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Asbestos: a workplace hazard too many people face

The damage that asbestos can do to a person's health is devastating. For decades, there may be no indication that anything is wrong and then suddenly, a diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness may reveal that exposure to asbestos years ago has proven to be catastrophic.

By the time a person has been diagnosed with an illness like mesothelioma, there is nothing that can be done to undo the damage. At that point, slowing the progression of an illness and easing the painful symptoms is a top priority. Early detection is essential in terms of seeking effective treatment, which is why it is important to know if you or a loved one is at a potentially high risk of exposure.

People who have worked in certain dustries and jobs may be a higher risk of having been exposed to asbestos, especially those who worked in these positions prior to 1980s when asbestos was widely used and employers often neglected to warn workers about the risk of exposure. 

Occupations in which workers may have been disproportionately exposed to asbestos include:

  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Automotive building and repair
  • Demolition
  • Plumbing
  • Shipbuilding
  • Military veterans

The people in these occupations and industries often were exposed to asbestos because it was commonly found in materials like insulation, gaskets, plumbing and fireproofing. That fact combined with the failure of many employers to adequately warn and protect workers made it all too common for people to be exposed to high levels of asbestos for extensive periods of time.

If you or a loved one has a work history that includes any of these occupations, it can be crucial to understand that asbestos exposure may be cause for concern. Even before a person has been diagnosed, it can be crucial to secure medical care and monitoring.

To cover some of the expenses of this care and pursue compensation for damages that have been suffered as a result of the exposure, you can also speak with an attorney to learn more about your legal rights. Between workers' compensation claims and potential negligence lawsuits, it can be possible to collect significant financial redress. Just like medical treatment, however, acting fast to secure legal representation can be an important factor in getting you the help you need

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