The potential health risks of asbestos exposure are serious. Historically speaking, this is something that has been known for millennia. Greek and Roman descriptions of lung sickness in slaves who worked with asbestos or mined it date back 2,000 years.
Despite the available written record, asbestos has staying power. Use of the product really took off during the industrial revolution. It continued to be widely used because of its amazing fire-retardant capabilities right up until the 1970s. And while more than 50 countries ban all asbestos use, the United States only restricts it. Exposure rates are reduced, but considering it can take decades for exposure-related health issues to appear, a threat remains. If a diagnosis comes, long and costly treatments may follow, along with a legal struggle to obtain deserved compensation.
Risks continue today
Because asbestos is not banned in the U.S., the risk of asbestos exposure and potential for development of cancers, including mesothelioma, continues. And experts widely agree that some current-day occupations remain at higher risk than others. They include:
- Auto mechanic
- Metal plate and tube fabrication
- Bricklaying, carpentry, drywalling
- Electrician service
- Custodial service
There are even some cases in which workers exposed on the job carry dangerous dust and fibers home on their clothes, putting loved ones at risk.
The extended history of asbestos and the long period of time it can take for symptoms of illness to appear, should inspire anyone who knows, or thinks, they have been exposed to the substance to be proactive in exploring the issue and understanding what’s involved in obtaining the benefits to which they might be entitled. Consulting an experienced attorney can help.