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Lack of Asbestos Regulations Puts Georgia Citizens at Risk

A recent report by an Atlanta news outlet has shed some light on the continuing epidemic of asbestos exposure plaguing Georgia citizens, even as legislators continue to ignore the threat posed by the dangerous industrial material. According to the report, state agencies routinely fail to hire licensed asbestos removers to perform delicate renovations of buildings contaminated by the cancer-causing mineral, putting hard working, ordinary people at risk of developing serious health conditions.

The report claims that many Georgia homes built before 1978 used building materials tainted with deadly asbestos, often in joint compounds used to secure wallboards. As an odorless, tasteless compound, asbestos has been described as a silent killer that catches victims by surprise decades later when deadly diseases like mesothelioma develop.

State Legislators Gut Spending for Oversight Agency

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), tasked with running asbestos abatement programs, was disenfranchised in 2011 after legislators defunded the agency. Until 2011, the DNR had a robust inspection program, citing dozens of companies violating state law requiring asbestos abatement companies to be certified by the government.

However, for almost a decade the DNR has failed to look into thousands of permits to renovate or demolish homes in the state, many of which likely contained asbestos. In fact, one administrator claimed that the DNR only looks into whether a company has a permit to perform asbestos abatement if the agency receives a formal complaint.

Furthermore, county and municipal governments seem to have dropped the ball when it comes to protecting local residents, as state law fully allows these entities to enact their own regulatory and oversight policies, but they fail to do so. The DNR administrator in the news report described the broken process as a sort of "honor system" where unscrupulous contractors could apply for residential demolition and renovation jobs without proving they are licensed to perform asbestos abatement.

The report went on to highlight one tragic case of a former HVAC technician who developed mesothelioma after decades of work in toxic environments because industrial manufacturers made asbestos contaminated products even though the health effects associated with the material were well known. That gentleman filed suit against his boiler manufacturers, claiming his mesothelioma was caused by the company using asbestos in the products he came into contact with on a daily basis.

Asbestos cancer lawsuits can help victims and their families recover for lost wages, hospital bills and pain and suffering. Many times, multiple defendants can be sued to ensure plaintiffs receive all their just compensation and that victims can live more comfortable, dignified lives as they battle their cancer.

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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

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