Mass. VA Hospital Knowingly Exposed Vets, Employees to Asbestos, Special Counsel Says

Veterans and VA employees at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA, were put at risk of asbestos exposure, even though administrators knew about the problem for three years. The United States Office of the Special Counsel said Tuesday that multiple buildings in the complex were contaminated with the cancer-causing material, putting workers and patients at risk of exposure to airborne asbestos.

“For years, the Bedford VA Medical Center failed to implement a robust safety inspection program to identify contaminated work spaces,” Special Counsel Henry Kerner said in a statement.

Members of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees, as well as the White House, were notified through letters sent by the Special Counsel on Monday.

The VA has said that hospital management was notified of the existence of asbestos after a 2014 inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). VA administration officials have asserted that managers did not break any rule or law.

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