Exposure to inhaling asbestos fibers is very dangerous. Even a short or small amount of exposure can lead to serious illnesses including mesothelioma, a dangerous form of cancer that is primarily caused by asbestos exposure. While some people can be exposed without suffering these consequences, some who have only had short encounters with asbestos still get the condition. If you suspect that there may be asbestos in your Louisiana home, or in a building where you work, you should get it inspected right away.
Why Would Asbestos Be in My Home or Building?
According to Andreas Salvidar, asbestos was widely used in all kinds of construction for a huge period of history. Asbestos is resistant to flame, so it was a particularly good building material in the sense that it was likely to help prevent buildings from burning down. The results of asbestos exposure often do not occur until years later, so it took some time for medical science to connect the health problems to their cause.
While people did not know about its harmful effects, asbestos was used for insulation and ceiling and floor tiles, as well as for paint and other construction materials. Production of building materials that included asbestos only trailed off in the 1980s, and some materials that were less at risk of releasing asbestos fibers into the air continued to be used after that. This means that unless your home or building is fairly new, it is possible that some of the materials used in it could contain asbestos.
What Should I Do?
If you suspect that your building contains asbestos or has not been properly inspected, you should schedule an inspection as soon as possible. The state of Louisiana keeps aroster of certified asbestos inspectors who know how to check for the substance.
If the inspector verifies that there is asbestos in the building, then there are several things that might happen. If the building is your home or you are the owner, you will be responsible for replacing the components that contain asbestos. You should be eager to do so, since continued exposure only increases your health risks. You’ll need to ensure that you hire a crew that is properly trained and equipped to handle asbestos safely.
If someone else owns the building – for example, if it is an office building for the company you work for – then the owner of the building will be responsible for making the building safe. They may also be responsible for any health problems that were caused by the asbestos, whether they knew it was there or not. If they did not know it was there, they likely should have had the building inspected sooner in order to create a safe environment for their employees. It’s very important for negligent companies to be held accountable, since substances like asbestos represent such a huge health risk to anyone who is exposed.
If your inspector does not find asbestos, then everyone involved can breathe a sigh of relief. The idea that a building you regularly spend time in might contain asbestos can be nerve-wracking. You don’t want to think that you could have spent every day inhaling a dangerous carcinogen. A state-approved inspection is the only way to be really sure that the building is safe. With the roster available above, getting in touch with one of Louisiana’s many asbestos inspectors is not hard, and it is definitely better to be safe than sorry. If you are not sure whether your building has been inspected for asbestos, try to find out or err on the side of caution and get a new inspection.
Asbestos exposure in Louisiana has led to tragic results for workers and their families. If you or a loved one has become ill because of asbestos exposure, call Landry & Swarr at 504-299-1214 to speak to an attorney.