When you are at work, you may not be thinking about the possible unseen risks you could be facing in your North Carolina workplace or encountering while doing your job. Exposure to certain material, like asbestos, could elevate your risk for serious illnesses. You may not know about the exposure until years later after a serious medical diagnosis. There are certain jobs that come with an elevated risk of asbestos exposure.
Exposure to asbestos has direct links to specific types of aggressive cancers, like mesothelioma. In many cases, a victim is not aware of the sickness until it is too late for treatment to be effective. If you have a greater risk of coming into contact with this substance at your job, it is in your interest to know how to stay safe and protect yourself, as well as what to do if you learn you are sick.
Potentially dangerous occupations
Asbestos is the name given to certain types of naturally occurring fibers. Before its risks were fully known, asbestos was commonly used for heating, fireproofing materials, textiles and more. Small asbestos particles can become airborne, and a person in close proximity could breathe in the fibers. This could lead to asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and various breathing issues. Some jobs that may come with a risk of contact with asbestos include:
- First responders – Emergency responders may face an elevated risk of exposure to asbestos because they may have to enter older buildings in response to fires and other emergency situations.
- Construction workers – Asbestos was a common component in construction for decades. Even now, demolishing or remodeling older buildings could expose decades-old asbestos.
- Farmers – Individuals who work on farms may use old machinery or structures, such as an old barn, as part of their work, not knowing these things could place them at risk.
- Mechanics – Mechanics may work on older vehicles, machinery or aircraft that have components that contain this material, placing them at risk for exposure.
- Engineers – Engineers may sometimes have to work in close proximity to objects and in places where there could be asbestos, or they may come into close contact with someone who has the fibers on his or her clothing.
If you are sick with mesothelioma or another type of lung disease, it is possible asbestos exposure at your job could be to blame. You may have a valid claim to compensation through a civil claimed filed against the parties liable for the asbestos exposure that caused you harm. It may be in your interest to learn about the potential legal options that could be available to you.