Asbestos refers to a group of six natural minerals made up of fibers that are resistant to certain chemicals, heat and fire. Because of these properties, they were once used in an array of products, such as fireproof gear and building materials. Since then, however, it was discovered that asbestos exposure was linked to severe health risks. In the 1970s-1980s, strict regulations were placed on asbestos and its use in products was halted. Asbestos was not banned or required to be removed, so today it remains in many homes, workplaces and products. In fact, many professions today are at risk for asbestos exposure. These harmful particles are colorless and odorless, so it is hard to know if you are being exposed. The following are some of the professions at risk of asbestos exposure.
When a building is on fire, the burning of materials like insulation, drywall and
ceilings could easily cause airborne exposure to asbestos. Firefighters
entering a burning building are at an increased risk of inhaling the particles.
Even after the ordeal, a firefighter can be exposed to asbestos particles that
remained on the fire gear and equipment.
Asbestos can easily be disturbed and released into the air by any type of construction
work, such as demolition or renovations. When construction workers are on a job
site, they are at high risk of asbestos exposure, simply by inhaling dust and
debris from construction and may want to consult with a workers compensation attorney Long Island residents rely on.
Sewer pipes, flues and gaskets may potentially contain asbestos, meaning that
plumbers handling them are at risk of exposure. Even if they don’t contain
asbestos, the removing and installing of plumbing parts can easily disturb
building materials that do contain asbestos.
Just as other professions that deal with renovations and building materials,
electricians are also at risk of exposure. Whether by working in a construction
zone or working within the walls, an electrician can easily inhale asbestos-containing
Asbestos was heavily used in the shipbuilding industry because of its heat resistant
properties. Today, many of those materials still contain asbestos, leaving
shipyard workers at high risk of exposure.
What to do if You’re Exposed
Over the past several decades, a number of health risks and diseases have been linked
to asbestos exposure. Among these are pleural mesothelioma and other potentially
fatal cancers and lung illnesses.
If you are employed by any of the following professions, you could be at risk, so it is important to take the necessary safety precautions. Even working in an office building built in the 80s could leave you at risk of asbestos exposure. Any damages to asbestos-containing materials can lead to air exposure of the particles. If you believe there is asbestos exposure in your workplace, you should contact a professional asbestos remover. They can evaluate the building for asbestos-containing materials and determine if any has been damaged. In addition, they can safely remove any asbestos in the building.
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos at another party’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury lawyer can review your case and help you determine the best course of action.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Polsky, Shouldice, and Rosen, P.C. for their insight into personal injury.