Since the primary method of asbestos exposure is the inhalation of its carcinogenic fibers, exposure may happen over many years or all at once. In the event of an accident involving asbestos, it is important to quarantine the area and deal with it carefully.
What happens when the area involves whole neighborhoods? The Eastman accident in Tennessee, as covered by WJHL, showcases how complicated containing some asbestos exposures may be.
High pressure and high stakes
Eastman Chemical Company has its hands full establishing a boundary around two separate areas. They experienced a high-pressure steam incident in their plant. Five workers received minor injuries when the steam line ruptured.
This also affected neighborhoods around the plant. The accident sent debris around the plant and these neighborhoods—debris with some material confirmed to contain asbestos.
While the company attempts to clear up the area around the plant, they requested residents with debris in their area to leave it alone and contact their care line. Eastman does not anticipate hazardous human health exposures from the debris but continues to clean the area up according to all safety protocols.
Short term and long term effects
Asbestos, once the fibers are airborne, may scatter and collect on clothing and materials. Not only are the employees at Eastman at risk, but family members and other individuals may also be at risk as well.
Accidents happen, but people do not need to stand by and allow potential negligence to impact their health. It is important for anyone who believes he or she is the victim of asbestos exposure to lean on their resources and investigate the claim further.