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How does secondary exposure to asbestos happen?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Firm News

Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate fiber that causes mesothelioma – a form of lung cancer. People who develop mesothelioma often spend years working with this harmful product. Consequently, they breathe these fibers and develop the disease.

However, these are not the only people at risk of developing the disease. Other people too may develop mesothelioma when they come into contact with individuals who have been directly exposed to asbestos. This is known as secondary exposure. But how exactly does this happen?

Workers can transfer asbestos to their families

Secondary or second-hand exposure to asbestos happens when a worker brings asbestos fibers home. This can happen when they bring asbestos-contaminated clothing home or when asbestos fibers stick to their hair or other equipment.

As they bring asbestos home, family members can become exposed in the following ways:

  • Bodily contact – as the family members greet and hug a contaminated worker, they may get into contact with asbestos fibers
  • Laundry exposure – as contaminated clothing is mixed with non-contaminated ones, asbestos fibers are likely to spread to the other clothing.
  • Automobile exposure – when family members ride in the same vehicle alongside an exposed worker, they may get exposed over time.
  • Floor and furniture exposure – asbestos fibers can also remain on the floor and seats leading to secondary exposure.

It’s important to understand that secondary exposure is just as lethal as primary exposure.

If you or a loved one develops mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you deserve justice. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may bring a personal injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit if a loved one succumbs to the disease. Find out how proper legal guidance can help you safeguard your rights and interests while bringing your asbestos lawsuit.