Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer in the tissues of the lungs and other organs. A diagnosis of mesothelioma means one's family will probably be preparing for the worst. The patient faces the possibility of multiple surgeries, radiation and chemo treatments along with their respective side effects. Mesothelioma and some other cancers are known to result from asbestos exposure, and the state of Ohio is among those that have more than their fair share of suffering.
The dangers of asbestos have been known for decades. In fact, for over a century, researchers have been connecting certain cancers with prolonged asbestos exposure. Nevertheless, the toxic materials remain in many older buildings in Ohio and across the country. Some parents may be shocked to learn that hundreds of thousands of those buildings are schools.
Because of its once prevalent use in all manners of building, it is not always easy to know beforehand when a construction or worksite is plagued with the toxic substance known as asbestos. However, once Ohio employers are made aware, all necessary efforts should be taken to protect workers who will be in the vicinity. A shipyard that failed to do so was recently hit with a proposed penalty of nearly $1.4 million after many of its workers were unjustly subjected to asbestos exposure.
Ohio workers in the construction industry typically understand that asbestos is no laughing matter. These and other workers rely on their employers and other responsible officials to be open and truthful when dealing with issues of possible exposure. Unfortunately, even when qualified crews are brought in to clean up the toxic materials, concerns about asbestos exposure remain.
Ohio parents expect their children's schools to be safe environments in which students can be educated without worry of injury or illness. This is almost certainly a reasonable expectation, but school administrators sometimes take actions that further jeopardize students, teachers and other workers. At one out-of-state school, a janitor was even discharged from her position after alerting school officials to a serious asbestos exposure problem.
Laws and regulations surrounding asbestos use are rapidly evolving to protect workers and families like never before, but many people are still experiencing the aftermath of a less-regulated period of time. Decades in the past, even when the toxic effects of asbestos exposure were well understood, regulations were not always sufficient for protecting people. A family outside of Ohio was recently awarded millions for those past failings.
It is not often that positive news regarding asbestos makes national headlines, but overwhelming support for a new bill could mean better safety regulations for the future. After receiving bipartisan support, the bill only needs to pass Congress and then be signed by the President. It aims to expand protection against asbestos exposure to more communities and families.
Most Ohio workers understandably expect to be taken seriously when reporting concerns related to toxic substances in their workplace. Unfortunately, not all employers take reports from worried employees earnestly, putting the entire workforce at continued risk of asbestos exposure. In many instances, workers who voice asbestos concerns risk having their continued employment threatened or cut short.
No level of asbestos exposure is believed to be safe, but how long the exposure lasts can have a profound influence on the risk of falling ill. A new study finally uncovered evidence and data to support the long-held hypothesis that the length of time a person is employed in an asbestos-related field is directly related to a person's chance of developing cancer. Mesothelioma is an especially fatal form of cancer that is caused by asbestos, and it continues to affect Ohio workers.
Parents in Ohio typically expect their children's schools to provide safe and healthy environments that foster learning. Sadly, some of that trust might be misguided. Asbestos exposure is a real and ongoing risk to students and staff in schools all across the United States of America.