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Agency claims not enough attention paid to asbestos in buildings

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that the government has placed restrictions on for decades. Companies that work with asbestos have to have certain protections in place to limit the amount of exposure their workers experience. Many companies can no longer use asbestos for certain kinds of products as a means of limiting how much asbestos exposure the average person has in their lifetime.

Any exposure is dangerous, as people often inhale particulate asbestos without even realizing it is in the environment. Those fibers build up in the lungs and cause damage, which can lead to lung conditions and cancers many years or even decades after the exposure. Obviously, people want to carefully limit or eliminate their exposure to asbestos for their own future health.

Unfortunately, not all applications of asbestos are public record. In fact, asbestos was used commonly before the government restricted exposure levels. Companies used asbestos in everything from brake pads in vehicles to insulation in school buildings.

Environmental exposure to asbestos over time has a direct correlation with certain cancers, including mesothelioma. However, according to recent federal reports, the government is not taking adequate steps to track asbestos contamination in buildings.

The GSA reports inadequate building examination and testing

In a frightening report, The U. S. Government Office of Accountability (GOA) reports that the federal government may not have been doing enough to prevent exposure to asbestos. The General Services Administration (GSA) should have reports about asbestos levels in any building constructed prior to 1998. In reality, they only have records for about 1/3 of those buildings.

The reports that do exist fail to note whether facilities will receive re-inspections each year. The lack of information makes it hard to estimate how much asbestos remains part of the United States infrastructure. It can also help ensure that companies and property owners aren't shirking their obligations to tenants, employees and the public.

Given the likelihood of exposure to result in fatal cancers, it would make sense that the government would be proactive in locating known sources of asbestos and then remediating it from the environment. Unfortunately, that is not happening, or at least not on a scale broad enough to truly benefit the public.

Those sickened by asbestos exposure have rights

Asbestos has a direct, causative link to mesothelioma, and aggressive cancer of the organ lining. Asbestos is also associated with ovarian cancer and other serious reproductive cancers.

Individuals who become sick due to asbestos exposure have the right to seek compensation from the source of exposure, whether it was a former employer or a health and beauty company selling contaminated products. Personal injury lawsuits related to product liability can help people sickened by dangerous or poorly tested products receive compensation for their personal financial losses related to missed work and medical expenses.

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