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Posted: October 13, 2014

Judge blocks disposal of ash from Ebola victim's burned belongings


            Judge blocks disposal of ash from Ebola victim's burned belongings

Compiled from web and wire reports


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A judge has signed an order temporarily blocking the disposal in southwest Louisiana of ash from the incineration of a Texas Ebola victim's belongings.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell had sought the order. Caldwell's office said state district Judge Robert Downing of Baton Rouge signed it Monday afternoon.

Linen, bedding and carpet taken from the Dallas apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan first got sick were destroyed Friday at the Veolia Environmental Services incinerator in Port Arthur, Texas.

The ash was to be sent to a Calcasieu Parish facility run by Chemical Waste Management Inc. of Lake Charles. However, Chemical Waste Management said Monday that it would not accept the ash until state officials agree that doing so would pose no public health threat.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said he is seeking a temporary restraining order to keep the ashes of belongings of Texas Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan from being buried in a Louisiana landfill.

Bedding, linens, and even the carpet was stripped from the unit and sent to Port Arthur, Texas to be burned.


WWL-TV reported the ashes were on their way to a hazardous waste landfill in Louisiana when the state’s Attorney General asked for a temporary restraining order to keep that from happening.

“The health and safety of our Louisiana citizens is our top priority," Caldwell told The New Orleans Times-Picayune. "There are too many unknowns at this point, and it is absurd to transport potentially hazardous Ebola waste across state lines."

Letters are being sent to anyone involved in the removal and disposal of hazardous materials to find out more about how the material is dealt with.

“This situation is certainly unprecedented and we want to approach it with the utmost caution,” Caldwell told the Times-Picayune. “We just can't afford to take any risks when it comes to this deadly virus."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published is position on its website, stating "Ebola-associated waste that has been appropriately inactivated or incinerated is no longer infectious."

— Associated Press and Rick Couri of KRMG-Tulsa contributed to this report

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