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Risk of asbestos exposure higher in certain occupations

When people head out to work, they likely have the reasonable expectation that they are going to be working in a safe environment. In some North Carolina professions, however, employees may have had constant contact with asbestos. If someone is suffering from a disease caused by workplace asbestos exposure, he or she may have a workers' compensation disability claim.

Close contact with asbestos can cause a number of diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Studies have shown that people who have worked as an electrician or in construction are more likely to be in contact with asbestos. This is because they have worked closely in areas with construction materials and dust.

Asbestos was regularly used in products such as walling and insulation up until the 1980s. Used because it is a naturally heat-resistant fiber, asbestos was also a low-cost material that was easy to produce. However, it is now known that when asbestos is ingested or inhaled, it can cause many debilitating illnesses.

Even though asbestos is no longer used, it can still be found in many older products such as ceiling tiles, flooring, drywall and even car brakes. Auto mechanics, firefighters, and plumbers are also among those professions that show an increased risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.

Unfortunately, it is not necessary to have direct contact with asbestos to be at risk. Family members of those who work around asbestos can develop the same cancers and diseases because the fiber is easily transmitted by dust on hair, clothes and skin.

The typical victim of mesothelioma has likely been exposed to asbestos at many jobs. Therefore, it can be complicated to establish responsibility and obtain compensation for medical bills and other costs. However, a legal professional who specializes in this area may be able to help victims pursue the appropriate parties for damages.

Source: Medical News Today, "Construction Workers And Electricians At High Risk of Asbestos Exposure," Nov. 25, 2011

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