The truth about asbestos exposure is that there is no set amount that actually causes cancer. It varies from person to person. Some miners in South Africa have worked for dozens of years without contracting mesothelioma or asbestosis. Other cases have come to light where there was only one known exposure over a lifetime. This is why the Environmental Protection Agency has classified Asbestos as a Group A carcinogen. It is also why US Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, addressed the nation about the dangers of asbestos exposure in April of this year.
Dr. Benjamin Says Any Asbestos Exposure May Be Dangerous
In her statement, she made it very clear that there is no acceptable level of exposure to airborne asbestos. But, she was also careful to assert that the more a person is exposed, the more likely that person will be to contract an asbestos related cancer. The statement she made was no more pointed than when she said, “anyone who disturbs asbestos is at risk.
However, it is of special concern for construction, insulation, and demolition workers, pipefitters, boilermakers and others who might disturb asbestos found in old buildings or equipment as part of their work. The hazard is also very real to home handymen, first-responders, and community volunteers.”
In addition to those explicitly mentioned by the Surgeon General, military veterans may have been exposed to asbestos if they were involved in mining, shipyard work, building demo, carpentry, flooring or roofing installation, or boiler insulation and maintenance. Veterans who served in the Middle East also may have been exposed to asbestos during firefights or searches in buildings where the walls and ceiling may have released contaminants into the air.
Family members of those that have been exposed to asbestos are also at risk of asbestos cancers. This is because asbestos fibers can cling to clothing, skin and hair. This means that exposure can happen through a hug, doing laundry, or simply being in the room when the asbestos carrying clothing is rustled.
The biggest factor in whether or not your exposure may lead to asbestos related cancer is the type of asbestos you were exposed to. There are three types of asbestos – brown, blue, and white. Brown and blue asbestos fibers are longer than their white cousins. The smaller white fibers can be broken down the by the body’s natural defenses while the other two cannot.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call Bergman Draper Oslund today. Our law firm specializes in mesothelioma cases, having won over $700 million for our clients. Don’t delay; call us today for a no-obligation consultation. We can be reached at 206-957-9510 or toll free at 888-647-6007.