5 Common Places To Find Asbestos, Part 2

Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogenic substance that presents a very real threat to the health of humans. As discussed in our recent article, asbestos was widely used in the production and application of a whole swath of products throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, revered by numerous manufacturers and industries for its heat, chemical, and corrosive resistance. Asbestos was implemented into many different materials as a way to extend the life of the material once it was put into use (e.g., cement, construction materials, civil engineering materials, etc.), while also enhancing the strength, durability, and overall effectiveness of the product.

Asbestos miners and those people who worked with or came in direct contact with asbestos began becoming ill, presenting similar complaints and symptoms, often succumbing to their illness, but not before suffering the horrendous symptoms which developed over time. These illnesses would later be classified as different types of respiratory and cardiovascular cancers, including mesothelioma, one of the deadliest and most aggressive forms of cancer caused by exposure to the toxic asbestos pollutant. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports approximately 125 million people worldwide are exposed to asbestos at the workplace alone, which doesn’t include exposure at other public places or even at home.

While government agencies began regulating the use of asbestos by the 1970s, asbestos is still found in a wide array of products and lies encased in various types of infrastructure. Furthermore, asbestos use is banned in more than 55 countries, yet is still used in small amounts in the United States. Once items such as walls, ceilings, pipes, cement, and other materials containing asbestos are disturbed, the miniscule asbestos fibers become airborne and can find their way into the human respiratory system where they settle in the soft tissues and tissues lining the esophagus, lungs, heart, abdomen, and other organs.

Therefore, knowing the common places where asbestos may be lurking can help people protect themselves and their loved ones from asbestos exposure which could lead to the development of mesothelioma and other extreme illnesses with lethal effects. Today, we will look at five more places where asbestos may be found.

Five Places Where Asbestos May Be Lurking

Paints and Adhesives

Asbestos was widely used as a paint and adhesive additive because of its durability, heat resistance, and non-corrosiveness. Even with early warnings about asbestos use and the dangers of exposure, paint manufacturers, suppliers, and painters continued using asbestos-based paints and adhesives in homes, public buildings, automobiles, trains, planes, and for building military vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and other equipment. This lasted well into the 1970s and 80s when the EPA and OSHA banned the use of asbestos in paint, adhesives, and other materials. While the EPA initiated the Lead Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Program as a means to protect individuals from exposure in the home, many homes, buildings, and transportation vehicles may still contain asbestos-based paint and adhesives. Therefore, homeowners, tenants, and construction workers may be in danger of exposure during the demolition of homes containing asbestos paints, marking the need for extreme precautions to be taken during older home and building remodels where asbestos may be lying in wait.

Military Installations, Transportation, and Equipment

You may have read our recent article discussing The Connection Between Mesothelioma and Military Families, where we highlight the use of asbestos-based products in Navy shipbuilding and other vessels. Along with the use of asbestos in the building of ships, submarines, and carriers, asbestos insulation, asbestos paint, and many other asbestos products were applied and installed in barracks and other living quarters, military housing, office buildings, and public spaces throughout military bases. What’s more, asbestos was also used to build tanks, vehicles, aircraft, submarines, and different kinds of equipment. Not only did the wide use of asbestos affect workers and military personnel, but also the families and friends in close and constant proximity to those directly exposed. The application of asbestos products on military installations affected and continues to affect those who lived and worked where asbestos was used.

Automotive Parts

Asbestos was also used in the manufacture and production of automobile parts such as brake components, brake pads, gaskets, firewall insulation, woven wires, wire casings, and clutches. While government regulations limit the use of asbestos in new auto parts, there may be parts still sitting on shelves in parts stores and auto junkyards containing asbestos. Plus, cars built before the early-to-mid 1980s may still feature parts containing asbestos. This may present an exposure hazard for auto mechanics if they do not take the proper precautions when working on older vehicles. Furthermore, those who prefer DIY auto repairs or work on older, antique vehicles as a hobby may be at risk of exposure to toxic asbestos dust if a part containing asbestos is disturbed.

Floor Tiles

Due to its strength, resistance to heat, and soundproofing properties, asbestos was a choice additive for floor tiles. While asbestos is banned from being used in construction materials, these tiles were installed in homes, buildings, schools, and other public spaces up through the 1980s, but especially between the 1920s and 1960s, according to many notable building experts. This is problematic for builders, homeowners, and the general public who could become exposed to the toxic asbestos fibers if they are released during a demolition or renovation. It is essential for those at risk of exposure to take the utmost precautions during renovations to buildings containing asbestos tiles and other asbestos products.

Industrial Buildings, Public Buildings, and Infrastructure

Due to the wide use, application, and installation of a number of products and materials containing asbestos in small- and large-scale construction projects up through the 1980s, asbestos is still rampant in many types of structures in the U.S. and worldwide. Some of the most common buildings where asbestos may be lurking include industrial buildings, public buildings, offices, schools, hospitals, multi-family housing units, processing plants, farmhouses, shipyards, public transportation buildings, airports, boat houses, firehouses, churches, and many more. What’s more, cement containing asbestos additives was used to build cement pipes for public plumbing systems, parking lots, sidewalks, streets, and other concrete surfaces. Unfortunately, despite the government’s implementation of asbestos regulation programs and the many asbestos removal projects performed at private, local, and state levels, it remains nearly impossible for an all-encompassing asbestos removal to be performed on such a massive scale. Because asbestos can lay dormant for 20-40 years, and become an airborne pollutant with the smallest disturbance, this dangerous toxin will continue to be a long-lasting threat to people all over the country and the world.

Tell Us How Our Mesothelioma Attorneys Can Help

Because asbestos remains a prevalent threat to people living in all regions of the nation, working in nearly any industry, regardless of age, race, or gender, anyone can be at risk of becoming exposed to asbestos. Furthermore, asbestos exposure and a subsequent diagnosis of an illness like mesothelioma may be the result of an individual’s or company’s negligence, and you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

For individuals who have been exposed to asbestos who have developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness or injury, it is essential you know your legal rights after a diagnosis. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or any other asbestos-related illness, please contact our mesothelioma lawyers at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC to find out if you have a legal case. We can review your case to determine the appropriate legal course of action for you. With our main law offices in New York and additional offices located in California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, and legal affiliates throughout the country, we can assist you with your case, regardless of where you are located. We are passionate about helping you, so please, reach out to us today for a no-obligation consultation.