Asbestos has been off the consumer market for a long time now. Considering the potential health effects of exposure, this is definitely not a surprise.
However, many older structures still have asbestos. It was a popular component of flooring tile, ceiling panels, siding and, of course, insulation.
Demolishing work and an allegedly slow response
A recent potential asbestos exposure event occurred in Lula, Georgia. Workers were demolishing old structures.
These structures had asbestos elements. Locals reported a lack of safety measures on the site, which included the absence of appropriate personal protective gear.
People also expressed concern about the potential release of asbestos fibers into the surrounding environment. Once someone disturbs them by cutting, breaking, or even running an air current across an asbestos product, these fibers could potentially remain airborne for a significant time and travel a relatively long distance.
Neighbors also had some criticism of the local regulatory response. Specifically, they mentioned that the stop-work order came much later than they would have liked.
Health effects of asbestos exposure
There are various potential effects of asbestos exposure. To make matters worse, these diseases might not take effect until 10-40 years after exposure.
Local eyewitness reports of this incident included descriptions of children playing down the road from the work site. A specific distance was not available, and, therefore, an accurate estimation of exposure risk would be difficult to provide. A local did mention, however, that they no longer felt safe in their little town.
Asbestos exposure could cause debilitating and deadly health issues. Hopefully, these types of events soon stop as asbestos awareness, responses and enforcement practices become more effective.