Older buildings here in Ohio and elsewhere may contain numerous potentially harmful chemicals and substances due to the fact that environmental protections that now restrict their use were not always in place. In many cases, those substances or chemicals are contained, that is, until disturbed by construction or damage. This is often especially true of asbestos, which was widely used in a number of building materials in the past. How can occupants and visitors to these buildings be sure they will not suffer from asbestos exposure? They have to rely on the buildings’ owners to make sure they are safe, and that does not always necessarily happen.
In a building located in another state, many people allege that the current owner knew that it had asbestos issues when it was purchased. As early as Dec. 2013, the previous occupants knew about the presence of asbestos and even moved employees to another floor when they were told that it was safe to occupy the upper floors. Now, construction is going on in the building, and some say that occupants, employees and visitors should be concerned about exposure to asbestos.
Recently, signs were put up warning of the presence of this toxic material, but only after numerous people spent time in the building. When employees working in the Georgia building asked questions about the warnings, the red tape and warning signs suddenly disappeared. They were told there was nothing to worry about, but that may not be the case.
The results of asbestos exposure may not appear for many years, so it could be some time before anyone in that building will know whether there was really nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, this type of situation could occur here in Ohio as well. If there is any chance that an individual may have been exposed to this toxic substance, it may be worthwhile to gain an understanding of how to protect his or her rights should an asbestos-related illness arise in the future.
Source: cbs46.com, “City of East Point employees fear asbestos in city building”, Adam Murphy, March 28, 2018