Do you live in one of the many beautiful, older homes in Pittsburgh? Perhaps you live in a newer development but work downtown or in one of the cities many old buildings or schools. You may already be aware that there can be health risks working or living in such areas. If you are a proactive type of person, you might have already researched such topics and learned that asbestos presents significant dangers to workers or residents of Pennsylvania who reside or carry out duties in older housing or structures.
Would you be able to recognize an asbestos-laden item if you saw it? Don't be shy about saying no, because most people would answer the same way. You typically can't tell if something contains asbestos merely by looking at it. There are ways, however, to determine whether you are at risk, along with available resources to assist you if you suffer an asbestos-related illness.
Identify the problem, and then take action
If you can't look at something and determine if it contains asbestos, what can you do to identify a problem? The following tips may help, as well as point you in the right direction to access asbestos illness support systems:
- Asbestos is most dangerous when released into the air. This can happen when things like ceiling tiles, flooring or other tactile materials get wet or crumble easily. If you buy a home that has old and peeling floor or ceiling tiles, it's a good idea to make certain there is no asbestos present.
- There are professionals trained in asbestos inspection who can thoroughly examine your home or workplace and identify possible asbestos dangers.
- Even if the building materials in your home are stable and in good condition, if you plan to renovate or remodel any area that might contain asbestos, you will want to make sure you access all options for careful inspection and removal, if necessary.
- Cutting, tearing, sawing, drilling or scraping can cause extremely hazardous conditions in your home or workplace if asbestos is present in the materials worked on.
Dusting or vacuuming debris that contains asbestos is also highly dangerous. If you work in a high-risk area and come home to your family, your loved ones are also at risk if your clothing contains microscopic asbestos particles. Asbestos-related illnesses often go untreated for lengthy amounts of time because those afflicted are not always immediately aware of their illnesses. Symptoms may not be apparent for years after initial asbestos exposure.
Support is available
Others in Pennsylvania who have suffered from asbestosis, mesothelioma or other respiratory illnesses or cancers have been able to pursue justice when others' negligence has been a causal factor in their diseases. An attorney experienced in asbestos litigation is a great asset to have on hand in such circumstances.