Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires pose many safety concerns for the public. One hidden threat may be the potential danger of asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers can become airborne during a natural disaster and pose a threat to a person’s health in numerous ways:
Fires: Prior to the 1980s, asbestos was used in building materials because of its resistance to heat. This includes in construction of houses, ships and buildings. If an asbestos-containing structure catches fire, exposure occurs causing toxic contamination.
Smoke Inhalation: Smoke burning from a disaster’s debris often contains toxic fumes, including asbestos fibers.
Asbestos Debris: The debris of ashes and burnt material from destroyed matter may contain hazardous asbestos.
Floods: Structures damaged by a flood expose asbestos through damaged flooring, drywall and ceilings. Water breaks down the fibers of asbestos rendering them airborne when they dry out.
Earthquakes and Tsunamis: These types of natural disasters usually are epic in proportion. The result is large-scale destruction resulting in devastation of communities. Building and insulation materials laden with asbestos are now demolished, exposing whole populations to its toxicity.
Hurricanes and Tornadoes: These kinds of storms carry a high risk for asbestos exposure during the cleanup process when hazardous building debris has accumulated and safety regulations for re-building are lax due to the overwhelming emergency of the situation.
For more information on potentially dangerous exposure to asbestos, call Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler today at 215-569-4000 or contact us online.