Health

Louisiana Attorney General Gets Restraining Order Against Ebola Victim’s Incinerated Belongings

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has filed a temporary restraining order to keep the ashes of items belonging to Texas Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan from entering the state of Louisiana.

Six truckloads of incinerated belongings taken from a Dallas home were set to be dumped at a hazardous waste landfill in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The items include those belonging to Duncan and items belonging to a friend he was visiting in Dallas.

Caldwell announced late Sunday that he would seek a restraining order to keep the waste from crossing the state line, Courthouse New Service reported. Judge Bob Downing signed the temporary order on Monday afternoon.

Caldwell says "there are too many unknowns" about Ebola to ensure the state’s safety, but the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention says high temperatures, bleach and soap are all capable of eradicating the virus.

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"Even the CDC and our health care workers seem uncertain as to the effectiveness of purported protocols in dealing with Ebola," Caldwell said in a statement. "There are too many unknowns at this point, and it is absurd to transport potentially hazardous Ebola waste across state lines. We just can't afford to take any risks when it comes to this deadly virus."

The Lake Charles facility, Chemical Waste Management, Inc., also announced that it wouldn’t accept the ashes.

Health officials didn’t push the matter, the Times-Picayune reported.

"While the CWM-LC facility is permitted by the state and federal government to accept waste of this type, and while accepting this waste poses no threat to the environment or human health, we do not want to make an already complicated situation, more complicated," the CDC said in a statement.

Sources: Courthouse New Service, Times-Picayune

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Thomas's Pics, NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune