The auditorium at Steinert High School in New Jersey recently closed their auditorium for "precautionary reasons," while the school district tests for asbestos. The closure happened two days before the school's Spring Musical was scheduled to open.
Many people know that firefighters are battling fire and smoke when they are called to a house or structure fire, but many do not stop to think about the dangerous toxins that are released into the air. Asbestos is just one of the hazardous substances used to build homes and commercial building throughout the United States, putting firefighters at risk every time they are called to a jobsite.
It might come as a surprise to learn that asbestos has been used all over the world for centuries. With uses dating back at least 4,500 years, the insulating and heat resistant properties of asbestos have been a valuable (and deadly) asset to many different cultures and societies. Evidence shows that early inhabitants in Finland used asbestos to strengthen their pots and cooking utensils.
Many of America's school buildings were built during the peak of asbestos use. According to the EPA, in 1984, nearly 35,000 schools were an exposure risk, releasing deadly airborne asbestos fibers from damaged building materials and other asbestos products. Many U.S. schools are receiving renovations, or are being completely torn down to make way for new, state-of-the-art buildings, such as in New Jersey.
Did you know that miners are some of those most at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, like mesothelioma, in their lifetime? Whether they were mining asbestos or another naturally-occurring mineral within the earth, asbestos exposure is not uncommon in the mining industry.
Many people are expressing concern over the link between baby powder and cancer. The fact is that baby powder does not cause cancer, but the talc within it might.
Every day, structures across America are torn down to make room for new and improved buildings. Schools, shopping malls, and business parks are receiving much-needed upgrades, but some are running into unexpected problems, like asbestos.
Railroad workers are at serious risk for developing mesothelioma due to exposure in the workplace. Railroad companies used asbestos insulation on mains, pipes, boilers, brakes, gaskets and in the electrical and heat insulation in the walls, ceiling, and flooring of railroad cars. Workers who installed, repaired, and worked around these products and materials are likely to have come into contact with asbestos fibers while on the job.
It is hard to believe that workers are still exposed to asbestos while on the job. The dangerous substance was declared to be a hazard to human health in the late 1970s. Since then, use of the substance has declined, yet older construction materials and other asbestos-containing products remain potential threats to workers.
There are currently several bills in existence that threaten asbestos exposure victims' privacy and access to justice. These bills are created by lawmakers aligned with asbestos defendants.
When you think about workers who experience asbestos exposure on the job, chances are you envision someone involved in the labor industry. It is known that construction workers, miners, and other blue-collar trades are at risk for exposure at work, but many people are surprised to find out that teachers are at risk, as well.
In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their final plans to clean up the asbestos within Libby, Montana. Libby is considered an Asbestos Superfund site by the EPA, meaning it is some of the nation's most contaminated land. Asbestos poses a threat to residents living in Libby.