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New bill would help speed destruction of asbestos-laden buildings

New legislation called the Common Sense Waiver Act would help expedite the process of knocking down buildings that are contaminated by asbestos. The bill deals specifically with buildings that have been condemned and are deteriorating, but that haven't collapsed on their own and aren't cleared for demolition.

The bill came into being after concerned citizens approached lawmakers seeking permission to destroy a building that was contaminated and deteriorating, leaving bricks and other loose parts to fall into the streets and other nearby areas. The decay was causing major concern for those in the area who were concerned about the falling objects as well as the asbestos.

"Current regulations say if a town or village can't afford to demolish a building that contains asbestos, their only course of action is to let it fall down," said the lawmaker who introduced the bill. Many agree that this exposes the public to additional risk when the building haphazardly collapses.

People who are injured by asbestos inhalation have a right to seek damages to cover their medical expenses from the responsible party. In some cases that may be the owner of the building, but it could also be a government entity that failed to protect the public from the obvious hazard.

As many of our readers are already aware, asbestos effects many families each year and can cause significant health problems including cancer. Asbestos can be hard to detect and it may be difficult to predict how much damage exposure can cause, so people who think they may have been exposed should seek medical treatment promptly.

Source: New York Daily News, "Asbestos help part of 'Common Sense' law," Jan. 16, 2013.

Information about personal injury claims can be found on our Illinois asbestos exposure page.

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