A burst pipe flooded a building on the Marquette University campus, revealing the unwanted presence of potentially dangerous asbestos.
The Milwaukee-based Catholic religious school already has an asbestos policy in place, which calls for the substance’s removal by licensed asbestos abatement contractors, according to The Marquette Tribune.
Although three displaced residents were relocated to guest rooms, the building will not be evacuated during the ongoing asbestos abatement process and renovation. “The process will not pose any health risks to the residents,” said the contractor in charge of the abatement.
The flood occurred on October 28 and damaged several floors of the building, according to the Tribune. The mixed-use building is 97 years old, and built in a time before asbestos was recognized as the dangerous substance it is.
Since asbestos was routinely used in construction prior to 1980, it is not surprising to find it in a structure built in 1916. Once thought to be perfectly safe, this fibrous mineral was very useful for insulation and valued for its resistance to heat and chemicals.
If materials containing asbestos are left alone, they are not likely to pose much of a health risk. But long-term deterioration or disruptions (such as a flood or a construction project) can release tiny asbestos fibers into the air. Inhaling asbestos fibers leads to serious health problems including mesothelioma, a fatal cancer which affects the linings of the body’s major organs. Asbestos exposure is the only cause of mesothelioma.
Marquette’s Asbestos Management Program reports that on campus, most asbestos is found in insulation, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and inside fire doors. Marquette University monitors areas on the campus that contain asbestos, and offers instruction to employees about protecting themselves from exposure.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and were later diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.