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Naturally Occurring Asbestos Halts Major Highway Project

Our Boston Mesothelioma lawyers know that naturally occurring asbestos must be removed in a safe manner so as not to expose people to the deadly fibers.

empty-road-1344295-m.jpgAccording to a recent article in the Las Vegas Sun, naturally forming asbestos has caused delays in road construction projects. Scientists from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas were asked to examine a bluish-gray mineral that was found on rocks at the construction site of a planned highway bypass.

Researchers used sample collection tape to extract the mineral and examined it under a microscope. Under magnification, they saw what they know as telltale white fibers in the shape of drinking straws, which form asbestos.

As we have discussed in other blog entries, asbestos is actually one of six forms of a naturally occurring mineral, silica. For thousands of years, civilizations have used this substance for its remarkable ability to resist heat, chemicals, and electricity. It was during the industrial revolution in the mid to late 1800s that natural asbestos was spun into fibers and then woven in textiles to be used for modern insulation. It has also been used for ceiling and floor materials and a variety of other uses.

As we now know, and as it turns out, manufacturers knew decades before the general public, asbestos causes a deadly form of lung cancer called mesothelioma. When the fibers are breathed into the lungs, they get embedded in the lung tissue and the human body has now way to expel them. This can lead to cancerous growths.

The county is in urgent need of the bypass to ease traffic problems, but construction has come to a halt due the asbestos. If the rock is broken with explosives or heavy machinery, as it will be during the building process, the fibers could be released into the air, causing a toxic cloud over the area and exposing people to the deadly fibers.

The cleanup and removal of naturally forming asbestos is even more difficult than the removal of man-made asbestos form older buildings. Public health officials have stated that there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure and are greatly concerned that the cleanup is handled in a safe manner.

It is amazing to think of how government officials are so worried today of accidental exposure to naturally occurring asbestos when just over 40 years ago, companies were knowingly exposing workers, homeowners, and people of all ages to this deadly substance in the interest of making a profit.

The companies knew of the dangers of using asbestos, but they also knew that it would take years for people to get sick. People today are being diagnosed with this deadly disease decades after exposure to asbestos. Often times, people only learn of the cancer when they become very sick and may not have long to live.

As your mesothelioma lawyer can explain, those who have been exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma may have rights to financial recovery from the many companies who knowingly exposed them to this toxic material.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:
Asbestos proves to be a microscopic road block near Boulder City, July 20, 2014, Las Vegas Sun
More Blog Entries:

Mesothelioma Effects on Small England Town, July 26, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyers Blog