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Cleanup plan debate extends long-term exposure to toxic chemicals

A Connecticut company that previously used asbestos in its parts, forced to shut down its brake pad manufacturing facility 25 years ago, remains the center of debate regarding cleanup of the multiple contaminated sites it left behind. The $21 million apportioned for cleanup efforts has yet to be used until a compromise can be made regarding the appropriate procedure. Until then, residents and former employees may continue to suffer consequences of such long-term exposure to toxic chemicals.

During its operating years, the company reportedly used asbestos to line its brake pads in addition to other toxic byproducts such as lead, copper and PCBs. Making matters worse, the company began shifting contaminated fill near high traffic areas such as river-ways, schools and residential regions. Additionally, the manufacturing plant was a large part of community activities, hosting events on its baseball field that has since been deemed to have one of the highest contamination levels in the region. Debate now remains as to proper cleanup procedures, citing the main problem as the fact that different sites require different methods of remediation. No agreement has yet been reached as to the most cost effective way to proceed.

For employees that worked for the manufacturing plant, the long-term exposure to such toxins may have resulted in asbestos-related illnesses. Employees in that unfortunate position may be able to receive assistance with the financial burden accompanying their illnesses through workers' compensation claims. Workers' compensation is an area of law designed to assure compensation to employees that are injured or become ill due to the workplace environment. Instead of an employee suing the workplace or co-workers, these claims are meant to provide a remedy for injured workers. Some of the costs an employee may recover include medical expenses, replacement income or compensation for permanent injury.

Employees labor extensively for their employers and they deserve care when a workplace environment causes more injury than one would expect to receive from daily tasks. Workers' compensation claims help employees receive the compensation they deserve and relieve some of the financial strain that accompanies the physical suffering already endured.

Source: Stratford Star, "No agreement in sight for Raymark Cleanup," Lina Rainone, Aug. 9, 2014

Source: Stratford Star, "No agreement in sight for Raymark Cleanup," Lina Rainone, Aug. 9, 2014

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