Does Asbestos Illness Only Affect High-Risk Industries?
It’s a known fact that asbestos is a danger if it’s swallowed or inhaled. It is one of the leading causes of occupational cancer (i.e. cancer caused by your job). Thousands of people die each year from asbestos-exposure illnesses such as mesothelioma, certain lung cancers and asbestosis. And thousands more each year are diagnosed with diseases caused by on-the-job asbestos exposure.
In part three of our 12 part campaign to expose asbestos myths, we’ll reveal the truth about high risk occupations.
Myth – Asbestos illness only affects those working in high-risk industries.
Fact – It’s true that certain industries do carry greater risks for asbestos exposure, but many jobs that you wouldn’t think are dangerous come with asbestos exposure risk. It’s well known that Navy and Coast Guard service members, rail and shipyard workers, miners, police and firefighters, construction workers and those who labor in manufacturing have long been at risk, but these are not the only careers that put workers at risk for asbestos exposure and illness.
Fact – Even now, more than a million people are employed at a workplace where asbestos is present. Older buildings have a greater likelihood of having been built with asbestos components and as these buildings age and need repairs, it’s more likely that asbestos will be released and expose workers.
Fact – Teachers have been sickened by asbestos exposure who worked in older schools that were built in eras where asbestos components were plentiful and commonly used in construction. Roughly half of US schools were built prior to 1969 when asbestos in construction was a given.
Fact – Government workers have died from asbestos illnesses because they worked in older facilities where asbestos was prevalent in construction and then disturbed, exposing employees. This includes courthouses, government office buildings, post offices and military bases.
Fact – Road builders have been made ill from asbestos because the toxin was used in asphalt and then often disturbed when roads were maintained or repaved.
Fact – Mechanics that work on auto brakes were often exposed to asbestos because it was, and continues to be even today, used in brake and brake pad manufacture. Mechanics who specialized in clutch work are also at risk.
Fact – Doctors and nurses who work or worked in older hospitals that were built in the era of highest asbestos use (pre-1970s)
Fact – Custodians, building maintenance and building inspection personnel are often at risk because they work around areas of workplaces that are in need of repair or maintenance or are under renovation. This risk cuts across all industries because any building built from the 90s and prior likely were built with asbestos construction components.
Fact – You likely won’t know your health has been compromised until it’s too late. Asbestos fibers are invisible to the naked eye and asbestos illnesses are slow to gestate and can take decades to develop symptoms and be diagnosed, most don’t know they’ve been harmed on the job until it is too late.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we can help.
Since our founding in 1995, we have devoted our practice to helping mesothelioma victims and have won more than $500 million in settlements. We handle more cases than any other law firm in the Pacific Northwest and now help victims nationwide.
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