Judge blocks Ebola victim’s incinerated belongings from entering Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) – A temporary restraining order has been granted blocking the disposal of incinerated waste from the Texas Ebola victim’s personal items at a Louisiana landfill.
The restraining order, signed by Judge Bob Downing Monday afternoon requires the transportation of the waste from a facility in Port Arthur, Texas to stop immediately.
According to a statement from Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office the burnt waste could amount to six truckloads. Potentially contaminated items from Thomas Eric Duncan‘s apartment were incinerated Friday in Texas.
The material was slated to be transported to the Lake Charles Chemical Waste Management Inc. facility. On Monday CWM told Veolia Environmental in Port Arthur, Texas, where the wasted is currently, that they will not be accepting the ashes because they do not “want to make an already complicated situation, more complicated.”
Adding that, “medical waste and hazardous waste incinerator ash, which is the residual that results from incineration, is not capable of transmitting infectious disease, including Ebola, and is safe for transport and disposal in a solid waste landfill without any impacts on human health or the environment.”
In a statement issued Friday, Veolia Environmental detailed how they decontaminated all Ebola waste. Read more here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said properly burned Ebola materials pose no risk to humans.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said, “We certainly share sadness and compassion for those who have lost their lives and loved ones to this terrible virus, but the health and safety of our Louisiana citizens is our top priority.
“Even the CDC and our health care workers seem uncertain as to the effectiveness of purported protocols in dealing with Ebola.  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 temporary restraining will remain in place until the court order to grant preliminary injunction can be heard on Oct. 22 before Judge Downing.