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The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has played a significant role in limiting asbestos exposure over the years, even if asbestos is still not fully banned in the United States. However, a troubling recent report published by an EPA internal watchdog showed that the EPA only performed 13% of all required school asbestos inspections from 2011 to 2015.
Released by the Office Inspector General in September, the report found that states who regulate their own asbestos levels outperformed the federal inspections nearly 6 times over. But for the 29 states who depend solely on federal legislation and inspection to limit asbestos exposure, this statistic may not provide much comfort. As one of the 29 states that fall under the federal implementation jurisdiction, Florida schools were included in the list of those that did not receive proper federal inspections from the EPA. Unfortunately, this means students in Florida schools may be facing a heightened risk of asbestos exposure.
If you believe that your child may have some of the symptoms of asbestos exposure, discuss with a doctor as soon as possible. If tests show that your child was exposed to asbestos, the school district as well as other regulatory agencies may be liable if they are shown to have failed inspection requirements. Our Florida mesothelioma attorneys at Ferraro Law Firm can fight on your behalf if this is the case, as we have years of experience handling similar claims.
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Why Is Asbestos Exposure Dangerous?
Asbestos is a mineral that has been shown time and again to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and a host of other serious illnesses and cancers. Used as an insulator since the time of the Romans, it took until the 1970’s for the government to recognize and admit that there was a clear link between asbestos exposure and cancers of all kinds. It wasn’t until 1982 that the newly formed EPA created a handbook to identify asbestos in schools, and initiated a program to bring school buildings into compliance.
The most common disease caused by asbestos is pleural mesothelioma, which also happens to be incurable. It’s notoriously difficult to diagnose and has a lengthy incubation period: In fact, it can take up to 40 years for the symptoms of mesothelioma to present themselves. This means your child may not have any symptoms at all, but ultimately face a difficult road ahead if symptoms ever point to mesothelioma.
What Risks Do Florida Students Face?
Florida has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma and asbestos-related deaths, as a direct result of our state’s long history of construction, shipyard, and mining work – all occupations with an exceptionally high rate of asbestos exposure. Given this fact, it’s easy to see how Florida school administrators and parents alike should be concerned that the EPA failed to perform this essential duty for more than four years.
According to the report released by the Office Inspector General, the biggest problem with the EPA’s failure to inspect schools in these 29 states is that there isn’t sufficient oversight from the 4 years between 2011 and 2015. Although it’s entirely possible that the majority of schools were fully up to code, and that all construction and remodeling efforts were performed with proper safety precautions to limit asbestos exposure, it’s impossible to say for sure. More than 5 out of 10 regions governed by the EPA only received inspections when there was a direct complaint, or a tip related to asbestos.
Frequently Asked Questions: Mesothelioma & Asbestos
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic, naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Known for its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has historically been used in insulation, construction materials, automotive parts, and shipbuilding materials.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of small shard-like fibers that can easily become airborne when disturbed. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers can embed within the lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, or testes where they can cause cancer to form years or decades later.
What are asbestos-related diseases?
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Three of the most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
What are common mesothelioma symptoms?
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include difficulty breathing and chest pains. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, may cause abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a preventable form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military or while working in construction, mechanics, or a similar field, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Ferraro Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, patients can receive treatments for mesothelioma that may extend their initial prognosis with proper treatment. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma usually have a life expectancy that is greater than three years, though a large part of this depends on the stage the patient is diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the longer the life expectancy and chance of long-term survival.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek long-term medical treatment. After that, you should contact our firm to examine your legal rights. Since 1985, The Ferraro Law Firm has represented individuals with asbestos-related diseases and pursued fair compensation on their behalf. Our firm is one of the top five law firms in the U.S. handling mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
Protect Your Child’s Future. Fight for Compensation for Asbestos Exposure.
At The Ferraro Law Firm, we’ve spent the last 30 years winning asbestos claims so that you can have a dedicated advocate and ally in this complex process. Although it is often difficult to prove liability in asbestos cases, our attorneys have a strong track record of success and a passionate commitment to ending asbestos exposure for all citizens.
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