In the past five decades, there has been an increasing awareness of the dangers of asbestos. Many recognize asbestos exposure as the primary cause of mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related lung cancers and diseases. Unfortunately, millions of individuals worldwide have firsthand knowledge of this fact and have suffered the devastating effects of exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses are typically associated with occupations and trades that bring individuals up close to asbestos and asbestos-containing products daily. The exposure can be as obvious as asbestos mining, processing and packaging for exportation, or it can be through the use of asbestos-containing products in their workplace, such as installers of asbestos-insulated pipes and auto mechanics working on asbestos-containing auto parts. Individuals in these industries are well recognized as being at risk for dangerous levels of asbestos-exposure and its lethal consequences. Even family members of these individuals are now known to be at risk for second-hand exposure to asbestos fibers on their loved one’s clothing and personal belongings. What most people do not know is that even if you or a family member does not work in an “at-risk” industry, you may be exposed to asbestos-containing materials each day – in your own home.
Products used in your daily life can expose you to hidden health hazards. Obviously, you can best protect yourself and your family from asbestos exposure by avoiding common household products that contain asbestos. In fact, many asbestos-laden products have been banned for sale in the United States. Some products, however, were sold long before the bans and are still being used. Moreover, asbestos can lay dormant in your lungs for over 20 years before mesothelioma and other asbestos-linked diseases become symptomatic and are diagnosed; therefore, exposure to asbestos-containing products many years ago can be a cause for concern today.
Some common consumer products known to have contained asbestos in the past are electric blankets, molding clay, fake fireplace logs, ashes and embers, heat guns used by model airplane hobbyists, paper mache, hair dryers, talc powder, makeup, ironing board pads, older large and small (coffee pots, toasters, popcorn poppers, crock pots and irons) appliances, fireproof gloves and chalkboards. Some of these products may still be in use and present a danger of asbestos exposure.
More concerning is the fact that asbestos-containing products were used extensively in building products until the 1970’s. For that reason, DIY’ers are particularly at risk to inhale dangerous asbestos fibers in their own homes. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency comprised a list of common building products that are known to have contained asbestos in the past:
These products put DIY’ers at risk when the materials are damaged, repaired, improperly removed, scraped, drilled, sanded, cut, or torn, or when they become worn, loose, crumbly or water-damaged.
Similarly, because some automotive parts contain asbestos, car enthusiasts are exposed to asbestos fibers when performing simple auto repair projects in their garages. These dangerous auto parts include automobile brake pads and linings, clutch facings, and gaskets. Precautions should be taken when performing auto repairs in your home.
The Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler are committed to helping victims of asbestos exposure. We understand how difficult a diagnosis of mesothelioma can be to a family and how intimidated you may feel about seeking justice from the responsible parties. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer due to asbestos exposure, it is imperative that you have a team of experienced, knowledgeable asbestos lawyers at your side to prepare a solid case and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.