Most people in Louisiana are familiar with the risks of asbestos. It substantially increases your chances of developing mesothelioma and lung cancer. Many locals know to get their houses inspected for asbestos before purchasing. However, asbestos hides in plenty of other places around New Orleans.
Unfortunately, construction teams used asbestos in numerous buildings decades ago. Many buildings in the state still have asbestos lurking. Therefore, you need to be aware of where you go on a regular basis and whether there is a chance the building could contain asbestos.
A lot of hospitals have asbestos inside to prevent medical equipment from overheating and to prevent fires. Construction and demolition workers have an increased likelihood of coming into contact with these materials. Places to look for asbestos in hospitals include:
- Floor tiles
- Electrical wiring insulation
- Insulation around boilers
- Insulation around piping
- HVAC ductwork
- Cooling towers
Many schools contained asbestos until the government outlawed the substance for school construction in 1986. The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act requires schools to regularly check buildings for the presence of asbestos, but the substance can slip through the cracks.
If you are out of school, then you may need to worry about whether your workplace could have asbestos. Shipyards near New Orleans face a particular risk of containing the material. Other public buildings where you may find asbestos include airports, shopping malls, grocery stores, movie theaters and police stations. Professionals continue to discover asbestos in these structures.
Churches were heavily reliant on asbestos decades ago for fire prevention and soundproofing. Although many people are familiar with asbestos' use as a fire deterrent, it can also function as a soundproofing agent. Churches often use acoustic panels, so music can reverb and echo throughout the building. Numerous churches around the country have dealt with asbestos in recent years, so the owners of older churches need to be vigilant.