You may have worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for decades never knowing that you were exposed to asbestos. Moreover, you may have exposed your family members to asbestos based on dust and fibers caught in your hair, skin and clothing. This is known as secondary asbestos exposure and could lead to mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer or asbestosis.
What is secondary asbestos exposure?
Secondary asbestos exposure takes place when a person who does not work with asbestos is exposed to asbestos fibers carried home by a family member who does work with asbestos. Environmental exposure where asbestos dust is lingering in the air can also cause asbestos fibers to be brought home from the workplace, which could also lead to secondary exposure. While the amount of exposure for those who contact asbestos at home due to secondary exposure is generally lower than those who are exposed to asbestos in the workplace, secondary exposure can begin at an earlier age. Approximately 20% of mesothelioma cases are caused by secondary asbestos exposure.
Secondary asbestos exposure and mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the tissue outside a person’s lungs. Eventually the outside of the lung will be encased in cancer. Diagnosing mesothelioma in those who have ben secondarily exposed to asbestos can be difficult because it may not be known how long ago the person began to be exposed to asbestos. In addition, a diagnosis can be difficult because physicians generally look for mesothelioma in male asbestos workers rather than their female wives. Unfortunately, the life expectancy for someone who contracts pleural mesothelioma is a mere 18 months on average.
Learn more about mesothelioma
If you contract mesothelioma either firsthand or secondhand, it is important to protect your rights. This includes the right to litigate your case — you do not have to settle for a settlement offer that is less than you deserve. Those who want to learn more about mesothelioma litigation are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.