The extreme dangers of asbestos have been known for many decades, arguably centuries. However, new research suggests that asbestos is not only dangerous to those that inhabit buildings or handle machinery which may contain it. This new research asserts that the toxic asbestos fibers may be spread by agents such as fire, rain, and strong winds, potentially infecting unassuming victims in a far broader radius than ever imagined before. Illinois asbestos attorneys are extremely experienced in obtaining the maximum compensation that our clients, the victims of asbestos, deserve.
Because of its ability to resist extreme heat, asbestos became very popular in the United States during the Industrial Revolution. Despite its unrivaled resilience, the agent’s downsides far outweigh any of its benefits because its particles are extremely carcinogenic. Research indisputably estimates that over one hundred thousand Americans have died as a result of asbestos exposure. While this figure is startling by itself, it is very likely to be far beneath the actual number because research recording asbestos related deaths only began in the 1950s when people became aware of its dangers.
Prior to very recently, it was believed that individuals could only be
dangerously exposed to asbestos by being in the immediate proximity of
products or buildings containing asbestos. Although that remains true,
what has changed is the awareness that asbestos fibers can be spread by
outside agents, such as fires. This has now expanded the perils of asbestos;
it is no longer confined to outdated products.
At first, the scientific community remained skeptical about theories of asbestos spreading. The research hypothesized that a fire in a building containing asbestos, can actually release the deadly asbestos fibers. Once released, the fibers can travel through the air for very long distances. Eventually the fibers will settle on properties; these properties could be residential neighborhoods. The fibers can also settle in soil, water, and many other materials.
While the presence of asbestos can be detected if it is tested for, it would be impossible to infinitely test areas for these agents following a fire because the radius that it could settle in is immense. Scientists have questioned the realistic probability of an incident like this occurring; turns out it is not that remote.
Recently in Glasgow, Scotland a fire lead to the spread of asbestos fibers that were present in the burnt buildings ventilation system. The wind then carried the fibers throughout the surrounding area, where they settled in local children’s parks and schools. These areas have tested positive for asbestos, supporting theories of asbestos travel and settlement.
This recent occurrence in Glasgow has served as a catalyst for new efforts to prevent similar asbestos exposure in the United States. Because most buildings that are still in use have had asbestos eradicated from them, the real reforms come on unused buildings and products containing asbestos. For although they were previously believed to not be dangerous, these buildings and products are perilous since it has been discovered that the asbestos fibers they contain can travel.
It is imperative that measures are taken to prevent the spreading of asbestos fibers because research establishes that only limited exposure to asbestos can be enough to cause asbestos or mesothelioma. Despite extensive research, the full effects and impact of asbestos remains unknown. So, just as it is important to search for cures to the types of cancers asbestos causes, it is also necessary that preventative measures are taken.
If you or a family member suffers from shortness of breath and has worked in or with products containing asbestos, it is important that you receive medical attention immediately. Additionally, you should seek asbestos attorneys to ensure you receive the just compensation you deserve.