We often discuss the fact that many people who develop mesothelioma were exposed to toxic asbestos on the job and that the disease is often considered an occupational illness. But many people wonder: Is mesothelioma always considered work-related?
The answer is a little complicated. In some states, the answer to this question is “yes,” but there are people in the U.S. with mesothelioma or asbestosis who never worked in an environment where asbestos exposure was a concern. In these cases, where you live and what your hobbies are could be linked to the illness.
For example, if you live in North Carolina, you could have been exposed to asbestos if you live or lived near one of the many asbestos mines that are found in this state. The same can be said if you lived in other states in the country where mines are located.
If you spend a lot of time working on cars or doing home renovation projects, there is a chance that an asbestos-related illness could have been caused because of the asbestos found in products used in construction or automotive manufacturing.
However, millions of people in the U.S. and around the world have mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure at work. In fact, the World Health Organization notes that 125 million people are exposed to workplace asbestos worldwide and more than 100,000 people die every year because of this exposure.
If you have mesothelioma or know someone who does, employment history will typically the first place to look for sources of exposure. Based on this history, it can be established if the illness is occupational or if more research needs to be done in order to identify when and where exposure occurred.
Trying to figure this all out on your own can be enormously challenging because you may not know who has information on asbestos exposure and how to confirm that the information you do get is accurate. Because of this, having an attorney on and by your side can be crucial.