As many as 35 million homes across the United States, many of which are located in Illinois and in parts of the Midwest, may have been built using insulation that contains vermiculite asbestos and therefore posing a health risk to those inhabiting them.
EC2, a provider of environmental consulting and inspection services that is based in Chicago, recently found that a large amount of vermiculite asbestos was used in the creation of vermiculite insulation during the 1990s. Citing an EPA fact sheet, the company also found that a great deal of vermiculite asbestos mined in or near Libby, Montana, had been sold throughout the United States during the 1990s under the brand name Zonolite.
They go on to warn that while vermiculite insulation does not inherently contain asbestos, that the large amounts of vermiculite asbestos used during the 90s raises the risk that any house that contains the insulation may be contaminated with asbestos as well. Ventilation systems in houses have been known to disturb insulation in houses and – along with general wear and tear on the insulation as time passes – lead to asbestos-containing dust becoming airborne.
EC2’s statement comes days after the company also reported on the demolition of an old four-story brick building in Joilet, Illinois. Prior to its demolition, the building will first need to be “remediated of any asbestos materials” as delegated by the Illinois EPA’s Asbestos Unit.
“When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed, asbestos fibers may be released into the air,” said Ed Chambers, EC2’s president. “Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and diseases such as asbestosis. Due to this fact, there are regulations that impact how building projects and renovations must proceed if asbestos is found.”
Mesothelioma and asbestosis are both deadly illnesses that are caused primarily by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. If you were exposed to asbestos while working for a company or living in a building containing asbestos products and have since developed one of these illnesses, it may be worth pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit that could potentially result in a substantial asbestos settlement. If you think that a mesothelioma attorney could help prove your illness was caused by a product, or a specific entity’s negligence, please contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation.