Imagine the scenario: You’re in university housing, and you notice
contractors start to remove asbestos from the building. What do you do?
This is exactly what happened to a graduate student living in the university
housing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Normally, asbestos removal
should be considered a good thing because its presence can cause
mesothelioma. In this situation, however, when people have been living in this building
— probably for years — it raises concern that the residents
were exposed to asbestos at some point and time during their tenure there.
The “University Houses,” an apartment complex for students
and faculty, was where the construction began two weeks ago. It turns
out the annoyance and loud noise was the least of their problems once
they started removing asbestos. The material’s fibers can travel
through the air and if inhaled, can cause serious damage over time to
a person’s lungs. Without notice of asbestos or removal, any individual
living in or visiting the buildings are at risk of potential exposure.
The residents received a letter from UW Housing informing them of an abatement;
however, it was not known that it was for asbestos and officials claimed
that they did not need to disclose the removal.
One resident said the following,
It’s terrible, the whole place resonates with sound. They never told
us they were going to be removing it. I'm concerned about what everybody
else is concerned about when they hear asbestos: cancer risks, mesothelioma.
I'm worried about my kids having an exposure to it.
UW Housing officials state that the removal of asbestos is just part of
a much larger construction project. The asbestos is being removed in the
caulk, which has about 10% of asbestos-carrying material.
UW Housing Director Jeff Novak apologized for the miscommunication and
had the following to say about the situation,
It is safe and the procedures we are using are safe. The state who oversees
the projects for us assures that they're using the practices and procedures
that they should be.
Situations like this are difficult to experience because there are so many
factors involved. Unfortunately, without proper precaution, asbestos exposure
can have fatal repercussions on anyone who is not protected. This is when
it is important to make sure you are checked to see if the asbestos exposure
has affected you in any way as conditions such as mesothelioma can take
years to develop and show signs.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, learn your options.
Call our mesothelioma attorneys at Worthington & Caron and discover if you have a lawsuit. We’re
here to help you and we are dedicated to obtaining justice for you.