The discovery of asbestos floor tiles is pushing back a planned building renovation in Lewiston, Maine – showing once again how big a problem asbestos can be in older buildings.
As reported in the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, Argo Marketing was set to move into the 100-year-old McCrory’s department on Lisbon Street when the discovery was made. “Lo and behold, they made the floor tiles in the building out of asbestos,” Argo Marketing CEO Jason Levesque told the newspaper. “So we had to go in and get those abated and find a company, and that pushed everything back.”
Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer. In the U.S., there are about 3,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed each year.
Levesque and his company will have to wait until next month to close on the building and start the planned $2.4 million renovation, according to the Sun Journal. The building is slated to become office space, a café, and retail storefronts.
Asbestos was once widely used in floor tiles because of its strength, durability, and resistance to fire. If asbestos floor tiles are in good condition they likely pose no immediate danger. However, asbestos in any product becomes dangerous when it’s damaged through decay, breakage, or removal.
Asbestos floor tiles can also release asbestos fibers when sanded or when an inappropriate cleaning method is used. The University of Sciences in Philadelphia recommends that only low abrasion pads and wet methods be used in cleaning such floors to avoid the risk of asbestos exposure.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Sokolove Law today to see if an asbestos attorney can help you.