Because asbestos was once so commonly used as a component of building and insulation materials, it can be easy to forget that it is a naturally-occurring mineral that can be found in nature. Asbestos is a substance that occurs naturally in the Earth and can be found around the world, including in the United States. This abundance is what spurred its use as an insulator to meet the demand of the rapidly industrializing United States, and large-scale mining of the mineral began in the 19th century. Asbestos can still be found in natural formations throughout the United States, and when this happens it can be as dangerous as the asbestos found in man-made products.
This issue is currently plaguing the highway project planned for Boulder City, Nevada. Initially, scientists assigned to the project expressed concerns about how the naturally-occurring asbestos along the highway’s intended path would affect workers and community members, so the project was put on hold until a solution could be reached. Now, the project is underway again, but not without concerns from scientists and others involved in the project.
The concerns being raised about the Nevada highway project are generally about public safety, rather than worker safety. This is because the current set of precautions in place were only created with worker safety in mind. Furthermore, these precautions were only created for this project and are not part of Nevada law. Nevada’s laws about the use and handling of asbestos only apply to the asbestos found in buildings, not the asbestos found in nature.
Generally, asbestos is only dangerous in its powder form, which can easily be inhaled. One of the greatest concerns surrounding this project is whether the construction will disturb the asbestos in the area, releasing particles into the air that can be carried with the breeze into the surrounding community.
There is no real solution for the concerned community members at this time. This is the first time the development company behind the highway has had to deal with cutting through fields of naturally-occurring asbestos. The government agencies in charge of the roadway have not stepped in with any additional regulations. The reality is that there very well could be a rise in mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases in the Boulder City area decades from now, because mesothelioma has a latency period of 20 to 50 years.
If you are suffering from mesothelioma after spending a career working with or around asbestos, consider seeking monetary compensation for your damages via an asbestos exposure claim. To learn more, fill out our online form or call our Philadelphia offices at 1-215-569-4000 or toll-free at 1-800-369-0899 to set up your initial consultation. Our experienced Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler represent clients from Delaware County, Philadelphia County, and Chester County, as well as in New Jersey. We can help you seek the compensation you deserve.