For many years, factory workers, shipyard employees and other workers in various industries labored in working conditions that were unsafe because of a combo of asbestos exposure, misinformation about the dangers of asbestos exposure and a lack of personal protective equipment.
But they weren’t the only people who ended up exposed to asbestos through their jobs. Most of those workers carried tons of tiny asbestos fibers home with them, every single day. They carried it on their shoes, their clothes, their lunch boxes and in their cars. That put their spouses and other family members in danger, as well.
Secondary asbestos exposure and your risks
Women, in particular, are likely to suffer the ill-effects of secondary asbestos exposure. One study of 90 women with mesothelioma indicated that 64% of the victims contracted their condition through secondary contact with asbestos. They weren’t personally occupied in any fields that would put them in range of the lethal fibers — but they were partners and spouses of those who were.
Since it can take up to 40 years for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disorders to manifest, many people who suffered secondary exposure to asbestos in the past may just now be beginning to show symptoms of their disease.
Your rights when you’re suffering from mesothelioma or a similar disease
If you believe that you could have been exposed to asbestos through secondary contact, it pays to be proactive with your health. Inform your doctor and ask for regular scans.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or a similar disease due to secondary exposure to asbestos, don’t assume that you cannot obtain benefits and compensation. Speak with an advocate who really understands what may be available to you and your family.