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Asbestos explained

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2018 | Workplace Illness

You may think that you are aware of whatever health hazards that you make encounter in Wauwatosa, yet one exists that you may recognize yet, like most, not fully understand: asbestos. Many of those that we here at the Paul M Erspamer Law Offices, S.C. have worked with on asbestos-related cases had no idea they were even being exposed it. That is because is relative rarity in today’s world means that few are indeed familiar with it. Yet if you think that you have no chance of being exposed to asbestos as part of your job, you may be wrong. 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that was once widely used in construction materials. It was discovered, however, that inhaling asbestos could contribute to the development of lung disease and certain types of cancers. The Environmental Protection Agency implemented a ban on asbestos in 1989, yet that was later overturned in federal court and the use of asbestos was allowed to continue for those products that had historically used in in their manufacturing. These include: 

  • Automotive parts
  • Insulation
  • Building materials
  • Potting soils
  • Fireproof clothing

While these products still contain asbestos, it cannot amount to more than 1 percent of their overall composition. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers must evaluate working environments where you and your co-workers might be exposed to asbestos. If it found to be present, it must be closely monitored to ensure that levels in the air do not exceed the federally mandated Permissible Exposure Limit, which is 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air over an eight-hour time-weighted average. The highest levels can get during that period is 1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air over 30 minutes. 

You can learn more about asbestos and other potential workplace hazards by continuing to explore our site.