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Category: Asbestos

Image of an attorney working on a laptop and writing notes, symbolizing an attorney from Nemeroff Law Firm reviewing the Pennsylvania asbestos regulations summary contained in this blog.

The use of asbestos in the United States and the damage it has caused to many families are clearly demonstrated in Pennsylvania. But it can be difficult for those affected to navigate all of the laws and regulations that apply. If you’re looking for a Pennsylvania asbestos regulations summary to learn how to stay safe, begin at the federal level, followed by state and local agencies, which provide enforcement and training.

Pennsylvania Asbestos Regulations Summary: Federal Agencies

Asbestos laws and regulations that apply in Pennsylvania begin at the federal level. The following federal agencies have regulations and regulatory authority that relate to asbestos in the Commonwealth:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA, in 1971, identified asbestos as a hazardous air pollutant, meaning it could lead to cancer or other serious health problems. Regulations control the release of asbestos fibers into the air during manufacturing, removal, transport, and disposal. Specific EPA regulations apply to handling and surveillance of asbestos in public schools, as well as the levels of asbestos permissible in public drinking water. It is the EPA that oversees clean-up of Superfund sites.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): This agency federal has regulations that are intended to protect workers who must work with or around asbestos and asbestos-containing products. OSHA regulations cover workers in general industrial-type jobs, construction jobs, and shipyard jobs, all of which play an important part in Pennsylvania’s economy.
  • Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA): Much like the OSHA regulations, MSHA standards are meant to control worker exposure to asbestos and implement safety protocols for both surface mining and underground mining.
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): As the name of the agency suggests, the CPSC can address products that consumers use that contain asbestos and may pose hazard to our health. In fact, the CPSC may ban certain materials or recall products that have proven to pose a risk to consumers. This agency publishes educational material for consumers about product safety and home hazards such as asbestos in the home.

Pennsylvania Asbestos Regulations Oversight: State and Local Agencies

DEP Controls Asbestos Removal in PA and Notification Requirements

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protections (DEP) enforces the federal regulations and other state regulations concerning the hazards of asbestos in Pennsylvania. The regulations apply to “the removal, collection, transportation, and disposal of Asbestos-Containing Material,” but these state regulations do not apply to private residences.

In addition, state DEP regulations address the notification requirements that must be given before asbestos abatement. Other enforcement agencies must be notified to ensure there aren’t additional regulations that govern the site where the abatement will occur.

PA-DLI and PA Asbestos Regulations

For sites that do not fall under the federal EPA regulations, it is the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (PA-DLI) that takes responsibility for governing proper handling of asbestos and asbestos removal. The PA-DLI also enforces the certification and training requirements for those who will be involved in the removal or abatement of asbestos in Pennsylvania.

Municipal and County PA Asbestos Regulations

Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is situated, has oversight of asbestos in that county, and Philadelphia asbestos regulations controls and asbestos activity in that county. Other localities may have ordinances that address asbestos located within their jurisdictions or may participate in asbestos removal from sites where the public is impacted. For example, the Montgomery County administers loan funds for cleaning up sites within its borders—the location of BoRit Superfund (Ambler, PA) site.

Questions about Our Pennsylvania Laws or Regulations Governing Asbestos?

Pennsylvania has a strong history of industry heavily involved with asbestos—asbestos mining, coal mining, steel production, ship building, manufacturing, and construction. Our simple Pennsylvania asbestos regulations summary clearly shows that there are dozens of regulations and agencies involved with asbestos oversight. Yet it has become increasingly difficult for victims of this dangerous substance to receive compensation for preventable diseases caused by asbestos, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

If you or a family member are a victim of asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania, it is important to get help in understanding your rights. Regulations and laws change, and it is very important that your claim is filed quickly to comply with the statute of limitations.

Nemeroff Law Firm has the experienced asbestos attorneys you need to be successful in getting a financial recovery, and we keep up with all changes to federal and Pennsylvania asbestos regulations. Call us right away at 866-342-1929, or complete our Contact form to get started with a free case evaluation.

Image of wall insulation. Many forms of insulation contain asbestos, making it critical to answer the question: what does asbestos insulation look like? If you’ve been exposed and suffer from asbestos-related disease, contact the nationwide asbestos attorneys at Nemeroff Law Firm.

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals that were widely used in construction in the United States from the 1940s to 1970s. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the fibrous substance has been found to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.

Due to the extensive use of asbestos in building homes and other structures, combined with the health risks related to exposure to the fibers, it is important that homeowners and workers know how to identify potential asbestos-containing materials.

Identifying a Hazard: What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like?

Asbestos is inexpensive and naturally fire-resistant. These qualities made it a popular material in various forms of insulation for many years, including but not limited to:

  • Attic and wall insulation
  • Caulking
  • HVAC duct insulation
  • Pipe wraps and insulators
  • Vermiculite insulation

What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like in Walls and Attics?

Asbestos wall insulation can be found in various forms. Insulation board containing asbestos has been used in walls and ceilings, as well as soffits, fascia, and other parts of many homes and structures. This board is often found sandwiched between other building materials. It is very fibrous and is dangerous to remove because disruption causes the fibers to become airborne. This is how the material enters the lungs and creates a risk for those exposed.

Loose-fill is another form of wall and ceiling insulation that can contain asbestos. This fluffy insulation is usually blue-grey to white in color and has a high risk of inhalation because it is not compressed.

Vermiculite Insulation

Another loose-fill insulation with an asbestos exposure risk is vermiculite insulation. Vermiculite, like asbestos, is a naturally occurring mineral. Unlike asbestos, vermiculite is not known to be harmful; however, 70% of the vermiculite insulation sold from 1919 to 1990 came from a single mine that also contained asbestos.

Vermiculite insulation is often found in attics. Its stone-like pieces vary in size and range in color from gray-brown to silver-gold. If you encounter vermiculite insulation, the EPA recommends that you assume it contains asbestos and take appropriate precautions.

What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like on or Around Pipes?

Asbestos pipe insulation also appears in various forms, from spray coatings to wraps. The wraps are typically corrugated paper-like covers that can be easily identified. However, many asbestos-containing pipe insulations may have been painted over or otherwise covered, making it difficult to distinguish the underlying materials.

Next Steps After Potential Asbestos Insulation Exposure

If you believe your home or workplace could contain any form of asbestos insulation, you should take steps to identify the substance and evaluate any possible risk without disturbing the material in question. Disrupting the area can result in the distribution of dangerous particles through the air, creating a potential health hazard.

If you have been exposed to asbestos insulation at home or at work and have developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other lung disease as a result of that exposure, the Nemeroff Law Firm can help. The attorneys in our nationwide practice have a combined 150 years of experience in mesothelioma cases, and we work hard to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 866-342-1929 for a free, confidential case evaluation or complete our online form now.

Image of the USS Arkansas (BB-33), representing the risk of those who worked on or near the USS Arkansas and asbestos-related illnesses and how consulting the mesothelioma attorneys at Nemeroff Law Firm can help protect your legal rights.

Many warships during World War I and World War II were constructed using asbestos-containing parts. For this reason, USS Arkansas workers should monitor their health carefully, and consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms associated with mesothelioma. Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer who believes that working on USS Arkansas and asbestos exposure are the causes of their illness, should read on.

The USS Arkansas and Asbestos Exposure

Like other Navy ships of its time, the USS Arkansas was built with many components that contained the hazardous material asbestos. Known for its resistance to heat, fire, water, and corrosion, asbestos was used in virtually all areas of the ship. But we now know that exposure asbestos and the USS Arkansas service may increase the risk of developing asbestos-related conditions. Experts now connect service on ships like the USS Arkansas and mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disorders.

USS Arkansas and Asbestos: Together From the Beginning

The story of the ship began on March 3, 1909, when the U.S. Navy ordered the production of USS Arkansas (BB-33). The New York Shipbuilding Company in New Jersey built her, she was launched on January 14, 1911, and she was commissioned on September 17, 1912 under the command of Captain Roy C. Smith.

President William Howard Taft visited the USS Arkansas on October 14, 1912, as part of a fleet review. The battleship transported the President to the Panama Canal for inspection of its development. She returned President Taft to Key West, Florida on December 26.

The USS Arkansas joined the Atlantic Fleet in 1913, on the East Coast before sailing across the Atlantic. The Arkansas docked in ports in the Mediterranean Sea, including a stop at Naples, Italy to celebrate King Vittorio Emanuele III’s birthday.

In 1914, the USS Arkansas headed to Veracruz to support a battalion securing Mexican waters. When the ship arrived on April 22, two of her sailors died in the fighting that secured the city. She left Mexico near the end of September, heading toward Hampton Roads, Virginia. There the crew completed a week of training before heading to the New York Navy Yard for modifications and repairs.

Over the next few years, the ship performed a lot of fleet exercises and maneuvers, including torpedo exercises in Mobile Bay on March 12, 1916. She was overhauled in the New York Navy Yard the following month.

The USS Arkansas in World War I

On April 6, 1917, when the United States joined World War I, the USS Arkansas patrolled the York River in Virginia as part of Battleship Division 7 (BatDiv 7). After training gun crews and patrolling the U.S. East Coast for over a year, the Arkansas received orders to relieve the USS Delaware in Rosyth, Scotland in July 1918. While in Scotland, the Arkansas served for the British Grand Fleet as part of the Sixth Battle Squadron.

After World War I ended, the USS Arkansas left the British Grand Fleet and met with the USS George Washington at the Isle of Portland, England. She served as part of President Woodrow Wilson’s escort of honor as he sailed to Brest, France. From there, the battleship headed toward New York City and was later overhauled in the Norfolk Navy Yard.

The USS Arkansas in World War II

Before the start of World War II, the USS Arkansas remained busy. She took weather observations, served as an orientation vessel for Curtiss flying boats, transported Admiral William S. Benson and his spouse from the Paris Peace Conference, and performed in a number of training exercises and patrol duties. The battleship was overhauled and repaired many times and was involved in a number of ceremonial celebrations during peacetime.

When World War II began in Europe, the USS Arkansas was at Hampton Roads. In the early 1940s, she headed to Guantanamo Bay with the USS Texas and the USS New York for fleet exercises. The Arkansas was again overhauled at Norfolk Navy Yard before sailing to Panama and Venezuela for midshipman training. Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles and Averell Harriman had accommodations on the USS Arkansas during the Atlantic Charter conference in Newfoundland from August 8 to 14, 1941.

The USS Arkansas was anchored in Casco Bay, Maine when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941. She escorted cargo and troop transports as flagship of Task Force 38 (TF 38), crossing the Atlantic a number of times. The battleship covered a convoy to Casablanca before heading for New York for overhaul.

Throughout World War II, USS Arkansas continued to serve alternately as a convoy escort and a training vessel. She sailed for Bangor, Ireland, on April 18, 1944, to train for shore bombardment. And she supported the Invasion of Normandy in June, positioning herself three and a half kilometers off the section of shoreline code-named Omaha Beach.

Over the next few months, the USS Arkansas went into battle off the coast of Cherbourg, Algeria, and Italy. She invaded the southern French coast in Operation Anvil, on August 14, 1944. The battleship then returned to the United States for repairs and modifications in Boston.

In January 1945, the USS Arkansas headed toward Pearl Harbor then on to Ulithi. She prepared for the later attack on Iwo Jima, which began on February 16. After clearing the waters there, she returned to Ulithi for refueling and provisions before the invasion of Okinawa in March. For 46 days, the battleship fended off kamikazes and provided fire support.

The USS Arkansas dry-docked in Apra Harbor in Guam on May 14, 1945. When the war ended, she brought 800 U.S. servicemen back home as part of Operation Magic Carpet. Thereafter, she made several more trips to bring soldiers back from Pearl Harbor to the U.S. mainland.

The USS Arkansas received four battle stars for her service during World War II. In July 1946, she was fired upon by an atomic bomb for nuclear testing as a part of Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll. The battleship survived the blast by the bomb Able but was sunk by a second test with the bomb Baker on July 25. The USS Arkansas was decommissioned on July 29, 1946, and removed from the Naval Vessel Register on August 15, 1946.

The USS Arkansas and Asbestos: What’s the Connection?

Many Navy ships were in use in the twentieth century, like the USS Arkansas, and asbestos was a common component. In 1918, toward the end of World War I, government regulations began to recognize the risks of using asbestos, but shipbuilders continued to use asbestos.

When asbestos is disturbed, particles are dispersed into the air, and those nearby may inhale or ingest the asbestos particles. Once inside the body, the particles can cause various conditions including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other forms of cancer.

Given any type of construction, repair, upgrading, refurbishment, or damage to the USS Arkansas and asbestos particles may have been released into the air.

Many sailors who worked on board and workers who helped repair and overhaul the USS Arkansas and asbestos protective gear was non-existent. Those workers and their families are risk for developing life-threatening asbestos-related illnesses like lung cancer, throat cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, a dangerous form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium of certain organs.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma and believe that your condition was caused by working on the USS Arkansas and asbestos exposure, contact an experienced lawyer. You may be entitled to financial compensations for your lost wages and treatment. Contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney at Nemeroff Law Firm by calling 866-342-1929 or by completing an online form for a free case evaluation.

Image of patient getting a PET scan to diagnosis mesothelioma or asbestosis as a result of asbestos exposure. This patient should seek the counsel of the best asbestos law firm, Nemeroff Law, to get financial recovery for the costs associated with disease, pain, and suffering.

As we age, our risk of developing various cancers naturally increases. Exposure to asbestos-containing materials increases the odds of developing mesothelioma and asbestosis. Both of these conditions have devastating financial consequences in addition to the physical pain and suffering resulting from treatment. A national asbestos law firm can help you recover costs incurred as result of asbestos-related cancer treatment no matter where you live.

How an Asbestos Law Firm can Help

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring mineral fibers that goes by several names: actinolite, amosite, anthrophylite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and tremolite. Asbestos is a very sturdy material that can withstand exposure to extreme heat, extreme cold, fire, or other chemicals without breaking down. It was commonly used in manufacturing and building materials before the 1970’s because of its indestructible nature.

Since then, we have learned that exposure to asbestos materials can lead to a deadly lung cancer called mesothelioma, as well as other diseases such as asbestosis and lung cancer. The best asbestos law firms have knowledge and experience to help patients recover from the expense of mesothelioma and these other deadly diseases.

Exposed! Those at Greatest Risk of Mesothelioma:

It is unknown just how many people are truly at risk to develop mesothelioma. However it is estimated that millions of Americans have been exposed to asbestos. According to the American Cancer Society, workers at risk for asbestos exposure include “some miners, factory workers, insulation manufacturers and installers, railroad and automotive workers, ship builders, gas mask manufacturers, plumbers, and construction workers.

People who worked directly with asbestos-containing materials are not the only ones at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases. When workers who were exposed to asbestos come home from work, they may have asbestos residue on their clothing or in their work belongings. This residue can put family members at risk of exposure as well.

Costs of Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, and Lung Cancer

Any health condition or disease is not without costs. Asbestos-related diseases are no different. The cost of health care alone as a result of exposure to asbestos materials can be financially devastating to any family. However, an asbestos law firm can help you calculate and recover from costs you may not have considered.

Additional costs to think about:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost work time
  • Increased cost of health insurance premiums
  • Inability to return to work
  • Funeral expenses

The cost of treating mesothelioma is significantly less if you are able to detect it early. However, there are no real screening guidelines specifically for this disease, so the likelihood of early detection depends on you being aware of your risk based on your exposure to asbestos materials.

An asbestos lawyer can help you to determine a complete account of the financial impacts from the cost of mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer that you may be able to recover.

What to do if you Think You’re at Risk for Mesothelioma or Asbestosis

If you have had heavy or regular exposure to asbestos-containing materials and fear that you may develop mesothelioma, the best thing to do is to have a conversation with your primary care physician. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can be the result of several different health conditions and may not be very concerning at all. However, you and your doctor can decide what tests, if any, will be best to ensure screening and, hopefully, early detection of mesothelioma or other diseases related to asbestosis.

If you find that exposure to asbestos materials caused your disease, don’t let the cost of mesothelioma or asbestosis add to your stress levels. Consult an asbestos law firm to discuss your options for cost recovery.

The national asbestos law firm of Nemeroff Law Firm is backed by experienced asbestos lawyers who can help you recover from the financial devastation caused by the cost of mesothelioma or asbestosis. Our asbestos attorneys have over 150 years of collective experience fighting to help victims of asbestos exposure and will fight to recover what you and your loved ones deserve. Contact us at 866-342-1929 or via email.

Image of construction workers on a construction site, who may have been exposed to asbestos in construction materials but do not know how much asbestos exposure is harmful. Those diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer would benefit from consulting Nemeroff Law Firm’s experienced asbestos lawyers, who fight for victims nationwide.

Asbestos—these days it seems like a relic of a bygone era. Like so many things that have dropped off of the headlines, it seems like something you needed to be concerned about when your parents were children or when you were young. Coming into contact with asbestos doesn’t seem like something that you should still worry about in the 21st century. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as the exposures of the past can cause health problems today. In fact, exposure to this dangerous substance continues even now, although on a reduced scale due to government regulation. Given that, you need to know how much exposure to asbestos is harmful.

Is There a Threshold For How Much Exposure to Asbestos is Harmful?

Because of the way that asbestos impacts health, there is not a minimum amount of asbestos exposure that may be harmful. Although a single exposure often will not lead to a negative health impact, no one knows for sure at what point the asbestos exposure level creates a risk of developing a serious health condition.

 How Are We Exposed to Asbestos?

Asbestos was used extensively in the U.S. before the 1990s, and it can still be used today for any use developed before 1989 that is not specifically banned. Before the health impacts of asbestos were better understood, exposure to it was greater. There are stories of workers in shipbuilding factories in WW II working all day in a cloud of asbestos-laden dust. Given the regulation of asbestos use today, how is anyone still coming into contact with asbestos?

Asbestos exposure occurs when asbestos is disturbed and becomes airborne. It can enter the body either through the mouth or nose and enter the lungs or stomach. For example, you can still find materials made with asbestos in some homes and buildings. When a home that has materials made with asbestos is renovated, or when a material such as ceiling tiles or wallboard that contains asbestos is broken or drilled, asbestos particles can become airborne. People in the immediate area suffer first-hand exposure to the particles and can ingest them by inhaling or swallowing them.

Asbestos exposure does not necessarily end with those on the scene. People exposed to asbestos may also carry the particles away with them on their clothes, hair, and skin. As a result, their families may also be at risk of second-hand asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure to the family and children of people who work with the substance can lead to health impacts to them as well.

How Does Asbestos Affect Your Health?

Asbestos is dangerous when it is ingested, either by being inhaled or swallowed. When asbestos is inhaled, it enters the lungs. Due to the shape of the fibers, asbestos particles can travel deep into delicate tissues.

How much exposure to asbestos is dangerous depends on what the fibers do and how the body responds to them. Once in the body, these fibers are difficult to eliminate, and they can lead to lung cancer, especially in people who smoke. Asbestos may also lead to mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other types of cancer. The health impacts from asbestos exposure usually occur long after exposure, often 10 to 40 years later.

How Much Asbestos Exposure is Harmful?

Here’s the bottom line: No one knows exactly how much asbestos exposure is harmful, so any exposure is potentially dangerous. Even the smallest exposure may have negative health impacts that do not become known for years.

Although asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, its concentrated use in certain materials, such as in fire resistant construction and other building materials, means that some people will have concentrated exposure to asbestos. This can be particularly dangerous.

If you want to discuss how much exposure to asbestos is harmful in your situation, Nemeroff Law Firm is here to help. With over 150 years of collective experience fighting to help victims of asbestos exposure, we will fight to recover what you and your loved ones deserve. Contact us at 866-342-1929 or via email.

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