Research conducted by the UMass Labor Center was introduced in hearings in the Maine state legislature. Hearings were held on January 22, 2020 on LD 1969, “An Act to Protect State Workers from Exposure to Carcinogens,” sponsored by State Representative Thom Harnett. A research report by Labor Center graduate student Adam Caplan-Bricker and Professor Tom Juravich “The Failure of Asbestos Monitoring in Maine State Buildings: The Case for the Creation of a Tracking and Monitoring System,” was introduced and discussed during the hearing.
The report is an examination of the tumultuous more-than-thirty year history of asbestos testing and abatement at Maine’s Cultural Building in Augusta. Using a combination of direct analysis of primary documents provided by the Maine State Employees Association (SEIU) and newspaper archive research,the report details the failure of the state to adequately monitor asbestos putting workers, contractors and members of the public at risk. Caplan-Bricker and Tom Juravich argue for the implementation of systematic collection and cataloguing of data on the history of public buildings regarding abatement and contaminant and that the data the collected forms the core of such a monitoring system.
Read full study here.