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Mesothelioma Law Blog

Old school buildings may expose teachers to asbestos

The nation’s teachers play a huge part in shaping future generations. They work hard to transform their classrooms into safe places for students to study, learn, socialize and mature. They shouldn’t have to worry that those classrooms could be full of deadly carcinogens.

Unfortunately, many of the nation’s schools have asbestos—which is known to cause cancer. But even though the school districts and their administrators understand the risks, many of them do nothing. This is because cleaning asbestos from an older school can be a long, unpredictable and expensive process.

Asbestos in your apartment: Steps to take

Residents of an apartment building in Cincinnati were recently shaken to learn that they had unknowingly lived in close proximity to asbestos. Making matters worse, the building removed the asbestos without notifying residents.

Unfortunately, this story is not an entirely uncommon one. Asbestos was commonly used in the building materials for many apartment buildings constructed before the 1980s. While asbestos was discovered in the basement laundry room of the Cincinnati building, it can lurk in many places, including in ceilings, drywall, insulation, paints and more. As a renter, what should you know about the potential risks of asbestos and steps to take?

NIOSH establishing a national mesothelioma registry

Until July 8, 2019, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is asking for the input of people suffering from mesothelioma. If a doctor diagnosed you, you can submit your information to help establish a national mesothelioma registry.

As it stands, physicians report cancer data to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, these registries only collect information about the potential risk factors and treatment complications. So why develop a mesothelioma registry?

When it comes to asbestos, are new regulations adequate?

Since 2002, there has been no production of asbestos allowed in the United States. However, certain manufacturers still import the mineral to produce items which include electrical insulation, bulletproof vests and bleach.

Government agencies understand the dangers asbestos presents to Americans. But did you know the use of asbestos is still allowed in certain circumstances?

Small or infrequent asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma

For years, we've been led to believe that asbestos only poses a danger to those who are exposed to high levels of it repeatedly over several years. Asbestos companies have assured us that low levels of the toxin do not increase a person's chances of developing diseases such as malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer linked to the mineral. A new study indicates otherwise, suggesting that even minimal asbestos exposure can actually place you at greater risk of being diagnosed with the disease.

Low levels of exposure, high cancer risks in small Italian town

EPA issues final asbestos rule

It is no secret that asbestos can be dangerous, and regulators have been aware of this for some time. Now, the EPA is finally moving toward stronger rulings on asbestos, but there are some who feel these rules do not go as far as they should. The main concept of the Trump Administration's ruling is to require federal approval for companies if they want to import or create certain types of products that use asbestos.

While that is an improvement, and does mean a stronger level of regulation, it does not go as far as it could have in protecting the public from a highly dangerous substance. Using asbestos in any type of product should be banned, say many attorneys and consumer groups, because there really is no "safe" level of asbestos. Any interaction with it could potentially be dangerous, and it is better to avoid it completely.

Asbestos can affect your health long after discontinued exposure

Both the manufacturing and construction industries have used asbestos in consumer goods since the beginning of the 20th Century. It became widely known as a dangerous carcinogen shortly after WWII. Still, it was not until 2002 that the United States ceased mining this mineral. Asbestos continues to be used to this day in manufacturing and can be found in millions of homes, schools and workplaces.

Last year, the U.S. imported 750 tons of the now known carcinogen to produce chlorine. Unfortunately, even though workers are now aware of the danger of asbestos and can take precautions, previous exposure can lead to mesothelioma long after exposure to asbestos has stopped. 

When asbestos is present, DIY could be detrimental to your health

If your house was built prior to the 1980s and you have some home repairs you want to tackle, you might want to proceed with caution.

It is common for various industries to gravitate toward inexpensive products, which is why the construction industry used asbestos frequently throughout the 20th century. Its fire-retardant and insulative properties made asbestos the product of choice to insulate pipes in many houses. It could also be woven into numerous materials to make the hardier and more fire-resistant, which is why asbestos could exist in various materials throughout your home.

Man blames mesothelioma on protective clothing

Donald Maclachlan of Ohio has filed a lawsuit against American Optical Corp., claiming the company’s protective gear he wore for years as part of his job as a steel plant cast house helper contained asbestos and is responsible for his malignant mesothelioma.

American Optical’s motion to dismiss the case was recently denied by a district judge.

Unsafe asbestos removal endangered low-income housing residents

Recently, a contractor in Alexandria, VA pled guilty to a violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The violation stemmed from asbestos removal in a low-income housing complex. Instead of hiring the proper people to remove asbestos around the windows the right way, which would have been more expensive and time-consuming, he just had his workers take the windows out intact. His thought was that this would stop them from disturbing the asbestos that was present in the windows' surroundings and sealing material, so there would not be any risk of harm. At least that was what he told the court, according to Post.

What did asbestos testing show?

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