Pipe explosion may have caused asbestos exposure for hundreds

Innocent people in South Carolina can be exposed to asbestos through any number of means. Although contaminated baby powder and irresponsible renovations are perhaps the most well-known situations, these are far from the only situations that might lead to asbestos exposure. A recent explosion in another state put hundreds of people at risk.

A steam pipe that was nearly 90 years old exploded in the early hours of the morning, leaving behind a crater about 15 feet wide. The explosion also sent clouds of black and white steam into the air. The pipe that exploded was lined with asbestos — which was common for the time — and caused serious concern. Authorities evacuated 49 buildings after the explosion, 28 of which are in a so-called hot zone and are at an increased risk for asbestos contamination.

Initial testing apparently did not show any meaningful levels of asbestos in the air — although this does not necessarily mean that the air was free from the deadly toxin. However, debris on the ground tested positive for asbestos. Residents of the buildings within the hot spot are not allowed to return to their homes until they have been evaluated for contamination.

Individuals who must continue working and living near the blast site are wearing masks out of fear that asbestos may be lingering in the air. These fears are understandable, as asbestos exposure can lead to a myriad of life-threatening health problems, such as lung disease or the deadly cancer mesothelioma. When a company or person’s negligence caused the exposure that led to a disease, South Carolina victims can seek compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering and related issues.

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