A new study has come out of Sweden’s Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umea University concerning the risk of asbestos exposure to construction workers. The results indicate that more construction workers than previously thought may be at risk for developing pleural mesothelioma. The rise in the risk of asbestos exposure points to workers who were victims of second-hand exposure. These construction workers did not work directly with asbestos related products, but were on job sites where asbestos products were being used.
The study analyzed 367,568 male construction workers in Sweden who had participated in health exams from 1971 until 1993. A total of 419 cases of mesothelioma occurred between 1972 and 2009. The rate of mesothelioma diagnosis was high among the workers who had direct contact with products containing asbestos, but they only accounted for 21% of the mesothelioma cases in the study.
The study showed an even higher rate of mesothelioma cases among concrete workers, wood workers, painters, electricians and foremen. This was a surprising finding of the study because these construction workers were not working directly with products containing asbestos. Those born between 1935 and 1945 were the most likely to be at risk for being diagnosed with mesothelioma because they were not required to wear protective gear during this time period.
In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has well established guidelines and safe practices which are meant to protect those working directly with asbestos products. The measures include informing construction workers of the risks of asbestos exposure, safety training for handling asbestos products, and wearing protective gear that could be equipped with special respirators to prevent the inhalation of asbestos fibers. This study has raised the question of whether safety precautions and current regulations are enough to protect all construction workers against the risk of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler can help you secure financial compensation. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment with our Philadelphia asbestos lawyers. Our office is located in Philadelphia and we serve clients throughout the region, including in New Jersey.