WDTV released a story, “Asbestos: A Major Concern?”, which reported that West Virginia is one of only six states that has asbestos related death rates 50 to 100% higher than the national average. Specifically, between 1999 and 2013 West Virginia saw more than 2000 deaths related to asbestos exposure.
WDTV stated that asbestos in older homes and buildings is not something that people should be overly concerned about. This is because most of the time, it becomes a health risk when it is disturbed and asbestos dust is created. This is a common occurrence in some industries, where asbestos is used as insulation or in another capacity. However, for the person who will only come into contact with asbestos because of its presence in their home, risk of exposure can be diminished if proper precautions are taken during demolition or remodeling. Additionally, WDTV reported that it could take up to thirty years after exposure to develop asbestos related illness.
Additional information on asbestos exposure:
According to Asbestos.com exposure to asbestos is related to serious respiratory diseases and cancers: mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, among several others. Exposure occurs when asbestos dust, created when the substance is disturbed, is inhaled or swallowed. Typically, people who are more likely to suffer from the effects of asbestos are the ones who incurred heavy, repeated exposure. Although this substance is naturally occurring, it is used in industries, like shipbuilding and construction, for almost 100 years. Furthermore, it was not until the 1970s when regulations and laws were finally put in place to protect people from asbestos and its effects.
Asbestos.com mentions that common sources of asbestos exposure are military work, products that are used in homebuilding and construction (drywall, insulation, tiling, etc.), occupations (electricians, firefighters, mechanics, and several others), and workplaces (shipyards, power plants, metal works, among others). To add, there are also risks of environmental release from natural disasters or mining, and secondary exposure from people who bring fibers out of the worksite accidentally. Additionally, this site mentioned that in West Virginia, the common source of exposure is coal mining, coal refineries, metalworking, and power plants.
Finally, this site states that inhaled asbestos fibers accumulate in people and cause scarring and inflammation, which can lead to further complications and diseases. This may take many years for diseases and other health concerns to develop from these fibers being trapped in the lungs and respiratory system.
If you think that there is a possibility that you have been exposed to asbestos, make sure that you see a healthcare professional for a medical evaluation. Additionally, if there is a possibility that asbestos may have been used in your home or the products in your home, be sure to consult a qualified professional who can determine how to prevent disturbing asbestos and any related exposure from occurring, especially before any remodeling or demolition.
The information provided in this blog was obtained from WDTV’s news story and www.asbestos.com/exposure. Visit these sites for more information on asbestos and related health concerns.
If believe that you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and have questions regarding your rights, contact our Colombo Law team at (888) 860-1414. We will meet with you and will answer any questions you may have and help you in any way that we can.