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University of Wisconsin-Madison Students Surprised with Asbestos Removal 

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.