Hurricane Sandy may lead to increased asbestos exposure

November 16th, 2012

Experts have warned against the increased exposure to deadly environmental toxins in the wake of hurricane Sandy, including asbestos. Health experts say there could be a substantial amount of the carcinogenic material in the debris, similar to the 2,600 tons of asbestos released after a tornado destroyed the town of Joplin, Missouri.

Hurricane Sandy leveled several areas along the East Coast, many of which were populated by older buildings constructed before 1980 that were likely to have asbestos in them. When disturbed, asbestos fibers are released into the air. Even the slightest exposure to asbestos can cause diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma cancer is directly linked to asbestos exposure and affects more than 3,000 new patients in the U.S. every year. The disease is more common among employees who used to work in asbestos mines or factories where products containing asbestos were used.

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