What Is Asbestos Exposure?
Why Is Asbestos Exposure Dangerous?
For many years, products containing asbestos were manufactured and used across several industries. From building materials to equipment used in the automotive and shipbuilding sectors, producers opted for asbestos because it offered a number of benefits, including lower cost and improved insulation and fire resistance.
However, exposure to asbestos was eventually linked to a variety of severe health problems, specifically those attacking the respiratory system. Mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is the most well known, but exposure can also lead to other respiratory illness, like asbestosis or lung cancer.
Who Is Most at Risk for Asbestos Exposure?
In many cases, asbestos exposure occurs on the job, which is known as occupational exposure. There are also cases where exposure occurs in residential settings, including situations where someone has resided near areas with high concentrations of asbestos.
Those considered at an elevated risk for asbestos exposure include individuals:
- Disturbing asbestos products, like building materials, during commercial or residential renovations
- Living in residential areas situated near asbestos mines
- In the military service, including those who serve on shops or in facilities constructed with asbestos products
- Working in asbestos processing plants or mines
- Working in occupational settings considered “high risk”, such as the construction or automotive sectors
Those employed in the construction trade have been identified as some of the most at risk for dangerous asbestos exposure. Since many of these professionals have worked on homes or other older buildings that were built with asbestos products, exposure could have occurred at any time.
Once asbestos fibers become airborne, anyone in the vicinity can inhale them without knowing that they are at risk.
While occupational exposure is most common in mesothelioma and related cases, it is also possible for secondary exposure to occur – specifically among family and those residing with workers employed in high risk careers.
For example, a child might not be around asbestos products, but if they have a parent employed in construction or a related field who carries asbestos dust home on their hair or clothes, it is possible for those fibers to escape into the air and be inhaled by others.
What Types of Products Are Made with Asbestos?
There are many cases where asbestos exposure occurs and a person does not even know they are at risk for mesothelioma. The truth is, asbestos can be found in more places than you might anticipate. Because many building materials produced during the 20th century were made with asbestos, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 33 million businesses and homes across the nation contain some degree of asbestos.
Many common household products and/or building materials have also been known to contain asbestos, including:
- Ceiling tile
- Floor tiles
- Textured paint
- Patching compounds
Asbestos is also a primary ingredient in a number of industrial products:
- Pipe insulation
- Joint compounds
- Electrical equipment
It does not matter if you’ve been at risk for exposure once or on a consistent basis – when it comes to asbestos, there is no safe threshold for exposure.
If you or someone you know are dealing with disease caused by asbestos exposure, it is important to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible. Because mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease can be difficult to diagnose – due in large part to the fact that symptoms mimic those of other respiratory illness – it is important that you work with a professional specializing in treating these conditions.
Once you have determined the extent of your condition, you will want to seek the counsel of an attorney, who can guide you through the process of filing a claim to recover compensation and other damages from asbestos exposure.
Attorneys Focused on Asbestos Cases
At Antion McGee Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys are highly qualified when it comes to handling asbestos-related cases. Even if you are unsure of where exposure to asbestos might have occurred, our team can work with you to compile a comprehensive employment and residential history, which can be key to pinpointing exposure. We understand that coping with asbestos-related disease is never easy and that it brings its fair share of challenges. That’s why our firm is committed to advocating on behalf of you and your interests, not just now, but into the future as well.
Let us work with you to hold those responsible for your condition accountable. We are prepared to support you every step of the way. To schedule an initial appointment to receive a consultation on your asbestos case, contact our dedicated attorneys at Antion McGee today at (304) 807-0739.