Ohio residents who work in certain industries already know that they could end up contracting an illness from the substances and chemicals around them on the job. They and their employers take measures to ensure their safety. When it comes to asbestos exposure, this involves numerous steps and precautions that people who don't work around this toxic substance would not know to take.
How is it that a toxic substance whose use was largely banned decades ago could continue to pose a health risk? Asbestos exposure still occurs even in 2018 because many structures and products used here in Ohio and elsewhere still contain the substance. In many cases, this is because as long as it is not disturbed and becomes airborne, its threat to people is nearly nonexistent. Once disturbed through something as simple as a renovation to something as catastrophic as a fire or explosion, it becomes deadly once again.
Most Ohio construction workers are aware that risks come with working on renovation or demolition projects. One of those risks is asbestos exposure since many buildings requiring demolition or renovation contain the toxic substance. If those materials are not handled correctly, workers could find themselves suffering from significant health problems at some point in the future.
Whether here in Ohio or elsewhere, cities are tasked with protecting their citizens from all manner of dangers. This is done through numerous avenues such as providing emergency services, maintaining public roadways and not purposely exposing residents to toxic substances, if possible. That may be why one city in a state on the East Coast could find itself in trouble after firefighters say the city intentionally burned a building that led to potential asbestos exposure for them and residents in the area.
Many people believed that the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act signed into law in 2016 would improve environmental conditions by shoring up the Toxic Substances Control Act. The TSCA left much to be desired when it came to protecting human health from risks such as asbestos exposure here in Ohio and elsewhere. It was hoped that the 2016 law would do more since it allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to permanently ban certain products such as asbestos from use in the country.
In addition to the flames, the smoke created by fires can present certain dangers. Smoke inhalation on its own can cause substantial damage to a victim, but when other chemicals or toxic substances mix with the smoke, the results could be devastating for his or her health. This includes asbestos exposure that could occur during a fire, depending on the location. Ohio has certain locations such as old buildings and rail yards where this toxic compound exists, and during a fire, it could become airborne and lead to adverse health consequences.
Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year, and some may be here in Ohio. At present, no cure for this condition exists, but patients can undergo traditional cancer treatments in an attempt to prolong their lives. Even so, researchers, including medical device and pharmaceutical companies, are working to find new treatments that could further extend the lives of patients with mesothelioma.
Both the federal government and state governments, including Ohio, require companies and individuals to follow strict rules and regulations when it comes to dealing with toxic chemicals and substances. This includes the removal, storing and disposal of substances such as asbestos. When a company fails to deal with this toxic mineral appropriately, it risks potential asbestos exposure to workers and anyone who comes into contact with it.
Like many other states, Ohio has numerous old buildings. Some of them may contain asbestos, and when developers want to renovate those old buildings, remediation may be necessary in order to avoid the potential for asbestos exposure by workers and others in the area. Remediation efforts can easily reach into the millions of dollars when done properly, but the safety of everyone involved must take precedence.
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.