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Asbestos Exposure After Natural Disasters

Asbestos was long appreciated as a very useful type of insulation. It is resistant to heat, flame, and chemicals, yet it is also strong and very flexible. Despite these benefits, asbestos is now widely banned for some uses and closely regulated for all others because it has been proven to be carcinogenic, causing cancers such as mesothelioma.

While newer buildings avoid using asbestos insulation, older structures can have this carcinogen in everything from the floor to ceiling tiles, counter tops to wall insulation. Normally, this asbestos is not dangerous unless it is disturbed. Then, microscopic fibers can break apart and float in the air, where they can be inhaled or ingested. This puts you at risk for cancer.

Destruction of Older Buildings

Structural damage and physical harm are not the only to aftereffects of natural disasters. When natural disasters destroy older buildings, they can release asbestos fibers into the air. This can be due to events such as:

  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Floods

Sadly, the release of asbestos can create long-term danger for people around the disaster site. People cleaning debris can be exposed to asbestos fibers, and wind can also carry the fibers to other communities. This can put many people at risk for developing asbestos-related problems like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and pleural effusion.

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Mesothelioma is a very deadly type of cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos fibers in the lungs. If you have been exposed to asbestos, whether through work or a natural disaster, you may be susceptible to developing mesothelioma. For more information regarding asbestos and mesothelioma, please fill out the contact form located at the top of the page today.

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