It's the time of year in Minnesota and throughout the nation when many parents are helping their children gather supplies and prepare for a new school year. Many have already resumed classes and are fully engaged in new and exciting academic adventures. Many children attend schools in buildings that are aging and in need of repair, however. This may pose a high asbestos exposure risk of which many parents are unaware.
When it comes to asbestos removal, there are strict safety regulations set in place to minimize potential risks associated with possible exposure. It's illegal to remove asbestos from a building without adhering to existing protocol. However, just because there is a law prohibiting certain behaviors and requiring others, doesn't mean everyone in Minnesota will follow it. In fact, there's an ongoing situation in another state where building developers are accused of placing workers at risk for asbestos exposure after having them remove flooring containing the dangerous material.
Most Minnesota readers understand that construction work is dangerous. There are usually many safety regulations and strict procedures in place to help keep workers as safe as possible. For instance, if a building is scheduled to be torn down, there's a certain way to go about it to decrease the risk of injuries among workers or bystanders. Recent litigation involved more than one party being sued regarding asbestos exposure when a building in another state was razed.
Evidence suggests that repeated ingestion or breathing of asbestos particles can cause permanent lung damage, as well as an increased risk for other respiratory illnesses. Perhaps some of the airport workers in another state who are concerned about their own health and safety are aware of such facts, perhaps not. Either way, they have told their employers and reporters that they believe they have reason to worry about asbestos exposure in relation to a construction project that occurred at their workplace. Minnesota workers whose jobs put them in close vicinity to construction work may want to pay close attention to the situation.
Some jobs in Minnesota are obviously more dangerous than others. However, not all dangers associated with work are immediately apparent. For instance, many types of work are associated with asbestos exposure, which often leads to illness, even death. Proving that an injury or illness was actually caused by exposure to asbestos can be difficult since diagnosis of disease may come years after initial exposure.
One of the most frustrating elements of asbestos exposure is that evidence of that exposure may not be visible for decades. This means that if and when a person is diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, it can be incredibly difficult to determine where and when the person was exposed.
The dangers of asbestos exposure are well known, and everyone should have some awareness that asbestos should not be used, disturbed or handled without a number of safety precautions in place.
When people think about harmful substances and gases like asbestos, lead and radon, they often assume that they are no longer a threat to people in the U.S. due to rigid regulations and standards.
You don't have to look too far to find someone remodeling a home, whether it's just down your street or on the numerous home renovation shows on TV. Especially now that spring is here, people all over Minnesota are starting to think about their own home construction projects.
Despite efforts to monitor and abate asbestos in schools, many schools still contain asbestos, potentially putting both students and teachers at risk for developing mesothelioma and other deadly diseases.