It should be no surprise to property owners that asbestos is commonly found in several different areas of many different buildings. For decades, the toxic fiber was used as an inexpensive way to insulate and fire-proof materials used in office buildings and homes in North Carolina and across the country. While asbestos may not present an immediate health hazard to people when it is intact, it can be very damaging if it is disturbed and asbestos dust is released into the air.
Asbestos-related disease is a problem seen in Rowan due to people being exposed to asbestos through the ignorance or apathy of others. Asbestos exposure can lead to a series of diseases that are generally viewed as fatal. Asbestos litigation is becoming a more frequent occurrence for the victim or the families of a victim of asbestosis, mesothelioma and other diseases.
When a company manufactures a product, it is expected to be safe or come with appropriate warnings to consumers if it could cause them harm. Unfortunately, not all companies take these necessary steps. For decades, some manufacturers of products that contained asbestos failed to warn people of the risks associated with being exposed to the toxic material and people in North Carolina and nationwide suffered the consequences.
In Rowan, asbestos can be discovered at any time in numerous places. Often it is found without warning or the knowledge of the owners of the residence, business or property. Other times, the caretakers of the location were aware of the asbestos being present. Asbestos exposure has been linked to numerous fatal diseases and almost invariably results in asbestos-related death.
Decades ago, many buildings in and around North Carolina were constructed using products that contained asbestos. The use of these materials was quite common because asbestos was relatively cheap and the properties of the material provided effective sound absorption and resistance to fire. Whether asbestos was used in a building's insulation, floor tiles or cement, it was a very popular practice to construct buildings using the fiber.
North Carolina residents who suffer from asbestos-related disease due to asbestos exposure understand the severe health issues and concerns that accompany the disease. Asbestos was used frequently for a variety of purposes before it was known to be dangerous and a number of people who were exposed to the substance and now suffer asbestos-related disease have filed asbestos litigation.
Because of how toxic asbestos is, there are strict regulations for how it must be handled, removed and disposed of. Unfortunately, not all companies comply with these rules. In many cases, companies choose to ignore their responsibilities in the interest of saving and making money. They hire untrained employees, neglect to inform them of the dangers of asbestos or provide them with inadequate protective equipment. This can result in workers suffering serious and even life-threatening illnesses years after the work is complete.
When a company makes, sells or uses dangerous materials, they are supposed to warn others of the risks related to their product. Failure to do so can put that company in a position to be held liable for any illnesses or injuries that result from use of or exposure to that product. This is often what happens when people in North Carolina and nationwide get sick after being exposed to asbestos.
We have discussed how workers in certain occupations can be much more affected by exposure to asbestos than others. For many years, people in North Carolina and all across the world were working in jobs where they breathed in or came into contact with asbestos without proper protection or warnings by employers.
North Carolina construction workers are well aware of many of the possible dangers associated with their work. However, it can sometimes be the unseen dangers that can be deadly. A construction worker from a Midwest state suffered from mesothelioma asbestos exposure and might not have been aware that it could take his life, even years later.