One common place for asbestos to hide is in old flooring material. Asbestos was used there for durability and burn protection. It’s a type of fibrous rock, so the tiles can last decades without damage. But they do break down over time.
A conscientious maintenance worker finally had enough of worrying about whether or not the floors he buffed every day at the Kauai War Memorial had asbestos in them or not. He took off a sample from one of the tiles and sent it to a lab for analysis. The results indicated that asbestos was present at the memorial site.
According to the department of health, which did an inspection afterward, the tiles will need to be replaced. However, the chance of loose asbestos exposure is low so the memorial will remain open. The maintenance worker, who had worked there for 18 years, worried that asbestos may be in the tiles but thought that there would be warnings from the state if there was any. Over time, his suspicious grew until he got a sample tested. Seeing so many people of the public using the space pricked at his conscience.
Now that the sample has been confirmed for asbestos, a plan is underway to replace the flooring throughout the site. The cost is estimated to be near a half million dollars. While no one is confirmed to have contracted asbestos-related illnesses from the floor, the workers there are concerned that years of floor buffing may have exposed them to the dangerous fibers.
Have you worked in a space that has asbestos in it? Do you think you may have been exposed? Get tested, then contact a qualified asbestos lawyer like the team at John Foy & Associates for a free consultation.