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The World Health Organization takes action against asbestos

In North Carolina and around the country, people may be surprised to learn that the World Health Organization estimates that roughly 125 million people around the world are exposed to asbestos while at work. Despite being banned in the United States, this dangerous chemical lingers in many commercial and even residential buildings. The material has been used in all types of building from homes to government centers, and it can be found in floor tiles, insulation, gaskets and even automotive brake pads.

The concern with asbestos is that it is dangerous to humans in all of its forms. The exposure can lead to several different types of cancer, including mesothelioma. In addition to determining how many people are exposed to this dangerous chemical at work, the World Health Organization has also conducted studies regarding asbestos-related deaths. It is currently estimated that more than 107,000 people die every year as a result of asbestos exposure and related illnesses.

Efforts are under way to stop the use of asbestos in countries around the world. Information is being provided to contractors regarding ways to replace asbestos with safer materials, and countries are encouraged to take measures to prevent exposure in the workplace and during any remediation efforts. Further, the World Health Organization is encouraging the early diagnosis and treatment of asbestos-related diseases in an attempt to lower the mortality rate.

Although asbestos has been banned in the United States, it can still be found in buildings across the nation. People who believe that they have been exposed to this carcinogen may be eligible for worker's compensation, regardless of whether the employer knew about the presence of asbestos. Individuals can meet with an attorney to discuss their rights and learn more about their options.

Source: WHO, "Asbestos: elimination of asbestos-related diseases", December 01, 2014

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