Israeli Fires Raise Concerns Over Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
The fires that have been raging in Israel’s Haifa and Beit Meir regions have been a national catastrophe, but now that they have been successfully extinguished, they are raising new concerns about the risk of mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos.
In Israel as throughout the rest of the world, many buildings were originally constructed using asbestos. The material was prized for its many positive characteristics, including the ability to add strength and flame and heat resistance. It is a highly effective form of insulation that does not conduct electricity, and that means that it is used in infrastructure, in wiring, in plumbing and many other construction applications.
Unfortunately, in the mid-1970s it became widely known that the material is also highly carcinogenic. Exposure to asbestos fibers has been linked with the development of a number of serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer. Though Israel has banned the use of the material for years, it has remained in place in structures where it was initially used, and now that those buildings have been subjected to fire and destruction, there is a very real fear that the damaged materials will become airborne and expose residents to inhaling or ingesting the fibers.
People who live in the vicinity or who are traveling in the area where the arson fires took place have been urged to use protective gear over their face in order to avoid inhaling these tiny particles, and those who live in the area have been instructed to close their windows and to keep car windows shut when driving nearby. The country’s Environmental Protection Ministry has issued a warning that civilians should not come within 50 meters of those buildings that have been burned, particularly because the high heat of the fires may have added to the material’s dangers. According to a spokesman, “During the fire, the cement locked in the burned boards. The boards made of asbestos began to come apart, and asbestos fibers were released into the air. Asbestos fibers change their shape only when the temperature reaches above 700 degrees Celsius. It is therefore imperative to work as quickly as possible in order to remove the asbestos from all affected sites.”
Asbestos exposure has created a problem worldwide. Inhaling or ingesting the fibers of this powerful carcinogen can lead to asbestosis, mesothelioma and other serious and deadly illnesses. In the United States, many were exposed as a result of negligence on the part of asbestos manufacturers. These victims are now eligible to file mesothelioma lawsuits to provide compensation for the damages that they have suffered. If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you may qualify to file one of these suits to provide for yourself and your family. For more information, contact Danziger & De Llano Legal Advocates today at 1-800-692-8608 or visit our website at https://mesothelioma.net/mesothelioma-attorneys/. We are here to help.
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