San Diego firefighters put their lives on the line during nearly every shift. Unfortunately, they are facing another hazard built into the very fabric of their training facilities. Asbestos. The exposure to which can lead to numerous lung diseases including the deadly cancer mesothelioma.
In a news report by NBC7, the city failed to act quickly to minimize danger and protect the first responders training at San Diego’s Fire Academy. The battle, it seems, has raged on for years over the growing concerns over the presence of asbestos in the facility leading to at least one firefighter asking to be relieved of his duties as an Assistant Instructor at the academy.
San Diego’s Fire Captain, Jesse Conner, is the president of the firefighters union. He has been critical of the fire department on the record chastising them for never fully addressing the asbestos problem. “They continued to put interim solutions in place,” said Conner.
Asbestos exposure – either through inhalation or ingestion – can lead to potentially fatal conditions in the lungs and other organs. At this point, no amount of exposure has been deemed “acceptable.”
What is asbestos?
In general, asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals. For centuries, these minerals were mined and used in various products due to their naturally heat and fire-resistant properties. Large-scale mining began at the end of the 19th century when manufacturers developed new products – both consumer and industrial – that could take advantage of the physical properties. From vehicle brake linings to steam pipes to insulation, asbestos fibers were woven into thousands of products.
Unfortunately, as the products were crushed or deteriorated naturally the microscopic fibers could be inhaled or ingested by workers, homeowners and consumers alike. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to devastating lung disease such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
These conditions can be severe and are often fatal. If you were diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, it is crucial that you work closely with trusted medical and legal professionals who can fully explain your options for both treatment and monetary recovery.