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Eagan Minnesota Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Blog

Yet another school warns parents about asbestos exposure

Minnesota schools, like those in most other states, are gearing up for or have already begun a new school year. It is understandable that parents might have certain concerns as their children head back to their classrooms. Some kids are new students. Others might have learning disabilities or social issues that make their parents especially anxious. No parent, however, should have to worry that their child might become ill due to asbestos exposure at school.

Sadly, there are have been numerous schools in recent years that have had to inform faculty, students and parents of asbestos-related problems. In fact, elementary school students in another state were given letters to take home to their parents or guardians on a recent Wednesday. It was not a letter about Open House night or some other fun event taking place at the school. Instead, it was a letter informing parents that there are materials in the school building that contain asbestos.

Mesothelioma: A diagnosis that often stems from the workplace

Minnesota workers have often been placed at risk for asbestos injuries. Sadly, in many situations, the employers in question knew there were risks, but for various reasons, either did not inform their workers or failed to provide proper training and equipment to help keep them safe. Employers are legally obligated to do so. Often, a worker learns of his or her injury when a doctor diagnoses him or her with mesothelioma.

The lungs, heart and other organs of the body are lined with tissue that is known as mesothelium. When tumors develop in the tissues, it is called mesothelioma, which often develops into malignancy. Mesothelioma cancer is a terminal disease, meaning there is no known cure so the illness ultimately results in death.

Asbestos exposure a high priority concern in another state

Naturally occurring silicate minerals that can be woven into fabric exist in a product commonly referred to as asbestos. It may come as a surprise to some that asbestos products are still used today, even though they are known carcinogens. While there are stringent regulations regarding the use or removal of asbestos, many people are at great risk for injuries because of asbestos exposure. In fact, it appears to be a significant problem in many Minnesota schools, as well as schools located in other states.

In one state, numerous school districts have incurred citations in the past 10 years because staff members were not properly trained with regard to asbestos. The finance and operations director at one school said officials know there is asbestos in the adhesive that was used to lay tile to the floors throughout the building. He also said those tiles are covered with carpet that is in poor condition, and it was during a carpet removal project that asbestos was discovered in the classrooms.

Minnesota sues EPA for stricter asbestos regulation

Scientists and the United States government have known about the dangers of asbestos for decades. The mineral’s fire-resistant fibers can get stuck in clothing and trapped within the human body. It’s a known carcinogen and the leading cause of malignant mesothelioma. So why doesn’t the Environmental Protection Agency simply ban asbestos?

That’s one question at the heart of a new lawsuit. According to Reuters, Minnesota, nine other states and Washington D.C. sued the EPA to tighten its asbestos regulations. And this lawsuit comes not long after The New York Times reported that the EPA offered its latest asbestos regulations with a clear disregard for its experts' recommendations.

Popcorn ceiling: Dangerous DIY?

As the weather warms up, it is time to start thinking about summer projects in and around the house. Whether you are looking to sell your home and take advantage of low home inventories in the twin cities or you want to make an update to your home, there are always plenty of projects to fill the summer.

After a long winter of being indoors, it may seem like a good time to update your popcorn ceiling. Redoing a ceiling can be an ambitious undertaking. If the ceiling does not contain asbestos, your ceilings can be a great weekend project. A ceiling containing asbestos, however, is a risky project that should be left to the professionals.

There's no such thing as a safe amount of asbestos exposure

If you work, attend school or live in Minnesota, you may, at times, be at risk for injuries without necessarily realizing it ahead of time. Especially in a working environment, as a paid employee, you rely on your employer to not only be aware of the risks associated with your duties but also to provide proper training, information and safety equipment to keep you as safe as possible on the job. When an injury risk involves asbestos exposure, it can often be too late by the time you learn about the danger.

Perhaps you worked or lived in a building some years ago where construction or renovation was happening nearby. You may not have known that you were exposed to asbestos during that time. Now, years later, you may be experiencing adverse health symptoms that have prompted you to seek a medical diagnosis.

For taconite workers, more concerns about asbestos, mesothelioma

Mining is tightly linked with northeastern Minnesota. It is one of the signature industries of the region, an economic engine that for decades has provided a career and income to thousands of the state’s residents. But it’s becoming clearer that the job may have put some of those workers at risk of developing serious health issues.

One of those illnesses is the aggressive cancer mesothelioma. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, St. Louis County – a hub of the taconite industry – has ranked among the highest in the nation for mesothelioma mortality rate. New research offers more evidence that asbestos in the mining industry may be to blame.

Mesothelioma: Determining action regarding employer negligence

Learning that you have been walking around for years with a latent disease inside your body might as well be compared to receiving a sudden punch to the gut. If your doctor has diagnosed you with mesothelioma, he or she has also no doubt explained that, at this time, there is no cure for this disease. There are numerous ways this illness can affect the body. Your Minnesota medical team and care providers will help you determine which course of treatment might be best.

If, at some point, you also learned that your employer was negligent in his or her duty to keep you safe in the workplace, you might also want to speak with someone well-versed in asbestos litigation laws. In fact, there are many class action lawsuits pending regarding such issues. An employer must warn workers about known health risks present on the job.

Claire's customers once again warned about asbestos exposure

Many young YouTube viewers in Minnesota and across the country are fans of JoJo Siwa, a rising star who is also known for her appearances on "Dance Moms," a popular reality TV show. Siwa is making news headlines this week but not for her television or online endeavors. A cosmetic makeup kit that bears her name has been recalled from Claire's stores and other shopping venues because of potential asbestos exposure.

It is not the first time Claire's has been in the news regarding asbestos. Several other cosmetic products the store carries were recalled some time ago for the same reason. Siwa's makeup kit is the latest item in the store to test positive for asbestos. Consumers have been warned to stop using the product if they already own it.

Occupational asbestos exposure: Deputies and others evacuated

Many Minnesota buildings and homes contain asbestos. It is nearly impossible to know when the substance is present in a particular location unless proper testing is done. However, in places where there is a known asbestos risk, employers and other officials are legally obligated to provide proper training and safety equipment for employees and to take whatever measures are necessary to help keep workers safe. Occupational asbestos exposure in a sheriff's department in another state recently prompted a building evacuation. 

Officials reportedly knew that the building contained asbestos. While studies show there is no safe amount of exposure to asbestos, it's also known that the risk for injury is not as high in places where the substance is left undisturbed. The reason the sheriff's department building was evacuated, however, is because a renovation worker who was removing carpet pulled up some floor tiles in the process, and those tiles contained asbestos.

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