The potential for asbestos exposure in natural disasters

Ohio may not see the hurricanes or wildfires as other parts of the country do, but that does not mean that some sort of natural disaster could not strike the state. If it does, the devastation and destruction could place first responders, construction workers and insurance adjusters, along with the public, in danger of exposure to any number of hazardous substances and chemicals. Disaster areas where older buildings sustain damage could put many people in danger of asbestos exposure.

Through the 1970s, asbestos was used in several building materials. The toxic substance poses little to no danger until the materials are disturbed in a way that exposes it to the air. Dust and other particles from the substance can then be inhaled or ingested. At that point, an individual risks contracting an asbestos-related illness such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, but not right away.

It can take decades for someone exposed to asbestos to manifest symptoms of these debilitating and often fatal conditions. For this reason, it is crucial that government officials take the appropriate steps in order to minimize the dangers to those who must be in disaster areas. Each disaster tends to provide more information to officials regarding how to better ensure that no one suffers from exposure.

Even with taking certain precautions, no one can guarantee that an individual or group of individuals will be spared asbestos exposure. Ohio residents who have been through, or could go through, some sort of disaster, natural or otherwise, in an area where older buildings are may want to take steps to ensure a certain measure of protection should they contract illnesses known to be connected to this toxic substance. Whether those symptoms already appear or could appear in the future, there may be avenues to restitution for the financial losses that accompany such illnesses.

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