Already under fire for illegally using federal funds to demolish homes, the City of Jacksonville's Municipal Code Compliance Division (MCCD) may be taking on more hot water. Now it appears that Code Compliance may have supervised the demolition of structures without properly removing asbestos and thus exposing nearby residents to the harmful material.
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. It became increasingly popular among builders in the late 19th century because of its sound absorption, average tensile strength, resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage, and affordability. Through much of the 20th century, it was used in such applications as electrical insulation for hotplate wiring and in building insulation. However, it had been restricted or banned in many jurisdictions because prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, such as malignant lung cancer.
Statistics indicate that most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, or were exposed to airborne asbestos dust and fibers in other ways. Washing clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos also creates a risk for developing mesothelioma.