When people think about second-hand cancer risk, it is usually lung cancer caused by tobacco use that they imagine. However, consuming tobacco products is not the only way that someone could expose their family members to known carcinogens.
When you receive a diagnosis with a condition like mesothelioma, you may wonder why you developed this particular kind of cancer. After all, you have never worked with dangerous products like asbestos. Still, if your spouse worked with asbestos, that might explain why you eventually developed such a serious form of cancer.
Asbestos can easily hitchhike home with professionals
Asbestos occurs naturally in mineral deposits around the world. Although asbestos has a strong correlation with aggressive cancers, companies have used it and everything from that ship insulation to brake pads.
Historically, workers often did not have much protection when handling asbestos. The longer ago your loved one worked with this dangerous substance, the more likely it is that they could have brought some home to you.
Modern employees who must deal with this toxic substance should have respirators, coveralls and decontamination facilities provided by their employer. That way, they don’t have any direct exposure to asbestos, and they don’t take it back out with them when they leave work. Years ago, workers did not have such protections, they could easily come home with asbestos on their clothing, boots or hair, thereby exposing their family members to this deadly carcinogen.
Connecting your mesothelioma diagnosis with your loved one’s profession might be the first step toward getting compensation to help you cover costs as you battle the cancer.