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Asbestos case is air-quality reminder

AMississippi man was awarded $322 millionlast week in what his lawyers claim is the largest asbestos settlement ever for a single plaintiff. The case brings asbestos back into the indoor air quality spotlight.

Asbestos is a generic name given to a fibrous variety of six naturally occurringminerals that float in the air and are easily breathed into the lungs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People exposed to asbestos have developed several types of life-threatening diseases, including lung cancer, the CDC says. Though the use of asbestos and asbestos products has dramatically decreased, they are still found in many residential and commercial settings and continue to pose a health risk to workers and others.

Asbestos control and removal workers are advised by the Environmental Protection Agency to use HEPA filters to help control the spread of the tiny fibers during remediation.

Often, asbestos can be found in the insulation of homes built between 1930 and 1950.It can also be found in many other places in the home, including some roofing and siding shingles, textured paint and and patching compounds, coverings on hot water and steam pipes in older homes, and elsewhere.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you leave asbestos material alone if it is in good condition. If the material is a problem, removal or repair is advised.

For more information check out “Asbestos in Your Home” by the EPA.

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