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Asbestos that's hiding in plain sight

You probably know that asbestos is dangerous -- even lethal. What you may not know, however, is the fact that asbestos can be hiding right in front of you in numerous forms.

Asbestos can turn up in places that you least expect -- from the walls you want to renovate in your home to the tile floor that your boss is redoing in the kitchen of the restaurant you work in. It can also turn up in a lot of other unlikely places -- like a thrift shop or an antique store. Unfortunately, what you don't know really can hurt you when it comes to asbestos.

For example, asbestos can be found in:

  • Cement, including the kind that might be forming your basement walls or part of your garden's border
  • The drain pipes going from your basement to the sewer line
  • Floor coverings, including various types of flexible laminates
  • The bituminous adhesive glue used to fix floor tiles to the subfloor beneath
  • The thermal insulation used in older electrical items, including such things as toasters and hair dryers

Asbestos can also lurk in the mortar around old bathroom tiles, plaster patches and walls that were treated with spackling paste. That can become a particular problem if you use a sander on the walls and toss the fine asbestos fibers into the air.

Many craftsman and construction workers don't know the dangers of asbestos and aren't properly trained to identify items that might contain the dangerous fibers. They may be repeatedly exposed to asbestos fibers for years without realizing it -- only to fall ill to mesothelioma or a related disease decades later.

If you contracted an asbestos-related disease, talk to an attorney with experience handling asbestos-related litigation. There may be money available to help you as you struggle with your illness and provide for your family. An attorney can help you understand what choices you may have.

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