Not everything that exists in nature is safe, although many people use the words natural and safe interchangeably. There are plenty of natural substances that are poisonous, while others could cause cancer.
Asbestos is a perfect example. There are deposits of this mineral all over the Earth, often in close proximity to other minerals, like talc. Humans have mined asbestos for centuries and used it for everything from slowing the progress of fires to thermal insulation. Unfortunately, asbestos isn’t safe for humans.
The risks of asbestos exposure vary
The particles of asbestos that people might inhale while handling it or near it can cause damage to their lungs. Some exposed people will eventually develop lung cancer, while others develop cancer of the organ lining or mesothelioma. Still others will develop non-cancerous respiratory conditions.
Careful handling practices are crucial for those who work with asbestos and those who remove it. Some companies cut corners when it comes to asbestos remediation, possibly putting the communities around them at risk.
A company in Cleveland is on trial for terrible asbestos practices
There is currently a serious case related to asbestos making its way through the Ohio court system. A company in Ohio that claimed to offer an environmentally-sound building materials recycling facility did little more than haul away contaminated materials and pile them up at a landfill.
Rather than protecting their workers and sequestering potentially carcinogenic refuse, the company ignored environmental regulations regarding asbestos disposal. A situation like this could endanger many people.
Improper removal of asbestos might leave a building or facility contaminated, leading to cancer for people who live or work there. Those who hauled or handled the contaminated materials may not have had proper training or safety equipment, and the same is true for those who worked at the landfill. Individuals who live close to the facility that became a landfill could also have dangerous levels of exposure to asbestos carried on the open air.
Workers and those with environmental exposure have rights
The dangers of asbestos have been well known for decades, and companies have no excuse for putting profits before the safety of their workers or the public. When they don’t follow the rules, workers and the public often pay the price.
Individuals who eventually develop cancers and other diseases related to asbestos exposure may be able to take legal action against companies that exposed and endangered them.