Philadelphia and South Jersey workers experience higher than national averages for pleural mesothelioma. This is because of the numerous manufacturing facilities, shipyards, and older construction projects in the region. Most workers in these industries already know that they are at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Research shows there is also a risk to the families of these workers. The link between asbestos brought into the home on the clothing and tools of workers and a higher risk of disease is well-established. Many family members of construction builders, electricians, plumbers, pipe fitters, factory workers, steam fitters, welders, and more have contracted the disease in this way.
Although a complete ban of asbestos has yet to occur in the United States, researchers now agree that there is no safe level of exposure. Any exposure to asbestos fibers places a person at risk of developing mesothelioma. Unfortunately, as illustrated by a simple reconstruction project in a Texas school the risk of asbestos is everywhere.
When workers were called in to re-glaze windows at the school, they were unaware that the putty previously used contained asbestos. Hence, no precautions were taken and when the putty was ground off. As a result, workers, teachers, and students we exposed to the toxic dust.
Additionally, the risk for exposure extends beyond the area of contamination. At many reconstruction sites, workers carrying asbestos fibers in their clothing enter businesses, inadvertently exposing office workers to the deadly contaminant. This situation is borne out by the fact that many such workers have been developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos has been ingrained in American manufacturing and construction for so long, new exposure sources are found daily. Older homes demolished to make way for new subdivisions often contaminate soil with vermiculite, a type of insulation used in the older houses. When the soil is disturbed, the material becomes airborne, putting residents at risk for mesothelioma.
Two additional groups have been identified as high risk: Veterans and anyone at ground zero on 9/11. Because the U.S. military has used asbestos for brake linings, in mess halls, administrative buildings and barracks construction, and for engine shields in trucks and tanks, anyone who has served in the military is at risk of second-hand exposure to asbestos.
Workers in NYC after the terrorist attacks are developing mesothelioma at higher than average rates. Many researchers believe that most of lower Manhattan and much of the NYC area is at risk because of the heavy cloud that formed when the Twin Towers collapsed. Over 400 tons of asbestos was used in their construction.
Victims and families may not know whether the mesothelioma was caused by second-hand or direct exposure to asbestos. What matters is the pain of losing someone they love. Adding to their pain is the enormous expense of treatments. To help families avoid financial devastation, we fight to hold those who are responsible accountable. If you or a loved one has mesothelioma, let us help. Schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia asbestos lawyer from Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler or call 800-369-0899 for immediate assistance or contact us online. We help families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.