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FAQ - Environmental Law

Things You Should Know: Asbestos

Things You Should Know: Asbestos

One of the most common and most dangerous environmental pollutants is asbestos. While aggressive asbestos abatement programs have been established, many people are still exposed or suffer from adverse health consequences due to asbestos exposure. If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, consult an attorney experienced in asbestos injury and exposure to discuss a claim for damages.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of natural mineral fibers that are known for their strength and fire-resistant properties. Asbestos had been used in thermal insulation and fire proofing in the construction industry, and is still used in brake and clutch linings for the automotive industry. Some asbestos fibers are microscopic. These small fibers can float in the air, and when inhaled, they can become lodged in the lung tissue. Inhaling asbestos fibers increases the chances of developing lung cancer and other diseases, which cause shortness of breath, and coughing.

Where are you likely to find asbestos in your business?

  • Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.

  • Buildings built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.

  • Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. The use of these products was banned in 1977.

  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

  • Older products such as stovetop pads may have some asbestos compounds. Since small businesses can be furnished with obsolete items from around the house, the things in your office kitchen might be risky.

  • Walls and floors around kilns and ovens may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.

  • Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing of some vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.

  • Hot water and steam pipes in older buildings may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.

If you believe your health-related problems are a result of asbestos exposure, an experienced personal injury lawyer can assess your situation and determine if you have a claim for money damages.

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