Employees worked for weeks in monument with asbestos

Asbestos has been trouble ever since it was discovered it could cause mesothelioma. Each year around 2,500 people are diagnosed with Mesothelioma. North Carolina is among the states with the highest incidence of the fatal cancer. Unfortunately, for many in the U.S. and abroad asbestos was a key component in many of the homes built before its cancer causing side-effects were documented. Because of the sheer number of buildings lined with asbestos the U.S. will continue battling the deadly material for years to come.

City officials are trying to piece together how their employees and others were allowed to work in a building for weeks all the while being exposed to asbestos. The incident happened at a War Memorial built in the 1950’s that was scheduled for demolition. Prior to the demolition items from the memorial were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Although the asbestos was considered in good condition, during the process of removing the auctioned items the workers started removing copper pipes insulated with a material containing 10 percent asbestos without permission. The workers left the insulation left on the floor of the building creating the need for an asbestos clean-up rather than abatement.

Due to the dangerous nature of the material, asbestos is no longer used in building structures. North Carolina’s department of Health and Human services has created guidelines for dealing with the material. In order to remove asbestos one must first get a permit to do so. Even with a permit only North Carolina accredited asbestos professionals can remove asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos is truly a troublesome substance as even small amounts of the substance can cause cancer. Mesothelioma often appears later in life the average age of those affected being 60-years-old.