Although some people in South Carolina may not truly understand the danger that asbestos can cause, look no further than the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s decision to test the debris of a ruined floral shop for asbestos for a third time. While there were traces of asbestos found in late October, it appears that it was difficult to determine exactly which products contained asbestos and which could be salvaged.
Unfortunately, asbestos has been around for a while and there are many different products that contain the deadly material. While the danger surrounding asbestos wasn’t made public until relatively recently (when compared to the length of time it was being used in products), it seems that some manufacturers knew of the dangers of asbestos for a while before the public. This is one of the reasons why manufacturers can often be held liable for asbestos-related diseases.
The fire took place at the end of September and appears to have destroyed a significant part of the Georgetown waterfront. While the owner waits to find out where the asbestos is in the remains of her shop, she has been unable to see whether there are any remaining things of worth still buried in the debris. Once the asbestos has been located and properly dealt with, the remaining rubble will be taken to a new location to be sorted through.
Asbestos is wildly dangerous and it is only disappointing how long it took for the public to be made aware of its dangers. Had they known sooner or had manufacturers started to pull their asbestos-containing products, there may never have been a risk of asbestos being released into the air because of a fire.
Source: Georgetown Times, “Asbestos testing, round three, takes place at Front Street fire site,” Scott Harper, Dec. 26, 2013