Tracy, California - A gun shop owner who used to rent a shop in a building riddled with asbestos claims that his recent respiratory problems may be a result of his exposure to the material.
According to an article in the Tracy Press, Rick Hedrick of Tracy Shooting Supplies in Tracy, California, recently closed his shop because his health was continuing to fail. Hedrick says he’s been sick since the beginning of the year and that doctors have been having difficulty figuring out why he’s suffering from breathing problems, hoarseness, and chest discomfort.
Then Hedrick remembered the asbestos in his gun shop, disturbed when a burglary attempt occurred almost 10 years ago. At that time, the would-be robbers cut through the roof to gain access to the store. A water leak caused by the roof damage likely caused the disturbance, Hedrick says, but he didn’t know about the asbestos until he recently hired an environmental testing company, he told the media. Now he fears what the exposure has done to him.
“It started out as chest pains,” Hedrick said. “They did a ton of tests and never came out with anything.” He noted that both his home and business were tested for mold, but none was found. Doctors continued to be stumped until the air quality tests revealed airborne asbestos in the rented building that housed his store. Particularly, testing revealed asbestos in the wallboard, joint taping compound, and ceiling tiles.
The inspectors told Hedrick that he had likely been inhaling asbestos for a decade and was suffering the effects of asbestos exposure. Once doctors knew what they were dealing with, they did more tests and found nodules on Hedrick’s lungs. He has not yet been informed as to whether the nodules are cancerous mesothelioma or if they are indeed related to his exposure to the toxic mineral.
“Once I found out, doctors told me, ‘You’ve got to get out [of the building],’” Hedrick said. “It’s really sad. Nothing they can do if it is asbestos-[related disease].”
Hedrick told the Tracy Press that he asked the landlord to address the leak shortly after the burglary, but in the 10 years since that time, it was never fixed.