The problem with modern infrastructure

Anesha Wheaton, Courier Staff

The state of disrepair in this country is astronomical.

Highways and bridges that were built 50-60 years ago are in a state of disrepair with an average rating of D+. Some are on the verge of collapse, yet millions of Americans drive over them every day. Abandoned structures are numerous, taking up space and containing harmful substances that can be dangerous to the public if taken down. Houses that are built are not made to last, unlike older homes made in the late 1800s to early 1900s. American infrastructure is not made to last, and it is costing the American citizens dearly. Buildings are the most prevalent problem, and the least talked about.

Most buildings in America that are still standing today were built in the 1900s. There are still some buildings that were built in the 1800s that are either historical sites or have been renovated to become more modernized. The problems with buildings that were built before 1977 is that they were built using materials that had asbestos, which are minerals that, when breathed in, can cause cancers pertaining to the lungs and chest lining. The effects of asbestos are not noticeable at first, and the symptoms can pop up decades later starting with breathing difficulties and ending in cancer. The damages cannot be reversed and will lead to death.

Most people are not aware of asbestos and its causes or where it is located. Owning a home or being in a building that was made before 1977 can be quite dangerous if the asbestos is not removed. Children can grow up in homes laced with it, causing difficulties later in life. Most buildings in America were built before this time. Asbestos was banned in building materials in 1977, but it is still prevalent in America.

A major concern is that many buildings in America are filled with asbestos and people are working or living in areas which are contaminated, not realizing its harmful effects until it is too late. Children are playing in schools and breathing in the harmful particles because there is not enough money to go around to decontaminate schools from it. A majority of colleges in America were built in the late 1800s to early 1900s, and while several renovations have been made to improve the schools over their 100+ year run, not all buildings have been cleared of the harmful minerals that are causing damage to the students and faculty who reside on campus.

It is important to know the state of your school, home and workplace to know if it is safe to breathe the air there. From asbestos to lead paint to the state of the water, it is beneficial to know how many harmful substances are in the places that you spend the most time in. It affects everyone, and no one wants themselves or their loved ones to get sick because of poor building materials and the lack of accessibility to proper materials to keep.