Finding out that your workplace has asbestos in it can come as quite a shock. In fact, when people typically think of asbestos, they picture quarantined areas of a building with tarps and workers in hazmat suits because asbestos is not only harmful but it can be lethal when someone inhales it. For this reason, it may surprise people to find that the ceiling, floor tiles, or even paint in your workplace contain asbestos. When this is the case, your employer may have exposed you to asbestos without you even knowing it. If you were exposed to asbestos in the past and are beginning to show signs of an asbestos-related illness, please reach out to an attorney for more information regarding the facts of your case and how we can help.
What are the health risks of asbestos?
When companies first started using asbestos, it appeared to be a miracle-working substance. It is naturally occurring and can resist flame and heat. Because of this, many industries and factories have utilized asbestos in their products. Quickly, however, experts determined that asbestos was linked to different types of diseases and health risks and companies no longer began creating products that contained asbestos. However, many buildings still have asbestos products in them, from floor tiles to house insulation. Typically, if the asbestos is left undisturbed, it will not cause health problems.
There are many dangers to asbestos, and many illnesses have begun to crop up over the last few decades related to asbestos exposure. Since it is easy for asbestos fibers to become airborne once someone or something disturbs them, someone can inhale them. Even short-term exposure can cause long-lasting health problems.
Common Health Risks of Asbestos
There are many health risks associated with asbestos.
- Mesothelioma. A type of cancer that begins taking over the lining of the abdomen and the chest.
- Lung Cancer.
- Asbestosis. This can cause difficulty breathing, inflammation in the lungs, and permanent lung damage.
- Chest Cavity Calcification.
Are certain jobs more at-risk for exposure to asbestos?
Even after companies and manufacturers were told not to create products that contain asbestos, many products still have asbestos in their products before it was banned. Some of the most common lines of work where employees will run into asbestos are:
- Paper mills
- Repair work for heating and cooling
- Automotive work
- Janitorial work
What should I do if I work around asbestos?
If you are worried about exposure to asbestos in the workplace, the first thing you should do is speak directly with your supervisor about what steps your company should be taking to minimize the risk of asbestos exposure, including different forms of training, making sure workspaces are properly ventilated, and having protective equipment on hand.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you were exposed to asbestos through your previous employment and are suffering from a related illness, you need to reach out to an asbestos abatement contractor, like the contractors at Nielsen Environmental, as soon as possible to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your illness.