Asbestos is a natural material that is resistant to water, chemicals, sound, and fire. So as you can imagine, it was used often in building materials. That is, up until around 1970 when people started figuring out the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. Since then, more regulations have been established to protect people from these harmful materials. However, despite the new protections, asbestos may still be present in homes built before that time period and are still used in small amounts in manufacturing household products.
Someone who has been around asbestos either in their work or home life, may be entitled to compensation if another party was the reason that they were exposed. People who were exposed to asbestos for a long period of time may become diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis. If this sounds like your current situation, consider speaking with an attorney near you.
Types of Asbestos Material
Asbestos is actually a term that describes different types of materials under one category, and if it is in your home you will need to hire a company for asbestos removal in Los Angeles, CA. The six types of asbestos are called serpentine (chrysotile), riebeckite (crocidolite), Cummingtonite-grunerite (amosite), anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. These asbestos materials belong to a couple main asbestos groups: the amphibole asbestos and serpentine asbestos.
- Serpentine Asbestos: used in linoleum, tile floors of the 20th century, gaskets for pumps and cars, roofing materials post WWII, and cement. The only asbestos material under this category is chrysotile, and it is present mostly in the United States manufacturing. The fibers are curly and white.
- Amphibole Asbestos: Crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite are under this category. These fibers are shaped like needles, and are considered more dangerous. Less exposure is needed to develop into cancer. Amphibole asbestos is currently used much less than serpentine asbestos, and is found in the mines of South Africa and Australia.
Asbestos Used Today
In today’s world, asbestos is still used in certain ways and quantities despite the obvious health risks. It is not completely banned in the United States, and many countries use it in items such as car parts and building materials. The risk of asbestos exposure is a recurring problem because there are many buildings that are still standing which were constructed prior to the 1970s. And even despite the most efficient removal efforts, many vehicles, buildings, and ships may have trace amounts of asbestos material.
Taking Legal Action
Unfortunately, many employers and other parties that are aware of asbestos presence may neglect to protect others from harm. A common example of this is a worker who spends twenty or thirty years working in the industrial field, only to realize later on that they were exposed to asbestos all that time, which ultimately led to them developing mesothelioma or asbestosis.
An employer may have failed to provide adequate protective gear or neglected to inform their workers of the risks. Depending on the circumstances of the exposure, that worker may be entitled to financial restitution for the harm done. If this rings true for you or a loved one, do not hesitate to call an attorney to take legal action.
Thanks to Nielsen Environmental for their insight into asbestos materials and removal.