Permaboard is used primarily for constructing walls and ceilings. It’s also used for construction projects where heat protection and insulation are needed. Prior to the 1980s, most permaboard was manufactured with 80% asbestos. Since asbestos was lightweight, fire-resistant, strong, long-lasting, low-cost and a great insulator, this harmful substance was included in the production of many construction materials including permaboard. Asbestos-laden permaboard was especially useful for boilers, furnaces and wood-burning stoves.
What Make Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos is a dangerous material because it is comprised of small toxic fibers that one can inhale or ingest when these fibers become airborne. This often results in a deadly form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma has adverse affects on the lining of the lungs and is linked exclusively to asbestos exposure. Because mesothelioma can seem to lie dormant for nearly 30 years, a person who has mesothelioma may not know they have this disease if they go by the symptoms alone.
Mesothelioma is especially deadly because the treatments often do very little to slow the growth of the cancer. In its early stages, mesothelioma often resembles the flu or pneumonia. As a result, it becomes extremely difficult to diagnose, leading to a dramatically high mortality rate. Approximately 2,000 people a year are diagnosed with mesothelioma, and less than 50% of them survive more than two years after being diagnosed.
Where Is Permaboard Asbestos Found?
Permaboard asbestos is typically found in the work place and at home. Keep in mind, though, that asbestos was outlawed for use in consumer products in 1977, so permaboard manufactured in the 1980s is not likely to contain asbestos. However, materials produced prior to the 1980s may have been manufactured with asbestos. Therefore, great care must be taken to ensure you and your family are not exposed to permaboard asbestos.
While those who have permaboard in their home that was produced before the 1980s are at risk for asbestos exposure, the greatest risk lies with those who have used permaboard and other asbestos-laden products in an industrial capacity. This includes individuals who have worked in shipyards, construction sites and other work places where permaboard may have been used.
What to Do About Permaboard Asbestos
If you believe you’ve been exposed to permaboard asbestos, then you should first consult your physician and have them test you for mesothelioma. After that, speak with a qualified mesothelioma attorney concerning your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and medical expenses due to the negligence of a past or present employer.