Most people think that asbestos and asbestos exposure is a thing of the past — but that’s far from true. Asbestos products are still allowed in the United States under limited circumstances and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with plans that would allow asbestos to be used in even more new products.
But what’s coming into the market is not your most serious concern. Instead, you need to be worried about asbestos dangers that are hidden all around you. Asbestos was so commonly used in American homes and buildings that it’s literally just about everywhere you go — especially in older public buildings, like schools. It could be lurking in those old adhesive tiles on your kitchen floor that your Dad put down years ago, and it could be hiding in the attic insulation or wrapped around the pipes in the basement.
The thing about asbestos is this: It’s often more dangerous to remove it than to leave it alone. If it’s underneath the floorboards in the mudroom of your house, for example, it’s probably safer to leave it alone — as long as it’s intact or sealed away. When asbestos begins to break down — which happens when asbestos products are removed — the dangerous fibers that lead to diseases like mesothelioma are thrown into the air where they can get into the lungs of new victims.
The only real way to know if there is asbestos in your home or place of business — and posing a danger — is to have an expert check out the premises. The air can be tested to see if there’s already contamination and the premises can be inspected for asbestos that’s breaking down.
The reality is that anyone can be exposed to asbestos — it isn’t just a problem for “old timers” who worked in factories and shipyards. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and believe that you’ve developed a medical problem like mesothelioma as a result, it’s wise to speak to an attorney. Learn more about asbestos claims by visiting our site.