Asbestos is extremely dangerous, and yet it can be found lurking in any number of products and places in South Carolina. Even products that are not supposed to contain any asbestos at all can be contaminated with the toxic substance, like talc-based products such as baby powder. A recently published study affirmed the link between asbestos exposure through contaminated talcum powder contaminated and the deadly cancer mesothelioma.
Unless working in certain industries, chances are that most people in South Carolina do not give much thought to encountering asbestos during their daily lives. However, asbestos exposure is much more common than one might think. Regular, low-level exposure can happen to anyone.
Before anyone was aware of the health hazards, asbestos was a highly valued substance used in a variety of industries. Although it is now banned for most new uses, there is no escaping the centuries of use that can still be found in office buildings, homes and even vehicles. South Carolina has laws that are intended to minimize the risk of asbestos exposure when dealing with or removing this toxic substance.
It is no secret that asbestos is a dangerous and deadly substance. Unfortunately, South Carolina consumers might be more susceptible to asbestos exposure than they may think. Asbestos continues to show up in products where it should not, putting individual consumers at risk for developing deadly diseases.
In South Carolina, asbestos is far from a problem of the past. People who attend school in old buildings or work in industries that still use asbestos can easily come into contact with the substance. Asbestos exposure at any level can be dangerous, and health problems may develop many years later.
South Carolina workers should be able to trust their employers to provide safe working environments. When dangers arise in a workplace, an employer should alert his or her staff to the problem. In some situations -- such as that of asbestos exposure -- removing workers from an area is the most appropriate course of action. Not all employers treat this situation as seriously as they should.
Asbestos is far from being a problem of the past. This dangerous substance can still be found in a number of older products that still exist today, and new uses in specific industries may make it difficult for people in South Carolina to avoid asbestos exposure throughout the course of their lives. For example, depending on the age of a person's home, asbestos could be hiding in plain sight.
Few people in South Carolina may be able to imagine a life without motor vehicles. People use their cars for commuting to work, traveling for entertainment and much, much more. Although for some people driving and riding in vehicles is just another fixture of daily life, those who work and perform routine maintenance on those cars could be deadly. An investigation revealed that workers in the auto industry are frequent victims of asbestos exposure.
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.
In past decades, parents in South Carolina probably did not give a second thought to using baby powder on their children or even themselves. What these consumers might not have realized at the time was that they were purchasing a potentially dangerous product. However, Johnson & Johnson -- a large manufacturer of talcum baby powder -- may have known. The company is now the subject of a criminal probe as investigators try to determine what it knew about the risk of asbestos exposure.