Which jobs are most At risk for work related mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos is the general name for a group of minerals characterized by tiny, thin fibers which are easily inhaled. Because asbestos has excellent fire-retardant and insulating properties, it was put to frequent use across a variety of industries, until very recently. In the early and mid twentieth century, some workers would have been exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. Aside from the asbestos mining and manufacturing industries, workers in the ship building, construction, paper making, and metal working industries were particularly at risk.
Asbestos in Ship Building
During the war years, the risk of fire aboard ships was a constant threat. Asbestos was used liberally throughout large ships both for fire protection and as pipe insulation. Workers in the ship building industry handled asbestos-containing materials frequently, without protective clothing. Limited ventilation on board ships increased the risk of exposure.
Asbestos in the Construction Trades
Asbestos’s popularity as a construction material peaked during the construction boom of the mid to late twentieth century. Asbestos was used for nearly everything: from insulation, to floor and ceiling tiles, to exterior siding. Employers took few steps to protect their workers from the risks associated with exposure. Construction workers who handled uncovered asbestos insulation were especially placed at risk, because the small fibers were friable, meaning they crumbled easily and could be inhaled.
Asbestos in Paper Making
Workers in the paper and pulp making industry handled asbestos both as a paper product and an industrial tool. Paper mills produced a variety of asbestos-containing products, including paper bases for ceiling and floor tiles, and asbestos paper linings for pipe insulation. Mills that did not produce asbestos-based products would still utilize asbestos, however, as insulation in their giant machine works, which employees often had to enter for maintenance and cleaning.
Asbestos in Metal Working
Metal work requires a great deal of heat, and the metal working industry made widespread use of asbestos as an insulating and fire retardant material. Asbestos was everywhere; from the gloves that workers used to handle materials to the spray on insulation applied to sheet metal. A 2009 study found that sheet metal workers were significantly more likely than their peers to suffer from asbestos-related disease, even if their exposure was mostly indirect.
Mesothelioma Victims Deserve Compensation
Companies in high-risk industries have understood the dangers associated with asbestos exposure since the early 20th century, yet took few or no steps to protect their workers or the general public. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced asbestos litigation law firm today, to discuss your rights. Bergman Draper Oslund has obtained more than $700 million in settlements for asbestos victims like you. Contact us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.