After someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma, their next step is usually to attempt to determine when and where they were exposed to the asbestos that ultimately caused their disease. For some, this is easy: they can point to a specific place of employment or workplace task at which they were exposed to asbestos or asbestos products. For others who have never worked directly with asbestos, however, determining the source of exposure can be much more difficult.
One source of asbestos exposure that is becoming more common is vintage prefabricated homes. These residences were built throughout the United States and Britain following World War II, and were made with several asbestos products including asbestos concrete and shingles. Some even have built-in ovens that are completely encased with asbestos.
Although these prefab homes were initially intended to last just 10 years, some of them are still used as primary residences despite the fact that they are in a serious state of disrepair. So as the houses deteriorate, the asbestos products that exist throughout their structure begin to contaminate the air. The homes that are being renovated or destroyed are creating a similar, if not larger, risk to their occupants and those in the immediate area.
Unfortunately, with an incubation period that can last several decades, it will likely be some time before we know how many people have been diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in a prefab home. If you need help determining the source of your asbestos exposure, it may be beneficial to seek help from an experienced mesothelioma attorney.
Source: Surviving Mesothelioma, “Mesothelioma Risk from Vintage Prefab Homes,” Jan. 30, 2012