Some people in Pennsylvania might assume that asbestos is a substance that is no longer a problem. Others might not be aware of what exactly asbestos is. Unfortunately, asbestos continues to be a real problem that affects the lives and health of people who come into contact with it without adequate protection.

Health effects

One reason for this is that while 70 countries have banned asbestos, it is only partially banned in the United States. That ban came into effect in 1989, but products are still permitted to have 1% asbestos in them even though no level of it is considered safe. Another reason is that it can take decades for diseases that are the result of asbestos to show up. Asbestos-related diseases include mesothelioma and other types of cancer, including lung, colon and ovarian cancer.

Asbestos still a problem

Another problem is that there is still asbestos in many buildings and homes throughout the country. This presents hazards for the occupants as well as for construction crews and firefighters. People who work around some talc products and brakes of vehicles may also face some asbestos exposure. In some places, such as Montana, the mine that caused asbestos-related health problems in many individuals is long since closed, but former employees are still getting sick.

People may be exposed to asbestos in a variety of ways, through work or through other environments they are in regularly, including their own homes. Families of people who worked in environments with asbestos may be vulnerable as well since fibers can be carried home on clothing. People who are suffering from asbestos-related diseases might want to consult an attorney. They may be owed compensation that can help cover their medical expenses as well as other costs.