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.
Churches and other old buildings, including many private homes, have microscopic asbestos fibers that are potentially lethal to human health. Studies show there is no such thing as a safe amount of exposure to asbestos. This is one of many issues that prompted the state of Massachusetts to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency when it refused to update regulations to help improve community safety regarding asbestos imports.
A representative from the agency said the way to lower asbestos exposure is to use the products carefully, just as people have to do where carbon monoxide and other potentially dangerous products are concerned. Approximately one million workers in Minnesota and throughout the country are exposed to asbestos on the job. Anyone in this state who is suffering ill-health effects related to asbestos may wish to speak with an attorney who is experienced in asbestos litigation.