Asbestos is a harmful substance that was widely used for decades in everything from the flooring in homes to pipes in military vessels. And even though the risks of exposure to asbestos are widely known, it is not completely banned in the U.S. and many people still come into contact with the toxic fiber in their home or workplace.
Because of the dangers of asbestos, it is important to know if you are at an increased risk of exposure. If you are, you should know your legal options regarding compensation for damages.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos poses the most serious threat when it is disturbed and you breathe it in. If you do not have protective gear and respiratory equipment when this occurs, the sharp fibers can lodge into your throat, lungs or digestive tract. This can lead to serious, life-threatening conditions like Asbestosis and Mesothelioma.
Which occupations come with a high risk of asbestos exposure?
A number of occupations put workers at an increased risk of being exposed to asbestos. As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these occupations include:
- Construction workers
- Shipbuilders and people working in shipyards
- Railroad workers
- Workers in oil refineries and power plants
- Auto mechanics
- Flooring and tile professionals
- Demolition workers
How do you stay safe in the presence of asbestos?
If you work in one of these occupations, it is crucial that you receive training to keep you from harm. You should also wear protective gear in this potentially dangerous environment, including respiratory equipment and clothing coverage.
Unfortunately, most people won’t learn for 10, 20 or even 50 years that asbestos exposure has led to serious injuries, because symptoms do not appear for a long period of time. Therefore, if you believe you have already been exposed to harmful asbestos, it is wise to talk to your doctor and closely monitor your symptoms.
You can also discuss your options for pursuing a workers’ compansation case with an attorney. Diseases like Mesothelioma are typically considered an occupational illness, and you may be eligible for compensation.