The high concentration of military installations and industries using asbestos has led to a high number of asbestos related illnesses in North Carolina. North Carolina asbestos law focuses on safe abatement and preventing further exposure to toxic materials. There are also provisions to train workers and contractors to properly remove asbestos containing materials and certify proper procedures to store and dispose of construction wastes and friable asbestos.
North Carolina asbestos contamination
Asbestos is present in many mines around the state. Mine shafts with naturally occurring asbestos are dangerous because once these friable deposits are disturbed, they will release millions of harmful particles that lodge in the lungs. The concentration of these particles in mine shafts is exceptionally high due to poor ventilation. Mine workers that were not provided adequate protective material will have very high risks of asbestos contamination.
Military bases made liberal use of asbestos materials and some insulation material was found to have up to 25% content of friable asbestos. This poses a serious health risk to soldiers living in barracks and working at these instillations. Many of these bases have undergone asbestos abatement under federal and North Carolina asbestos laws, but it remains to be seen the long term impact of asbestos exposure to employees of the military. The military has since adopted special standards for asbestos testing and safe abatement practices.
North Carolina asbestos law enforcement
The Department of Health and Human Services will have an asbestos hazard management program that will provide information on asbestos contamination and educate about the dangers of exposed asbestos material. The DHHS will also provide a listing of professionals that are licensed to perform asbestos abatement.
You will notify the North Carolina DHHS in the event of a renovation or demolition project, even if there is no asbestos present. All buildings will be checked by an inspector prior to filing the notification form and a separate permit must be secured for asbestos abatement. All friable asbestos must be removed and the asbestos inspector will determine if the non-friable material must be removed as well.
Can I remove asbestos on my own?
You may but you must also be aware of the potential hazards of doing so. Improperly cleaning of residue or removing friable material, will exposure you and all others in the residence to the asbestos fibers. You should seek the services of a North Carolina asbestos inspector to ensure that you identify all friable asbestos, do not tamper with asbestos sources that are best left non-friable, and follow regulations for the safe disposal of asbestos containing materials.
Be aware of tort reform laws attempt to limit damages that can be collected, shorten the statute of limitations and eliminate the merits of some lawsuits. You will only be able to collect damages if you can demonstrate the extent of the exposure and any damages done to you. Compensation will be for lost wages, medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. A North Carolina asbestos lawyer can help you assess your legal options.