Few people would willingly work with asbestos these days. Those that do should only do so if their employer provides them with full safety gear.
Yet a few decades back, plenty of people happily went off to work with asbestos each day, blindly unaware of the considerable dangers to their health.
At the end of each day, they returned to their families, potentially exposing those they loved to asbestos through the fibers trapped in their hair and clothes. That secondary exposure can be just as deadly as primary exposure.
It is not to say that no one knew of the dangers. Yet, as in so many cases of harmful products, companies chose to conceal what they knew in the name of greed. They even spent large sums of money suppressing or challenging any evidence that warned of the risk.
Mesothelioma is one possible consequence of asbestos exposure
This cancer can form in those who have inhaled asbestos fibers. It can take decades before it presents in a way that you or a doctor will notice. However, by the time you do notice, it is probably too late. Life expectancy after diagnosis is often only months.
Many of the companies that exposed their workers to asbestos are long since gone, which might make claiming compensation impossible in normal circumstances. Fortunately, the government realized the severity of the situation and ordered companies to create special asbestos funds that would live beyond the company and enable those who suffered or the families they left behind to get financial compensation.
You may be able to claim from these if you or a family member were directly exposed to asbestos or received secondary exposure to it. Finding out more about asbestos compensation will be an essential first step.