Injury Risk in Public Buildings: Asbestos

ACWORTH, Georgia. Mother Jones recently reported on a case where asbestos was found in the Washington, D.C. Federal Election Commission building. Workers are concerned that they may have been exposed to asbestos. According to the National Cancer Institute, asbestos is classified as a known carcinogen. Asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma, a cancer of the membranes that line the lungs and abdomen. Asbestos has also been linked to lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and larynx cancer. Asbestos exposure can also lead to lung inflammation and non-cancerous conditions that can affect a person’s breathing.

How common is asbestos in public buildings? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, many public schools may still contain asbestos. The EPA recommends that schools known to include asbestos in their building materials conduct regular inspections. Under the EPA’s regulations, schools that contain asbestos when the asbestos hasn’t been disturbed should follow “in place” management protocols. Asbestos generally doesn’t become airborne unless it is disturbed. However, if a building is under renovation or if it has been damaged, the asbestos can become airborne, posing a hazard to students and people. If schools need to perform renovations or if the buildings become damaged, they must follow proper asbestos management protocols.

How can you know if your child’s school contains asbestos? The Environmental Protection Agency requires schools with known asbestos to have an asbestos management plan on file. Parents can contact the school for this information to learn more about the plan in place. These plans must include blueprints letting the public know where asbestos is located in the school. The plan must also include a timeline and plan for inspections. Finally, the plan should include procedures for informing teachers, students, and workers about inspections and actions to be taken after inspections take place.

Asbestos is frightening because the consequences of exposure are not always immediately apparent. It can take years before a person develops cancer or mesothelioma or any of the lung conditions that can affect breathing and quality of life.

Everyone suffers some level of asbestos exposure, but workers have a right to a safe workplace, free of hazardous air. If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos at work or school, you may have certain rights under the law. If you have developed mesothelioma or cancer and believe your illness is the result of workplace-based exposure, you may have the right to pursue a worker’s compensation claim or lawsuit.

If you or a loved one has developed cancer or mesothelioma due to workplace asbestos exposure, consider reaching out to a personal injury lawyer who may be able to assist you in seeking damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Amanda Hall Injury Law are worker’s compensation lawyers in Acworth, Georgia who may be able to help you and your family seek justice. 

Amanda Hall Injury Law
145 Towne Lake Pkwy, Ste 200
Woodstock Ga 30188