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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.

Investigators are currently trying to determine whether the microscopic fibers made their way to the second floor of the building where city council members have their chambers. Only certified abatement contractors can provide clean-up in areas that test positive for asbestos. A city spokesman said officials are currently making plans to clean the building.

Occupational asbestos exposure often leads to serious injuries, such as mesothelioma and other incurable illnesses. Workers are often sick long before symptoms arise because progression of such diseases in the human body tends to be slow. Any Minnesota worker who believes he or she is suffering an asbestos-related illness contracted in the workplace may wish to discuss the situation with an attorney who has asbestos litigation experience.

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