ASBESTOS IN STONE SHEETS
Building sheetrock – essentially asbestos in stone sheets – becomes a health hazard during home renovation activities
Nearly any remodeling, renovation or demolition in a home that was built before 1980 probably created incidents of asbestos exposure for unsuspecting workers. Besides the asbestos in stone sheets, workers risk toxic exposure from other asbestos-tainted building products like mixing joint compound and the adhesives that drywall tapers use to smooth out the seams of adjoining stone sheets.
Asbestos in stone sheets
June 22, 2010 – Before government regulations were enacted in the 1980s, much of the sheetrock used in the construction industry contained asbestos. Sheetrock of this period is essentially asbestos in stone sheets.
Also known as wallboard, sheetrock may be one of the most widely used materials in the building industry. There are millions of homes in the United States with walls made of asbestos-containing sheetrock.
It came in standard size stone sheets that sandwiched a layer of gypsum and asbestos between two sheets of heavy paper. Asbestos added strength, and was resistant to fire and temperature changes. Best of all, sheetrock workers could finish a wall in a fraction of the time required to plaster one.
Asbestos in stone sheets
Even though sheetrock is everywhere, it is not an immediate health hazard as long as the walls are intact. But when those walls are damaged during renovation or demolition activities, for example, toxic asbestos fibers can dislodge into the air.
Asbestos exposure occurs when airborne asbestos fibers are accidentally inhaled by workers, putting them at risk for developing serious illnesses that include mesothelioma, the deadliest of asbestos-related cancers.
Today, renovators and remodelers are expected to comply with specific guidelines for the safe handling of asbestos-containing materials. But the sheetrock workers and drywall tapers of yesteryear remain at risk, even if they have been retired for years.
That’s because mesothelioma has a long latency period. The symptoms of mesothelioma may not develop for decades after asbestos exposure, and by then it is usually too late for surgery. Asbestos disease kills 10,000 people in the United States every year.
Legal options after a diagnosis
Thousands of retired workers diagnosed with occupational asbestos exposure have filed asbestos claims against employers who neglected to provide safety equipment, and product manufacturers who failed to warn consumers about the dangers of working with asbestos.
If you have been diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma and seek a free consultation on your eligibility to receive compensation for lost wages, medical care and damages, please contact our law firm through the communication form on this page.