Small amounts of asbestos found in the soil, water, and air around us pose little risk to human health. But when people are exposed to concentrated asbestos at work over time, the risk for asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer increases.
Who is at Risk?
Workers in various occupations may be exposed to asbestos at work. Manufacturing plants, mills and refineries, construction sites, and shipyards are just some job sites where you might find asbestos at work.
Although laws have limited new uses of asbestos in the U.S., the uses that are still permitted may expose workers to asbestos hazards. Asbestos at work is also a problem in older plants, as insulation or fire retardants in aging machinery and equipment begin to deteriorate. Following are some examples of job sites where asbestos at work might be a problem.
Mills and Manufacturing Plants
Workers in mills and manufacturing plants may encounter asbestos at work – in gaskets and linings, ovens, ladles, boilers, and steam pipes – wherever fire and high temperatures are a concern. Even the aprons, gloves, and overcoats meant to protect workers from burns were a potential source of exposure to asbestos at work, as the asbestos fabric ages and frays with use.
Prior to the 1970s, construction workers were often exposed to asbestos at work. Building materials such as insulation, siding, flooring, paints, and even some landscaping materials commonly contained asbestos. Asbestos remains a concern for workers in the renovation or demolition of many older structures.
Asbestos was used in power plants as an insulator in valves, pumps, and pipefittings, as well as in flooring, paints, and plumbing fixtures. Plants built prior to 1970 may expose workers to crumbling and flaking asbestos at work.
Oil Fields and Refineries
Workers in oil fields and refineries may be exposed to asbestos at work in the materials used to provide insulation from heat and fire. One British study found higher-than-normal rates of mesothelioma among workers who were employed in oil refineries for at least 12 months between 1946 and 1971.
Get Justice for Your Asbestos Injuries
If you were exposed to asbestos at work and now suffer from mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation from the asbestos companies whose products caused your exposure. Call Sokolove Law at 1-888-360-4215 today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.