The indoor environmental quality firm specializes in field investigations and assessments of commercial, institutional and residential buildings. Their services, related to fungal (mold), chemical, bacterial, asbestos and particulate pollutants, are offered throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast and the Southwest. IEC is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a mold assessment company (ACO0114) and an asbestos consultant agency (100329).

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