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Students and university employees in Ohio may be at risk of developing serious health issues from remaining asbestos in college campus buildings across the state. A few of the notable Ohio universities that have faced scrutiny and legal action include the University of Cincinnati, Kent State University and Akron University.

Asbestos may cause asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other serious illnesses when inhaled, and it remains throughout many university buildings. If a campus building was constructed before the 1980s, it is probable that it contains some amount of asbestos, due to the prevalence of university asbestos use.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that millions of students, and thousands of teachers and university staff are still regularly in close contact with asbestos.

Universities now regularly have asbestos management sections written into student and employee handbooks. Because the majority of buildings on campus are full of asbestos, schools have adopted policies of coexisting with the toxic materials rather than try the difficult task of removing and disturbing asbestos.

The current policy at the University of Cincinnati, Akron and Kent State is to manage asbestos and not to remove it, makes harmful exposures possible and remains a serious health concern.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.

Contact an experienced attorney if you think you think an illness has developed from asbestos exposure at Kent State University, Akron University, or the University of Cincinnati.


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Even brief exposure can cause serious illness.

The EPA has recommended that universities leave asbestos materials in place, and refrain from risking disturbing the toxic material. But when maintenance crews are not warned of asbestos in certain campus areas, exposure can lead to serious health issues. Exposure to loose, airborne fibers places all teachers, students and staff at risk for developing lung conditions, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary widely, and asbestos-related cancers and diseases may not present themselves until decades after initial exposure. Typically, mesothelioma will affect the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causing discomfort, and symptoms may include:

•    Chest pain
•    Painful coughing
•    Trouble swallowing
•    Shortness of breath
•    Lumps of tissue on chest and abdomen
•    Abdominal pain
•    Abdominal swelling
•    Weight loss


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are asbestos-containing materials in the majority of Ohio schools. Students, teachers, and employees at the University of Cincinnati, Kent State or Akron may be at risk in many campus buildings, including classrooms, cafeterias, hallways and older recreational facilities.

Identifying these toxic materials can be difficult to the untrained eye. Unless an asbestos product is clearly labeled, it may be difficult to tell if it contains asbestos. Deteriorated areas around Ohio universities may be the most common asbestos hazards, most likely in the following locations:

•    Cement pipes
•    Steam Pipes
•    Boilers
•    Corrugated paper pipe wrap
•    Decorative insulation
•    Pipe and boiler insulation
•    Spray-applied fireproofing
•    Damaged wallboard, patching, drywall or plaster
•    Soundproofing material
•    Floor tiles—Vinyl or asphalt
•    ceiling panels
•    Old heating and air-conditioning equipment
•    Chipped paint
•    Vinyl tiles and vinyl sheet flooring
•    Caulk and construction glues
•    Floor and ceiling adhesives
•    Joint compounds and textured paints
•    Ceiling tiles
•    Furnace and stove insulation
•    Door seals in furnaces
•    Vermiculite insulation
•    Roofing, shingles, and siding
•    Furnace ducts
•    Coal stoves


The buildings at the University of Cincinnati are among campus buildings in Ohio with unsafe levels of asbestos. During 2011 renovations, air quality samples indicated an “unsatisfactory” level of asbestos in the buildings.

At the time, a University of Cincinnati Spokesperson said “most buildings” on campus had some asbestos in them. The Medical Director for the Cincinnati Health Department said in response to the report that the exposure could pose possible respiratory difficulties and mesothelioma.


Due to years of employment in older buildings, teachers, school employees, and Maintenance Crews are among the occupations most likely to be exposed to asbestos at the workplace. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the education industry ranked second for mesothelioma deaths.

Often the removal of all asbestos on campus is impossible; however, Ohio universities have a responsibility to warn employees and students if there is a potential threat of exposure. Any student or employee of Kent State, Akron or the University of Cincinnati harmed on campus may seek legal action and rightful compensation for any asbestos-related illness.


Ohio Universities, and schools around the nation have been the subject of asbestos abatement projects, and renovations that disturb toxic asbestos fibers that have the potential to cause serious damage to students, teachers, staff and maintenance crews. Some high-profile university lawsuits involving asbestos include Harvard University, which discovered asbestos in student housing in 2016.

The University of Maryland found 90 buildings contaminated with asbestos materials, and Temple University found a number of floor tiles that contained asbestos. The University of Montana has also found asbestos in school buildings.

The health concerns are not exaggerated, as exposure to asbestos for short or extended periods of time may cause irreversible health damage, leading to lung cancer, mesothelioma and other dangerous pulmonary conditions. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.

Recently, Sonoma State University was ordered to pay $2.9 million in fines by a state court over the mishandling of asbestos at one of its office buildings. One employee of the school was awarded $387,000 for mental suffering, emotional distress, and lost compensation.

There are thousands of pending asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits across the country, and new asbestos-related cancer cases diagnosed each year.


There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, and inhaling asbestos fibers is proven to cause serious illnesses including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Occupational exposure is likely in buildings with loose asbestos materials, and specific cancers may develop over time.

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Why are these cases important?

Many experience asbestos exposure through the workplace. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety.

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Questions about Asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first utilized in the early 1900s for its insulating abilities, fireproof properties, and versatility. It has been estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos was used in the American economy in industrial yards, homes, schools, shipyards, and other workplaces.

The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer.

Why is Asbestos Toxic?

When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lug cancer and mesothelioma.

What Materials Contain Asbestos?

Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.

Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.

Why Did Companies Use Asbestos?

Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was though to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous tot he health.

Is it hard to win an asbestos case?

The success rates of settlements regarding asbestos exposure injury are quite high. It may be necessary to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.

Where are known asbestos expsoure sites?
Why Hire the Lyon Firm

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world 

Your Right to Safety

Watch our Video About
the Statute of Limitations for Asbestos

Asbestos can be found in homes built before 1980, construction sites, and in many military circumstances. According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOHS), there are 75 different jobs that can expose workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Approximately 107,000 workers are affected by asbestos each year. 

Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature. It is estimated that there will be 250,000 new cases before 2020 due to the latency period of 20-50 years after being first exposed to asbestos.

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The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.


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