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Can you protect yourself from asbestos exposure and its health risks?

May 31, 2021 | Asbestos-related Diseases

As most people are probably aware, exposure to asbestos in southern Illinois, St. Louis and elsewhere, especially over a long period of time, can pose a serious threat to your well-being. It can lead to extremely serious health consequences including lung, ovarian and laryngeal cancer, mesothelioma (a malignant condition), along with a host of other medical ailments. Among those are asbestosis and various problems affecting the pleura, which is a membrane covering the lungs.

The statistics are concerning. According to Asbestos.com, “The EWG [Environmental Working Group] Action Fund estimates that asbestos-related diseases kill 12,000 to 15,000 Americans each year. This includes more than 1,000 deaths from asbestosis and around 8,000 to 10,000 lung cancer deaths. About 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually, according to the American Cancer Society.”

Exposure to asbestos can occur in many ways – from your work, being in the military, proximity to a contaminated site, from disasters like the September 11, 2001, attack in New York City, through secondary exposure, asbestos removal that is not done properly and exposure to certain commonly-used products.

What can you and your loved ones do to avoid asbestos exposure?

  • You should know that employers are required by law to safeguard their employees from asbestos and other health hazards.
  • If your job involves working with or around asbestos, you need to have appropriate employer-provided protective gear and adhere to all applicable safety standards.
  • Wear a respirator if you have to deal with or be near asbestos fibers on the job.
  • You can take steps to keep your family safe. Clean off contaminated clothing or footwear while you are at work. Shower as well so you don’t unintentionally bring asbestos fibers home with you.

Asbestos exposure is a widely recognized health hazard. It can lead to numerous debilitating or potentially fatal diseases. If you or a member of your family suffers from asbestos exposure, you may want to see if you have grounds for taking legal recourse. A knowledgeable attorney can discuss your situation and options.