Natural disasters plague the United States by causing significant destruction and loss of life. Natural disasters have destroyed entire cities and towns. Additionally, natural disasters place residents and relief workers in the immediate area of asbestos, putting them at an increased risk of asbestos exposure. At natural disaster sites, many residents and workers breathe asbestos fibers, which can cause them to develop serious and even fatal diseases.

Natural Disasters

Unfortunately, there have been many natural disasters in the United Sates, including:

  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Lightening strikes

How Natural Disasters cause Asbestos Exposure?

Natural disasters frequently cause massive amounts of damage, including destruction of many commercial and residential buildings. Many buildings destroyed by natural disasters were constructed using asbestos containing materials, because asbestos fibers are durable and fire-resistant. The violent destruction of buildings containing asbestos materials during natural disasters releases large amounts of asbestos fibers into the air, subjecting area residents and emergency responders to asbestos exposure.

Natural Disasters and Asbestos Exposure Dangers

Natural disasters place many people at an increased risk of asbestos exposure by releasing large amounts of asbestos fibers into the air. When airborne asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they remain lodged in the body and can cause severe and fatal diseases, such as:

  • Mesothelioma (a cancer that affects the lining surrounding the lungs)
  • Asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal, stomach, colon, or rectum cancer

Who is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Natural disasters place many people at risk of exposure to asbestos, including:

  • Residents around the area where the natural disaster occurred
  • Natural disaster responders who immediately come to assist the residents
  • Natural disaster clean up crews and volunteers who assist victims with rebuilding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that, after a natural disaster, residents should not handle any damaged materials. Additionally, the EPA advises homeowners to wait for federal, state, or local emergency relief personnel to arrive at the natural disaster area to safely remove hazardous debris.

Injured by Asbestos Exposure from a Natural Disaster?

If you or a loved has been injured by asbestos exposure from a natural disaster, please contact us today. Our asbestos attorneys will provide you with a free case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by