South Dakota is next to last in asbestos contamination as it is primarily an agricultural state and asbestos had little use up here outside of building materials. Unlike other states that mined asbestos or used it for industrial applications, neither of these activities occurred in any meaningful scale in South Dakota. South Dakota asbestos laws follow mandates from federal agencies such as the EPA and OHSA.
Health hazards in the Dakotas
There is a verifiable risk of asbestos fibers in landfills around South Dakota. Some schools, public buildings and military instillations also may have asbestos containing materials within the structure and an asbestos management plan must be formulated to managed risk and exposure.
In addition, there is the potential risk of contamination from am material similar to asbestos called Erionite. This material is fibrous, like asbestos, but has been found to be many times more deadly. Erionite can be found on many roads in both Dakotas and become friable through extended use. The extent of this contamination may not be known for some time.
Asbestos in the home
There are two forms of asbestos, friable and non-friable. Both are potentially found in the home. Friable will be found in insulation wool, plaster, fireproofing and the coating on some pipes. These pose a danger as human contact can easily cause them to crumble, which will allow for the harmful fibers to be released. These harmful fibers are easily made airborne and when inhaled will never leave the lungs. Extended exposure increases the risk for cancers significantly, although the symptoms may take years to manifest.
Homeowners generally do not have to comply with most South Dakota asbestos laws, except for the proper disposal of the asbestos containing material. A South Dakota asbestos inspector, licensed by the state, will be essential to identifying asbestos contamination in your property, testing for the presence of airborne fibers and formulating an asbestos abatement plan.
If you wish to litigate an asbestos lawsuit by South Dakota asbestos laws, you should be able to prove exposure to harmful materials. Generally, having an actual asbestos related illness will be enough proof to work on a potentially successful lawsuit. Other states will throw out lawsuits they believe are without merit. For this reason, you will need to speak with a South Dakota asbestos lawyer who can advise you on your legal options.