The state of Texas has one of the highest rates of asbestos related illness in the country due to its mining and other industries. This has led to a strict set of Texas asbestos laws, based on federal regulations that provide for the training of asbestos personnel, asbestos abatement procedure and notification requirements. The Texas Department of State Health Services will manage most aspects of Texas asbestos laws.
Contamination sites in Texas
Many refineries in Texas have used asbestos fireproofing and insulation, usually at the detriment of the employees that worked there. Workers in these industries have a much higher rate of developing lung cancer and asbestos related illness. Like those that have been sickened as a result of working in the shipyards, poor ventilation and a lack of safety equipment have all contributed to the spike of asbestos related illnesses of workers in these industries.
Contamination of Texas houses includes applications such as plaster, wooly insulation, tiles and soundproof ceilings, as well as roofing and siding outside the house. Not all applications of asbestos are immediately dangerous. As long as the asbestos remains within the home in a sealed container or indurate material, the harmful material poses no risk of becoming airborne. The only exception is when these materials are breached during renovation. No asbestos containing materials are allowed in a structure undergoing demolition. Some materials may remain in the building if it is undergoing renovation and the materials will not be disturbed
Although most homeowners are exempt form safety provisions in the Texas asbestos laws, you should locate an asbestos inspector to identify possible sources of contamination in homes. Self-asbestos abatement is dangerous for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that improperly removing asbestos containing materials leads to the release of asbestos fibers. While this exposure is nominal, it will exacerbate existing respiratory illness and long term exposure will cause an increased risk for cancer.
Regulated asbestos containing material
RACMs are any asbestos material that is friable and contain more than 1% asbestos by weight. All RACMs must be subject to asbestos abatement, as per the provisions of Texas asbestos laws. Some non-friable asbestos are considered RACMs when they are modified or damaged. All RACMs are subject to disposal and safe abatement regualtions.
Texas has some tort reform laws that may limit your ability to collect damages. Most notable, the loser must pay the legal fees for the winner of the lawsuit. There are other laws that specifically limit personal injury claims. You will need to speak with a Texas asbestos litigation specialist to determine if you have a claim that has merit. The case must proceed in Texas if the exposure occurred in that area of Texas. In addition, the state has passed laws capping non-economic damages to discourage other litigation to be filed against those that have violated teas asbestos laws.