The serious health risks associated with asbestos have been in the news for over 50 years, and some people in North Carolina and elsewhere may have become complacent and assumed that the risks have been virtually eliminated. No one can deny that the hazards created by asbestos-containing products have been greatly reduced, but two recent cases from neighboring states demonstrate that the hazards are far from disappearing completely.
Workers in buildings owned by Shelby County, Tennessee, have alleged that they have been exposed to asbestos fibers during the renovation of several older county buildings. In response to these claims, the county hired experts to inspect the buildings and remove any asbestos fibers that were found. Work was halted more than once to allow for these inspections and removals to take place. Nevertheless, county employees have found additional concentrations of asbestos fibers, especially in the old county morgue. The county said that it is "committed to providing safe workplaces for its employees." The workers have hired an attorney, but so far, the case has not reached the courts.