When you go to work, chances are you don’t spend much time thinking about the hazards you face while doing your daily job. However, many Americans are exposed to dangerous substances and chemicals during the course of the day, making injuries and illnesses more likely.
According to The National Institute For Safety And Health, over 75 occupational groups in the U.S. have been shown to have exposed their employees to asbestos. The following is an overview of this dangerous substance and how you may obtain compensation if work made you sick.
What Is Asbestos?
This substance is comprised of 6 different types of minerals that occur naturally. Because these minerals are resistant to fire and heat, they were used in many everyday products several decades ago. Many buildings had asbestos installed as fireproofing in ceilings and walls. In the late 1960s, an asbestos-bearing product called Monokote was used in the construction of the World Trade Center buildings that created immense problems for workers doing the cleanup after the 2001 attacks. Some other products include:
- Roofing Materials
- Lawn Furniture
- Fire Retardant Paints And Coatings
- Electrical Appliances
This material is not hazardous unless it is disturbed and fibers flake off and become airborne, and thereby susceptible to being taken into the lungs. Those who worked in certain jobs like the above had the unfortunate opportunity to come into contact with asbestos fibers in airborne form.
What Are The Health Risks?
Today, we know that asbestos is a highly dangerous, cancer-causing material that can cause many health problems such as:
- Lung Cancer
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Diffuse Pleural Thickness
- Pleural Effusion
- Rounded Atelectasis
Who Is At Risk?
While workers who are exposed to this substance at work are at risk of becoming sick at some point in the future, people with whom they come into contact with can become ill as well. Wives or husbands who handle the clothing worn to work often have problems with exposure to this toxic substance.
The following occupations have been shown to place workers at the greatest risk of exposure to this dangerous substance:
- Demolition Crews
- Renovation Specialists
- Machinery Operators
- Chemical Workers
- Trade Laborers
- Shipyard Employees
- Power Plant Workers
- Textile Mill Employees
- Boiler Workers
- Asbestos Mining
What Are The Symptoms Of Illness Due To This Material?
The symptoms that occur most often in those with asbestosis can vary according to exposure and severity, but typically include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Tight feeling in the chest
- Loss of appetite
- Finger or toenail problems or deformities
- Persistent dry hacking cough
- Finger clubbing
Those who become sick due to exposure to this substance can become incapacitated and eventually die as a result. Those who become sick, and their illness can be shown to be connected to asbestos exposure may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills and other damages.
If you or someone you know has mesothelioma due to exposure to this dangerous material at work, contact a personal injury lawyer today to learn what options are available to you under the law. After speaking with your attorney, you’ll know the best way to move forward with your case if you have a valid claim. While obtaining a monetary settlement cannot replace all you have lost, it can help you prepare for your future.
A Tate Law Group Product Liability Lawyer Savannah is ready to help. Contact us today for help navigating the complexities of bringing a suit against parties that allowed unprotected exposure to asbestos fibers.