Asbestos consists of strong heat-resistant fibers, and it was widely used in the manufacture of building materials before the potential dangers were identified. Along with its use as fire retardant and insulation, asbestos was also present in roofing shingles, floor tiles, ceiling tiles and more. Illinois workers who are involved in renovation projects often face asbestos hazards that could lead to high medical bills and lost wages. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to lung disease, asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and other life-altering conditions.
Employers must inform workers when asbestos hazards exist on a job site and provide the necessary safety training and protective equipment to protect the employees from exposure. Full-body protection is required, including coveralls, foot and hand coverings, head coverings and respiratory equipment. Dangerous areas must be clearly marked, and no eating, drinking or smoking must be allowed in those areas. Furthermore, to avoid carrying the asbestos fibers home, workers must shower before going home and leave contaminated clothing behind.