Like many Midwestern states, the energy industry is the source of asbestos contamination in Oklahoma. This, in addition to the use of asbestos in household construction materials will be the two sources of asbestos related illness in Oklahoma. Oklahoma asbestos laws focuses on minimizing the potential for secondary contamination through safe asbestos abatement procedure and proper training of workers that remove asbestos.
State agencies and Oklahoma asbestos laws
The Oklahoma Department of Labor deals with the certification of asbestos workers and professionals, including project managers. The OKDOL follows the standards set by the OHSA for workplace safety when working with asbestos abatement. Most regulations and Oklahoma asbestos laws not related to environmental pollution will run through the OKDOL. Courses that train workers in asbestos abatement safety are also accredited through this agency.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality monitors asbestos abatement regulations in the state for compliance with the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. All notifications for asbestos abatement will be submitted to the DEQ for compliance with Oklahoma asbestos laws.
What are the functions of the Asbestos Division?
The OKDOL, Air Quality Division is responsible for inspecting asbestos abatement sites and consulting with owners of these properties in managing both dangerous and sealed asbestos materials in their buildings. There will be special scrutiny for school buildings due their sensitive nature and prevalence of asbestos materials for insulation and other purposes. All government buildings are inspected by the Asbestos Division prior to sale or lease by other government entities.
Asbestos sites in Oklahoma
Many refineries in Oklahoma have used asbestos fireproofing and insulation, usually at the detriment of the employees that worked there. Superfund sites, such as the Oklahoma Refining Company underwent emergency asbestos abatement due to clear hazards and the possibility of the spread of airborne fibers. Workers in these industries have a much higher rate of developing lung cancer and asbestos related illness.
Asbestos in the home
You will find asbestos materials in most structures built prior to a federal ban on asbestos containing construction materials, and the friable material will be the most dangerous to the inhabitants. This includes plaster, popcorn ceilings, joint compound, drywall and floss insulation. Human contact is all that is needed to cause friable asbestos to potentially break down into much smaller fibers and these fibers will be smaller than can be detected by the human eye. These particles lodge in the lungs and eventually pose a risk factor for asbestos related illness.
Filing asbestos litigation usually means having a verified asbestos related illness. Some states allow for future health concerns from exposure to be the basis of a lawsuit, but you will want to consult with an Oklahoma asbestos lawyer first. You will be informed on the merits of your case and current laws that may limit civil liability and the collection of damages.