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Construction workers learn of asbestos exposure months later

There is a very good reason that asbestos abatement is tightly regulated in South Carolina. When mishandled, asbestos fibers are released into the air. Those airborne fibers are easily inhaled. For those who do not quite understand just how serious this is, it is important to know that asbestos exposure can lead to a number of different cancers, including the incurable cancer mesothelioma.

Asbestos was recently discovered at a construction site where a building had been demolished earlier in 2019. Construction workers were apparently not instructed to take any safety precautions for asbestos at the time of demolition. However, workers later discovered what they thought was likely asbestos inside another building at the same site.

Following that discovery, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control -- the SCDHEC -- tested rubble from the demolished building. The results confirmed what the workers had already suspected. There had been asbestos in the building they had already demolished. Perhaps even more upsetting than realizing that they and the surrounding communities had been exposed to asbestos is just how long it took the SCDHEC to take action. The debris from the building had been left on-site for months.

Many victims in South Carolina do not even realize they were exposed to asbestos until they develop a related disease. For those who do learn of their asbestos exposure beforehand, it is important to maintain detailed records of the event as well as medical histories. This type of information is often useful when a person develops mesothelioma or other cancer and chooses to pursue compensation for his or her damages. It might even be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney about what information is most important to document.

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