Asbestos is not nearly as common as it used to be. While the carcinogenic substance was used in a wide variety of commercial purposes for much of the 20th century, its use has been severely reduced due to the associated health risks. Asbestos exposure causes deadly diseases such as mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer infecting the lungs and chest cavity lining, lung cancer, and asbestosis. However, there are still ways that people can encounter asbestos.
Asbestos in the Home or Office
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral found in deposits of rock and soil. It is a highly versatile, durable substance, and it has heat- and flame-resistant properties, making it an ideal additive in several products. One of the most common uses of asbestos was in construction materials, like drywall, roof shingles, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, paints, adhesives, cement, sealants, walls and floors housing wood-burning stoves, pipe coating, and more. Until the 1980s, most residential and commercial buildings utilized asbestos products.
While asbestos is no longer used to make most construction materials, older buildings may still contain asbestos. Unless they have undergone an extreme renovation or abatement, asbestos may still be found in homes, office buildings, schools, and retail spaces constructed before the 1980s. If your home or workplace contains features such as vinyl flooring, vermiculite insulation, textured paint, or popcorn ceilings, these elements likely contain asbestos. These products are not a danger as long as they remain intact, but they can release asbestos particles if they are damaged during renovation or through normal wear and tear.
There are other types of products that may contain asbestos. Asbestos fibers can be woven into textiles and used in various clothing items. In particular, it was commonly used to make protective equipment, such as jackets, gloves, and aprons for firefighters, foundry workers, and other professionals dealing with high heat or flame environments. Even household products such as slow cookers, ironing boards, stove mats, or popcorn poppers may still contain asbestos if manufactured before restrictions were put in place.
Some high-friction automotive parts, such as brakes, brake pads, transmission plates, clutches, gaskets, and wheels, are still made with asbestos. Asbestos has never been outright banned in the United States, and though it is no longer mined domestically, it can be imported from other countries. Other products, such as corrugated sheeting and some roofing products, still contain asbestos.
There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Asbestos dust cannot be distinguished by sight from other types of dust, and many people who encounter asbestos in unusual places will not know they were exposed.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Provide Comprehensive Legal Representation to Clients Exposed to Asbestos
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, contact one of our Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. Our legal team has the knowledge and experience to handle all types of asbestos exposure cases. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey and Philadelphia, we help clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Call 877-743-4652 or contact us online to learn more.