Asbestos is a commonly known fibrous mineral that was widely used in a variety of American industries for decades for its insulating and heat-resisting properties. In the 1970s, it was phased out when it became clear that it was a direct cause of serious and fatal diseases for those who worked with the product. Asbestos fibers, when inhaled or swallowed, can cause lung disease and cancer, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Those who worked in occupations involving asbestos handling are at high risk for illness from exposure. Approximately 27 million workers were regularly exposed to asbestos in their work environment from 1940 to 1979, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. At that time, it was not clearly recognized that asbestos was highly hazardous to humans. An especially high number of workers were exposed during the boom in manufacturing and shipbuilding associated with World War II production.
Beginning in the 1970s, more has been learned about the relationship between asbestos handling and fatal diseases. Yet in the United States, asbestos is not entirely banned, and workers continue to be exposed when handling older building materials that contain asbestos fibers.
Asbestos-related diseases, in many cases, develop in those who had long-term chronic exposure. Yet, researchers have also found that diseases can develop in those with short-term exposure. It can vary depending on the dosage, an individual’s personal health history, and genetic makeup. It is critical that anyone who works with or has worked with asbestos-containing products be aware of the risks involved.
There are several occupations that place workers at high risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. Those employed in shipbuilding are routinely exposed to breathing in fibers due to the widespread usage of asbestos in insulated and heat-resisting applications. Workers in construction fields working with building and machine insulation also handle asbestos products in their line of work. Other occupations that carry risks include demolition work, firefighting, and automobile repair.
Demolition of drywall and insulating materials carries risks of exposure to older building products that routinely used asbestos. A recent example of asbestos exposure involves those who were employed in rescue and recovery following the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks in 2001. This included firefighters, police and emergency personnel, construction and cleanup crews, and volunteers, as well as civilian residents who spent time in that area.
If you were exposed to asbestos, symptoms may take years to develop. Anyone who is suffering from a potential asbestos-related disease should contact a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your options.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Advocate for Those Suffering from Asbestos Exposure at Work
If you developed an illness at work due to asbestos exposure, the Downingtown workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC have the experience and dedication to fight on your behalf for just compensation and medical care. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 610-594-1600 today.