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Asbestos exposure caused by both old and new usage

The use of asbestos in new products might be limited, but that does not protect people from either current or past usage. Older buildings -- or at least those that were built several decades ago -- are a common source of asbestos exposure, including places like post offices, churches, hospitals, barbershops and movie theaters. Since it is extremely durable, asbestos was once commonly used in construction as an insulator. However, that durability as well as continued use is putting today's South Carolina residents at risk.

Although people generally think of asbestos as a problem of the past, it is still a relatively recent problem. Not only was asbestos used for a significant portion of the 1900s, but usage of this toxic substance hit its peak in the 1970s. Most uses of asbestos were briefly banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1989, but two years later it was overturned. Today there are only partial bans and some restrictions. Automobile parts, fertilizer and piping are just a few of the products that are still being manufactured with asbestos.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, an estimated one million workers are exposed to asbestos while at work. However, people do not have to be employed in the manufacturing or construction industries to be at risk for exposure. As buildings get older, their pipes, walls, ceilings and floors naturally deteriorate, exposing decades-old asbestos. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is extremely likely that that vast majority of charter, primary and secondary schools have asbestos in things like ceiling and floor tiles, decorative insulation and materials used to soundproof music rooms.

Asbestos does not discriminate, and both adults and children can inadvertently be exposed to this substance. That asbestos exposure often leads to serious and even fatal health consequences, including the deadly cancer mesothelioma. For cancer patients in South Carolina who are fighting this terrible disease, getting just compensation for physical, emotional and financial damages can be extremely beneficial to both themselves as well as their families.

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