Harmful Effects of a Storm Can Persist Long After
When the sun comes out again after a big storm in North Carolina, people get to work cleaning up. Rain, high winds and flooding have immediate impact on structures and landscaping. Some lingering health and environmental effects caused by storm damage are now well known.
Water pollution and mold are frequent issues. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using bottled water while water supplies are being cleaned up. In dealing with large areas of mold, the CDC recommends hiring a professional, though residents can clean small areas with a bleach solution. North Carolina residents are used to coping with such concerns and often have help from disaster relief agencies.
A Hidden Danger
What may not be so obvious is a significant danger from building materials torn up and scattered by a storm.
Specifically, older buildings may still contain asbestos, which has been banned from new construction. Flooring, roof shingles and insulation were often manufactured with this material, which can pose serious problems if inhaled. Asbestos fibers are not visible to the naked eye, and disturbing construction materials that contain asbestos allows the tiny fibers to come loose and float around in the air. Inhaled asbestos particles can cause deadly lung diseases, including mesothelioma.
People picking up building debris can reduce the asbestos threat by wetting the material well before moving it, to keep fibers from floating loose. Asbestos disposal methods are regulated, requiring a cover on a truckload of materials containing asbestos when transported for disposal. Burning may be a tempting method for disposing of storm debris, but burning building materials that contain asbestos is both illegal and dangerous. The fire causes fibers to be dispersed into the air.
The best way to deal with asbestos released in a North Carolina storm is to hire an asbestos abatement expert. A certified company can do a thorough, safe cleanup and relieve homeowners of worry over the asbestos hazard.
If someone is harmed by negligent handling of asbestos, there is legal recourse. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to obtain compensation for the adverse health effects that may result when asbestos is inhaled.