Asbestos was a highly beneficial material used in buildings and consumer goods to reduce fires. However, studies have shown that people exposed to asbestos particles in the air can develop forms of cancer that affect the lungs and other internal organs. Today, asbestos is rarely used.
Yet, many old buildings and consumer goods still contain asbestos. As a result, people in certain work environments may be at a high risk of developing cancer from asbestos exposure. Here are a few jobs that still suffer from asbestos exposure:
1. Construction workers
Because many buildings still contain asbestos, construction workers who are hired to renovate or demolish buildings are likely to suffer from asbestos exposure. During their work, construction workers may be required to remove outdated wallpaper, drywall, shingles and flooring that contain asbestos.
The removal process can cause asbestos dust to spread and it may be some time before the dust settles. Asbestos dust may even linger on clothing and affect family members who come in contact with the workers.
Firefighters often don’t know what to expect when entering buildings. A fire may cause large amounts of asbestos dust to enter the air and expose firefighters. Like construction workers, firefighters may be covered in asbestos fibers, which can expose others to cancer.
3. Shipyard workers
Many ships were insulated with asbestos to help reduce fires and overheating. Today, many ships may still contain asbestos. Shipyard workers may unwittingly contaminate the air when repairing ships. Furthermore, lower deck workers may have a higher degree of asbestos exposure because of poor ventilation.
Asbestos exposure can lead to fatal diseases. Victims of asbestos exposure and families of victims seeking compensation for illnesses and medical bills may need to learn about their legal options.