Even though the dangers of asbestos have been known for nearly a century, the US Environmental Protection Agency didn’t officially ban the use of the naturally occurring mineral until 1989. This leaves a lot of older buildings in and around Tennessee that could still contain asbestos-based insulation. Case in point, the Oak Ridge Federal Building outside Knoxville, TN had a recent asbestos scare that got the building evacuated for over a week.
The five-story, 155,000 sq ft facility was built 42 years ago and within those decades had insulation glued into the building’s metal ductwork. Earlier in June some of that insulation loosened and fell from the building’s heating and air conditioning system, and after an inspection it was found to contain potentially deadly asbestos materials.
Asbestos exposure can lead to severe and incurable diseases. Asbestosis and mesothelioma are the most common suffered by Tennessee workers after long term exposure. Asbestosis attacks the lungs and can cause lifelong breathing troubles, while mesothelioma is a malignant form of lung cancer that can take over 20 years to develop after exposure.
The federal building outside Knoxville housed 350 Department of Energy workers, all of which had to be relocated after the asbestos was found. Some employees were moved to the building’s basement which had a different air system than the rest of the facility, while other employees were moved off site to a neighboring building.
Fortunately, air samples taken by the US Public Health Service came back negative for asbestos. But the US General Services Administration has said that all the insulation that contained traces of the dangerous mineral would be removed before reopening the building, and they’d be footing the bill for the removal.
Knoxville, TN Asbestos Exposure Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos in Tennessee and suffered from an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Even if you don’t know where or when you were exposed, you may still have the right to file an asbestos exposure lawsuit, but you’ll need the help of an experienced Asbestos Exposure Attorney to investigate your claim.
The McMahan Law Firm has fought for asbestos victims in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Manchester, Athens, and throughout Southeastern Tennessee, and they’ll fight for you after you’ve suffered a serious illness from exposure.
But don’t wait, as with any workers’ compensation or workplace illness claim, there are time limits to file your lawsuit. Ask the McMahan Law Firm for a free case review and let them get started on your Tennessee asbestos exposure claim today.
Source. WATE.com, ‘http://www.wate.com/story/18872177/employees-back-to-work-after-asbestos-problem-in-oak-ridge-federal-building,’ June 25, 2012.
Source. Knoxnews.com, ‘http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jun/23/air-samples-indicate-no-asbestos-exposures-in/,’ Frank Munger, June 23, 2012.
Source. Oak Ridge Today, ‘http://oakridgetoday.com/2012/06/21/federal-employees-not-exposed-to-asbestos-air-samples-say/,’ John Huotari, June 21, 2012.