Controlling Asbestos in the Workplace
Between 1949 and 1979, roughly 27 million people in the United States were exposed to asbestos at their jobs, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
During this time, the dangers of asbestos exposure in the workplace were not widely known since major manufacturers hid the health risks to keep making money.
Workplaces with a high risk of exposure included:
- Construction sites
- Power plants
Asbestos fibers filled the air of these work environments along with many others.
Asbestos fibers cannot be removed after they are inhaled or ingested into the lungs or abdomen. Over time, this causes severe tissue damage that can trigger cancer.
Today, asbestos is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing material). The mineral also causes dangerous non-cancerous diseases.
Health risks linked to asbestos exposure include:
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Malignant (cancerous) mesothelioma
None of these workers knew the potentially deadly health risks until they had already been exposed.
Asbestos-related diseases like malignant mesothelioma have no cure and are particularly aggressive.
Fortunately, those who suffered from asbestos exposure in the workplace have options if they get sick. For example, top-notch medical treatments may extend a victim’s life expectancy.
Victims can also access financial compensation through mesothelioma legal claims filed against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products.