In our last post, we discussed the difficulty of measuring the number of persons who suffer from or who die from exposure to asbestos. Another way to look at the problem is to focus on the environmental conditions that carry a high risk of exposure to an asbestos or an asbestos-containing product.
Virtually everyone is exposed to asbestos fibers at some point in their lives, but not everyone becomes ill from this contact. Until the hazards of asbestos were documented in the 1960s, the material was commonly used in boiler and pipe insulation and flooring materials that are still found in buildings built during the first half of the twentieth century or earlier. Researchers initially concluded that certain occupations involved a much higher risk of asbestos exposure because the exposure is repeated and constant. Such occupations include shipbuilding, manufacture of asbestos products and insulation work involved both regular and extensive asbestos exposure. Even auto mechanics were deemed to be at risk because brake pads and gaskets contained asbestos fibers.
More recent studies have suggested, however, that no level of asbestos exposure can be considered to be safe. Investigators have found asbestos-related diseases in persons having only a short exposure to asbestos. Family members of workers who were exposed to asbestos fibers at work are also at risk for developing an asbestos-caused disease. In these cases, the asbestos fibers were thought to enter the home on the clothing, shoes, skin and hair of the worker.
Anyone who believes that they may have come into contact with asbestos fibers should seek a medical examination to determine whether the exposure has led or could lead to developing lung cancer or asbestosis. Anyone receiving a positive diagnosis may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in recovering damages for asbestos victims. An attorney knowledgeable in this field can provide a helpful analysis of the facts and an estimate of the probability of recovering damages from the responsible parties.
Source: National Cancer Institute, “Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk,” accessed on July 13, 2015
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Anchor Text: asbestos
Keywords: asbestos exposure, asbestos-related diseases
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