The April 27 tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa not only damaged approximately 7,000 buildings, but its aftermath served as a reminder about the lingering dangers of asbestos. Asbestos is thought to be present in a majority of the buildings damaged or destroyed by the twister, and some clean-up crews were dousing demolished buildings with water to mitigate the spread of asbestos particles as the rubble was cleared. There are no federal or state regulations specifying that water must be sprayed on damaged structures containing asbestos; there are also no laws that govern who is responsible for ensuring asbestos is safely removed in such circumstances. Asbestos is a carcinogen that was commonly used in homes and other structures for its insulative and flame-retardant properties. Although it has been effectively banned from such use for decades, current federal regulations only require oversight for asbestos disposal in the cases of commercial, governmental and multi-family buildings such as apartments. When it comes to single-family homes, however, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers only suggestions on how to control the airborne spread of asbestos particles. As also evidenced by ongoing litigation over exposure to asbestos-based drilling mud, the severe dangers of asbestos remain despite longtime knowledge of its risks, which include such severe health problems as:
- Lung cancer
If you or a loved one has suffered the harmful effects of asbestos exposure, please contact the experienced Mobile, Alabama, asbestos attorneys at Long & Long, for a free case consultation.