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.
Living the military life is not easy. Between deployments and frequent moves, active military members and their families have enough on their plates to worry about. The possibility of dealing with asbestos exposure in their own homes probably seemed far-fetched, but it is now the reality that many are facing. The contractor accused of exposing military families to asbestos operates in multiple states, including South Carolina.
Applying makeup is a daily practice for many women in South Carolina. These women should be able to put on their makeup without worrying about asbestos exposure, but this might not be the case. A significant number of cosmetics could contain this cancer-causing substance, putting women everywhere at risk for serious and even fatal health problems.
As public servants, firefighters put themselves in harm's way in order to protect the people of South Carolina. Firefighters likely expect to encounter potentially dangerous substances while on the job. However, few may think that they would be victims of asbestos exposure during their training.
Libraries are a central part of many communities in South Carolina. Whether offering free job training, internet access or simply books to check out, libraries provide valuable services in relatively safe settings. However, one out-of-state library ended up being less safe than some visitors might have realized, and contractors are now on the hook for possible asbestos exposure.
Removing asbestos from older buildings is extremely dangerous. If not done properly, asbestos fibers can become airborne. This type of asbestos exposure is linked to devastating health outcomes, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. However, before being diagnosed, some people in South Carolina might not even know that they were ever exposed to the deadly substance.