Algonquin, IL (Mesothelioma News) Demolition activity at a fire-damaged former Toastmaster factory in Algonquin, IL, has sparked fear of possible asbestos exposure-and a heightened risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in the area.

Mesothelioma, in particular, has nearby residents worried. The aggressive cancer-which attacks the protective lining covering many of the body’s organs and often spreads from there-has no cure, nor any effective long-term treatment.

Many victims find relief only in the courtroom where, over the years, mesothelioma lawyers have obtained large-sometimes multimillion-dollar-jury awards and settlements.

While Algonquin Deputy Police Chief Ed Urban says that “the presence of asbestos cannot be confirmed” in the 94-year-old structure-which suffered extensive damage in an October fire-he notes that because of neighbors’ fear of potential asbestos exposure, “the site and demolition activities will be treated as if asbestos is present.”

Demolition and removal activities are potentially worrisome when it comes to asbestos that may be present within a structure-often in pipes, ceilings, and flooring. The cancer-causing material can be disturbed easily, releasing asbestos fibers and dust into the air, where anyone nearby can inhale them. Once lodged in the lungs, asbestos can trigger mesothelioma and other deadly diseases, including lung cancer, years later.

While strict regulations are in place covering the removal of asbestos and the adequate protection of anyone exposed to the material, these are often skirted or ignored. Mesothelioma lawyers with experience handling asbestos lawsuits say that many of these cases-and much of the mesothelioma disease and death they see-result from improper handling and removal of asbestos.

As an added safety precaution, local officials closed a nearby school while demolition work continued. The long latency period of mesothelioma means that youth who suffer asbestos exposure now could be diagnosed with the disease years later in the prime of life. Similarly, a local bike path was temporarily closed due to concerns that debris could fall on passersby.

The factory-a three-story brick structure-had been mostly vacant since 1989 and was unoccupied when the fire broke out. The building was recently purchased by the Illinois Department of Transportation, which had planned to tear it down to make way for a new highway bypass road around downtown Algonquin. The cause of the fire that gutted the former factory remains unknown.

This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers of Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we’ve brought relief-and recovery-to those injured by the negligence or harmful actions of others. In the process, we’ve litigated some of the country’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, helping victims of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases get answers-and justice.