Asbestos is a mineral that has been used for centuries because it is highly durable and resistant to heat or electricity. It was used widely in both commercial and residential construction, until the late 1970’s when it was found to cause mesothelioma cancer. DeKalb County, with a population of just under 105,000, as of 2015, is no exception. There have been 75 asbestos-related deaths countywide between 1999-2013 according to Mesothelioma.com.
Asbestos has been found in the following workplace sites in DeKalb, Sandwich, and Sycamore, IL. according to mesothelioma.com.
● Algus Packaging Inc
● American Steel and Wire Company
● California Packing Corp
● De Kalb Electric Company
● DeKalb Hospital
● DeKalb Sycamore and Electric Company
● Elwood Wire and Nail Company
● Gable Hall
● Greenacre Cleaners
● Jacob Haish and Company
● Jacob Haish Company
● Northern Illinois University
● Rudolph Wurlitzer Company
● Wurlitzer Company
● Electric Plant
● Michigan Wisconsin Pipe Line Company
● New Idea
● Sandwich Manufacturing Company
● Anaconda Wire and Cable Company
● Essex Wire Corp
● Ideal Industries
● Sycamore Systems
● Turner Corporation
If you have worked at one of these locations and have potentially been exposed, talk to your physician. Asbestos can take between 10 and 50 years to show symptoms and oftentimes is diagnosed in stage 4 when little can be done.
Asbestos can also be found in residential areas. In the U.S., it is present in almost 80% of the homes built before 1980. It can be found in attics, home exteriors, basements, and main living areas. It is important to know what to look for to keep yourself and your family safe. Before attempting any do-it- yourself renovation projects, contact a professional to test and make sure no asbestos is present. Common areas to find it are in heating duct insulation, floor tiles, bathroom tiles, and wall insulation.
Asbestos is safe if it remains intact, but if it is broken up, the fibers can be released into the air. If ingested, they can become trapped in the body and, over time, lead to asbestos-related illnesses.