Insulators Are Exposed to Asbestos
By Zac Pingle, Staff Writer
Insulation, the material that is responsible for keeping our houses warm and soundproofing walls, was madewith asbestos for many years. Though the EPA has banned the use of asbestos in insulation, asbestos-containing insulation can still be found today in thousands (if not millions) of homes across the United States. In some cases, a homeowner may not even know that their insulation contains asbestos.
Asbestos-containing insulation poses a risk to insulators every day. Cotton-like asbestos insulation can look exactly like other forms of non-asbestos insulation, and is particularly dangerous when insulation needs to be replaced.
Asbestos in the Walls
Asbestos is dangerous because of the microscopic fibers it releases into the air. These fibers can become lodged in the lungs and cause certain cells in the lungs to die. This causes the lungs to harden with scar tissue, and may lead to asbestos-related cancers including mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers are surprisingly easy to disturb, even the act of picking up an old sheet of asbestos-containing insulation could cause fibers to spill into the air.
In an ideal world, an insulator wouldn’t need to worry about the risk of asbestos exposure when he goes to work everyday. However, the American Cancer Society reports that 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year, and many of those patients are former insulators. Every injury due to asbestos is preventable, and every instance of asbestos being found in a building means that someone is responsible for it.
Exposure to Asbestos
If you believe you’ve been exposed to asbestos, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Make sure to keep any documentation of physical, financial, or psychological damage you may have sustained due to your exposure to asbestos. It would also be a good idea to keep a journal as a way of logging your experiences, after all, you can never have too much documentation after an injury.
You next big step should be to contact an experienced asbestos injury lawyer. Every case of asbestos injury is different, but your lawyer should be able to help determine who is at fault for your damages, and will be able to prove those damages in court if necessary. For example, if the landowner who hired you didn’t know asbestos was on their property, and had no reasonable way of knowing it was there, your lawyer will likely have to track down the person who installed the insulation or manufactured it. This process isn't always straightforward, and will be nearly impossible to do on your own. Furthermore, even if you could track down the person responsible for your injuries they would likely give you a quick settlement that doesn’t truly represent the value of your damages.
Hiring an experienced asbestos injury lawyer will give you peace of mind, and the best approach to recovering money for your injuries.