Asbestos, while first recognized by the Ancient Greeks for its fireproof qualities, gained popularity in the United States during the 20th century. Tons of the mineral were mined and placed in thousands of products because it provided durability, strength, and resistance to heat, flame and corrosion when used as filler in these goods. Asbestos-containing materials were widely adopted by many industries, including the construction industry. It was during this same time, when many building materials were manufactured to contain asbestos, that schools were being built rapidly to keep up with baby boomers entering the school system. Unfortunately, this put many teachers at risk of developing mesothelioma cancer from asbestos exposure in schools.
Asbestos building materials were used throughout schools as these products were thought to increase safety for faculty and students. Some of these products used in schools included asbestos insulation, floor and ceiling tiles, roofing materials, and pipe insulation among others.
The EPA determined that as long as asbestos materials are undamaged they can be managed and contained without posing a great health risk to teachers or students inside the schools. It is true that asbestos is not dangerous while intact. However, when asbestos materials are damaged or worn down they then become a hazard. When friable, asbestos fibers made airborne can linger in the air where students and teachers alike are liable to inhale or ingest them. Once these tiny fibers entered the body, they can become lodged in tissues of the lung, stomach, or heart causing scarring that may lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses.
Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace. Generally, it takes 10 to 60 years from the time of asbestos exposure until symptoms appear or mesothelioma is diagnosed.
Many of the companies have established trust funds to pay compensation to persons injured by asbestos.
If you have mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related injury, and wish to consult an attorney about your legal rights to compensation, CLICK HERE for a free consultation.