Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said late Sunday that he will seek a temporary restraining order to stop the incinerated belongings of Dallas Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan from being brought to a Louisiana landfill.
However, there is no evidence that this would spread the dreaded disease.
The items include linens, carpets and bedding from Duncan’s apartment. Six truckloads of the “potential Ebola-contaminated material” were burned at a facility in Port Arthur, Texas, on Friday, Caldwell said in a statement.
The ashes are planned to be brought to a hazardous-waste landfill in Louisiana, but Caldwell is trying to stop that from happening.
His office is completing an application to seek a temporary restraining order to prevent the material from being brought to the landfill, and expects to file it Monday morning. The attorney general’s office is also sending a “demand letter” to Texas and federal officials, as well as private contractors who are involved, requesting additional information.
Caldwell said in a statement that “the health and safety of our Louisiana citizens is our top priority.”
“There are too many unknowns at this point, and it is absurd to transport potentially hazardous Ebola waste across state lines,” he said. “This situation is certainly unprecedented, and we want to approach it with the utmost caution. We just can’t afford to take any risks when it comes to this deadly virus.”
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says incineration is the appropriate way to handle this type of waste, and that Ebola-associated waste is no longer infectious when properly incinerated. The disease is spread through an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids such as urine, saliva, sweat and semen, or infected animals. It is not spread through air or water.
KPLC TV reported that Chemical Waste Management Inc. in Carlyss, near Lake Charles, is the Louisiana landfill expected to receive the waste.