Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was widely used in commercial applications due to its heat resistance and insulating properties. However, prolonged exposure to this substance can lead to serious health issues. Employees, patrons and others who spend significant time in commercial establishments may have questions about the potential risks of asbestos exposure.
This article aims to clarify common concerns related to asbestos exposure at commercial businesses.
Identifying the presence of asbestos
Asbestos was widely used in building materials until the late 20th century. Therefore, older commercial buildings are more likely to contain asbestos. Materials such as insulation, ceiling tiles, floor tiles and cement products may contain asbestos. However, determining its presence definitively requires a professional asbestos inspection.
Health implications of asbestos exposure
The health risks associated with asbestos exposure often do not appear until years or even decades after the exposure. They include asbestosis (a chronic lung disease), lung cancer and mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer primarily affecting the lining of the lungs and abdomen).
How businesses can minimize asbestos exposure
Commercial businesses can minimize the risk of asbestos exposure by having a professional asbestos inspection if they suspect the presence of asbestos in their building. If the inspection finds that there is asbestos, businesses should hire a licensed professional to safely remove or encapsulate the asbestos-containing materials.
Right to a safe environment
Employees, customers and visitors have a right to a safe environment. If a commercial business is aware of asbestos in its building and does not take steps to mitigate the risk, the courts may hold it accountable for any harm resulting from this negligence.
It is crucial for businesses to be proactive in identifying and managing asbestos risks in their buildings. By understanding the implications of asbestos exposure, businesses can better equip themselves to create safe spaces for all.