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Eagan Minnesota Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Blog

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.

Mesothelioma: Seeking justice when negligence is the cause

Many people in Minnesota and beyond have recently been informed by their doctors that they have an incurable illness. Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that often occurs in people who have been exposed to asbestos. Symptoms of this disease are not typically immediately apparent.

In fact, you might contract mesothelioma and not realize you are sick for years. People often feel led to seek medical diagnosis when they develop a nagging, lingering cough or experience chest pain or other physical discomforts. Once a diagnosis is made, the focus often shifts to figuring out how to help the patient maintain as high quality a life as possible in the time he or she has left.

Asbestos exposure concerns prompt shut down of Montessori school

The 2019 school year has not quite reached its end. However, more than 300 students and faculty members at a Montessori school in another state will be finishing out their year at a different location. Their school building has been shut down due to asbestos exposure concerns as well as other reported health risks. Employees and parents of students in Minnesota schools, in particular, schools where construction projects are ongoing, may want to follow this case.

A construction project had apparently been ongoing at the school when it came to light that plaster that had been drilled, scraped and otherwise manipulated might possibly contain asbestos. It is well known that asbestos is most dangerous in materials that are friable, meaning easily crumbled. Therefore, a risk of injury always increases in asbestos-laden materials that have been scraped, peeled, made wet, hammered, drilled, etc.

Occupations with asbestos

Asbestos is a rugged, heat-resistant, naturally-occurring element with thousands of applications. Thus, many different industries used this common material in a vast range of products. Even though asbestos was much more common from 1900 to 1980, it’s still used in many different products today.

Many different working environments contained asbestos and industrial workers and tradesmen often developed mesothelioma, lung cancer and other diseases. In addition, these tradesmen often brought home asbestos on jackets, boots, hats and other items. Asbestos fibers flew through air in these living spaces, and family members experienced second-hand asbestos exposure. With this exposure, many contracted asbestos associated diseases.

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