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Asbestos is a mineral found in the natural environment. While normal concentrations of the substance are relatively harmless, if for a short period of time, high levels can be toxic and hazardous. The mineral is comprised of tiny, microscopic fibers that, when borrowed deep into the tissues of internal organs, can cause mesothelioma, a cancer of the mesothelium tissues. Although one usually would have to be exposed to the fibers for extended periods of time, asbestos still poses risks to all that come into contact with it. Mesothelioma is incurable, and once symptoms are detected, one typically has not longer that two years to live.
Many people wonder why we use asbestos if it is so dangerous to human beings. The toxicity of asbestos was unknown by the general population until as late as the 19070s, even though research had verified and documented its dangers since the late 1920s. The link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, however, remained uncertain for many years. Consequently, business owners and large corporations continued using the substance because of its usefulness in factories. One of the unique attributes of asbestos is that it is flame retardant. Fires were not uncommon, and business owners began designing safety gear and other articles of clothing that was comprised of the material. In addition, factories, ships, and other establishments were insulated using this miracle, thermal resistant material. Unknowingly, these individuals were putting their employees at great risk.
Today, the risks associated with asbestos are well-known, and those that continue to neglect proper safety procedures are held accountable in court. As a result, there has been a recent push for the removal of all asbestos contained in buildings built before 1980. Before one can even initiate a business, an inspection is required, and a report must be submitted to the state. Depending on legislative variations, one is subject to a fine of at least $250 per day for failure to comply to these mandates.
To begin asbestos removal projects, it is best to hire a professional. Professionals are certified and well equipped to handle intricate processes involves with asbestos removal. Asbestos removers take extensive training courses and must score at least a 70 percent on all tests required for certification. Moreover, once a certificate is obtained, courses must be completed when it is time for renewals. It is best to rely on one of these individuals to meet your needs.
Depending on the levels of asbestos in your establishment, there are two ways in which to handle the problem. If asbestos is detected in various areas of the structure, and levels surpass reasonable limits, it is best to have the asbestos fibers completely removed. Contractors are likely to use either wet or dry stripping techniques during this process. The contractor should inform you of the potential risks associated with each asbestos removal method, should you remain in the facility during this process.
If the asbestos is detected in only one, small area, it may be best to seal the fibers, rather than removing them completely. Contractors attempt to avoid dust particles at all costs because this causes fibers to get into the air. By sealing off the infected area, you reduce the risk of contaminating other areas in the establishment. It also less expensive to use this method and poses less risk of complications in the future.
Since recent lawsuits have risen regarding asbestos-related illnesses, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, people are beginning to take safety measures more seriously. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 individuals are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually in the United States. Another 1,000 people are diagnosed with the condition in the U.K. Similarly, with the rise of secondary asbestos exposure, which can occur when loved ones come into contact with family members working with the mineral, people are also considering having inspections conducted in their homes. Be sure to contact someone qualified and experienced to handle all removal processes for you, as attempting to do so poses risks to you and your family.
Legal•Info State Mesothelioma Information
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