There are a lot of old buildings in Minnesota, including factories, schools, churches and government structures. As in many other states, restoration and construction projects in these dwellings often include asbestos removal. It's no secret that asbestos exposure is highly dangerous and often leads to serious illness, such as asbestosis.
It's not always easy to tell when asbestos is present on the job in Minnesota. When employers are aware of it, they're obligated to inform their workers about the potential dangers of exposure and also to provide proper training according to safety regulations if workers are going to be removing asbestos from a particular structure. Things don't always go the way they should, however; in fact, many workers wind up suffering from asbestosis and other adverse health conditions after being repeatedly exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
Unfortunately, the answer to the question posed above is, currently, no. There is no cure for asbestosis.
The hazards of asbestos exposure has been known for a long time and the majority of asbestos-related products have been removed from our marketplace. Despite this, mesothelioma rates have continued to rise. According to the Environmental Working Group, 4,852 people died in Minnesota between 1999 and 2013 of asbestos related deaths.
Many people have vermiculite insulation in their homes. It was a popular form of loose insulation used to insulate many homes throughout the United States. Used extensively in colder climates such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas, it was most often used as attic insulation.
Asbestosis is a devastating illness that people can develop if they have been exposed to high levels or concentrations or asbestos. Unfortunately, it can take decades for symptoms to start showing up, which means that the damage can already be extensive by the time a person is diagnosed.
Home remodeling shows on television often show people uncovering hidden hazards when knocking out walls and digging up floors in old houses. Heating ducts wrapped in asbestos and flooring tiles made with asbestos are just two of the more common hazards one might see when watching a home renovation show. Old houses contain many surprises, but what other dangers might be hiding?
Several years ago, health officials noticed an alarming trend: an increased incidence of mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer, in the mine workers. This prompted the Minnesota Department of Health to commission a health study by the University of Minnesota in 2008. The study took six years to complete, focusing largely on potential hazards in the taconite industry.
It's well-known that asbestos exposure can cause serious and often deadly health problems. Those who worked in industries and careers including mechanics, construction workers, electricians, railroad and shipyard workers, asbestos abatement teams, boiler operators and asbestos miners may have been exposed to asbestos and developed serious health issues. These workers and their loved ones can develop mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer, but what are the differences between the three diseases?
Many people think mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are only capable of causing harm to the people who work in an industry where asbestos is present. However, other members of the family in Minnesota and elsewhere could also contract asbestos-related diseases due to second-hand exposure. Since it can take many years for these types of disease to begin manifesting symptoms in its victims, many affected individuals do not find out until it is too late.